Weekly Forecast: September 24-30
What does it mean to be powerful?
This question comes with a lot of baggage and very few diverse blueprints. We tend to see power as absolute, unwavering, and rigid. You either have it or you don't, especially if it's being wielded in a social setting. It's fierce, commandeering, and fiery.
Doesn't it sound like we're describing The Emperor?
And, indeed, we have this actual powerhouse of a card in our final position. A potent image, to be sure, The Emperor is so imposing and confident that his message comes through loud and clear to those unfamiliar with tarot. We see authority, expertise, confidence, competition, and fortitude. Interestingly, in our power-obsessed culture, this card brings forth a lot of resistance. We often want to rebel when we see The Emperor, to seek freedom and individuality instead of all that structure.
The language of tarot, however, is multilayered and illuminating. We build up meaning around the cards from personal associations and experiences, both personal and cultural, and the cards carry that with them. If we work to scrape some of his off, however, we can reach different levels and see ideas, orientations, and approaches. It's a healing journey that introduces nuance and meaning to the harder aspects of life. This week we'll be working with The Emperor, directing his force and determination in more personally authentic ways.
So back to the cards at hand. Both the King of Cups and The Emperor - representations of power and authority - surround our central card, the difficult and upsetting Five of Swords. This week has the potential for conflict and misunderstanding. There's mischief afoot, especially when it comes to communication. Lies, manipulations, and gossip are some ways that this card shows us how thoughts and words can disrupt a situation. Reacting mindlessly to the wrongdoing only increases the hurt and confusion.
This is clearly a time that calls for power, authority, and confidence.
Many people shirk from these ideas because they seem so harsh and commandeering, much like our first impression of The Emperor. Fascinatingly, we have a much different representation of power leading us into the week: The King of Cups. Instead of a parched desert, this character lives in a dynamic ocean. A fish jumps out of the undulating waves on his right while the red sails of a ship peek out from the left side of his throne.
The King of Cups is telling us that we're already operating from a position of power. It just doesn't look like what we've been trained to associate with authority and strength. The King of Cups thrives off of connection, community, and emotion. Instead of distancing himself from others and wielding power over them, he's in the middle of life's complexities. He feels and connects and emotes. He's there.
This week is calling on us to reassess our personal power. Maybe we've been striving to look like The Emperor, thinking we need rules and absolute respect and a certain harshness that doesn't quite line-up with our personalities. And, in true Emperor fashion, anything less is an absolute failure.
But look at us right now. We're engaged in life, connected to people, and doing the hard work of processing our emotions. This kind of presence speaks volumes, and though it doesn't have the imperious gravitas of power with a capital P, it's often far more effective.
Which brings us back to The Emperor. Underneath all that armor is a pioneering spirit. What did it take to build that throne in his harsh desert landscape, with just a tiny river struggling through the sand behind his throne? The Emperor had to make things work in a less-than hospitable place. And he succeeded wildly. His accomplishment lies beneath the King of Cups. It's just that our world right now is flowing with beautiful water - friendships, alliances, love, and emotion.
Thanks to the hard work of The Emperor we've claimed our power, built something strong, and allowed an ocean to grow. We've softened our edges, but we also remain connected to this difficult and rewarding past. We have that solidity beneath our feet that allows us to sidestep the needless drama of the Five of Swords.
Water flows and steel clashes. Thanks to our hard work and newer, lusher surroundings, we no longer have to flatten or opponents or rise to every challenge. We can simply see what's happening and move around it, seeking out meaningful connections and rewarding work.