The Gothic Tarot by Vargo - IV The Emperor


You know, at this rythmn, we might finish the whole deck in a month or two.

cjtarot has also written interesting stuffs on this card, and other cards as well, in a thread on The Gothic Tarot and he/she accepted graciously to be quoted here.

cjtarot said:
I want to respond to the quote about the Lovers, the High Priest and the Empress standing in the same arch...

The Empress, guards her home...the relm of beond. (note the Emperor is inside with all the babe's doing NOTHING)

The Hight PRiest guards the knowledge in the Relm of beond

The Lovers..It is your choice (or is it) to enter into the Relm..note the lovers almost look farther into the arch..

Also look at the High Priestess and the 9 of cups...
The HP..guarding the unknow of our sub consious - or the door to the afterlife.

The 9 of cups.. Cups are emotion, our life flow if you will..the 9 is showing the final preperation before we are fufilled, before the final journey into the ultimate unknow..(Note the 10 of cups is within that arch..the claiming or the dark angel leading you away)


Vargo's cards were based on earlier works, you can see some of them on his website. This card is called Dracula, and the three women are the vampire women in the novel "Dracula" by Bram Stocker.

The Emperor is sitting on his throne made of wood and covered with red velvet. He wears a black costume with a black cloak, and red accessories, a red gem on a ring on his ring finger of his left hand. A raven is at the top of the throne. Three women surround the Emperor, all wearing long pale blue nightgown, with a few jewels, and the third one is sit at his feet, with a bloody skull under her left hand. The throne is at the top of the steps, the fourth step. Another skull lies at the second step on the left. Two bats are flying on the right and there's a wolf being caressed by the Emperor on the left.

As I mentionned in the Fool, there's a lot of red in this deck, red meaning the underwold, the dead, hell... and blood. The wolf, the bats and the raven here have red eyes, like all the animals in the deck, including the wolf in The Fool, that I forgot to mention. The throne is covered by red velvet, the Emperor wears red velvet as well with red garmnent and a red ring. All the people's lips here are red too.

It's obvious that the Emperor has authority on these women, including all the animals in the deck, represented by the wolf, the raven and the bats. Whoever contradicts this Emperor might end up like the previous people who tried before; we can see their remains on the steps.


Whereas the Magician displayed command of magic/universe, The Emperor displays command over people (souls). He exudes an aura of authority. He is accompanied by the three mistresses that held Jonathan Harker at bay, beasts of the field, and birds of the air (earth and air once again).

Being card four, and sitting on the fourth step he exemplifies stability, order and structure, planning in action, evaluating, solidity, calculating, and pragmatism; foundations for success.

Taken together, we see an Emperor who has domination over himself and others. Discipline, it is the only God that wealth and power bow to. His discipline is his stability.


On a further note.

Let’s say you’re a new vampyre. Chances are you won’t last long, you get over anxious, you get careless, you get a stake in the heart and decapitated.

The only way to become an old vampyre is to restrain your ardor, to holdback, to have self-control…to exercise discipline.


Those careless vampires could be the skulls on the steps. This Emperor has succeded them and so far, with his qualities, is doing well.


I just saw Van Helsing over the weekend. (it was pretty good so long as you forget everything you ever knew about Dracula, Frankenstein, Dr. Jekyll and vamipres and werewolves in general)

But if this were to be the Count from the movie, these would be his three vamire brides and one of the werewolves that he lords over, along with the scavenger to pick off what they leave behind after feeding.

Dominion, power, command and so on.

Tall dark and handsome man(vampire) with his wives of a few millenia.


The woman in this card remind me of the novel, "The Tale of Genji" it was written by a woman in Japan. It is said to be the oldest novel, ever. The author, speaking as the narrator, also a woman, states many times that she is just a woman and would not know of politics or "man's stuff" but than continues to explain all that 'stuff' in great detail. It is an act of subdugation (sorry for the spelling) without truely being submissive. These woman do his biding, but in doing so keep him in power. Why do they do that? What do they get out of it? Look at the expressions on their faces... is it all just an act?
For that matter if I sat in a thrown, with woman, and animals around me wearing a cape and an expression of power, add a little mist and I would either 1) look like an idoit or 2) look like I have all the power in the world...
so the question is, Is this all smoke and mirrors? Do they really control, or have power? I would wonder about that escpecially how that would effect a querant....


ok.. I opened my deck today, shuffled and this is the first card I drew. Beside the fact that it represents a friend I saw this weekend, I saw other things. I'd like to describe what I see in this card and see if anyone agrees.....

I see the emperor sitting on his throne. He is surrounded by what appear to me to be 3 servants. He seems oblivious to them. His right hand is on the wolf - right hand being significant in some way. There is a raven sitting on top of the throne looking to the side. The wolf is also looking to the side. Bats fly to his left. The woman to his right looks clingy - unsure of her position with him. The one to his right bears a seductive look. The one in front seems the most confident, her hand resting on a skull. She also bears a ring abournd her arm, but no headdress. Is this significant? The one on his left wears a simple circlet. The one on his right wears waht seems to me as a slave headdress or a lady in waiting.

The emperor seems bored. He is also the only one looking at the reader. Has he reached the penticle of his existance? has he become bored with everything, having obtained all he wants, and no longer having any challenge? Obviously he has dominion over animal and human. His women offer him no challenge. Is he even still seeking challenge?

I know this isn't the traditional meaning of the emperor... I looked at the LWB after, and it conveys the emperor as strong, authoratative, protector. Some of this I see, but I see even more a lost of challenge and bordom.. is it just me?


Your description is like be careful what you wish for...To me the looks on their faces seem fake liek they are putting on a show. You know you must be the hip person if you show no expression on your face, that kind of thing.


Thoughts from my first 'practise' reading dealt as the 4th card in a four card spread. Quite significant given it is the 4th card in the major arcana, and he sits on the 4th step.
The way he sits in his throne indicates to me he is comfortable with his position, his title, his sucesses. Yes the animals and the women are drawn to him. Animals are not forced to stay with anyone, they have the freedom to roam so why do they stay? Is he a kind and generous vampire? As for the 3 women. They appear ghostly hovering around him. He protects the dead? King of the underworld? Yes he is strong, confident, sure of himself and I agree with using the word disciplined, does he hold authority over souls?
When I did this reading for a friend, my very first thoughts were that to resolve her current circumstances she needs to become disciplined, become strong and then you will succeed. Or w ith regards to future events, she could even encounter someone with these qualities.

I feel I need to reflect on this card a little more as to me alot of questions are raised.

Ok so that concludes (gawd that sounds formal lol) my very first ever 'practise' reading for someone.

The questioner was blown away, I was blown away.
Loving these cards.
Thanks for listening