The Emperor – Aries
Temporal authority, held by force and dominant will.
He is the tired old warrior who has seen all the games and trumped them all. But he is wary and understands, if he falters now the order he has established through will and domination may crumble into violent chaos. There is an element of using force judiciously. But the risk with that is, that with power comes great responsibility. Do we master the issue by dominating or do we need to just observe, fulfil our duty whatever our station in life, and wait for an opportunity to achieve the same goal through diplomacy.
After a certain point empires which rely on violence to sustain their borders fail. The borders become too large, there are not enough soldiers to hold the border, defend and continue to expand into new territory. Thus as the empire grows, the rough soldier become Emperor learns the wisdom of diplomacy to achieve the same goals. This then passes into the High Priest or Hierophant card where all the vigour and masculine vitality is gone and only negotiation and manipulation remain. While this is more peaceful there is a corresponding loss of integrity and dynamism. Instead of merit established through effort the Hierophant allows corruption and manipulation to flourish in order to retain his comfort & power.