For years, I had trouble interpreting the court cards in tarot. I found them difficult because most court cards are just images of people in passive poses with little to no emotions on their faces. They don’t appear to be doing or feeling anything. There is very little to interpret with.
Many guidebooks explain them by describing personalities. Some go even as far as offering physical descriptions. The problem was, when questions didn’t involve other people, I couldn’t figure out how they applied to the situation.
Logically, I understood that their interpretations are vast. Aside from people, they can represent many things including personalities, our shadow selves, and various stages of growth. Intuitively, however, I couldn’t figure out how to tell the difference.
If you are experiencing the same difficulties, here are a few suggestions on how to read with the court cards:
- Set them apart and give them a purpose. Separate your deck between the courts and all other cards. Decide before the reading what the courts will represent (people if the reading involves other people, the personality of the spirit guiding you through the current situation, our shadow selves, etc). Select a card from the court and then, with the rest of the deck, perform your reading as usual. Combine the court to your reading to give it an additional layer of meaning.
- Use it as an significator. Decide which court card represents you or the querent and then locate that card after the shuffle. Once the card is located, select the cards before or after for your reading.
- Whenever a court card appears and their meanings are unclear, pull another card and lay that in top of the court. Use the court to add personality and depth to the court. For example, a Knight of Pentacles will probably drive a Chariot with more caution and be more mindful of speed limits than a Knight of Wands.
- If you’re into astrology, try associating the courts with the zodiac. The Kings represents the fixed sign of each element (Taurus, Leo, Scorpio, Aquarius). The Queens represent the cardinal signs (Ares, Cancer, Libra, Capricorn). The Knights represents the mutable signs (Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius, Pisces). Lastly, the Pages/Princess represents an element instead of a particular sign.
- Think of the courts as energies and split them into quadrants with one axes indicating Yin/Yang and the other Maturity. Therefore, the Pages are immature yin energies while the Kings are mature masculine energies. This will tell you how the querent is responding to the situation in question.