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Greater Arcana Study Group—The Emperor

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Abrac  Abrac is offline
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Greater Arcana Study Group—The Emperor


He has a form of the Crux ansata [Ankh; “Cross with a handle”] for his scepter and a globe in his left hand. He is crowned monarch—commanding, stately, seated on a throne, the arms of which are fronted by rams’ heads. He is executive and realization, the power of this world, here clothed with the highest of its natural attributes. He is occasionally represented as seated on a cubic stone, which, however, confuses some of the issues. He is the virile power, to which the Empress responds, and in this sense is he who seeks to remove the Veil of Isis; yet she remains virgo intacta [Chaste; untouched].

It should be understood that this card and that of the Empress do not precisely represent the condition of married life, though this state is implied. On the surface, as I have indicated, they stand for mundane royalty, uplifted on the seats of the mighty; but above this there is the suggestion of another presence. They signify, also—and the male figure especially—the higher kingship, occupying the intellectual throne. Hereof is the lordship of thought rather than of the animal world. Both personalities, after their own manner, are “full of strange experience,” but theirs is not consciously the wisdom which draws from a higher world. The Emperor has been described as (a) will in its embodied form, but this is only one of its applications, and (b) as an expression of virtualities contained in the Absolute Being—but this is fantasy.
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Regarding the Crux ansata, from Regardie’s Complete Golden Dawn System of Magic, Adeptus Minor Ritual:
Chief Adept: Associate Adeptus Minor, what is the Emblem which we bear in our left hands?

3rd Adept: It is a form of the Rose and Cross, the ancient Crux Ansata or Egyptian symbol of life.

Chief Adept: Mighty Adeptus Major, what is its meaning?

2nd Adept: It represents the force of the Ten Sephiroth in Nature, divided into a Hexad and a Tetrad. The Oval embraces the first six Sephiroth and the TAU Cross the lower Four, answering to the four Elements.
Waite's Crux ansata is a little different, it has a circle instead of an oval, but it probably symbolizes the same thing. The horizontal bar in the middle can be seen as the Veil of Paroketh which separates the lower four Sephiroth from the upper six.
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Abrac  Abrac is offline
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That circle on top of the cross might also refer to the Sun as it's in exaltation in Aries. I like that symbolism, it seems a better fit.
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Yelell  Yelell is offline
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>>>. Ignore this post... Move along...Nothing to see here



Well, Book T had a big breakdown of the ankh's symbolism (although I'm pretty sure the large 'P' in the picture was supposed to be an 'R')
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Abrac  Abrac is offline
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The letters are Greek—Tau, Alpha, Rho, Omicron. It looks like a P but it's a Greek R.

That description of the Ankh is from Crowley's version of Book-T which he published in The Equinox, Vol. 1, No. 8, 1912; it's not in the original GD material. The Waite-Smith tarot was published a good two years before that paper. Crowley and Waite were both in the Golden Dawn but that's about as far as the similarities go.
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Abrac beat me to it.
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Really? I actually have no idea where, how or when I got that, but then again I'm terribly disorganized
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Abrac  Abrac is offline
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The main message I take away from the Empress and Emperor are summed up by:

"He is the virile power, to which the Empress responds, and in this sense is he who seeks to remove the Veil of Isis; yet she remains virgo intacta."

Emperor = Initiating virile power.

Empress = Responsive creative power.

The Emperor, attempting to pierce the Veil of Isis (veil of matter as I understand it) by brute force, is unsuccessful. The way of penetrating the Veil is by quietly going within in a spirit of Love.
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“Number 4 of the Tarots, the King, is a profile—we trench here upon one of the most hidden dogmas of the Kabbalah, for Macroprosopus is always designed as a Right Profile; while Microprosopus is drawn of full face, he is the Vau of the Tetragrammaton.” W. Wynn Westcott, The Isiac Tablet.
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Ok, then I have a question.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Waite
He is occasionally represented as seated on a cubic stone, which, however, confuses some of the issues.
Why?

The Tarot of the Bohemians text has the Emperor on a cubic stone, as does the Wirth deck. Case makes a point of putting the Emperor back on a cubic stone (as well as also really stressing that Waite should have shown the Emperor in profile instead of straight on.) So why did Waite move the Emperor to a throne?
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