The Emperor's associated astrological symbol is Aries as he gains his power from the planet Mars. He is the embodiment of divine masculine as such is a protector, provider and leader. The Ram with the Aries symbol on his forehead symbolizes the force behind the calm presence. It's not that the Emperor uses force to get what he wants, it's that he is willing to use force to defend his community or values. This is reinforced by having his sword behind his shield. It's force is not in intimidation by from knowing how and when to use it.
"Use only with purpose. Return only with Honor."
The Sword is a symbol for the element of air which is associated with the mind and decision making. The Emperor archetype is purpose driven, decisive and confident. He does not react with emotion such as anger, fear or desire. Instead he weighs the options and decides based on logic, even if he does not have all the information, or if it's a hard decision that will cause suffering. This is where rules are made and discipline is used to enforce these rules.
The Emperor primarily expresses himself through speech or written word. This could be manifest in a contract, story, or an important list. This is why the character in the bottom left is writing down what he is learning from the Emperor Archetype. The Emperor speaks clearly and forcefully.
Fire is the element of passion, energy and assertiveness. The Emperor Archetype uses his passion for his values to strengthen his position and stand for what is right. This is symbolized in the fire staff. When an Emperor feels strong emotions such as anger fear and joy, he does not immediately react to them. Instead they are channeled and transformed through the Air element of the mind to become purposeful. For example: anger can be converted into determination and focus.
The symbol on the shield is a Vegvisir otherwise known as a Nordic Compass:
"[...] is a symbol of protection and guidance believed to be used as a compass by Vikings. The word vegvisir means 'wayfinder' and 'sign post' in Icelandic language."
It's on the shield as a way of defending himself by helping other find their way when they are lost, instead of by striking them down with force and creating more enemies.
The Emperor Archetype helped me tune into my presence and masculinity. I became more aware of my posture and began a morning exercise routine. Exercise is uncomfortable and easy to simply skip. It takes self-discipline and determination to stay with the goal of gaining more strength and better posture. By embracing the Emperor Archetype I am able to face the discomfort to push my body harder.
The previous archetypes help establish a vision of how my life could be if I am in alignment with my higher self, values and stay purpose driven. With those visions, the Emperor archetype enforces the steps needed to move towards goals.
For example: The High Priestess showed me that spontaneous substance use such as drinking alcohol socially or smoking weed to chill out are out of alignment with my higher self. They are sacred sacraments meant to be used in ceremony with the intention of deepening my journey or changing my perspective. I know that now, but I still did it on a regular basis. The desire to drink or smoke in social situations or spontaneously during time off can be stronger than just a vision of how things should be. This is where the Emperor Archetype is helpful: By viewing the vision of the High Priestess as sacred, it is not ok to violate the rules and act childishly. An Emperor embraces this discomfort and does the right thing instead of the emotionally driven decision. While studying the Emperor I have better control over my desires, and prefer to go to bed on time so that I can wake up on time to start my morning exercises.
The Empress Archetype also helps strengthen The Emperor Archetype, because the Empress Archetype find the Emperor Archetype attractive (And Vise Versa). So when I align myself with the Emperor Archetype, I make better decisions for my relationship with my romantic partner, amplifying intimacy. Ill give an example:
I was spending the weekend with my girlfriend Eva, when an old female friend visited spontaneously. I was welcoming to this friend as I usually am to anyone who visits me planed or not, but it became clear that my girlfriend was not happy that my attention was now split between 2 people, as our plans were effected. Eva and I had set intention to go for a walk and watch the sunset together, but with my other friend here, we could have to accommodate them no stay home to be social. In that situation I embraced the Emperor Archetype to contemplate what I should do. I recognized that I would have to take the dis-comfortable route of telling my visiting friend that Eva and I already had plans for the evening and that we are not available to visit. My old friend left slightly awkwardly but what followed was a magical time with Eva. We found an awesome sunset spot and basked in our joy for each other. By prioritizing Eva with clear communication despite the discomfort, I created a better situation and increased Eva's attraction for me. I felt good about myself too as I understood how the Emperor Archetype faces discomfort head on as an opportunity to demonstrate my values and do the right thing.