A lot of beginner readers find the tarot court cards most difficult to interpret. This seems to be mostly when the court cards come out as something other than a representative for an actual person. There is also the issue of a Queen coming out to represent a man, or a King a woman – what then?
I’d like to look at each of the court cards individually in future posts, but here I’m going to demonstrate how I categorise the tarot royal family in general, in the hope it will give you some useful ideas for your own readings! This is intended as a jumping off point for this subject. Please note – the general meanings given are for upright interpretations only. I do not personally use reversals in my readings.
There are 16 Court cards in a Tarot Deck; a Page, Knight, Queen and King for each suit of Wands, Swords, Cups and Pentacles.
Pages are all about learning, new beginnings, the start of a path, immaturity (not limited to the conventional sense but could also refer to a relationship being in the very early stages for instance). When representing people, they generally refer to someone younger than the sitter, or a young person in general. This can also apply to the ‘young at heart’, or someone starting afresh in their lives. In terms of a situation, I tend to look at what the suit is telling me in relation to new beginnings. Here are some brief examples for each of the Pages:
Knights are all about doing things, they are the metaphorical ‘verbs’ of the tarot court cards. They charge forward determined to meet their goals head on. When a Knight appears in a reading it is often a call to arms. Now is the time to act upon your ideas! Knights are often headstrong, hardworking and proactive people. In terms of a situation, they generally indicate movement in a focused direction. Here are some specific examples of what each of the knights could be telling you:
As people, the knights would be representative of hardworking people (and sometimes people who ARE hard work 😉 ) – whether mentally or physically these people have strength with them. They are very goal-focused, and always moving forward so usually not the type to settle down like the King – although this cannot be completely written off.
The queens bring feelings into the equation. Following heart over head, although they do have the capacity to be rational. They will often give you the impression to use your gut instincts to resolve issues. They don’t have their crown for nothing of course, and have an aspect of feminine power and insight to them.
As people, the Queens traditionally represent women. However, they can also represent aspects of men of a more feminine nature, and as seen above, aspects of a situation. They are very strong individuals who know what they want and are capable of getting & keeping it. They can indicate a boss or someone with authority over you or yourself if you have authority over others.
Kings have the command – therefore when they appear in readings, expect someone around you or even yourself to be taking control of events. Be authoritative and ‘put your foot down’ on issues that are important to you.
As people Kings are again often in authority, whether within a relationship or in a work setting. They can be over-powering at times and even manipulative but on the flip side they can represent very stable individuals who can provide you with long-term sustenance. They may represent your significant other or a relative you look up to, or yourself if you have a certain authority over others. Kings do not have to solely represent a man, and can indicate a very strong independent woman – look for clues in other cards and the situation as an indication for this.
I hope this will give you some food for thought as a brief introduction to tarot court cards. Please feel free to add your own court card generalisations in the comments below – together, we can create a more comprehensive guide for the Tarot seeker!
Thanks for reading!
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