• Major Arcana Music Blog

The Emperor: Who's in Charge?

So Sunday I worked all day cutting hair, I was tired from the weekend but I was happy to be out, it was really busy, which was unexpected and I love cutting hair, especially when we're busy. I came home feeling like it would be nice to just relax and not do anything, but I had my show. As I was sitting at my table, I took out my deck to draw my card for that evening and wondered why I do the things I do. Who cares? I'm just me, who listens? Does anybody get anything from it? I had to remind myself that I do this card drawing and radio show to learn and come out of my Cancer ascendent crab shell. It's fun and fascinating and gives me something to think about. I flipped over the card, it's the Emperor. The card of responsibility. Time to make the playlist.

I'm no music expert but I love music. All types of music. The stories, rhythms, truths that really resonate in music helped to inform me and helped me survive a very lonely & depressing childhood. The first time I ever heard of William Blake was in the Doors song "End of the Night." I was in the 5th grade, my mom was a single parent with mental health issues. While everyone around me was into New Kids on the Block, I was mostly inspired by classic rock, oldies and heavy metal, especially, The Doors. As a little Latina girl growing up in New Mexico, this made me the weird one. I even stole a book of Jim Morrison's poetry from the library around this time, I was too embarrassed to check it out because what I read when I pulled it off the shelf shocked me, even though I didn't know what it meant. For some reason I thought that the librarian would disapprove and tell my mother I was reading dirty books. The Doors' music was my first introduction to metaphysical subjects. I guess you could say, that Jim Morrison was one of my first recognizable spirit guides.

Perhaps this gets to the root of why I shuffle through my Tarot and my iPod in the name of spiritual clarity. Every time I draw a card and really listen to the music I've divined on my playlist, I've come away with some insight, either personal or collective. It may not make a difference to anyone else but it helps me see things more clearly. Music, like Magic, contains elements of the subconscious, vibration and intention. With the right structure, instinct and action you can see different worlds and mythologies come to life, and with words and musical notes sometimes you can shape reality.

The Emperor, teaches us the importance of the qualities of structure and action I mentioned above. This card is number four in the Tarot, a number that symbolizes stability and is associated with the headstrong, independent sign of Aries. In the structure of the Tarot, the Empress and the Emperor are archetypes which represent the collective mother and father and the responsibilities traditionally associated with these concepts. The Emperor is associated with power, responsibility, rules and rulers. What are the rules? Who are the rulers? How can we best carry out our responsibilities to ourselves and those around us? How can we help people in positions of leadership to see and value basic needs? These are the questions the Emperor brings to mind.

As the Emperor is a symbol of Patriarchal forces in the Tarot, drawing this card signals that this week we are questioning what leadership and structure mean. We're struggling with these questions not just in the case of our own country's leaders but worldwide. In the absence of socially responsible leadership, how can we cultivate a sense of personal power, responsibility and structure without repressing ourselves or other people? How can we cultivate good leaders? How do we negotiate our need in society, for order and structure with our need for freedom? We are witnessing this being acted out at the border as our government talks about structure and security and shows paternalistic acts of aggression and abuse to children and mothers seeking legal asylum. Every day there is a new story of someone’s child, father, mother, being wrongfully killed or abused by someone in authority. The Emperor card asks, Who takes responsibility for these abuses and wrongful deaths? What are the consequences? What should they be?


Jailhouse Rock-Elvis

Marshmallows-Circus Contraption

Thirteen Days-J.J.Cale

Rebel Rebel- David Bowie

Oh No-Gogol Bordello

Police Brutality-La Resistencia

Resting Witch Face-Nekromantics

The Long Grift-Hedwig and the Angry Inch

Legalize it-Peter Tosh

Bounce—System Of A Down

Nothing at All-Screaming Females


Level Up-Bassnectar

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