…I am your Father.
We left off with The Empress, and what’s interesting about the Major Arcana from II to V, is that there’s almost this bell curve from spiritual feminine (The High Priestess) to material feminine or mother (The Empress) and then material masculine (The Emperor) to spiritual masculine (The Heirophant). The Emperor, is in some ways, the opposite of The Empress. Where The Empress is free and abundant, The Emperor sets rules and creates limitations. He is the father figure: the leader, the master. Now, Emperor Palpatine is the most obvious character for this Major Arcana. But only expresses the negative side, the Dark Side, of the archetype. So I’ll have to site fatherly behavior from characters who don’t express the archetype of Emperor as well.
I personally think that being a father is the highest form of masculinity. That is to say, everything we associate with being macho has everything to do with being a father. Unfortunately, this machismo can become negatively unbalanced and being the leader and man of the house may express itself as domestic abuse. But when being the man of the house goes right, things are taken care of and probably taken for granted. A strong man can physically protect his family. A rich man can financially provide for his wife and children. A sexually viral man can get you pregnant. Personally, I take mental notes about child development because I want to be a good father.
A true man takes care of his woman, his family, his friends, the people he gives service to (or his career). And like the Jedi he is chivalrous. He may take what he wants, but he will do so under the agreements he lives under. He takes up his sabre and fights the mundane beasts of putting food on the table and saving up for your college fund. He caries his cross and drops you off at soccer practice and mows the lawn. Unlike mom who hugs and takes care of you, its your dad who teaches you how to drive.
He can be a stern and patient teacher, like Father Time. Or he can set limitations and rules like the Judeo-Christian-Islamic God. Where your mother will kiss your boo-boos aways, your father will tell you to stop crying and shake it off.
When George Lucas was putting together this space epic, all the big wigs didn’t understand what a Wookie was or if this thing would even make money. But the top studio executive, the Emperor, at 20th Century Fox (forgot his name and I’ll have to correct this part after some internet research) said that he might not understand the script, but he believed in George Lucas.
So, like I said, Emperor Palpatine is the most appropriate character for this card. He is the political leader of an inter-stellar fascist government. Everything he says goes. He is the lord and master of Darth Vader and was a father figure to Anakin Skywalker.
Obi Wan Kenobi was a positive male role model to Luke Skywalker. Where Uncle Owen and Aunt Beru wanted to shelter and protect him, Old Ben Kenobi wanted to teach him how to stand on his own two feet so he can protect himself. This is what he attempted to do with Anakin, but ended up more like an older brother. This is what Qui Gon Jinn wanted to do. In fact he took Anakin away from his mother.
This reminds me of some of the initiatory rituals in New Guinea, where boys are taken from their mothers. Their mothers will cry and act sad as part of the ritual. But the boy has to be taken away from safety and security. Anakin had to leave. Luke had to leave. So they can be men. So they may be fathers themselves.
May the Force be with you.
Next, The Heirophant (But I haven’t done that, so the next is The Hanged Man>>
More resources on the Empress: