Who are you People? Court Cards of the Tarot
In the last two sessions, we began to see how the parts of the Tarot Deck work. In the first lesson, we examined the way in which we can see the Major Trumps and the Archetypes communicate to us with image and symbol. Then in the second lesson, we looked at the Suit cards. We learned how to combine the number and the suit to create a grid where each new card has a unique position and meaning. In this final lesson we will now look at how the people in Tarot show themselves and how we can begin to see them and understand how they fit into the world of Tarot.
Chances are that the Court Cards can be the most difficult set of cards to understand in the Tarot Deck. The reason that they can be a struggle is because they are open to many different understandings and approaches to the Court Cards. There are a couple of things that I want you to keep in mind as we begin to study them today.
1. You can do this. The Court Cards fit in the system we have been learning.
2. The Court Cards are your tools. You can choose how to use them.
3. There are a few simple steps to use to get started.
4. Observation and use are how you will get an understanding of them best.
Introduction to the Court Cards
In each deck of Tarot cards, there are the Major Trumps and the Suit Cards. The Suits of the Tarot include the numbered cards Aces through the Tens but they also hold the Court Cards or the Face Cards. There are four members of the Suits Court and this is different from the standard deck of playing cards, which only has three Court Cards. The evolution of Tarot Cards has allowed different deck creators to change and adapt the Court Cards to meet their own system and so you will find that they vary in naming from deck to deck.
• Rider-Waite-Smith: Page, Knight, Queen, King
• Crowley-Harris Thoth: Princess, Prince, Queen, Knight
• Elemental/Vision Quest: Daughter, Son, Mother, Father
• Voyager: Child, Man, Woman, Sage
• Shapeshifter: Seeker, Warrior, God, Goddess
• World Spirit: Seer, Seeker, Sibyl, Sage
• Lo Scarabeo: Knave, Knight, Queen, King
For this class I am sticking with the most common Rider-Waite-Smith names. Each of these decks have significant reasons for renaming the Court and reordering it they way that they do. It may be that with some study that one of these systems may standout as something that you identify with more clearly.
We will begin by looking at what is distinctive about each of the Ranks. (Page, Knight, Queen, King) We will look at how each of them is distinctive and how they are all different from each other. Just as we discussed last time with the numbers, the ranks should all have things in common across the suits.
Looking at your sixteen Court Cards I want you to look at them in the groups according to the Rank. Look at all the Pages together, all the Knights together, all the Queens together and all the Kings together. I want you to write down two things that each of the Ranks have in common with each other.
One of the most common uses for the Court Cards in a reading is to show how the individuals in a situation are relating to each other. If the Court Cards are people then they will help us to see how people are the same and how they are different. What are the categories you could group under the Rank of Pages, Knights, Queens or Kings?
Aspects of the Ranks -- As People or Characteristics
Gender: Child or Unmarried Woman
Age: Youth -- Child
Relationship to Querent: Younger Than . . .
Developmental step: Learning
Barbara Moore: Novices and Eager
Gender: Youth or Unmarried Man
Age: Teen or Young Adult
Relationship: Same as . . . Equals
Developmental Step: Doing/Practicing
Barbara Moore: Extremists and Experimenting
Astrology: Mutable Signs
Gender: Mature Woman
Age: Mature and Responsive
Relationship: Above but Supportive
Barbara Moore: Producing
Astrology: Cardinal Signs
Gender: Mature Men
Age: Mature and Expressive (of the Suit)
Relationship: Above and Authority
Barbara Moore: Leading
Astrology: Fixed Signs
There are three main ways in which to use the Court Cards.
1. Court Cards can represent People. This can be the Querent or others in the situation
2. Court Cards can illustrate a relationship or how people in a reading are connected.
*This can be literal
*This can also be what is perceived in the relationship
3. Court Cards can also show a person is a stage of progression
Court Cards -- The Break Down
The Suit of Wands -- The Fire Suit -- Representing creativity, action, movement, enthusiasm, adventure, risk-taking, and confidence. A Masculine principle, it is the outer expression of ego and drive.
Page of Wands
Element: Earth of Fire
Astrological: Season of Spring
Myers Briggs: INTP
Joan Bunning: Be Enthusiastic, Courageous
Linda Gail Waters: The Initiator
-- A free spirit, Enthusiastic, impatient
Knight of Wands
Element: Fire of Fire
Astrological: Mutable Fire (Sagittarius)
Myers Briggs: ENTP
Joan Bunning: Charming, Daring, Fool Hardy, Hot Tempered
Linda Gail Waters: The Fulfiller, Inventor
-- Taking a Journey, Passionate, Headstrong Action
Queen of Wands
Element: Water of Fire
Astrological: Cardinal Fire (Aries)
Myers Briggs: INTJ
Joan Bunning: Attractive, Whole-hearted, Cheerful
Linda Gail Waters: The Seer
--Charismatic, Creative, Assertive, She knows what she wants
King of Wands
Element: Air of Water
Astrological: Fixed Fire (Leo)
Myers Briggs: ENTJ
Joan Bunning: Creative, Bold, Forceful,
Linda Gail Waters: The Field Marshall
--Leadership, Visionary, The Idea Man, Presence, Enterprise
The Suit of Cups -- The Water Suit -- Emotions, spirituality, inner states, feeling, intuitive awareness, The Feminine principle of flowing energy and passive responses.
Page of Cups
Element: Earth of Water
Astrological: Season of Summer
Myers Briggs: INFP
Joan Bunning: Be Emotional, Loving, Be Intuitive
Linda Gail Waters: The Dreamer
--Affectionate, Expressive, Touch, Intuitive Messages
Knight of Cups
Element: Fire of Water
Astrological: Mutable Water (Pisces)
Myers Briggs: ENFP
Joan Bunning: Romantic, Imaginative, Introverted, Over-emotional
Linda Gail Waters: The Carefree Spirit
--Idealist, Fanciful, The Dreamy Romantic
Queen of Cups
Element: Water of Water
Astrological: Cardinal Water (Cancer)
Myers Briggs: INFJ
Joan Bunning: Deep Emotions, Loving, Intuitive
Linda Gail Waters: The Free Spirit
-- Damsel, Deep-feeler, Internalizes, Spiritual
King of Cups
Element: Air of Water
Astrological: Fixed Water (Scorpio)
Myers Briggs: ENFJ
Joan Bunning: Wise, Calm, Diplomatic, Tolerant
Linda Gail Waters: The Lover
--Expansive, Controlling, Artist, Priest, Emotional Maturity
The Suit of Swords -- The Air Suit -- Intellect, thought, reason, communication, truth, logic, reason, a Masculine principle of mental clarity and the constant state of mental change, volatile.
Page of Swords
Element: Earth of Air
Astrological: Season of Autumn
Myers Briggs: ISTP
Joan Bunning: Use your mind, Be Just, Be Truthful
Linda Gail Waters: The Professional
--New ideas, Quick and Lively mind, Over thinker
Knight of Swords
Element: Fire of Air
Astrological: Mutable Air (Gemini)
Myers Briggs: ESTP
Joan Bunning: Direct, Blunt, Logical, Opinionated
Linda Gail Waters: The Communicator
--Valiant, Quick witted, Sarcastic, Hell-bent Charger
Queen of Swords
Element: Water of Air
Astrological: Cardinal Air (Libra)
Myers Briggs: ISTJ
Joan Bunning: Honest, Forthright, Witty, Experienced,
Linda Gail Waters: The Provider
--Structured, clear-eyed, demanding, Widow, Ice Queen, Amazon
King of Swords
Element: Air of Air
Astrological: Fixed Air (Aquarius)
Myers Briggs: ESTJ
Joan Bunning: Intellectual, Articulate, Just
Linda Gail Waters: The Administrator
--Philosopher, Editor, Judge, Truth tempered with Mercy
Suit of Pentacles -- The Earth Suit -- Practicality, security, material concerns, work, stuff, money, a Feminine principle of a pragmatic understanding of them as a mutual singular, prosperity, wealth, need and charity.
Page of Pentacles
Element: Earth of Earth
Astrological: Season of Winter
Myers Briggs: ISFP
Joan Bunning: Be Practical, Prosperous
Linda Gail Waters: The Listener
--Studious, Fascinated with the new, Messenger
Knight of Pentacles
Element: Fire of Earth
Astrological: Mutable Earth (Virgo)
Myers Briggs: ESFP
Joan Bunning: Unwavering, Cautious, Stubborn, Pessimistic
Linda Gail Waters: The Promoter
--The Boy Scout "Be Prepared" Faithful, Hesitant
Queen of Pentacles
Element: Water of Earth
Astrological: Cardinal Earth (Capricorn)
Myers Briggs: ISFJ
Joan Bunning: Down-to-Earth, Big Hearted, Resourceful
Linda Gail Waters: The Builder
--Warm, Generous, Hospitality, Crafty, Domestic Goddess
King of Pentacles
Element: Air of Earth
Astrological: Fixed Earth (Taurus)
Myers Briggs: ESTJ
Joan Bunning: Enterprising, Adept, Reliable, Steady
Linda Gail Waters: The Conservator
--Captain of Industry, Successful, Reaches his Goals
The Four Nodes Spread
At the end of the session, we all read for ourselves using the Four Nodes Spread. This is a spread where we were able to use all the information that we learned from each of the sessions in the class. You begin the spread you take your deck and you separate the Court Cards into a first pile, then the numbered pip cards (Twos through the Tens) into a second pile. The Major Trumps are all separated into a third pile and the left over Aces are in the final and fourth pile.
You begin to shuffle the pile separately and contemplate the question, "What am I experiencing?"
Position One -- Court Card -- This card is the "who" and it tells you who you are acting like. The card is read and you describe the person in the card.
Position Two -- Pip Card -- This card is the "what" and it tells you the situation that the "who" is in. The card is read and you describe the situation in the card by using verbs and action words.
Position Three -- Major Trump -- This card is the "why" and it tells you why the "who" needs the "what". The card is read and look at the archetypal lesson of the card.
Position Four -- Ace -- This card is the "Where” This card tells you the elemental realm of consciousness that all of this is taking place. "Where" the "who" is experiencing the "what."
So with this we end the first set of classes. I think we will be moving to looking at Spread theory, Ill-Dignified cards, Reversals and Elemental Dignities for our next couple of lessons. If you have any specific questions or concerns that you would like to see addressed in the class please let me know so that I can be sure to include those in the lecture and I would also be happy to clarify any of the information that has been covered so far.