The Global Influence of The Emperor
There are men in all ages who mean to govern well, but they mean to govern. They promise to be good masters, but they mean to be masters.
Last year’s Hanged Man year could well be summarized as the in-between place, a sort of suspended wait-and-see. Globally, much of the year was in limbo over
- Whether Donald Trump was going to be indicted and/or impeached or not, as one after another, his cronies were marched off to jail or disgrace.
- What was going to happen with Brexit (and the chaos of leadership in the UK).
- What would happen over the uncertain or controversial future of
- Hong Kong
To name a few.
Now, in 2020, from this place of stasis, or perhaps in an emergence like a chrysalis, comes The Emperor.
How might this play out?
Echoes of the Past
In world events, we may see many of the same patterns that occurred in the more recent 2011, as well as in 2002. [My original statement that it had been centuries since the previous Emperor Year was glaringly incorrect! Many thanks to astute reader Willow Luna, who did the heavy lifting on the math, pointing out that our last Emperor Year was in 1993. Huge thanks, dear one!!]
In January, 2002, the horror of the 9/11 attack on the U.S. was still a very fresh wound, leaving a shaken world. In the wake of it and the anthrax attacks only a week later, “The Patriot Act” had been rushed through Congress. It radically redefined rules around due process, privacy, and other personal freedoms in the name of “homeland security.”
Despite no formal declaration of war, it was an unprecedented consolidation of power, with very little public oversight.
With this Emperor-friendly condition in place, the big story, as the curtain rose on 2002, was that the United States and its NATO allies were going to war with Afghanistan. And they were pushing for war with Iraq, for reasons that turned out to be illegitimate.
As you know, those conflicts still drag on and on, annihilating life and treasure with no end in sight.
So it was with shocking timing that, just as 2020 began, it seemed that The Emperor’s bellicose Mars/Aries God of War influence had almost plunged us into a wider, far more deadly conflict. Let’s pray that is the full extent of his warrior tendencies this year.
The Question of Rulership
In our more recent Emperor Year (2011), the big news story was the upheaval against a number of authoritarian regimes. The so-called Arab Spring uprisings spanned from Morocco to Yemen, and resulted in the death of Libya’s tyrant, Moammar Gadhafi, the forced dismissal of Egypt’s Hosni Mubarak, and the overthrow of Tunisia’s repressive Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, among others.
Although a repressive backlash ensued in many places, and war rages on in Yemen and Syria, the spirit of rebellion against oppressive, corrupt government is still very real in this beleaguered part of the world. (As I write this, Iran is “in crisis” due to an ongoing wave of unrest).
A Game of Thrones
In addition, I find it fascinating that in 2011, the royal family of Great Britain was very much in the limelight. Whether you love or hate the idea of a monarchy in the 21st century, the April wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton grabbed the headlines and imaginations of celebrity fans everywhere.
Prince William is next in line to the throne of the British Empire (not a politically correct term anymore, of course) after his grandmother, Queen Elizabeth and then his father, Prince Charles.
Right off the bat in 2020, we now have the British royals making headlines again, with the announcement of “Mexit.” On Jan. 10, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, announced their intention to “step down” from their senior roles in the royal family and spend time outside of the U.K.
Unsurprisingly, this has triggered a huge rift within the royal family and could even threaten their many centuries of power in British affairs. (Not to mention the feeding frenzy of tabloid media).
Is the monarchy of Great Britain really in trouble? This article from the Washington Post sheds some light:
Dysfunction has plagued the House of Windsor for months. But this week the royals escalated to chaos…
[The Duke and Duchess’] plans raise larger issues…Monarchy is an ancient tradition. Underneath the sparkling jewels and grand processions, it is a centuries-old institution that perpetuates a hereditary class system. The title ‘Their Royal Highnesses’ makes a class statement in an increasingly egalitarian era…
Redefining royal roles from full-time public service to just the duties the couple prefer could lead to debate over taxpayer funding.
The crown system is weakened if the conversation becomes: If royals can choose only work they like, should those who fund them get a say in what they will and won’t support?
Is there a place in the 21st Century for monarchies and rulers? Whether an autocracy is benevolent, or not, the master means to be master.
Last But Certainly Not Least
I know that many of my readers are anxious to know how The Emperor year is going to be aligned with the global rise of repression, tyranny, and even fascism. As one respected watchdog group notes,
Challenges to American democracy are testing the stability of its constitutional system and threatening to undermine political rights and civil liberties worldwide.
In 2018, Freedom in the World recorded the 13th consecutive year of decline in global freedom. The reversal has spanned a variety of countries in every region, from long-standing democracies like the United States to consolidated authoritarian regimes like China and Russia.
The overall losses are still shallow compared with the gains of the late 20th century, but the pattern is consistent and ominous. Democracy is in retreat…
The signs are ominous, as progressive policies and the flowering of democracy following WWII seem to be faltering. The rise of racist, xenophobic policies and the popularity of paramilitary violence across the globe is a recipe for human catastrophe that has been seen before.
In addition, I know that there is one person that many visiting here have weighing heavily on their minds.
But I do not see The Emperor as a predictor of whether the current resident of the White House will win, lose, or steal the 2020 election.
Please remember that The Emperor is not a Tarot court card. He does not represent people, much less any particular person.
He stands for the concepts of leadership, concentrated influence, patriarchy, and fatherhood, to name a few that I mentioned yesterday in Part One. As his better self, The Emperor may battle for a noble purpose, or self-serving despotism at his worst.
Thus, in an Emperor Year, the focus is very likely to be on establishing authority, security, rules, and top-down command, as well as when and how to use physical force. So we can expect that corporate and political power structures and struggles will be even more important than usual. Watch for closing ranks, aggregated control, and alliances for a common goal.
As climate crisis, economic pressures, armed conflict, massive refugee emergencies, and rogue violence escalate, the stage is set for people to seek a strong man who promises to make their lives great again. The perfect storm arises when, in the midst of this, people increasingly believe they are disenfranchised anyway.
In desperate times, a potential commander’s motives or moral character are less relevant than the promise that he is for you, and against everyone else who is to blame for your misery.
It’s a subtle variation of “divide and conquer” that has worked many times in the past.
But while this is truly the toxic potential of The Emperor, his gifts to us as individuals are much more hopeful.
I’ll post about that tomorrow.
Part One can be found here.