IV – The Emperor (Bran the Blessed) Llewellyn Tarot

May 30, 2010 at 12:12 pm (IV - The Emperor, Llewellyn Tarot, Tarot)

VI - The Emperor (Bran the Blessed) Llewellyn Tarot

The Llewellyn Tarot is based on Welsh mythology, and one fine day I’m going to understand it.  Mind you, I love mythology and want very much to grasp the legends of Wales, Ireland, Scotland and Britain….by and large, they involve an awful lot of really hard to pronounce names and killing.  Lots of killing.

So I don’t know all that much about Bran the Blessed.. His name means Raven, which suggests to me that he’s about death (but again….lots of death in Welsh mythology) and protection. Why he’s ‘blessed’ I haven’t got a clue because after a lot of killing and maiming and insult done to his sister, somewhere along the way he got his head cut off, but there you go, no telling what some people find blessed.

Most definitely, though, he was in charge and responsible to protect his people.  He was regarded as a giant, not just metaphorically, but physically and the notion of crossing him was supposed to instill people with fear, and it did.  Even after his head was cut off, it was buried and it was said that the British Isles would be protected as long as it stayed put.  King Arthur supposedly unburied it as a signal that he alone would be England’s protector.

Again… the motives and which what alls are a bit incomprehensible to me, so I don’t want to pretend to be doing much by way of explanation of the background of this version of the Emperor.

Bran is a leader.  Bran protects, he lays down the law, and you mess with him at your own risk – even if he falls, he’s still in charge.

When I think of the Emperor today, I think of much smaller and more important forms of authoritative leadership – certainly, there is plenty here to say about our political leaders, but on a much closer level I think of fathers and the authoritative aspects of parenthood.

I’m going a bit personal here but this is hardly a situation unique to me – I’ve been raising my youngest two daughters without their father’s presence.  I used to hate the term ‘single parent’ because no matter how many parents there are under a roof, every child has TWO PARENTS and a father is responsible to protect the wellbeing of his children – to preserve the stability of the household, whether he lives there with them or not.

And sadly, there are so many fathers who don’t do that that my kids very casually will mention a friend with “…she hasn’t talked to her dad in eight months.  Their not NOT talking, he just doesn’t.  You know, like my dad.” And that isn’t considered unusual – it’s the norm.  There is a generation of fathers who regard a relationship with their child as an option they can dismiss at will.

Get their head chopped off to protect their kin? Please… they wouldn’t even clip their hair for the sake of their kids.

Mind you, not every father is like this – but how sad is it that when you hear of one who stays involved with their children, you marvel and want to pin a gold start on their chest – shouldn’t’ that be the norm?

There is a generation of children being raised entirely by women who have to be the Emperor as well as the Empress.. And we do it, often very well… but the children still lose that sense of safety that comes from knowing that no matter how hard it is, their father will protect them – that they are top priority for someone other than their mother.

I am the mother of girls and I fear what this absence does for their sense of trust in men – what they hope to be able to expect from men.  I worry about what sons of absent fathers learn about how to treat their own future partners and children.

This lack of male parental leadership is having a very negative impact on society at as a whole.  And I don’t mean that some man needs to swoop in and be In Charge… I mean they simply have to stay a part of their children’s lives. Know the boyfriend’s name.  Know which classes your kid likes and why they get sad everytime they see a red bicycle.  Know your children as only a father can and let them trust that even if the whole world hurts them, their father will always be there for them.

To do less than that is to walk away from the best blessing you’ve ever been honored with.  Aha…. that is the blessing of this Emperor.

Here’s a bit of sadness to contemplate – for a large number of children, hunting for a Father’s Day card to send the dad they haven’t seen in months (sometimes living only a couple miles away), standing in the card aisle is a torturous experience, reading card after card that says ‘you’ve always been there for me’ and realizing there is no card there that says “I wish you had wanted to know me.  I would have loved to have loved you. Have a nice life. Hope you’re enjoying that new car that cost triple what you think I’m financial worth for a year.”

I hear stories (often from the woman involved with the guy who isn’t speaking to his kids) about how it’s all the mother’s fault – she makes it hard.  Well, gee – if it were a bear rather than a woman who doesn’t like you anymore keeping you from your children and leaving them to believe you just don’t care, would you find a way around it?  That is an excuse, and to the one standing up for his excuse making, at some level you do know that this is an illustration about what sort of protector he’ll be if it starts to get hard with you as well, right?

🙂 and… this is the thing that cannot be said by a ‘single parent’ trying to fill both sets of shoes – when I display anger at the person I have to emotionally protect my children from instead of counting on him to help protect them from the rest of the world, well that’s just me being bitter, as if it were something I just chose to do.  Maybe, though I work very hard NOT to be bitter and only feel it bubble up when he’s just deliberately made one of my children feel unimportant in order to avoid having to hear their criticism of his absense.

But maybe putting the responsibility anywhere but on his shoulders is just one more way we’re all kicking this generation of Emperors off their rightful throne.  He belongs there, with all the responsibility and respect for taking on that responsibility that entails… he deserves better than to be allowed to be a brat child instead.

🙂 I think I need some Empress energy, so I’m off to go make some soup.


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