LGAL Cosmos Tarot - Emperor/Leo


Image: We see the head, neck, and shoulders of a man whose chin is raised high. Geometric tattoos point up his neck. His hair is like fire, filling most of the card, swirling to the right – but its edges are blocky and geometric, making jagged shapes instead of being wispy. There’s a glowing yellow symbol over his forehead, containing what looks like a cobra’s head. His eyes also blaze yellow, and he is looking up and forward, transfixed. It looks like light might be radiating from his eyes. There is a yellow earring visible, shaped like an ankh. The background is a starry night sky and is slightly paler at the bottom of the card, like dusk or dawn is soon.

Keywords: Reputation, showmanship, chivalry, loyalty

Element: Fire

Analysis: I have a hard time reading more into this one than just FIRE and POWER. This figure definitely looks regal and confident. The symbol on his forehead even looks like a crown to me. After a bit of thought, I see him as being the sun – hence the dusk/dawn background, the fire-y glow, the ankh (life-giving), and even the cobra – which, going with the Egyptian theme, was often associated with royalty, but they can also be associated with messengers of the sun god Ra. And even in the dark, the sun is burning, never too far away.

Reversed, that fire looks like it might be burning a little too strongly, out of control and all-consuming. His pupils now look like cat-like slits staring uncomfortably down at me. Arrogance, maybe even cruelty.

As Leo: This whole thing screams Leo to me – the passion, pride, and showy display of fire and light.

As Emperor: The ankh and color scheme relate directly to RWS. Power and authority are here, as the crown-like symbol suggests. This card lacks the sense of maturity and stability that the usual Emperor has, but if I'm interpreting this figure as the incarnation of the sun – it’s hard to get more ancient and eternal than the Sun. The paternal associations are also there, especially considering the masculine/feminine duality of sun and moon in many mythologies. And the regularity of the sun rising and falling implies order and reliability – which could also translate to loyalty, as Leo.


Emperor- intuitive thoughts

Interestingly- I see a very feminine side to this Emperor- the long hair, eyes, almost lightning effect of the gilded constellation- it reminds me of a fiery Storm (X-Men). And that image immediately gave me the understanding of Loyalty- given her loyalty to the school. There is also the loyalty I see inherent in this fire sign- a kind of Griffindor quality so to speak. So the Leo constellation mixed with the appearance- that was just the first thing to hit me on the card.

Reputation- I see this as well in the Griffindor range- a reputation of integrity, of fiery passion behind it as well. Dumbledore's army. Leo's can be both fiercely loyal- but reputation is a big deal for them, and can be a deal-breaker in a friendship should you cross that line.

Showmanship- same deal from the Leo piece- and I can also get a sense of it from the figure- there is a certain amount of showing power here- letting the world see the bright flames that come from within.

Chivalry- again the Leo piece- not so much from the card per se, except perhaps again the feminine quality I see to this particular rendition of the Emperor- so a male energy that is comfortable with the feminine aspect.

Honestly- I get a sense of rage from this card- the curled lips and the way that the eyes are looking down- almost as if ready to engage in battle. This is not a king that sits behind an army, but one that screams a war cry and fights in the front with his men. So reputation, loyalty and showmanship comes clear with that.

Reversed it is very interesting- it almost looks like the fire is coming up to greet the face and as if the eyes are rolled back- almost as if someone is horsing/opening up to possession of the gods. The light being the intermediary of human and define- but in a sense of where it has gone chaotic versus having any sort of control- i.e. the bad stories you hear. The anhk now resembles a dagger.

This is a very different Emperor- just like the High Priestess was a very different High Priestess. In most cases- the Emperor signifies a control aspect, almost the equivalent of divine order instead of Chaos.

This is Loki- fiery chaos in all it's forms- both brilliant as well as loss of control. The wild and the destructive all together in one massive force. There is a book (fiction) about the story of Loki called The Gospel of Loki by Joanne Harris (a very good read btw)- her vision of Loki is the figure I see in this card. There is an honesty to it- a self-destruction that you see coming but so beautiful in the fire that you know the world would be at a loss if not for that brilliant, though fleeting, flame. I see Loki when this card is reversed so much more. Storm (a fire version) when upright. I think both have inside them equal capabilities- it is just a matter of how much you move with the Chaos, versus how much it tears you asunder.


Ooh, interesting thought about Loki! I can definitely see that. And the femininity as well - this Emperor is somewhat androgynous to my eyes, which surprised me. I love how this deck plays with the balance of masculine and feminine in several cards, like we also saw with the Magician.

Interesting that you mention the eyes looking down. That was also how I first saw it, but then it started to look more like the eyes were looking up and were just mostly covered with the yellow light, so the dark spot I thought were pupils looking down were actually the edges of irises. I can still see it both ways, and that ambiguity is interesting. The one looks like anger or disdain, the other like intense focus and being off in his own world. I imagine it could shift depending on the surrounding cards.