OSHO Zen Study Group: IV The Rebel

Indigo Rose

The powerful and authoritative figure in this card is clearly the master of his own destiny. On his shoulder is an emblem of the sun, and the torch he holds in his right hand symbolizes the light of his own hard-won truth. Whether he is wealthy or poor, the Rebel is really an emperor because he has broken the chains of society's repressive conditioning and opinions. He has formed himself by embracing all the colors of the rainbow, emerging from the dark and formless roots of his unconsious past and growing wings to fly into the sky. His very way of being rebellious-not becuase he is fighting against anybody or anything, but because he has discovered his own true nature and is determined to live in accordance with it. The eagle is his spirit animal, a messenger between earth and sky.Osho Zen Tarot by Osho

Upon just looking at the card, I have a hard time identifying with it. Having read this excerpt from the book, it makes a bit more sense to me. From this I see that I am very rooted in the traditional Emperor card, which feels very much like authoritative control. Here, this card seems the opposite...rebelling against authoritative control.

Judith D

The traditional emperor has wordly power and magnetism - it seems he is in control of us. This rebel, I feel, has broken the chains of control by others, and is showing us we can do the same thing - break our own chains and gain control of ourselves, power over ourselves. He has the self-knowledge and desire to be his own truth, and instead of inflicting his truth on others shows the way for us to do the same as he did. He is non-confirming, unconfined, but according to his own truth and justice.
The colours link all the worldly energies, he has the link to the eagle - soaring above the earth and not bound. He takes his torch of the light of truth to those who will see.


Something about the Rebel seems very rock-n-roll to me. He is transcending the boundaries between the human and the animal, both in action and understanding by growing eagle wings himself and apparently communicating with the eagle as messenger. His chains bound his feet and now he kicks them off, ready to fly away with his torch. Could this rebel be about to become the Hermit of rws? Living by his own light, choosing solitude while having the ability to chose almost anything (having eagle wings concealed beneath his cloak)? I agree with Judith that this is definitely a new interpretation of the rws Emperor but I wonder if the power to live by your own rules and the authority to set rules for others arent two expressions of the same masculine principle? any thoughts?



An authority figure, but with a twist. I get the feeling he likes making rules just so he can be the one to break them. The chains he has now broken free of were once forged by his own hands. Through his escape he shows us that we cannot be bound to that which no longer serves us, no matter how useful or beneficial it used to be. The past is NOT the future. He looks to sun on his right shoulder and sees a new day dawning.


I agree with cSpaceDiva, the chains caught my eye first and the the torch. So I also thought the chains were old and were self-imposed, the torch significant of inspiration. he is rebel in that needs to move forward according own philosophy/ rules.


This is in-the-moment, not at all concerned with structure, whatever is imagined is reality, don't bother me with your tribal concerns today because by tomorrow you won't even remember them. There is a lot of rebelliousness in this deck, and it is consistent with the underlying theme, which is rebelling against what you think you should think.

It suggests to me that if I am in the need of an Emperor to help me figure things out I should do what this one looks like he would say "I'm busy. You are your own Emperor. You tell me."



Consider this card in relation to XV, CONDITIONING. The Rebel is the lion raised as a lamb after he has broken the chains of conditioning. Conditioning is a result of unconsciously accepting and living by someone else's concepts. Through ALONESS (IX) and SILENCE (XVII) and perhaps even THE MASTER the lion becomes aware of his true nature, becomes THE REBEL, who breaks free of the conceptual chains of his conditioning to achieve NEW VISION (XII), leading BEYOND ILLUSION (XX) to COMPLETION (XXI). Obviously there are many other possible steps in the process, some Major, some minor. The deck is a guide book to the possibilities.


I just love this card to death. The Rebel is a perfect anti-Emperor.

Those wings are going to launch him right up into the sky, with his very hair turning into the rainbow.

I'd like to think that this eagle flies over to the Two of Fire card to become Possibility.


i think rebel card denotes the patriarchal strength, but also bondage by the soceity selectively though. he is aggressive ruthless and focused. a self made man but hard and coarse and also influential.
also he has the ability to imbibe the qualities of the people around him....he moves the way the tide changes but not out of fear or weakness but out of convienience he can stand against all odds and win but he would go along as diplomacy or hypocrisy (whichever suits you). it allows him to reach his main goal faster. also it denotes versatility/ adaptibility.
also there is a certain amount of denial and sorrow because of it in this person because though the chain is broken and he has the wings and he sees the eagle he is still seated he does not choose to fly he remains bound to old ways....in denial thus generating sorrow for himself


Hi,,, Love reading your different thoughts on this card...

For me You begin the journey at the beginning as The Fool (The learner) you begin to realize your existence in this world, you begin to listen to your inner voice and know that you can begin to create something new on your path as you break free from the chains of the past so you are able to move forward on your journey....... and you start with a blank canvas as you travel through the rest of your journey......

This Rebel.... offers you the chance to create your own fire, your own light, your own personal truth, you do not need to agree with what others are saying or doing........As the Rebel you have the chance to Soar overhead like an eagle.. and grow personally........Red-leadership, strength, orange courage.... Green from the heart and yellow success........

There is so much in this picture which you can truly look at individually...

eg. The Torch- meaning life truth Immortality and intelligence.....

I love these cards, the journey they take you upon can be life changing......