When it comes to reading Tarot cards, there are certain cards that seem to always cause confusion. Even for readers who have been practicing for years, the Tarot court cards appearing in a spread can really throw them off.
I know I took a long time to get my head around these sixteen cards, but it doesn’t have to be hard! In this article, I want to discuss the Tarot court cards and provide some top tips that I wish I knew when I first began my Tarot journey. So, what actually are the Tarot court cards, and how can we understand them?
In a traditional Tarot deck, there are 78 cards. These are split up into Major and Minor Arcana, with the Minor Arcana falling into four suits.
Each Minor Arcana suit has four court cards: King, Queen, Knight, and Page. This means that there are a total of sixteen court cards in each deck.
I think it can be useful to see the court cards as a personification of each suit. The Queens represent the feminine and caring qualities of each suit. The Kings reflect action and maturity, with an air of masculinity. The Knights are typically full of energy and ideas. Lastly, the Pages are the children of each suit, representing curiosity and youthful passion. Furthermore, a Page appearing in a reading can predict news and fresh information.
We can then apply this personification to what we know about each suit in order to fully understand what the court cards are telling us.
The Suit of Cups represents emotions and is linked to the element of water. When Cup cards appear in readings, they typically guide us in aspects of love and relationships.
So, what does that mean when applying them to what we know about court cards?
- The King of Cups represents emotional maturity, compassion, and diplomacy.
- The Queen of Cups reflects nurture and care.
- The Knight of Cups represents passion and romance.
- The Page of Cups reflects love news, idealism, and curiosity.
The Suit of Pentacles governs money and work. It is represented by the element of earth and usually guides us in material life and careers.
Let’s now apply this to the court cards:
- The King of Pentacles reflects abundance, success, and material gain.
- The Queen of Pentacles represents security and balance.
- The Knight of Pentacles reflects responsibility, determination, and personal improvement.
- The Page of Pentacles represents progression and ambition.
The Suit of Swords is linked to the element of air and represents decision-making and logic. It asks us to use our minds and logic to solve problems and progress in life.
When applying this to the Court cards, this is what we discover:
- The King of Swords represents forward-planning, structure, and intellect.
- The Queen of Swords reflects clarity, love, and support.
- The Knight of Swords represents bravery, drive, and fast thinking.
- The Page of Swords reflects new ideas and personal development.
Lastly, we have the Suit of Wands. This suit is linked to the element of fire and governs passion and creativity. It reminds us of the importance of listening to our intuition and following the fire deep inside us.
So, what can we find out when applying this to the court cards?
- The King of Wands reflects leadership and vision.
- The Queen of Wands represents sensitivity, passion, and courage.
- The Knight of Wands reflects adventure and passionate energy.
- The Page of Wands represents excitement, cheerfulness, and hope.
When we are reading court cards, it is super important to listen to our intuition. This is because the court cards can represent so many different things!
The first step is knowing the traits of each card and how they represent their suit. Then, we can look at what the Tarot is telling us.
The court cards usually represent one of three things: Someone in your life, yourself, or an influence.
Sometimes, a court card will pop up, and we will know exactly who it represents! Perhaps the King of Wands appears in a career reading when we are currently working alongside someone with great leadership and ideas. The Tarot is telling you that this person will be significant in your work life.
The court cards can also represent you. If the King of Wands pops up in a career reading, and you don’t have that kind of person in your life, the Tarot might be telling you that you are in a significant leadership role at work!
Lastly, the court cards can also reflect influence. This means that the Tarot is using the cards to provide us with guidance in our lives.
Perhaps the Queen of Cups appears in a reading. This card is all about a nurturing and caring person, but perhaps you don’t relate to this at all! The Tarot is telling you that you are neglecting this side of yourself, asking you if you are providing yourself and the people around you with the right amount of care.
I am going to be honest, reading court cards take time, and you might not get the hang of it straight away! However, you will soon get that lightbulb moment with these cards, and begin to feel much more confident in reading and understanding these sixteen cards.
So, what are my top tips for reading Tarot court cards that can help you get to that lightbulb moment a little bit quicker?!
- We all have feminine and masculine qualities within us, so don’t let the gender characteristics of the court cards confuse you! Kings and Knights can represent women or non-binary people in our lives. Similarly, Queens can reflect any person in our lives. It is all about the energy and traits of the specific court cards.
- Likewise, the age characteristics of the cards can manifest in so many different ways. A Page can represent someone older than you!
- Use your intuition when working out how to interpret the court cards. Think about the three different ways of understanding the cards, considering the situation you are in and the people in your life.
- It can be useful to take out more cards in the deck to gain clarity on the meaning of the court cards.
I hope that this short guide to Tarot court cards has helped you understand the sixteen cards a little bit better. Once you know the different ways of approaching the cards, with practice you will be able to get your head around them!
I recommend taking time to read up on each court card so you can fully understand the traits and characteristics of each one. Have fun, and remember – it takes time!
Wille is based in the Netherlands and is the founder of the awesome tarot and spirituality website A Little Spark of Joy, a treasure trove of all the tools you need to connect to your spirit and activate your soul.
She has written this blog on how to read the court cards exclusively for the Tarot Guild of Australia.
Visit our Tarot Guild E-Store for more great tarot reads: www.tarotguild.org.au/product-category/the-magician-digital/