Court Cards in 4 Simple Steps
I don't like anything to be too complicated, including reading Tarot. When I first started reading, I wanted quick keywords and an intuitive approach to reading the cards.
And, when the court cards started to throw me for a loop in my readings, I wanted a quick solution for those too.
Here is what I came up with!
1. Set Your Intention for What the Court Cards Will Represent
I set my intention (meaning, I just tell myself) that, going forward, I want the court cards to first represent energies of people in my life. For the most part, I ignore gender. If you don't have a lot of people who affect your life, you may want to set the intention that court cards will represent mainly your energy and energies of situations.
2. Keep Suits in Mind
Pentacles (coins/material things), Swords (thoughts/willpower), Wands (work, projects), Cups (emotions/relationships)
3. Use Age as a Reference
It's always helped me to think about the court card characters in terms of their age. This is the key that unlocks the court cards for me. It isn't necessary to memorize all these meanings; you can just get to know them as people. Here is my thought process:
Think of how a child or teenager might handle money, work, and what their thought processes and relationships might be like. For me, Pages are often wavering -- they're either too eager or can't make up their minds. The Page of Pentacles is really happy to have a new coin -- he or she may also be quick to spend it. Pages in relationships (cups) can be quick to love and may experience puppy love, but they might not be ready for a long-term commitment. And, representing children, if I use my 5-year-old as a reference, I know she's my best friend one moment then hates me the next. Ha! Pages may be flighty about finishing projects (wands) and they may be easily distracted when it comes to thoughts and motivation (swords). Of course, Pages aren't all bad -- they're just beautifully naive. They love/think/work/spend innocently.
So, focusing on people -- I ask if there's someone in my life who acts like this and see if they've popped up in a reading. If not, I ask if I'M acting like one of these Pages. I'm young at heart, so I do. A lot. Haha!
The Knights are really starting to get their sh*t together. They're very driven and forward-thinking. This is why they're often associated with movement/travel. They don't always see the big picture (the way a Queen/King would), but they head toward their dreams without overthinking anything. So, Knights in relationships (cups) know what they want and go after it. Knights tend to finish projects (wands) and quickly move to the next one. They're certain about their thoughts (swords) and are motivated to move forward, even if they can't yet see the big picture. Knights may be quick to spend money, but they're starting to build some wealth (pentacles) for themselves too.
Kings/Queens (Mom and Dad)
Kings and Queens are like parents. They have the benefit of hindsight, years of experience and wisdom. They are loyal in relationships, spend wisely, carefully consider decisions, and manage/plan/complete projects. The mom and dad of cups are loving and kind. The mom and dad of pentacles are very well off and can care for future generations -- they're also sometimes considered very earthy/outdoorsy (as pentacles can represent earthly things too). The mom and dad of wands are hard-working middle-class folks who may not be extremely wealthy but are noble and driven. The mom and dad of swords are more disciplinarians and can be harsh with words, but are still noble and look out for the best interest of their family.
4. Look For Visual Cues & Read From the Heart
I'm certain I've shared this example with you before, but once I asked why my daughter was having more temper tantrums than usual, and I pulled the Queen of Pentacles, Sun, and King of Pentacles cards. In most readings, I'm a Queen-of-Cups kinda mama (love and harmony above all else), but in this reading I saw two parent energies that were very much distracted by material things. Another visual cue was that both parental energies were looking AWAY from the child in the Sun card. I knew my husband and I weren't giving her enough one-on-one time.
We all have aspects of the suits in us and can embody these different court-card energies at any time. I may ask the cards about my husband on Monday and have him represented by the King of Wands (hard working, responsible, in control, managing projects) -- then on Friday, he may be the Page of Pentacles (ready to spend money and play video games with no regard for work-week responsibilities - haha!).
Here is a sample reading:
I asked my cards, "What is going on at my daughter's new school?" There's no serious drama there, but I wanted to get a sense of the energy around this transition. I also asked, "Please give me some court cards, so I can use this as an example in my blog post!" Haha! I pulled the following:
I believe my daughter is the Page of Swords in this reading -- the child energy. She isn't always very focused (she's only 5, after all), and she goes back and forth between really being driven to be at school and not wanting anything to do with it. I feel like the Queen of Swords may actually represent two people: first, me. The transition to the new school was an emotional one for me, so I'm trying to be more like the Queen of Swords and focus only on what's best in the long-term for my daughter. I'm putting my emotions aside and thinking, "just the facts." The Queen of Swords could also represent a teacher at my daughter's school who's been more strict with her, who's trying to give her direction. One teacher is stricter than the other. My daughter loves both her teachers but often doesn't like being told what to do.
The over-arching theme is the Moon. This means different things to me -- this is, literally, a "nighttime" card for me. My daughter and I, like most people, are much more emotional about this transition at nighttime. We talk about it, sometimes cry about it. In the end, we both knew this decision was best, but our emotions are still very raw about it. I'm trying to be OK with that -- to let us both grieve through the transition but, by day, straighten our crowns, and get on with our lives.
I'm comforted by the fact that the Moon is also a card of deep intuition and connection. My daughter and I always have that underlying bond and can talk through anything.
In short: this situation sucks some days, but we'll keep on keepin' on. Ha!
I hope this post was helpful. Have court-card questions for me? Want help with a reading? Comment below!