Tarot Birth Cards – Death/Emperor

Over the next year I am going to be writing about Tarot Birth Cards, what they mean and how we can work with them. I use the system of Tarot Birth Cards developed by Ruth Ann and Wald Amberstone of the Tarot School (www.tarotschool.com). Using the Seeker’s birth data (month, day and year), pairs of birth cards are defined. (For more information, and to calculate your own Birth Cards, go tohttp://tarotschool.com/Calculator.html.)

Please note: I have a book being published by Schiffer Books in fall of 2011 –  “Keys To Empowerment”, incorporating images from Karyn’s Easton’s “Tarot Lovers Tarot”. This was to have been a joint project (book and deck published together), but the decision was made to publish both separately, which I find very exciting! Karyn has a Birth Card calculator up on her site, where you can also view her incredible deck (it really is!) –http://paranormality.com/tarot-birth-card-calculator.shtml.

A special thanks to Leisa ReFalo www.tarotconnection.net, who developed the Birth Card Calculator, and graciously gave us permission to use it.

Our fourth pair of Birth Cards are the Death (Key 13) and the Emperor (Key 4). Some of the associations for these cards are:

Astrological Sign: Scorpio
Keywords: Release, change, living in the past, stuck in old patterns, blocks, transformation, renewal, detachment.

The Emperor
Astrological Sign: Aries
Keywords:  Decisive, ability to observe, logical thinking, organization, determination, male energy (animus), leadership, ambition, seeking stability, protecting others, dominion over mind, emotions, body.

The Theme for this lifetime is:  Learning to detach from the physical world, and release all expectations. The ability to take a leadership position, and own ones power.

We can choose to do personal work with our own Birth Cards, we can use Birth Cards in conjunction with a reading for a client (place their birth cards, drawn from a deck other than the one you are reading with, above the spread(s) laid out for them). The spread(s) are then read through the lens of perception of the Seeker’s Birth Cards. As added value, a reader could give their client scans of their Birth Cards, along with a short write-up about them. Readers can also use the Birth Card system to better understand other people in their own lives (family, co-workers, friends etc.).

The key to bringing balance to any lifetime is that of understanding how and where your Birth Cards are operating in your life. Death, ruled by Scorpio, places the focus on releasing that which no longer serves us well. This could be releasing people, places, things, or even an attitude, or way of looking at something, from our life.

The Emperor, ruled by Aries places focus on an independent optimistic, generous nature. There is also a sense of calculated risk taking here, as well as the ability to get things done. (The fact that the Emperor archetype has a magnetic personality does not hurt!).  There is often a sense of excitement and adventure surrounding the Emperor archetype, thanks to his Aries ruler.

Death and the Emperor set the tone for this lifetime. The path that the individual walks is one that addresses the lessons of balance in life – Death releases, to make room for future growth, while the Emperor brings order to what already exists. Death stands in the background, clearing things away, while the Emperor takes a position of leadership, making and implementing decisions.

A 13/4 (Death/Emperor) individual empowers themselves by releasing self-imposed holds from the past, that which is blocking them, holding them back, or not serving them well. They give up the ask that they gave been showing in public so that they can be who they really are. It is facing our fears and releasing them, giving up old habits and old ways of thinking of things. This is also a lifetime of accepting leadership roles, of using their power in an efficient manner to bring order out of chaos, and to make effective decisions.  What needs to be watched for here is a tendency to be judgmental and over analytical.

We are what we tell ourselves we are. When we understand why we make the decisions that we do, we can look at the decisions that are not bringing us happiness, and rethink them. If our decisions are not taking us where we want to go, we have a disconnect in our life. A 13/4 lifetime is all about releasing the past and taking accountability for the present and future.

Death and the Emperor act together to form the foundation for an authentic life. Death demands that we release that which no longer serves us well. He asks us to disconnect from the past, and from repetitive old patterns of thinking and acting. He asks us to recognize and release the blocks in our life – to move past them. When Death enters out life, we may change jobs, change career fields, move to a new home, or a new state, release a friendship, leave a long-term relationship or marriage, or make some other type of transition. Death is all about the unknown, and brings out all the fears that we have hiding within us. With Death, we are moving past and releasing these fears, so that they no longer have a hold over us.

The Emperor is all about creating structure out of chaos. He is intimately concerned with the details of life (where Death demands that we release attachment to the details of life). He is the animus, or the male influence in life. He is self-confident, powerful, and is not afraid to take calculated risks. His thinking is organized and logical, and he takes action only after he has thought things through. He is good at problem solving, and implementing solutions.

Images from the “Tarot Lovers Tarot”, Karyn Easton, 2008, paranormality.com.

(c) April 2011 Bonnie Cehovet

13 comments on “Tarot Birth Cards – Death/Emperor

  1. Great post, Bonnie! Looking forward to following your Birth Card writing journey.

  2. Jordan –

    Thanks much! I will be putting up one card pair each month, which will take us through this year. Book comes out this fall!


  3. Looking forward to them, Bonnie, and to your upcoming book!

    Jupiter’s Blessings,

  4. Jordan –

    I hope a lot of people feel that way! 😉


  5. Koneta says:

    This is me, Death and Emperor. I think I have the Death aspect pretty much rolling, but the Emperor and I need to have a heart to heart. 🙂
    Good stuff, thanks!

  6. Koneta –

    I love hearing that people can see the Birth Cards in action in their life! Now go have that heart to heart with the Emperor! 😉


  7. Barb says:

    Hi Bonnie, I heard you on the tarot podcast yesterday morning. I am a Death/Emperor and can relate to much of what it describes. The 2 major ‘Death’ events of my life are my father dying when I was 16 and divorcing my husband after a 30 year marriage (I’m still in the middle of this one though).

    I feel as though my natural tendency is to keep status quo at all costs. Afraid of change and the unknown. Insecure in my own ability to create the life I want.

    But then when the Death energy FORCES me to deal with a change I am able to step up to the challenge with strength I didn’t know I had. Is that what this is about?

    And does being a Death/Emperor mean that I will be facing a lifetime of major changes and stepping up to the challenge? Can it apply to little changes as well?

    Oh yeah, I have had a lifetime of naturally being chosen for leadership roles but I ALWAYS shy away from them due to lack of confidence.

  8. Barb –

    Happy that you were able to make it to the Tarot Today show! A lot of people that I know have the Death/Emperor as Birth Cards. You major “letting go” events certainly are major events! Sending good thoughts to an equitable divorce, emotionally as well as financially.

    I think part of keeping the status quo is something that as women we were raised to do.The Death archetype does carry with it the ability to recognise what no longer serves us well, release it, and move on.

    As we move through our lifetime, and bring balance to our archetypal energies, we do find a sense of balance. For you, that balance is between recognising what no longer works, and releasing it, and making the strong decisions that the Emperor makes. You are coming into the skin of the Emperor, as it were. 🙂

    I think that you will find yourself accepting those leadership rolls in the near future. 🙂


  9. Rui Martins says:

    This is my wife´s birthday Bonnie. once again a lot of insight here. Thanks Bonnie. Actually she just got elected lol and I think i´m going to get ejected…

  10. The KING says:

    Thank you!!

  11. What a powerful Pair! I love mine too, albeit it’s far from ‘pearls and roses” ( Moon/ Hermit ))))

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