To draw the Emperor, the Major Arcana card, is a sign of re-affirming strength for me today, in spite of feeling rather weak. Physical strength and power, are not always necessary or even wanted. I'd rather have inward strength of the a spiritual kind.
The Emperor ruled by Aries the Ram, provides a foundation from which to build upon, and though he can be as stubborn as a bull which can be his downfall, simultaneously, it can be his strength. When times get difficult it is this stubbornness that manifests in the form of the determination, perseverance and the endurance needed to overcome. He is a mentor, an example , and a strength to others who are struggling, and who need guidance. The Emperor can be counted on to help us, like an earthly father.
I have heard it said if you are finding it hard to have faith, then borrow someone else's. I've always loved this saying, and what it means to me is to lean on the strength of another, to help get you through whatever it is you are struggling with in life. This is what the Emperor archetype can do for us, as a symbol of inner strength, stability, guidance, and having a soft place to fall.
Many individuals grow up without the love and guidance of a father that is present, for one reason or another. This does not mean we cannot find others who can, and will provide guidance to us, especially in a spiritual sense.
I remember being told in a 12 Step program that I needed to learn to re-parent myself. I thought they were all crazy as bat crap, and I was mad as hell. I had this reaction because I had long felt I was always having to take care of others needs. I felt I'd always had to put my own needs on the back burner. Now, I was being told, no one was going to meet my needs but me. I didn't have a clue how to do this, and I felt very lost.
Growing up as a child I had unmet needs, and this is why I had such an adverse reaction to being told now I was responsible for meeting my own needs, and my own happiness.
Gradually, little by slowly, I learned what it meant to re-parent myself, and how to do this. There was nothing too easy about it, nor was I comfortable doing so, because deep down, I really didn't believe I deserved to get my needs met. I felt unworthy, and was lacking in self-worth. This is what happens to children who don't get there needs met. They grow up feeling unloved, unworthy, and undeserving of love. This mindset, full of negative inner messages of self-talk, often results in a cycle of abusive relationships and self-neglect, only to reinforce an already existing low self-esteem, and inability to care, and love oneself.