While Tarot and Astrology offer different disciplines, they are also inseparable. Twelve of the major arcana are associated with signs of the zodiac, which are, as astrologer Alan Oken puts it, “The constant twelve principles of Man”. In other words, they are archetypes of human personalities, as are the triumphs that are associated with each sign. In Tarot, each has three possible types of expression; Potential, Equilibrium and Unrealized Potential. In this series we’ll explore these twelve triumphs and the personalities that accompany them.
Keep in mind that these descriptions are specifically about personality characteristics, and are not, by any means, a full account of the energies contained in the cards. They can be very helpful, however, when a person appears in a reading. Use them for insight into someone ‘s nature, possible intentions, and compatibility.
Each of the astrological signs has an associated positive or negative polarity, also known as male and female, or yang and ying. Gender pronouns in these descriptions vary according to the polarity of the sign that’s attached to the card, which leads to some unconventional assignments. Remember, though, the cards-and their polarities-represent energies, not actual gender.
For example, is it confusing to address the Hermit as she, because Virgo has a negative polarity? No doubt. But take the thought a bit further: the reclusive, monastic figure on the mountaintop is clearly in a receptive state of mind, despite the artist’s rendering of a grizzled old graybeard. If you can see past the limitations of the illustrations on the cards, you’ll be able to use the gender pronoun in these descriptions as a clue about the true nature of a person.
The first distinct personality type to emerge among the triumphs is The Emperor, born of Aries. His element is Fire and polarity is Yang. Even without any other information, this immediately identifies him as an energetic, outgoing individual. In fact, this person’s primary motivation is to make his mark on the world. This can come out in a variety of ways.
4. THE EMPEROR (ARIES, FIRE, YANG)
At its fullest potential, this is a charismatic, warm personality that continually seeks avenues for self-expression. Eager and highly energetic, The Emperor craves constant excitement and thrives on competition.
This is an idealistic person who is both perceptive and capable of thinking clearly. Courageous and enthusiastic, the Emperor is likely to seize opportunity without hesitation and has the determination to persevere through setbacks. Emperors seek intensity in all relationships, and need connections with other people in order to bring their own talents into the world.
If the positive potential of Aries is not being realized the nature of the Emperor takes a different direction. Intensity becomes possessiveness. There is a tendency to rush in before thinking and an inability to follow through. Temper flares easily. The personality may be confrontational, aggressive and unwilling to accept direction. Idealism becomes naivete, or even arrogance. These Emperors live in the world of their own ideas and have little compassion for the struggles of others. Lack of experience thwarts creative force.
A successful Emperor is an excellent leader and is strongly supportive of the talents of others. A keen sense of observation and high intelligence are inherent. This is a decisive person who know how to set healthy boundaries, and who takes very good care of the ones he loves. An Emperor is especially compatible with someone represented by Justice or any of the Sword courts.