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They can represent an event or opportunity that is presenting itself but, more commonly, they represent people…

court cards

The sixteen court cards are notoriously difficult to interpret in a reading. They can represent an event or opportunity that is presenting itself but, more commonly, they represent people. 

And people are complex and not always easy to identify with just one court card as their personality can be different depending on your point of view. Think for a moment about how you are perceived by your partner, or children, or closest friends or boss. If they were asked to choose one of these court cards to represent their image of you, I am sure they would all choose very differently. 

For instance, your children may see you as a ‘Queen of Wands’ type – an incredible multi-tasker and Wonder Woman that can get everything done with the greatest ease. Your partner may see you as a ‘Queen of Cups’, someone who is empathic and who they can open up to. Whereas your parents may still see you as a younger, ‘Page of Swords’ full of anxiety and worry. But, your boss may see you as a ‘Knight of Pentacles’ – not as experienced as them, but clearly looking ahead for the future and with big plans to make something of themselves.

It is important to remember that however others see us is only a reflection on their own take on life and what is going on in their world. Whether they see us as a help or a hindrance, a saint or sinner that is their opinion and we shouldn’t take it personally.

But how we see ourselves is an important issue and with the help of the court cards we can develop a deeper understanding of who we are, where we have come from and what can assist us moving forward.

Court Card Exercise

Here is a fun exercise you can do to acquaint yourself with the court cards and learn a little about yourself too. Firstly, lay out all sixteen cards in their ‘families’ as shown above. Imagine they are a new group of people you have just met and you are getting to know them. What ‘stands out’ for you about their personalities. Do they seem timid or fierce? What sort of job might they have? Do you know anyone like them? What are their strengths and weaknesses? Remember there are no wrong or right answers – getting to know tarot cards is about listening to your own intuition. (Just like I mentioned above, your opinions of these cards are based on your own experiences.)

Next you are going to choose three cards (not shuffle randomly – make a conscious choice with the cards facing up). For card 1 choose the court card which most resonates how you felt as a child/teenager. For card 2 pick the court card that you feel most suits your current status or personality. And for card 3 pick the court card who has the qualities or attributes that you would like to aspire to in the future.

As an example, I have followed this exercise and my cards are shown to the left and down.

Once you have chosen your cards spend some time writing about why you chose that card – don’t dwell on it too much, just let your writing flow and come from the heart. You can spend as little or as much time on this exercise as you feel you need to.

My example shows me as a Page of Cups type when I was younger. I was a very emotional Cancerian who wore her heart on her sleeve – full of love but incredibly naïve. I assumed that everyone had the same ideals and dreams as I did, and (unsurprisingly) was very easily hurt. But nonetheless threw myself into social circles and relationships trusting that love and kindness was the answer to everything.

My second card sees my transformation to the Queen of Swords (very different than the Page of Cups, but, he is now hidden under a layer). My older or current self, is a very independent, strong minded person who has become a little sceptical of others over time and prefers to be alone or amongst the chosen few people who have been allowed into my world. The Queen of Swords needs solitude, (possibly to spend an unhealthy amount of time overthinking everything!) But, she is also happy to give advice and help for those who need it – interstingly teachers and solicitors are often Queen of Swords types. They are happy to impart knowledge, but, will speak the harsh truth so beware!

And my third card is the Queen of Pentacles. I was drawn to her energy because it is grounded and seems like a slightly more welcoming place to be than the cold, lonely mountain the Queen of Swords has chosen to live for many years. I was drawn to the Queen of Pentacles’ ability to be proud of her achievements and the fact she has used them to carve out a great life for herself. I would like to add the Queen of Pentacles’ slower pace of life into my own and learn to indulge myself a little too!

As you can see with my example, the cards and their personalities have joined together to make the person I was, the person I currently am and the person I am aspiring to be. 

This exercise gives a great insight into what has shaped our lives and how adaptable and strong we are. We are always evolving and we can have a little bit of all the court cards to inspire us along the way.

Optional Extra

If you would like to take this exercise one step further then take all sixteen cards and shuffle them. Ask for the universe’s take on your court card journey and then when you are ready place three cards down in front of you.

They will represent the same things, your younger self, your present self and the self you are aspiring to be.

How to they differ? Are any cards the same? Do they give an extra layer of your personality that you had not considered? How do the cards compliment each other? What possible blocks could these cards present in your life? These may well be the qualities that you don’t even realise you have.

Whatever you intuitively find – one thing is for sure. You are a many layered, beautiful soul who has got through a lot to be here and has so much more to learn and achieve.

Well done.