About this blog

This deck is overpowering, intense, complex, symbol city, the systems are totally endless. This deck goes on and on, there is no end to it. The Cards them selves are like a tunnel that doesn't end. Like a worm hole. I have found that some tarot lovers keep the the deck stored and only bring it out of the closet once in a blue moon, due to that it is too busy for them to read from. If your one of these people please join the study group.

To understand each card one must look at them differently than other cards from different decks. This was my first step. This deck has a strange way of communicating to it's reader, I have tried this strange method on friends, family, and strangers. to see the results.

With success!

IronSides's Method for reading the Medieval Scapini Tarot Deck.

I have been inspired for many years by Mary K. Greer's books, that through her personal wisdom has taught me so much more with understanding the Tarot. These are Mary K, Greer's books that have help me decode Scapini's symbols, 21 ways to Read a Tarot - Step 13, pg 129; Tarot Reversals - Traditional meanings that help me put keywords to the symbols. Tarot for yourself - helped me work through reader block, which guided me to finding my method on how to read the cards, simple and easy. Without these books over the past 7 yrs I would have been lost to ever understanding or ability to even read this deck. I strongly feel that Mary k. Greer deserves some credit here, and that I will give her. you will find that I will be posting quotes through out this blog from her books for reference only to help you understand the Scapini's deck.

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I enjoy reading, collecting, everything that is Tarot related

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Medieval Scapini - The Emperor

4 - IIII - The Emporer

Here below I've put all text written in the book Art and Arcana - by Ronald Decker reguarding the Emperor all in one place for better understanding, instead of flipping page after page in his book piecing all the symbols together.  I will be adding my own info along side Ronalds 

Many details point to the Emperor’s rank as supreme ruler of the elements.

The awesome and potentially destructive powers of the 4 elements are represented by pictures of apocalyptic landscapes, showing.

4 archways (open doors or windows) frame different scenes;

Winds for AIR, Winds blow clouds through the Air and breathe on the other compartments.

Valcanic land for EARTH, Volcanoes exhale gases,

Burning buildings for FIRE, Flames waft from buildings.

Ships sinking for WATER, A ship capsizes in the storm-tossed sea.

Alternating with these arches are sculptures of rampant creatures; Bracing the platform are these 4 creatures.

A he-goat
A troglodyte
A lion
A dog,

A Frankenstein monster, the creation of Frankenstein.

The Elements and Animals appear hostile.

But the Emperor enjoys a secure base. The yellow cube on which the ruler sits. Its sides have equal edges and equal angles, thus indicating the number 4, highly regularized.

The platform and its symbols represent the elemental chaos which the Emperor rules and puts to order. He personifies power over the chaotic elements, necessarily given structure so as to provide the substrata for mortal life.

A Red cape descends to a cubic throne and conceals it. His cape seems charged with energy. The 4 sided Yellow Cubed platform is draped with this fiery red robe; the colors are of power and activity.

The Emperor is holding the imperial orb. The orb here, because of its vibrant green, predicts life.

The Tulip that appeared with the Fool and the Magician appears at the back of his throne.

The red flower grows ever stronger.

He holds a lily-headed scepter,The scepter, topped with a fleur-de-lis, with a crescent moon at its handle. Recalls the Empress’ lily, but the Emperor has supplemented her purity with his practicality.

The Emperor himself is dressed in armor designed after that depicted on the sepulcher of Emperor Rudolf of Hapsburg (1218-1291). On his breast are the sun and the moon.

A golden braid, a token from the Empress, is draped at his neck.

He wears a large hat lined in ermine, topped at the crown, with pyramids and decorated with the imperial eagle.

His domical hat has red sections and a crest of 4 gold triangles, another indication that his energy is at work organizing the elements.

The facial features of the Emperor are those of Stuart R. Kaplan, president of U.S. Games Systems, whom the artist wished to honor as patron of the deck.

Hercules, in his constellation, carries his club and a branch with golden apples, which he retrieved from the Garden of the Hesperides. His mythology includes 12 months of the year, and the 12 stages of the alchemical process.

Hercules, like the Emperor, establishes order.

Planetary and Hebrew correspondences:

The Emperor as Jupiter: and Hebrew letter (Daleth = Double)

Hebrew: = Daleth ( 4 ) and Chesed ( Mercy, Kindness ).

The Emperor, is sympathetic, and he foresees that his 4 elements will evolve into life. His orb a conventional attribute, is usually Gold, but Scapini uses green (bodily soul) to symbolize the life force. The Emperor holds the globe carefully, centering it on his own body.


The God’s usual attribute is an eagle, which Scapini places on the Emperor’s hat. This has an alchemical meaning: Sublimation.

Jupiter rules: the feet, thighs, shoulders, and arms, here clad in magnificent armor. Jupiter enjoys wearing men’s apparel and cloth both represented here by a prominent red cape. Color assigned to majestic Jupiter is Purple,=Spiritual Soul.

Pythagorean Decan and alchemy:

Emperor = Tetrad / Tetragram, 4-part system of consequences. (the elements, cardinal directions, order, stability and astral fluid).

The scepter, topped with a fleur-de-lis, recalls the Empress’ lily, but the Emperor has supplemented her purity ( White - lily) with his practicality. The Emperor’s throne is a cube, so that any one side presents a square, which is another image of order and stability. Scapinin installs arches forming the 4 elements which also depicts stability

The Emperor wears a breastplate decorated with the moon and sun. Centrally placed directly below them is a cross, part of a terrestrial orb. This is a conventional symbol of imperial power or mystical power. The orb symbolizes the orderly cosmos. The globe has been colored green (bodily soul), which implies the alchemist’s cosmos, living and inhabited throughout by spirits.

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