The Emperor and The Pope are numbers IV and V of the Tarot Trump Cards. I see a link between them.

IV – The Emperor

Old Nobadaddy aloft?
Is that who this is?
The jealous demiurge,
He Who Must Be Worshipped?
Or is it some ruthless ruler of this world?

And why Four? IV –
for Philip IV of France,
who demanded obedience even of Popes?
Believed that everything that was
was his by right. Divine Right.
And seized it, in the name of God.

God? Old Nobadaddy?
But Philip didn’t believe in Nobadaddy,
aloft or anywhere else,
apart that is from himself,
Nobadaddy incarnate here below.

And lo! – Nobadaddy incarnate
all over again
and again and again and again
here below on Earth.

V – The Pope

If that was Philip IV
then this must be Clement V
who, having wined and dined,
sits there holding the sceptre
and wearing the crown
that Jesus declined.

From the throne of
the kingdom of this world
selling the keys
to the Kingdom of Heaven.

The throne and the crown
that Jesus turned down.

5 thoughts on “THE EMPEROR and THE POPE”

    1. You did? I came close to it once but then shied away. But my Tarot Poems (and I have written all 78 now!) are not meant to be taken very seriously, and are more what the card seems to me to be saying (what Pamela Smith was thinking and trying to express?) than what I myself necessarily think.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. I’m sorry I’m having a bit of a lapse with your reference to Pamela Smith. Maybe you could refresh me? I go thru a lot of stuff every day… sometimes more thoroughly than others!

    So I did the Tarot for a while and really enjoyed it. I think it was part ink blot part wishful thinking. Was doing I Ching around the same time. Often both in a day!

    Nowadays I have great respect for both traditions but find that life itself is the teacher, the divination, the ink blot, etc.


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