A Personality Approach to Interpreting the Tarot Court Cards

by Guest Writer on July 11, 2012 in Tarot Tutorials

Tarot Masterclass Court Cards

This week, I welcome Louise Richard to the Biddy Tarot blog, with an excellent post about the Court Cards.

If you’re a regular reader of the blog, you might already know Louise. Her comments on the Tarot Circle posts (and other posts) are incredibly insightful and well articulated. So much so, I invited her to write a guest post. I was delighted when she agreed and offered to write about the Tarot Court Cards.

Interpreting the Tarot Court cards is something that many people say is their biggest challenge in learning to read Tarot. I wrote about the Tarot Court cards a while ago, so be sure to check out my post along with Louise’s post. I think you’ll get some valuable perspective reading both and contrasting our approaches to these cards.

Over to you, Louise…

 

For beginning readers, Court Cards sometimes seem a little hard to pin down in interpretation: Do they represent other people? Are they personality? Or do they indicate a situation or an event? It can be bewildering, even for experienced readers, to go through all the permutations. Too often we end up feeling like the bamboozled character in the 7 of Cups, standing in the dark while being overwhelmed with too many options. I have experimented a lot with the Court Cards over the years, and have come up with a system that has transformed my own interpretation of the Tarot Court. I would like to present this approach to you today so you can take it into consideration and perhaps experiment with it yourself.

Tarot Court Cards as People

tarot-court-cards-peopleFirst and foremost, we need to acknowledge that the Tarot Court cards depict people. The illustrations across each Suit show different personages of the same “rank” in similar but suit-related settings. Mostly they’re sitting, although the Pages are standing. But they’re really not doing much are they? Sure the Knights are on their horses but they are all on horses! Sure the Pages hold their Suit symbol in their hand but they’re all doing that! There really isn’t a lot of variation of action or activity between the Suits of the same rank. To me, this lends heavy weight to the argument that the Tarot Court represent people and personalities far more than situations and events. What we seem to be looking at are people, and how rank and suit can distinguish different “personalities” or, as I like to think of it, dimensions of personality.

For the sake of clarity, I almost always interpret the Court cards as personality. Not the whole of a person’s personality, nothing quite so cut and dried, but each Court Card can depict an aspect of personality. The Tarot Court illustrates figureheads, leaders, representations of ‘types’, and to my mind this all adds up to personality indicators. I know a lot of readers allow the Court cards to represent situations and events as well, but what you might like to openly consider is whether this clarifies your readings, or tends to confuse them? I don’t believe there is an inherent right or wrong answer to anything much in life, let alone Tarot card interpretations. To my way of thinking there are just options and consequences.

I believe the Pip cards (with the exception of the Aces) are our cards of situations and events, for each Pip card clearly shows different things happening. I don’t find benefit in getting the Tarot to double up by also interpreting Court cards as situations and events. I interpret the ‘groupings’ in the Tarot like this:  1) The Pip cards (2-10) represent situations and events (more than personality); 2) The Court cards represent people and personality issues (more than situations); 3) The Aces represent the four elements, and are an offering of pure elemental energy; and 4) The Major Arcana represent the broader archetypal and spiritual energies that underpin life, and will therefore delineate deeper issues and influences, spiritual guidance, and major life lessons.

Like I said before, at the end of the day I don’t believe in any right or wrong answer. I am a firm believer in the Tarot responding to your personal style; so if you decide Court cards are always personality, then that’s what they’ll be when you read. But if you broaden the interpretation to include situations and events, each time you see a Court card you will have to decide whether it is a person, a personality issue, a situation or an event. Personally, I find this brings more confusion to a reading than clarity. The only exception I would allow is when a Court card comes up in a ‘Situation’ position. Then I would read it as both a personality and a situation indicator. (It seems there has to be an exception to every rule, even in Tarot!)

Every time I see a Court card I think: this is telling me about an aspect of the querent’s personality that is of prime concern in their situation, or about someone around the querent who is a powerful influence at present (but I will only consider this second option if it’s in a relevant position to indicate someone external). I would encourage beginning readers to experiment …everything you read or learn needs to be tested for yourself in the crucible of personal experience. It’s all about defining your own understanding and your own style.

So, with all that said, let me give you a quick glimpse at how I define the various Court Cards of Tarot, with a focus on how they give us insight into the querent’s personality as it relates to the situation of the reading…

Understanding the Pages in a Tarot Reading

page_wands-court-cardsIf a Page comes up in a reading, it will represent a childlike, relatively unformed or new aspect of the querent’s personality that is just beginning to come to light. (Anyone familiar with Jung’s theory of Personality Types might relate the Page to the “inferior function”). This is the traditional “student” quality of the Page, it represents young, nascent qualities that do not have a firm hold in the person’s nature. He or she might be experimenting with these new qualities, trying them on for size so to speak. Depending on the position and surrounding cards, I would interpret a Page as indicating ungrounded qualities that the querent is beginning to open up to, or is only just learning how to express and acknowledge within the self. I would then look to the Suit and it’s element to indicate the type of qualities that are emerging.

When a Page comes up in a reading, we need to ask: what new qualities is this person learning how to recognise within themselves? Surrounding cards will indicate how this is going.

Understanding the Knights in a Tarot Reading

knight_pentacles celtic crossThe Knights are learning how to master the elemental energy of their Suit through action, adventure, following a cause or a crusade or a leader. They can be quite fired up about this new energy but still haven’t mastered it. Like the Page, the Knight indicates these personality functions are not fully formed, but the Knight is well and truly involved in expressing and working with these qualities in the outer world. They have progressed with this element to a fair degree, but are still being tested and tried in life experiences; they are not fully-grounded in this elemental energy like the King or the Queen. There will be a lot of experimentation, mistakes being made, crusades and battles to wage in this dimension of personality. The Knights are mounted, moving, and therefore a symbol of change and growth; they are actively developing the elemental skills and attributes of their Suit. I would interpret a Knight as indicating an aspect of personality that is being tempered through action, and will involve a lot of change, drama, and grappling with the energies indicated by the Suit.

When a Knight comes up in a reading, we need to ask: What aspect of self is this person learning to manage through the field of action?

Understanding the Queens in a Tarot Reading

Queen of SwordsThe Queen represents the internal, receptive expression of the Suit and element concerned. She is fully formed, but the energy is internalised more than externalised. The Queen understands her elemental nature and power within her being. She is an authority in her element and a leader too, although her leadership is less in the spotlight, less action-oriented, and less direct than the King’s. She is much more likely to lead by example than issue orders. Hers is a much more subtle and indirect expression of the Suit, but just as valuable and powerful as the direct expression of the King. The Queen represents an aspect of the personality that moves behind the scenes. When a Queen comes up in a reading we are looking mostly at internal features of the personality. Sometimes this means it is an aspect of personality that is contained more than worn on one’s sleeve.

When Queens come up in a reading we need to ask: How does this person move behind the scenes? What is going on internally for this person?

Understanding the Kings in a Tarot Reading

king_cupsKings represent mastery and expression in the outer world. Kings are of course the head of a hierarchy; the most powerful member, the dominant male, the highest out-forming expression of the Suit.  Kings are leaders, not followers. The King always takes action in the outer world, is usually a figure-head, has a public face and public responsibility. He is a leader, a spokesperson, an authority figure, a man of action, ready and able to get things moving! The King is the highest masculine expression of the element and Suit concerned, and he pushes the elemental energy outward – out into the world for external expression. This energy would correspond to Jung’s ‘dominant function’.

When Kings come up in a reading, we need to ask: How does this person like to take charge and lead? What aspect of the personality is so well-mastered that it might dominate their outward persona? Surrounding cards might indicate how this is working out.

Case Study: A ‘Real Life’ Tarot Reading with the Court Cards

courts-tarot-readingI did a reading for a client earlier in the year where the first two cards pulled were Court cards: The Queen of Pentacles crossed by the Page of Swords.

Using the above method the Queen of Pentacles indicated that internally the client knew herself to be a practical and realistic person who approached life in a cautious, realistic and sensible manner. There was nothing flashy or too fast about her approach to life, slow and steady wins the race for the Queen of Pentacles and she tends to be very methodical and predictable, thorough and committed. Sensible is her catch-word. She likes to see tangible evidence before she commits to a path. In the situation at hand she might not always appear to be ‘taking charge’ but she had a lot of power and control behind the scenes which she exercises in a cautious, careful manner. She doesn’t have a grand vision nor is she a great risk-taker, she prefers to stick to what had worked in the past, what is tried and tested, predictable and safe. She doesn’t rock the boat unnecessarily. This is a woman who likes to be organised, who favours routine, who wants to be comfortable and who values financial security.

Because this Queen came up in the Situation position, I felt the reading was largely concerned with the practical, so-called ‘real’ world of mundane daily activities, the “grounding” in daily life that we all need beneath our feet, areas that could involve: food, shelter, money, work, comfort, health, routine, organisation.

The Page of Swords in crossing position (a position which I prefer to interpret as a ‘challenge’ to the first card more than an obstacle), indicated to me that the winds of change were starting to blow through the well-established Queen of Pentacles kingdom. The old tried and tested way of doing things needed to be shaken up a bit, that the client needed to allow the nascent energies of the Page of Swords to stir up new ideas for her. The Page indicated a new aspect of herself coming to light, a side of her that wanted (or needed) to play with new ideas, to begin to think for herself, and the Queen of Pentacles was being challenged to let the winds of change begin to breeze in. This was no sudden overhaul though, what the Page was indicating was the first fluttering and gentle stirrings of something new coming to light in her way of thinking and doing things, not a hurricane blowing through turning everything on it’s head. I encouraged the client to temper her sensible and practical nature with the gentle stirrings of new ideas. While she had been comfortable doing things in a predictable manner which had always worked very well for her, new concepts were trying to emerge and take hold. Her challenge was to nurture these new ideas and new ways of thinking which were not yet grounded in her being. Given that The Fool was the outcome card in this reading, I encouraged the client to consider taking more risks and perhaps stepping-off the well-beaten track to explore new and innovative options in this area (pentacles/earthy-mundane) of her life.

This is only an introduction to my system for interpreting the Court Cards, but keep in mind the personality descriptions for each Court Card comes from an analysis of the Suit and the Element it represents: whether Earth and Pentacles, Air and Swords, Water and Cups, or Fire and Wands. I would love to hear your thoughts and personal experiences with the Tarot Court so please feel free to post your comments and any feedback.

Find Out More About Louise

louise-richard-court-cardsLouise has been playing with the Tarot for over 20 years, but says it took a long time before she considered herself proficient. She has a BA and post-graduate qualification in Applied Psychology and a background in family mediation and counselling. In her quest for the answers to Life, the Universe and Everything she has also studied Astrology, LOA and is a voracious reader of metaphysical literature. Her approach to the Tarot is an attempt to balance intuitive insight with intellectual discrimination.

{ 58 comments… read them below or add one }

Marianne Quintinio July 11, 2012 at 9:51 am

Dear Miss Louise,

Your insight on Tarot Court Cards is exceptional that I feel like I want to be more engaged to Tarot Cards even though I am still a novice. Your explanation on the four ranks are very unique and I would love to adapt your interpretation style on Court Cards the next time I tried a Celtic Cross Tarot reading. Given the two court cards, I would like to give my view about this matter regardless of the position of the Queen of Pentacles: I think that there is another person that proposes as a challenge to the querent. Whoever this person might be, he is quick-minded and on his feet, a personality that opposes the Queen, who is a firm and grounded person. The Queen might represent an practical and intelligent mother who is struggling to attempt control over her busy-bodied and busy-minded teenage son. This is only me sharing a personal and /or subjective perception about the Court Cards. Even though I am not sure about the facts, it made me really feel good to know your interpretation style.

Thank you for sharing,

Marianne :)

Reply

Louise July 11, 2012 at 1:23 pm

Thank you very much Marianne.

Yes, I think you’ve made a very good point on the Page of Swords as someone who might be presenting a challenge to the querent. It would be worth following up on as a possibility with a client, most definitely. As crossing cards are often read as “obstacles” it is very possible that it indicates a third party. I like your thinking and it is definitely a worthy addition to our thoughts and ideas on how to read the Courts in different positions.

Excellent!

Warm regards, Louise.

Reply

Johnny July 11, 2012 at 10:35 am

Louise,

Your insightful of the Court Cards are amazing. It gave me a wider perspective upon how shall I approach a Court Card in a reading.

Thank you!

Reply

Louise July 11, 2012 at 1:25 pm

Thank you very much for your kind words Johnny. I’m so glad it has been useful.

Warm regards, Louise.

Reply

Amit July 11, 2012 at 8:33 pm

Court Cards are indeed very difficult to interpret, for people it is sometimes easy for situations, events, and other questions it is a big challenge, though I haven’t started reading the post by Louise, but anyways I thank beforehand as it was the need and would be helpful for all. Can’t wait… will read and come back again. Btw thanks a lot to Biddy and Louise.

Reply

Louise July 12, 2012 at 9:36 am

Hope when you come back to read it is helpful to you in someway, Amit. I was happy to share!

Reply

Belinda July 11, 2012 at 9:00 pm

I too sometimes find the court cards overwhelming. I want to say a big thanks for these fresh new insights. What you wrote makes a lot of simple common sense and totally sits right with me. I shall definitely be applying this technique to my readings. Many thanks :) Belinda x

Reply

Louise July 13, 2012 at 8:39 pm

I’m really glad you got something out of it, Belinda. Thank you for writing to let me know.

Warm regards, Louise.

Reply

Essie July 12, 2012 at 8:37 am

It is a great article.Thank you for sharing.

Reply

Louise July 12, 2012 at 9:37 am

My pleasure Essie. Thank you for your kind words.

Reply

Aasheesh July 13, 2012 at 6:49 am

Thanks Louise for this wonderful and informative post.Understanding the subtle energies of court cards is very important to get a clear overall feel of the spread.Also their presence often holds the key to timing of events .These cards are so helpful in a relationship reading.
Your post has indeed been very helpful in unveiling the nature of various court cards.Would definitely use them in my future readings.
Regards,
Aasheesh

Reply

Louise July 13, 2012 at 10:44 am

Thanks Aasheesh, for your thoughtful response. My approach to divination is very psychological, so I don’t often look for timing of events. I would enjoy hearing how you use the Court cards for this…I can see how each Suit shows a season, and that perhaps each rank within a suit might indicate a period of time within that season…is this how it’s done?

Reply

Aasheesh July 14, 2012 at 3:41 am

Yes suits do reflect a particular season,and you can use it for timing.There are certain ways to pick cards to time an event.Also the suits denote a particular time and correspond to the various sun signs too.All this helps in timing as well as judging personality traits.
Aasheesh

Reply

Louise July 14, 2012 at 4:08 pm

Thank you Aasheesh, for clarifying that. I think I might do a little more research into these areas, as it has piqued my curiosity. There are only 12 Sun signs, so I’m wondering how this corresponds to 16 Court cards – do the pages miss out? I’ll go and do some research into this too…

kind regards, Louise.

Reply

Amit July 13, 2012 at 9:24 pm

Hi, Louise!

I just read the whole post, beautifully explained about the court cards and their progression in Tarot, it was really informative.Well, I would add that the court cards are not for the same age as depicted, for e:g a Page can indicate a 60 year old woman with the qualities of a page, or a King could show a personality of a mature child. But somehow the situation and events through a court card is not easily interpreted, for e:g – What will be the outcome of my exam results and if a “Queen of pentacles” or a “King of swords” pop out, it will be difficult to understand and come to a conclusion. So in such case, how do we interpret it. Do we pull another clarifying card or force (which is not suitable) to look at an aspect that suit element brings. Finally one question for Biddy and you or anybody else who can tell me , there are three Queens in the Tarot (rider waite) which have a child image carved in their thrones, but there is no such image in the Queen of Wands, I tried looking out for an answer since long, can you help me. Also can anyone suggest a good book on Tarot Symbols.

Reply

Louise July 13, 2012 at 10:45 pm

Thank Amit for your thoughtful response. Yes, I agree wholeheartedly, the Court cards do not necessarily depict the age of someone, but perhaps more the maturity level. We all know or have heard of old people who behave very young, or young people who are very mature.

If I pulled a Court Card as an outcome for an event, I would read it as the aspect of my personality the event will activate. But it puts me in mid of an excellent article Biddy wrote a month or so ago about phrasing and rephrasing our tarot questions, and I would always tend toward rephrasing a question that asked for an outcome more along the lines of: “How can I best MANAGE my exams or exam results”, rather than asking for an outcome. Then if you pull a Court card it will be easier to read it, because “managing” an outcome is more of a personality matter (and more within our personal control) than the outcome of a situation. Does that make any sense?

So, to answer your question more directly, I wouldn’t pull another clarifying card, I would rephrase the question. I rarely read the cards for prediction or for outcomes, I read the cards for insight into the psychological dynamics going on within myself or my clients regarding the situations we are trying to deal with in life, rather than to predict those situations in life.

From my perspective, the “childlike” figures on the Queen’s thrones are representatives of their elements: so on the Queen of swords throne it is an cherub with wings (for air), on Cups it is baby mermaids/undines (for the element water), on Q Pentacles it looks like a bull’s face to me (to represent earth and Taurus), and our lovely Q Wands has lion heads on the arm-rests of her throne, although no “face” on the back of the throne, as you have observed. Although on the back of her throne she does have sunflower “faces”, being a symbol of something that always turns itself toward the sun (sunflowers will move during the day, turning with the sun), so perhaps the sunflowers compensate for the lack of a cherubic figure?

I would get a really good GENERAL symbols encyclopaedia or dictionary (I have 2 or 3, a great one by J.C.Cooper), and I also have a specific Tarot one by Sandra A. Thomson, called ‘Pictures from the Heart: a Tarot Dictionary”. I believe the Amberstone’s might have one out too, you might be able to look it up. Hope that helps…

Warm regards, Louise.

Reply

Louise July 13, 2012 at 11:02 pm

Just an extra thought on the child-like figures on the Queens thrones…certainly the Queens can represent the nurturing qualities within us, so the child-like faces on the thrones might point toward the different Queen’s nurturing styles, and how what they nurture is in line with their elemental rulers. So the Queen of swords nurtures clear thinking and rationality, the Queen of Cups nurtures imagination and sensitivity to subtleties, the Queen of pentacles would nurture physical comfort and sensual pleasures,..but as you observed, the Q Wands doesn’t have a child-like face on her throne , and it puts me in mind that the Q W is probably THE LEAST nurturing of all our Queens, (would anyone dispute that?), and perhaps the most self-serving. She would mostly nurture self-direction, self-confidence, following your own passions and visions, so it might be valid to say that the Queen of wands might be interested mostly in her own personal ambitions and interests more than in guiding or nurturing others. I think this fits in well with the nature of the FIRE signs in the tarot as well as astrology.

Reply

scott senate May 26, 2013 at 10:44 pm

i always thought the queen of swords was the least nurturing and least subtle – often shown (though not in rider waite) holding a man’s severed head by the hair tells you not to cross her path and not to really trust her with important information – your head could be next

Reply

Amit July 14, 2012 at 5:53 am

Hi, Louise,

First before I forget I would really like to thank you very much for that deep insight, you got a great way of looking at cards and getting the details, in short “Gifted” is the word I can use. You mentioned about Biddy’s post some time back (which I missed, am sure now) is really essential and a savior in such situation, the rephrasing or looking at the whole question with the perspective that can be looked correctly from the cards. I have been through numerous sites, own many books, read a lot from the “so called” tarot masters… but always found something missing, the books are good tools but they reprint the prototype examples, many times these book added more confusion than clarity, but Biddy’s post’s and many other questions and answers, her blog and now this post are all simple, very well explained in most misunderstood or ambiguous questions. I dunno, but this too is similar to Tarot model, I have a question in mind and the next post from Biddy is an answer to the question… this Court Cards baffled me a lot some days back over some questions, but now am quite clear to it. Thanks once again to Biddy and You for your valuable insights over the Tarot questions and also being open to ideas and answering the ever popping questions of inquisitive minds, and last but not the least, thanks for the symbols book references, I will surely look for it.

Reply

Amit July 14, 2012 at 6:11 am

Hi, Louise,

First before I forget I would really like to thank you very much for that deep insight, you got a great way of looking at cards and getting the details, in short “Gifted” is the word I can use. You mentioned about Biddy’s post some time back (which I missed, am sure now) is really essential and a savior in such situation, the rephrasing or looking at the whole question with the perspective that can be looked correctly from the cards. I have been through numerous sites, own many books, read a lot from the “so called” tarot masters… but always found something missing, the books are good tools but they reprint the prototype examples, many times these book added more confusion than clarity, but Biddy’s post’s and many other questions and answers, her blog and now this post are all simple, very well explained in most misunderstood or ambiguous questions. I dunno, but this too is similar to Tarot model, I have a question in mind and the next post from Biddy is an answer to the question… this Court Cards baffled me a lot some days back over some questions, but now am quite clear to it. I really liked your interpretation of the cherubs in the Tarot and their qualities, and yes! the fire sign of Wands are a little of the self-centered types, mmm I also feel that probably the Queen of Wands has lost her “Childlike” attitude or persona in her growing up days, she has become so practical and enterprising that she has lost the connect with her naivety or inner child, that all she can see is just from a mature side , like a go getter.. with less sensitivity and saying “Get the things done” and being very very practical for the results, mostly self-centered too, I feel the Sunflower in her hand shows that she want’s to shine in her work, and can follow her head to where she meets Success, wants to culminate her dreams at any cost, and uses her head more than her heart ( A sunflower follows the sun, it lives with the day and turns back or drops at dark), so they just keep on going (or rather running) for “Success” leaving everything of substantial worth behind, I also get the feel that the black cat is someone who is taking unfair advantage of this wandering seeking soul , the Cat is shown seated but very alert, unlike the queen who is looking somewhere else, I have predicted a so called “Loyal employee” over the years of a client cheating his boss, and it came out true later (but this is how I look at them, maybe it might be something else for someone),. maybe her upbringing was very difficult that she lost the wonderful childhood or maybe it is her personal trait. Anyways, thanks once again to Biddy and You for your valuable insights over the Tarot questions and also being open to ideas and answering the ever popping questions of inquisitive minds, and last but not the least, thanks for the symbols book references, I will surely look for it.

Reply

Louise July 14, 2012 at 10:17 am

Yes, Amit, I agree with your regarding Biddy’s site, and I think a relatively simple direct approach is something we need to cultivate in learning tarot. Complicated explanations and approaches are overwhelming when you’ve got 78 cards to come to terms with! I like how you said that when you are struggling with a question you’ll often find Biddy writes on it the next week! That’s really cool!

Yes, I agree about how you’ve described the Queen of Wands, all the fiery wands types are “driven” I think. But I see a really powerful positivity in her too…she is incredibly upfront and direct, what-you-see-is-what-you-get with the Queen of Wands. A lot of people don’t like her for this reason, she’s certainly no shrinking wallflower. She likes the limelight, and won’t hang around in the shadows. She will push herself forward. She’s a very passionate character. And she does appear to be more self-centred than the other Queens, but I think this is her strength. She is a confident, self-possessed woman who knows her own mind and will speak it forthrightly. There is a fiesty fearlessness in her that I admire.

Her black cat always makes me think of a “familiar”, and I think it highlights that she is an intuitive type, who keeps her own counsel, and is perhaps unconventional in her beliefs and philosophy. The black cat always connects in symbolism to the witch, and highlights this idea of an unconventional woman who bucks the system and follows her own ways and means of doing things. Personally, being a little bit witchy myself, I like this about her.

Great discussion points Amit. I am always happy to answer questions and have a little “rave” about the tarot!!

Kind regards, Louise.

Reply

Amit July 14, 2012 at 9:49 pm

Louise, I agree that Queen of Wands is self driven and that is indeed a good trait, something that can inspire people to propel their lives ahead. About the black cat I would say that the symbolism of a cat in India is a lil different from the west, and it is nothing but a perspective of places, which is why I look at it in another way and you do it from what you have known ( in this case both are right) , this also reminds me of two examples, one- In many countries the number 13 is considered unlucky, but in China and a few other countries it is auspicious, an Owl is considered a s a symbol of fools but in many animal tales it is shown as the “Wise owl who has all the answers” , this is just the belief system. Well eventually it all narrows down to one fact ,what we see instantly when we pick a card, the imagery is explanatory itself and all the reactions good or bad are straight from the gut, that is what works the most.

Reply

Louise July 16, 2012 at 8:42 pm

Amit, you bring up a very important point here about symbols having different connotations in different cultures or countries. It’s very worthwhile to keep that in mind and try and understand such differences, although at the end of the day I can’t help feeling that we should always try to dig deep enough to find the common meaning across all times and cultures. It’s a really tall ask, but ultimately I think we should try and go into that “universal” direction. I wonder what the essence of a black cat would be then, for both of us, across our different cultures, and maybe even across different times? What would a black cat mean to someone 1000 years ago, and could we find a commonality? It’s a rhetorical question, I don’t mean to find the answer here and now, but ultimately I suspect we should be searching for the universal meaning of symbols. This is why a good general symbol dictionary is a good thing to have and work with, as it takes us beyond Tarot into a broader basis for our understanding. Thank you so much for taking the time to respond so fully and eloquently.

Reply

Daniela July 16, 2012 at 3:32 pm

Back in March, I think, there was a discussion here over a Celtic Cross reading and I remember I absolutely loved Louise’s interpretation of The Tower and the Three of Swords in that reading, it just made so much sense and it was point of view I had never read anywhere else. That’s why I was so happy when I saw a whole post by Louise ;-) Thank you Louise and thank you Biddy.

I had the same question Amit had regarding how to interpret Court card that shows in the outcome position, which has happened to me many times and I confess the first few times I thought “this just doesn’t make any sense!”. I’m sure my phrasing was correct because I’m very particular when it comes to phrasing my questions (I firmly believe how you ask the question is key), so one day on a relationship reading the King of Pentacles showed up as the outcome (in fact that same King had been sort of a leit motiv of that relationship), it could have meant my querent, it could have meant her partner but somehow I wasn’t convinced that was the right interpretation, so I sat there for a moment and started to think of all the personality traits in the King of Pentacles and that was my answer. The King of Pentacles was telling me all the characteristics of what he represents were present or manifesting, or like they were to be applied to as my answer. Don’t know if I’m making any sense here, it’s hard for me to explain and I don’t want to make this reply into my own particular post. He was telling me yes, that relationship was going to develope into a very positive thing for both of them and it was a solid, down to earth relationship, sucessful, stable, maybe the pentacles represented how enriching it was going to be for the both of them.

I don’t know if what worked for me in that particular reading works for everybody else or if it’ll work for each and every reading I do, I don’t think so, but that day it made complete sense and lo and behold it ended up being true (fortunately for my dear friend and her partner! ;-) ).

Reply

Louise July 16, 2012 at 8:16 pm

Hi Daniela,

Thank you for dropping by to contribute a very worthwhile insight! Yes, interpreting Court cards in outcome positions can be confusing, but I love the way you went about it with the King of Pentacles. It puts me in mind of something I learned in astrology, and that is when a couple come together we often do a reading for the ‘relationship’ which is separate from the individual’s charts. It sees “the relationship” as an entity in itself, and is similar to what you’re saying here. So in this sense, the relationship you did the tarot reading about had a “King of Pentacles” personality! I really like this, it makes a lot of sense to me!

You also bring up the very important point that not every approach is going to work for every reading. We always have to “feel”our way into every individual reading, but one thing I’ve noticed is that somehow, somewhere inside, I will KNOW if I’ve got it right, and if I haven’t it will niggle away at me sometimes for hours or days until I look at it in the right way. This is obviously what was happening to you, and I would say always trust in it! And it highlights why the Tarot is so incredibly clever, because it can be applied in SO MANY different ways to cover every single permutation and then some….but this is also why we have to hone our intuition when we work as readers, for we have to have those niggling feelings that tell us when we’ve got, as opposed to when we haven’t got it!

Great contribution Daniela, thank you.

Reply

Daniela July 18, 2012 at 4:26 am

Thank you, Louise! Your words are very reassuring to me, I respect you very much, you’ve shown here many times you’re a very knowledgable tarot reader, so I take seriously anything that’s coming from you.

Thank you! :)

Reply

Sonja Levesque July 16, 2012 at 3:52 pm

Greetings Louise,

Might sound like a redundant comment, but an excellent post. Court cards have been a challenge for me and this post breaks down the complexity, beautifully. I would like to Thank you for it, as it is going to help me understand this complicated subject, a little better. Looking forward to reading more.

Thank you very much Biddy for bringing out these challenging topics to light in your blog posts. I love your blog and mails. There’s always something new to learn and explore! Please continue keeping up with the excellent work !

Love

Sonja

Reply

Brigit July 16, 2012 at 6:26 pm

I am so glad to have Louise on the blog, too. I certainly learned a lot from her insights here and I am so glad we could share this with the readers.

Reply

Louise July 16, 2012 at 8:33 pm

Thank you very much for stopping by with your words of support. It is never redundant to hear that something you’ve spent hours writing and days refining has helped someone gain a little insight or clarity! It makes it feel very worthwhile, so thank you Sonya (and Biddy!) for stopping by to let me know. I very much appreciate it!

Reply

Liza July 17, 2012 at 6:15 am

Hi Louise,
I too, enjoyed the post immensely. I’ve only been a student of Tarot for a few years, and find that while I understand the courts in meaning, applying them still eludes me. Somehingtbat really resonated with me is that the cards will mean to you, whatever you assign them to mean. So if you don’t see them as events, the Tarot will it utilize them that way! I really like that, I agree tree are plenty of cards to show events, though I wonder do you consider Pages to be Messengers? The other day i COULD NOT for the life of me interpret what my Magician Reversed was telling me, as I was certain my standard interpretations did not apply. A few days later, the lightbulb, Mercury Retrograde!!! I wonder, if I was not a student of Astrology, would the Tarot have used that card to enlighten me that way? Food for thought…. Interesting theories too about the Queen of Wands, being a fire sign, I find they can be the most ‘big hearted’, and interestingly, the sign of Saggitarius most closely linked to Religious pursuits…I also think about ancient times thousands of years ago when cats were female deities to be respected and feared! But I always see the “familiar” too. All this bringing us back to the point that there are SO MANY things to see, and all of our own backgrounds, depth of knowledge of different subjects and history gives different meanings to everyone. So I guess I’m still wondering, do u think the tarot shows us each what we are “able” to see? What good is it for me to see a symbol I don’t know the meaning of? Or the Magician Reversed if I know nothing of Astrology? Sorry to be long and heavy!

Reply

Louise July 17, 2012 at 10:48 am

Hi Liza,

Thanks for dropping by with your positive feedback, I have really enjoyed hearing from everyone!

I’m going to be a bit of a radical here, and say, nope, I wouldn’t interpret Pages as messengers! I won’t say never, as that’s a bit too absolute, but I wouldn’t be looking for that interpretation. My core interpretation of Court cards is always personality, and any other ideas would be secondary and would take a backseat, but if I got desperate to make sense of something, then I would sweep further out to take in that extra perspective (rarely does this need arise for me though!). In my tarot world, the 8 of wands is the “message” card, indicating something is in flight and on its way to you so hold off and wait for it to be delivered.

Mercury retrograde is a fantastic realization for the Magician reversed, excellent intuitive work there! Yes, it is an interesting point you make, about whether the tarot would have used that card for you if you had not been a student of astrology and conversant with the astrological correspondences. But then I would think to myself, what is MY interpretation of the Magician reversed, and does it have similar phrases to the interpretation of Mercury retrograde? If we look at the Magician Tarot card we can see very clearly that it is about a communication channel between above and below; reversed it would imply that the communication channel is “down”…upside down, not flowing in the right direction, somehow out of kilter. I would find that similar in fundamental energy to Mercury retrograde. At a basic level I would say Magician R shows us a situation or a person who doesn’t believe in magic! Would an interpretation of Mercury retrograde along the lines of “the communication channel between the higher mind/god and lower mind/human is not freely flowing; there is a blockage, something preventing the communication from flowing freely in the right direction”…would that make any sense to your reading? Or do you find only the literal interpretation of Mercury R is applicable? I am very interested in this, but sorry if I seem nosy.

I would also say Magician R is going to be hard to interpret if it was a reading about yourself, it’s a hard one to get perspective on if it’s happening to you, just like Mercury Retrograde. Magician R could be a complex one to interpret and would be highly dependent on the surrounding cards for clarification. Just because I cannot help myself, I will suggest that the higher-intuitive communication channel is blocked and there is too much reliance on more human forms of trying to figure something out. Intuition isn’t flowing freely, and depending on surrounding cards there should be indications on how to loosen this blockage and get the flow back. Again, i don’t want to seem nosy, but I wonder if that would fit or not?

Now, onto your other very important question: Dies the tarot show us only what we are able to see? Well, the tarot is a teacher as well as anything else. So if your intention is to get the most out of it, it will slowly take you by the hand and start teaching you about the symbols you don’t understand. The tarot will often start pricking you about it, it will start niggling at you, what IS that, what does it mean? And you will start a long journey of learning how to understand and read symbols. So much of this learning can be done intuitively, but because of our educational habits most of us (including me) reach for a book and do research to try and figure things out. So, when you ask: “What good is it for me to see a symbol I know nothing about” I would say: so you can become intrigued by it and start trying to figure it out! The Tarot is a detective story, it prods you to go on a journey of understanding and learning, and it is about learning the Language of the soul, the language of SYMBOLS! In the meantime, you will still get layers and levels of meaning from the cards, but as your knowledge of symbols grows you will find deeper meanings and will find more consistency in your readings. Does that make sense? Hmm, it’s hard to articulate some of these concepts, but we shall valiantly try!

The Tarot will always give you enough of what you need, but it will also prod you along to keep learning and discovering and taking things deeper. From my experience, I would say for clients, the Tarot will give them what they need, not necessarily what they are ready to hear. Our job, as readers, is to somehow try and bridge this gap, to help clients “hear” the message the cards have decided to deliver.

Hope some of this made sense and answered your questions a little. And I am glad you were “long and heavy” as that is exactly where the best insights and depth comes from, and is exactly how I like to converse!! :^)

Reply

Liza July 18, 2012 at 2:26 am

Louise,
Incredible food for thought! I really like the idea of looking at the courts as facets of personality first and foremost, and I will definitely be adding new meaningto my 8 of wands….intend to see “travel” aspect or “techy” email aspect, likely because of swiftness. I like the idea of A MESSAGE, before I go to far with it! And the idea that the cards gently guide us, that is what we all want right lol?? I too often feel that I am going to miss some important meaning because I don’t know enough! I thought about it the other day and realized it’s been a few solid years now that I have been reading, only for myself and a few close others, and it feels like only a day! I am most interested now in learning more Symbology. Mr. Magician…..how right you are!!! Another lightbulb for me, Magician R and Mercury Retrograde ARE so similar, the meanings are close to being interchangeable….as a side note, I will say, this is what made learning the basics of cards and Astrology together easier, so fun to see the correlations…. The only real difference with the two is that Mercury R implies a TIME FRAME AND A REASON for the lack of communication in my mind! Not that it matters I suppose, same result right!!!! As for the context….I really don’t read for prediction, i mostly look to see how I can improve an existing situation, or gain clarity, ect…. I’m a Hermit Soul and 9 life path, Cancer Sun AND moon, scorp asc hehehehe! If there were any more water around me, I’d drown! But in his case, I was looking for some validation whether or not to apply for a specific job….I’ve been volunteering in an organization near n dear to my heart, a global organization that fosters character and leadership in GIRLS hint hint ;) They wear vests or sashes, maybe you know what I mean….as for the spread, 1st card was Magician R, and it referred to the position itself… So it was hard to see lack of communication, or my other interpretation, not having all the skills or tools…I think that I do! But alas, maybe when u read for yourself for prediction, u don’t see the truth…thought maybe it was telling ms that mercury R is a bad time to be doing Mercury or Magician things….emailing resume, communicating, interviewing, signing a contract….. What most stumped menus that i asked if I should even apply….this organization is in my community, and I’m already a volunteer, if I’m NOT qualified, would I want to see the same people who turned ms down for a paying position? Could the Magician R show MY fears of not being qualified? Again the need to know more and more about the cards becomes evident the more you DO KNOW and find different meanings! I’m a learning junkie, lots of books, websites and journals! Lastly, what led me to get into this really, was wheninasked if I should apply, I received the 9’of Pents R, Queen of cups, Queen of pents R….drew a clarifier, 9 of Cups….2 nines, 2 queens, same suits, same suit reversed….in the job spread the 9’of pents was the outcome… I know there is a msg here somewhere …..maybe that darn Magician R is my inability to interpret it lol!!!!
Ps…I post from phone, doesn’t allow me to go back n proof… Typos are here to stay :)

Reply

Daniela July 18, 2012 at 4:21 am

Talk about a productive post! So many interesting, helpful replies deriving from of such an insightful, full of knowledge main post.

I understand what Liza says (or I think this is what she said, lol) regarding the tarot showing you a specific card based on your very own interpretation of such card. I’ve said it before here with this same example because I think it’s the perfect one, The Wheel of Fortune is seen by some as more of a negative meaning and for others (myself included) as a very good omen. The Moon is also a tricky one, when I get it for a personal reading I’m kind of excited, yes I get more sensitive but I’m a writer, sensitivity is always welcomed here, lol. And I like when my intuition and premonitory dreams are at their peak, so to me overall is a good card. I know very little about Astrology but I thought mentioning I’m a Scorpio might explain why I like The Moon. For others, this card is the equivalent of wreak havoc, and I can see where they’re coming from, especially if they’re very practical, down to earth people.
My mom and I were talking about this the other day, how some cards can mean something totally diferent to people. She interprets Pages as messengers and Knights as something that’s on it’s way to your life. The Two of Pentacles is also a message for her and one of the Ace of Wands interpretations to her is moving. The list goes on! lol I guess what deck you use also has a lot to do when it comes to apply the symbolism. 8 of Wands is mainly a love card to me, maybe travel, maybe a message, but it’s tied to love, always.

I agree with Louise, tarot is always teaching us something new. I had never noticed the Queens had a face on their thrones. I had noticed the black cat but no querubs or anything else in the other Queens ;) So yes, definitely tarot is teaching me something new every time and it likes to use Biddy’s blog to do so, lol.

Reply

Louise July 18, 2012 at 10:34 am

Hi again ladies,

Liza, if you don’t mind, I’d really like to add a few points about your “job” reading. (Hope I don’t sound too bossy here!) Here’s the thing, and it’s the thing so many of us do for the first decade (hahaha) or so of our readings, but these days I would NEVER EVER ask the tarot to make a decision for me. So my first word of advice would be: be very careful how you word the question and always think about what you want from the tarot BEFORE you do a reading. If you asked the cards, “Should I go for this job or not?” and the cards said, “No!” would you feel okay about that? Would you hear it? Would you even WANT to hear it? I don’t know about you, but I never want anyone else to make my decisions for me, not even something as profound and powerful as the Tarot! And let me attempt (!) to briefly (!) explain why. I believe our most important task in life is to become EMPOWERED human beings, and this means we have to make our own decisions, see how it turns out, and then learn from the process so we can improve things next time. If we give away our decision-making power, then I think we’re in danger of getting lost in life. So…I would say to you, DON’T ask the Tarot whether you should go for the job or not, make that decision YOURSELF, and then ask the tarot how to best ALIGN with that decision. I would say, from what you’ve said to us here, that you DO want to go for the job, and I would say to you, GO FOR IT! From what you’ve said, it sounds like a good fit. It’s so important to learn how to trust yourself, and the cards are an adjunct to that, not a replacement for that.

So, my second point would be, IF you’re going to do a reading about the job (not whether you should apply for it, but more along the lines of how to best line up with it), then I would really encourage you to try a simple ONE CARD reading. Just pull one card and see. If it turned up the Magician R, I would interpret it like this: you’ve got to believe in yourself more, and become more direct and confident in your communication. But like you’ve also discovered, it might be good to check for Retrograde Mercury too! But I would also say to you: do you want R Mercury to rule your life either? If it is R Mercury and you have to apply for a job within that period, would you let that stop you? You know, the strength of R mercury, is that is DEEPENS communication, because we often can’t say things quickly or easily, we have to mull, to deepen, to revise and edit a lot, and this can really be beneficial in the long run.

So…two things I’d really love you to consider in your future tarot readings;
1) son’t ask the tarot to make decisions for you, trust yourself enough to make them for yourself, but ask the Tarot HOW TO BEST ALIGN

Reply

Louise July 18, 2012 at 10:45 am

Oops, sorry about that, went off to pull a batch of muffins out of the oven and my post flew away and published itself before I was finished! Half way through an unedited sentence…did anyone say the words “MERCURY RETROGRADE!!!!!” An object lesson for little ole me…hahahaha

Reply

Louise July 18, 2012 at 3:09 pm

Hahaha, just come back form my Mercury R hiatus, and let me just say this: If you have to apply for a job in a Mercury R period, please be extra careful to double check that you’ve included everything, that your application has been received, etc. Because all these types of things go haywire during this period. But don’t let a Mercury R stop you – just take it into consideration.

Just a quick eyeball of Liza’s reading suggests to me that she needs to focus less on the practical details of the job, and more on what she’s got to give. I think the upright cups cards suggests you might have a lot to give here, nurturing, a heart-connection to the organization perhaps, and that this is your strength. The practical details of whether you can tie knots or not (insert wink) are less important. What you’ve got going for you with this job is a heart-connection. So sell this, and let the practical details come on the job. Does that make any sense for you? I also think Magician R might be about you not trusting and believing in yourself enough. So work on that: believe, believe, as you believe, so it will be.

Warm regards and best of luck with it!

Reply

Liza July 18, 2012 at 5:27 am

Daniela,
We are definitely thinking alike! I read I think in Brigits link, about a woman who programs her deck, for example, ” if The Moon comes up, I wil take it to mean…” Interesting! As is all ofthe views on 8’of Wands, which Brigit recently featured I believe, and yet we all have different “go-to” interpretations before branching out. Back in April I drew it as a card for the day after returning home from church on Easter Sunday and considering the depth of my commitment to Christ, ect…. Did some reading….”Great spiritual work, a card of new beginnings, transformation of belief-spiritual deepening-commitment”….not my go to message, or anyone else’s here it sounds like….furthers the argument that we always learn something new, and as Louise said, it doesn’t just show u what u know, because i didn’t know that. It took me by the hand, when my go to definitions didn’t fit, and said, seek out more, there is a new meaning for u to learn, and I’m teaching u. It’s now in my “mental bank”…really 8’s are transformation, Wands are the creative/spiritual nature… So simply by combining meanings from different systems or areas…in the end, it makes sense doesn’t it?
Btw, I like the Moon too, for the same reason as you, I feel my juices are flowing, and for me it is my teacher card…. I suppose it depends on the context though that it appears in!

Reply

Louise July 18, 2012 at 3:25 pm

Just super quickly, as I blather on waaaaaayyyyy too much…have you noticed yet? But I too am a lover of The Moon and The Wheel (my personality card) and I even …The Tower!

But it is absolutely true, that different readers have different ways of interpreting the cards and it ALL WORKS! The tarot is beautifully accommodating. This is what is great about it, there is no right or wrong, just different FLAVOURS! Our job as readers, I suspect, is to work out our unique flavour and wear it with confidence, flair and style, and let go of all the silly dogmatism that plagues so many other areas of life!

Reply

Liza July 19, 2012 at 8:08 am

Louise,
Of course you are dead on the money! The retrograde and my fears are whT I thunk the Magician R is telling me, again giving credit that there can be TWO meanings in play at once. And yes, I do have to apply during the R, no way around it, it is time sensitive. I think I need to dot my i’s and cross my T’s so go speak in regards to the process, forewarned is forearmed. I’m not afraid of a R, but now I know what pitfalls to look out for and take the extra time and attention I know it’s going to ask. Also, heartily agree with your theory on the job….I may not have all the skills yet (mag R anyone?)…. But extemely devoted. I so appreciate your views on the courts, that is quite helpful to me. The only other Major in my reading aside from the Mag, was the Heirophant also R. I need to let it “percolate” I think. The spread really just described the interview itself….this card along w the Knignt of Wands were both used to describe the interviewers…. Lol, no question the context of that court card!!!! But the Mag n Heirophant both teachers….and funny that this is a very traditional institution….slowly we get there! Inwant to thank you, as our conversation has helped me IMMENSELY, several things that you have called to my attention have really resonated with me….again adding to the theory that no matter how much you already know, there is always more and more and more to discover :)

Reply

Liza July 19, 2012 at 8:13 am

A side note, I know what happened with your computer….that 8 of Wands snuck in! It was all FIRED up, to SWIFTLY deliver a MESSAGE to me that could help TRANSFORM my thinking! And you know that card just loves EMAIL!!!!!

Reply

scott senate May 26, 2013 at 10:53 pm

the eight of wands i give a completely different interpretation to – i see a lot of action moving together but i don’t see the people behind it doing the action – so i see it as “actions speak louder than words” or “everybody working together achieves far more”

Reply

scott senate May 26, 2013 at 10:55 pm

so you will probably fit in to your new workplace quite well as the eight of wands would point me in the direction of harmonious working together

Reply

Elise July 23, 2012 at 6:56 pm

I really love your fresh, intuitive interpretations of these cards. I totally agree with you that these are people doing things, and we should acknowledge them as such.

Thanks for sharing that with us,

Elise.

Reply

Louise August 6, 2012 at 11:45 am

Ooh, didn’t notice your comment sitting here for so long, or I would’ve replied. Thank you for dropping by to say that, it is wonderful to know it might help even in the smallest possible way! Thanks Elise.

Reply

Maria August 6, 2012 at 11:18 am

Louise, thank you for a wonderful article – we just can’t get enough info on the Court cards.
I am always confused when court cards show up in my readings or in somebody else’s readings. I just don’t know how to interpret them when the question concerns some other person (not a querent)…
I gathered these two example of a three-card spread on relationship for both cases the question was – ”is a person thinking about me” and the cards that showed up were almost the same except for the order. I woul appreciate your brief comment on these spreads if you have time of course!
N1-
Ace of Cups – Page of Cups – King of Cups
Which I interpreted as the woman’s strong appeal towards the man in question – while he is in control of his emotions. So I would say ‘no': he is not thinking about you.
N2
King of Swords – Page of Cups – Ace of Cups
Here I saw another movement from king of swords’s rationality towards page of cups’s softness and care. So this time I would say ‘yes’, probably he is starting to develop some romantic feelings about you.
But i just can’t get a firm stance on my decisions I am often times doubting them thinking what if…
Lousie, what would you say and why?

Thank you!

Reply

Louise August 6, 2012 at 12:15 pm

Okay Maria, there’s a lot in what you say and I would love to take the time to address some of what you’re struggling with.

Firstly, and most importantly, I would say DOUBT is our number 1 enemy as Tarot readers and probably generally in life too! Self-doubt can cause so many of our problems, and it’s opposite, CONFIDENCE, is what we need to nurture and build up in ourselves! So I would say one of our central jobs as Tarot readers is to learn how to weed out any doubt about the cards, and then be patient with ourselves as we learn how to become confident in our interpretations.

So…I would say in capital letters: DON’T EVER DOUBT THE CARDS. The more you wholeheartedly believe in them, the better they will work for you, and the more accurate they will be in your experience. Think of it like this: doubt undermines them, and they begin to leak power and accuracy. Your belief and trust in them powers them up, and they become more electrified for you. I have a lot to say on this, and one day I’d like to write up my thoughts on this, but because Tarot is a spiritual tool, it works on spiritual principles, and faith and belief are really the cornerstone of spiritual power. So believe, believe, believe.

So, the question you asked was very specific: “is this person thinking of me?” This is a yes-no question, so the phrasing might not be ideal. I would be more inclined to ask: “WHAT is this person thinking of me”, or “What DOES this person think of me?” The second is better, because it will also tell you whether the person is thinking of you or not, and if so, what are they thinking. In my experience these types of questions are not impossible for the tarot to answer directly, but they need to be worded carefully. And to get THE MOST direct answer from the Tarot, I would just pull ONE CARD.

So I would ask: What does this person think of me? And I’d pull one card only.

This type of approach will give you the most direct answer, and will be less confusing for you to interpret. For this reason I REALLY encourage people to experiment with SINGLE CARD READINGS.

But let’s take a look at your reading anyway: The first card you pulled was Ace of Cups: emotional energy is definitely flowing. This would be positive, but in the realm of the Aces nothing is manifest yet, as the Aces are like seeds. Energy is definitely flowing and moving, but it is unformed, not yet set in a definite outcome.

Page of Cups: again, the energy is in a YOUNG UNFORMED stage. It’s nascent, newly forming, perhaps has only just dawned.

King of Cups: indicates a lot of potential for a developed relationship.

My take on this would be: nothing has happened yet, things are only just beginning to move and take shape, but there is a lot of potential for relationship and connection here. I think it is definitely positive, but it is indicating that things have barely begun to take shape and things are only in their most infant stages. Even with the King there, because in a three card spread the King could be seen in the future position, and I would read it like that. In this position, The King indicates potential, not what is happening in the here and now.

Now, I would disregard the second reading, as you already have an answer here, and if anything I would move on to doing another reading on the subject but with a different question: assuming that you want this person to like you I would ask: “What is the best way for me to get this person’s attention ?” Or you could ask: “Is this person a good match for me?” But just pull one card. Keep it simple and you’ll be much less confused and there is less room for error.

Does that help? I hope it helps in someway.

Louise.

Reply

Louise August 6, 2012 at 12:28 pm

Sorry maria, when I look back over your query I can see the reading wasn’t for you, but for a client, and that the two readings were not for the same person, but for different clients. I misunderstood at first. So I wouldn’t disregard the second reading, as it was for a different client but with the same question…sorry i misunderstood it.

Reply

Louise August 6, 2012 at 4:57 pm

I’ve come back now (a few hours later) with a little more time spare, so I would interpret the second reading like this:

King of Swords: with a Court card coming up first in the reading I would interpret this card as telling us about the third person’s PERSONALITY. She is asking what someone thinks of her, and the tarot is saying: this person is a King of Swords type so he is intellectual, perhaps aloof, perhaps detached, he comes much more from the head than the heart. Then you would think of all the possibilities this implies about what he is thinking about her: ie. he is viewing her more from the head from the heart, he is assessing her and sizing her up from an intellectual and detached perspective, etc.

Second card: Page of Cups: again, I would interpret this as information about the personality of the man she is querying about. This time, we are being told about his emotional nature (cups) and the Page is telling us he might be relatively unformed in the heart-emotional level. He is a student of the water-realms, young, perhaps even immature, inexperienced, or not very in-touch with his feeling nature. This will also have implications for how he is thinking about her.

Third card: Ace of Cups: does give some hope though: because it suggests that perhaps there is some heart-emotional stirring going on here. The Ace suggests something is still unmanifest, but the SEEDS of emotional connection are there, they just need to be well-watered and nurtured before anything would happen.

So, with this reading I would say: he is thinking of her, but at this point in a more intellectual, detached manner. He might not be well in touch with his emotions, and this would be something that would have to be nurtured and developed before any “relationship” could be developed as a heart-connection.

I would always be very clear when I’m doing a third person reading (ie. reading not ABOUT the client but about someone in her life she wants insight into) that I interpret that I am being given INFORMATION ABOUT THE THIRD PERSON NOT ABOUT THE QUERENT. Keep clear in your own head about this, and it should be easier. And I’ve done a lot of these third person readings, and you need to trust that the information is about the third person, even though they’re not present. Trust me on this: the Tarot really does know what to do in third party readings, it’s just us that get confused. So interpret Court Cards in these type of readings as not about the personality of the querent, but about the personality of the third party she’s querying about. I know that was long and convoluted but I hope I made some sense????

So… I know my interpretations are a little bit different from yours, and that you said you were experiencing doubt….so while I wouldn’t want you to doubt the truth of the cards, your intuition might be prodding you to take another look at your interpretations and wrestle with them a little more.

Over the many, many, years I’ve been tarot reading, I will say that for a long time I didn’t interpret my uneasy feelings as a prod of intuition, but they can be. If you really feel unsure and uncertain and the feeling doesn’t leave you, then i would consider whether it isn’t your intuition trying to prod you to go back and take another look. Sometimes even the best readers get interpretations wrong, but these days what I find is that EVERY TIME I do, I will have a niggling feeling that won’t leave me alone that says to me: you haven’t got it yet…you’ve missed the mark; go back and re-interpret again. When I give readings I always like a couple of days to mull and reconsider, because OFTEN my intuition will take a while to kick in, and will bug me over the coming days if I haven’t got it right.

So, while I want to encourage your own self-confidence, you also have to consider whether self-doubt and niggling feelings about a reading means you’re off the mark….it’s just something I think we all have to grapple with, and it is healthy to reconsider your interpretations if you can’t shake off the doubt and uncertainty.

Hope this helps….I’m worried I’ve probably just confused you more!!! Haha

Kind regards, Louise.

Reply

Maria August 6, 2012 at 11:55 pm

Louise,
Thank you so much for you time and a wonderful explanation!
It all made sense and it will be helpful ( I will definitely think it over).
Yes, these reading weren’t for me, I was asked to commect on these two spreads that my friends did for themselves.
Now I know what to work on – on developing more confidence in cards and trusting them.
The reason I was very skeptical on the first spread ( Ace of Cups- Page of Cups- King of Cups) was that the seeker told me the man broke up with her and though the cards looked good and full of emotions to me my rationality took over…
But this point gets me back to DON’T EVER DOUBT THE CARDS part.

Thank you again, Louise
You really gave me a good direction in reading Tarot and I highly appreciate your help!
Can’t wait to read more of your posts on Tarot.

Reply

Louise August 7, 2012 at 10:16 am

Hi again Maria,

Yes, sometimes it is difficult when a client tells us about a difficult situation and then we pull the cards and they paint a totally different picture. But I would say: just read the cards as they are, even if they don’t “appear” to make sense. Sometimes we just can’t see “far enough” to make sense of things, but our job as tarot readers is to just focus on what the cards are saying and that’s about it. Like Elise says below, sometimes our clients aren’t giving us an accurate picture or perspective, but our job is to trust the cards. So one possibility with that first reading might be: even though he broke up with her, he might be sorry or seeking forgiveness, and they might get back together…

It is possible though, that the reading wasn’t accurate, and we need to consider this too. If a reading is inaccurate I beieve it is because the one who pulled the cards is skeptical about the accuracy of the Tarot and so she may have pulled inaccurate cards…this is truly where getting a reading from a powerful tarot reader can give better results. A powerful tarot reader who deeply believes in the cards WILL GET MORE ACCURATE RESULTS than someone playing around with a deck at home who might be skeptical and expecting the cards to fail. I’m not saying this is the case in this example, but it’s a possibility… and gives food for thought for all of us…

I was happy to help, and relieved to hear I didn’t confuse you…i think i confused myself!! ;^(

Reply

Elise August 6, 2012 at 7:25 pm

With regards to the TarotCourt cards, I totally go with what Louise said: everything in Tarot comes down to confidence and belief. The cards are not here to trip you up as a reader but to give guidance to your subject.

The Tarot court cards’ meanings totally depend on the context. If I’m reading for an older man, say, a meditation teacher, my interpretation of the King of Cups in the significator position will not be the same as a reading for a woman looking for love who sees the King of Cups in the outcome position. So that’s an obvious example. But if the meaning is really not clear, then what?

At the point where the guide book is no longer useful to you, that’s when the reading becomes interesting. When everything goes quiet, it’s time to look at the cards and use your imagination and intuition. If the reader doesn’t know why a court card is there, despite the fact that  you have explained it as best you can, now we have dialogue with the client: who does this person look like? If he could speak, what would he say? Is this woman happy as a Queen? Oh? Why not?

Quite often, the subject doesn’t want to share with you what they are thinking, especially if you know them personally. But it’s not your fault, and it’s not the cards’ fault either. Reading the Mary-el deck LWB last week, Marie White says that if we meet a God on the road too early in our journey, they seem like a monster to us. Often, people, clients, just don’t want to or are not ready to see the truth of a card, or they are not ready to share, and that’s fair enough.

Well that’s been my experience. And I agree with Louise: have confidence in the cards and yourself and let the meaning of the card percolate in its’ own time through the subject’s mind, because, as we know, the Tarot gives us the best guidance for that particular time. What the subject chooses to do with the reading is their own responsibility.

Elise

Reply

Louise August 7, 2012 at 10:27 am

Hi Elise,

Yes, the context is so very important, and you do have to look at the exact situation of the reading to feel your way into the right permutations. This is where tarot leaps off from a craft or technique into an art form. I suspect developing your intuition and imagination in this way, and really feeling into the ‘context’ of the reading, are advanced reading skills, and only come with lots and lots of practice and developing confidence. And perhaps there isn’t a whole lot written about this out there in the books and guides??? But this is also where forums like this are so valuable, because we can share these experiences and ideas and help guide each other! I think it’s great! :^)

Warm regards, Louise.

Reply

Maria August 7, 2012 at 10:32 am

Louise and Elise,
Thank you for your comments, the whole idea of the Tarot readings is starting to clear up in my head. Of course it is confusing but that’s what makes it more interesting.
Best wishes,

Maria

Reply

Elizabeth September 21, 2012 at 5:57 pm

The Queen of the pentacles does bring home the bacon; she is endowed with riches as well as her resources that always flows with a nurturing attraction within her realm. I do applaud your abstract insights via written; but I feel that challenger Page of Swords is her teenage daughter who has creative and inspiring abilities to enhanced her mother’s realm with wonderful ideas. Though the Queen of the Pentacles, maybe slow to respond, the ideas of her daughter the Page of Swords is maturing as flowers on earth.

Reply

Intan January 9, 2013 at 10:29 pm

I ever drew Queen of swords, page of swords, and ace of swords when i asked “how’s my personality to him?”
Any insight?

Reply

Brigit January 10, 2013 at 5:34 pm

Swords are about the intellect, the rational mind, power and authority, a desire for information and truth. Think about how you express these in your connection with this person.

Reply

Namrata May 29, 2013 at 10:53 pm

Hi Brigit,
The Suit of Knights kept opening up in my reading. I have a strong feeling there’s a message there.
I have just started out on a relationship with a young, enthusiastic man. Could this suit be indicative of him?
Also, I love your website! It’s the best!

Thanks
Namrata

Reply

Brigit June 3, 2013 at 7:02 am

Thanks! Knights can definitely be a good sign for a new man on the scene, especially someone who is exploring their world and is maturing as an adult. It could also indicate that you, yourself, are on a ‘mission’ to find Mr Right!

Reply

Leave a Comment

*

{ 1 trackback }

Previous post:

Next post: