The Court Cards

By Peggy Firth, CTM

The court cards address our relationships and are often called "people cards." They are viewed as representing us or the people around us. Many readers have vastly different interpretations of the court cards which do not follow the original idea of a support system. Kate Warwick-Smith, author of The Tarot Court Cards, mentions that every relationship can be described in terms of support, whether positive or negative. A negative relationship may be a teaching experience or challenge to be overcome. Eastern spiritual teachings speak of our purpose(s) in this life that we create before birth. We choose our family and friends to work out our "Karma."

Often we pay for support in the form of a babysitter, therapist, teacher or doctor. The Tarot reader, if encountering Court cards, needs to work with the querent to explore how these cards define the kind of support system that surrounds them. When this is achieved the Tarot reader may be able to help the querent reflect on how these supporters interact and the way the querent may be able to use the information for their healing and well-being.

Another important aspect of recognizing a positive or negative response to others is called "projection" or the characteristics of ourselves that we see in others. We may react violently to these, whether they be positive or negative. The querent may or may not recognize these qualities since they may be deeply hidden in the subconscious. We are such multilevel beings that we may never be able to assist in healing most negative characteristics. However, some projections may be recognized with enough inner reflection.

The court cards are often thought of in terms of greater maturity. The Pages are considered more superficial. and naïve or more enthusiasm than wisdom. For example, the Page of Cups represents the physical qualities of a person. The Pages of the traditional Rider Waite deck appear as androgenous and dressed in Medieval costume.

The Knights have all of the qualities of the Pages but are further along on the road towards maturity. All of the Knights are astride a horse, however, the horses also suggest the relationship and type of direction the Knight is headed. The Knights all wear suits of armor which indicates a protective nature. Each adult Knight has been wounded by life in some way.

The Queens and Kings represent the mature individual who has experienced all phases of emotion and effort in life and emerges triumphant. All of the Queens and Kings sit on thrones and wield power, wisdom and compassion in the area they represent.

The reversals usually have meanings that revolve around gaining understanding and support.

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