Court Cards….those pesky courtiers

Court cards have always presented a challenge to me when following the general way of interpreting them. If you look at A.E. Waite’s descriptions, he imply that these cards are people you may or may not know. For example the write up for the King of Wands is this:

“Divinatory Meanings: Dark man, friendly, countryman, generally married, honest and conscientious.” -The Pictorial Key to the Tarot, by A.E. Waite, ill. by Pamela Colman Smith [1911]

So do you know a “Dark Man who is friendly or generally married?” I might but I don’t think of that when I see the King of Wands. I see fire, passion and putting ideas out into the world! And what about the other courtiers? The Queen of Pentacles? Here is what we have from Mr. Waite:

“The face suggests that of a dark woman, whose qualities might be summed up in the idea of greatness of soul; she has also the serious cast of intelligence; she contemplates her symbol and may see worlds therein. Divinatory Meanings: Opulence, generosity, magnificence, security, liberty. Reversed: Evil, suspicion, suspense, fear, mistrust.” ~-The Pictorial Key to the Tarot, by A.E. Waite, ill. by Pamela Colman Smith [1911]

Wait… what? More dark people? But what about pale redheaded people? Or Blondes? I know these are descriptors of types of people. But for me the court cards are more about their symbols and how it embodies the element more than the person on the cards. I look at the Pages of each suit as the beginning of a new cycle in the suit. You have gone through the rough bits of the pips and now you get to do bigger steps to make your plans a reality. Then the Knights come and encourage you to carry those plans into action moving out of the planning phase you have started as the Page. Then you become the Queen when you refine your plans. Next you embody the King by bringing those actions and plans out into the world.

But again how can you work with these cards? Here is a quick reading to try:

Shuffle up the court cards and draw 3 cards, face down, with these ideas in mind:
1) What are you needing to bring into your life? What element do you need to add and where do you need to add it?
2) What element are you fighting and to what degree?
3) What do you need to clear out of your life to make room for more of what you need?

Now what happens when you get all the same element? Look at the figures and where do they fit in your plan levels? Are you at the Page stage or the King stage? Do you need to refine your goals and be the Queen? Or is it time to charge forward and put your plan into action as the Knight? Only you know where you are but each of these levels can help you move towards your goal or plan.

Here is my drawing of cards I did as an exercise at Tarot Cafe SF on Tuesday Jan 18:

1) Queen of Cups- Let more emotion in to your world and add it to your celebration of the Goddess.
2) King of Swords-You fight your own authority on topics. You don’t always think of yourself as an expert even though you know your stuff.
3) Page of Swords- You need to let go of the thoughts of lacking in your world. You have more to share than you let yourself believe.

Now each person will know what their association is with the images before them. This is what I saw for myself and how I saw it using the Druid Craft deck.

Another thing you can do to help with the Court cards is focus on each one for a day or a week and see where you notice them your daily life. You will be surprised when you see the Page of Pentacles showing up or who embodies the Queen of Cups for you.

Take some time to look around and note these people and qualities. Does it make the court cards in questions more real for you? It works for me and I am generally surprised where I see them appear.

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