Understanding Tarot Court Cards
(from the FAQ Files)
"My question is about understanding Tarot Court Cards, I struggle whenever they appear in a reading, for instance I recently read for a friend doing a Celtic Cross Spread. The King of Swords was her Outcome card and the Queen of Wands was her environment card. Any advice you can pass onto me will be greatly appreciated." ~Mike in North America.
Hi Mike, great question.
The royal court cards can be a royal challenge for any Tarot practitioner. They deal directly with the human psyche and personality - and as we know - all humans are variable and unpredictable.
There really is no limit to interpreting and understanding Tarot court cards. That can be very good, or very intimidating. And, I think that's where many of us get bound up in interpretive work (in the limitlessness of it).
One suggestion in first starting out with the court cards in your readings:
Determine, prior to your reading, whether or not you want the royal cards to symbolize the other people in your querent's life - or signify personality traits in the querent himself/herself.
Or, for example:
In a quick reading...say 2-5 cards, it may be easier to establish the court cards as personality traits in your querent.
A larger, more in-depth spread makes better allowance for royals to be people (friends, family, co-workers, etc.) in the querent's life.
After you mingle with the royal family more, and become more familiar with their personalities - you'll likely forgo the pre-determination (of court cards signifying your querent, or her surrounding friends, family etc.).
In time, the intuitive flow will serve you the appropriate meaning for these cards, I promise.
Meantime, in the understanding Tarot court cards in your reading:
The King of Swords may indicate your querent being the master of her own "mind domain." Or, she may be allowing a dominant male figure to rule her imagination, or overthrow her intellectual abilities. This, of course, would depend on the surrounding cards in the spread.
Same goes for the Queen of Rods. A bright, brilliant, elegant ruler, the Queen would indicate a flourishing environment, one that allows for a flow of bright ideas, new growth and expansion of creativity. She may represent your querent as a commanding woman with a desire to be a leader in an edgy, artistic, eclectic community. Or, depending on the surrounding cards, the Queen may reflect a mother figure (alive or transitioned) who has always provided a nourishing environment for your querent.
Yes, you caught that reference to living or transitioned people, didn't you. The aristocrat plot thickens when we acknowledge the Tarot court cards could also signify those who have transitioned out of physical life here on earth.
Makes the mind boggle a bit, no?
Understanding the Tarot court cards is accepting their wonderfully potent, diverse and moody ways. Just like you and me - their faces can change swiftly. Like wild cards.
From a personal perspective, royals serve as true intuitive "bell-ringers" in my readings. What do I mean by that? When court cards show up in a spread I give my filtered mind no time to react.
Instead, I allow the intuition to push right through my filters and spill whatever interpretive beans it will. The "me" that needs to interpret in a certain way must not be allowed to grab hold of the royals.
This filter-canceling is an ideal tactic for reading all the cards, but the royals demand the purest interpretations.
Working with the royal arcana has taught me how to move out of the "small mind" and expand my interpretive concepts. Because they are so polychromatic in flavor and meaning and potential - they allow for infinite significance in a reading.
This is what I mean by, in time, the intuitive flow will move through you in an autonomic way, and make amazing interpretive waves, providing you and your querent with the best interpretations.
Thanks again for your question about understanding Tarot court cards, it's a great one.
Click here for an overview on understanding Tarot court cards. Includes links to each of the cards too.
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