Taking Control: a Power Struggle with the Empress and Emperor

The Empress, motherhood, creativity
The Empress


The Emperor, control, authority
The Emperor

The Empress and the Emperor together today…uh oh. Doesn’t this look like two parents saying to you, “for god’s sake, take control of your life?” There is simply no need for all this chaos.

Pulling a clarifying card, I got the Five of Swords: Defeat is not an option. Stand up for yourself. I feel as though the Empress and Emperor are looking at the figure on the Five of Swords card, saying, “what is the matter with you? Everyone else is playing with swords, so you will too? What is going on? Why are you so sure you have to prove that you are right and everyone else is wrong?”

Five of Swords
Five of Swords

What about you? Are you living according to your own values — or those of your family? Are you experiencing familial pressure to do something different than you are currently doing? Do you feel misunderstood?

Thinking that the Five of Swords (Defeat) is how this situation looks to the Empress and the Emperor, I pulled one more card, asking, how does it feel to the individual who is under their scrutiny? Answer: Death reversed. It feels like being a loser, it may even feel like depression, and maybe even serious depression, but it’s also the door to transformative and necessary change. These cards have lots of teenage energy about them — it’s this feeling of wanting to revolt, rebel, go out and be who you are, but having that transformation blocked by authority, because to them it looks like everything they don’t stand for — you begin to suspect that the change you want to bring about looks like Death to them. It feels like to choose to be who you want to be, you have to kill the person they think you should be. But remember — that person doesn’t exist. Only the person you really are exists.

Death reversed
Death reversed

What happens if we turn the Death card right side up? The transformative change is still there — it always was. There’s still a new day dawning…there always is. Turned upright, this card shows me (leaving aside that this is Death) a teenager coming out of the closet, dressed the way he/she chooses, moving forward on a quest in life, going out with a defiant flag saying, “I am who I am and I’m going forth as me.”

That’s a big change, but it doesn’t have to be as painful as we sometimes make it. The Empress and the Emperor will get over it. Controlling their own lives should be enough for them without feeling that they absolutely must control everyone else.


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