Getting Cozy with the Court Cards

The Kings, Queens, Knights & Pages of the Tarot


Court cards can be confusing to interpret; they can symbolize a variety of things in a multitude of ways. They appear as personalities, archetypes, specific people in your life and even as yourself. Court cards can also represent the personality of a situation. When you comprehend the personality the card is foretelling, you can decipher it’s meaning. Remember, Kings aren’t always men and vice versa.

If you often read the cards for yourself, especially with a personally chosen deck, some of the court cards may have attached themselves to you as certain somebodies. Say you have a re-occurring ex-boyfriend in your life and each time you do a reading where he may pop up, hence, comes the Knight of Cups (or whichever card resonates his meaning to you).


As people, court cards can reflect clues as to how the person thinks, feels, acts and/or what motivates them. Court cards can be telling in their physical aspects but this tends to limit. For example, a page can be an old man with a low maturity level rather than a child. The people represented in the court can also be assigned to the zodiac signs but that can also be limiting unless it makes sense in the spread. Whether based upon the physical or astrological elements, you can choose an associated court card as your signifier. Remember that not all of the meanings apply, take what works for you or stands out in your tarot spreads.

Court Cards as People

Pages can be thought of as children and younger people. It can be a literal child or maturity speaking. They’re also thought of as the students of the court who are just learning and starting out on their quest. Childlike can range from innocent and optimistic to recklessly immature.

Knights are the youth, the teenagers in the tarot. They’re travelsome and transitional. They can represent a person in your life whose importance has changed. Knights are usually full of idealistic dreams and rebelious energy.

Queens can be taken as the adult feminine. She’s a mother figure, mature, a mentor, caretaker, teacher, or who you turn to for emotional/intuitive support. She represents safety and security and will be there come what may.

Kings are the mature masculine. They can be a father figure, a person in a place of authority, a person of importance to you or a big influence. They have a stern “parenting” nature and are more pushy than emotional in their support. Kings are less willing to forgive mistakes. Stability and protection come on his terms.

Physical and Elemental Associations

Wands

  • Red haired or ruddy complexion
  • People linked to you through activity
  • Aries, Capricorn, Sagittarius

Mottos

  • King of Wands: True leaders lead from the heart and inspire others to dream bigger and do better.
  • Queen of Wands: Confidence shines from the inside when you love yourself, own your flaws and rock it no matter what others think.
  • Knight of Wands: You only live once. Be bold, fearless and do what you love.
  • Page: Yesterday is history and tomorrow a mystery. Only the present is real to enjoy.

Cups

  • Blonde or fair skinned
  • People linked to you emotionally, lovers or family
  • Cancer, Scorpio, Pisces

Mottos

  • Kings: Only love, compassion and understanding can truly bring you the happiness and tranquility you seek.
  • Queens: Be someone who makes everyone seem important, look into their eyes and make them feel understood.
  • Knight: Always follow your heart, it won’t lead you astray. It knows things that the mind cannot explain.
  • Page: Let your imagination run wild. Imagination is the fuel of dreams and dreams are the fuel of creation.

Swords

  • Brown hair or olive skin
  • People linked by intellect
  • Gemini, Libra, Aquarius

Mottos

  • King: When faced with a difficult situation be impartial and carefully evaluate all of your options with a rational mind.
  • Queen: Stand up for yourself, always speak your mind, don’t let yourself get walked on, by anyone.
  • Knight: Be tough and ambitious. Know what you want and go after it with single minded determination.
  • Page: A quick, sharp mind is your greatest asset. Always be alert, clear and focused in your perception.

Pentacles

  • Black haired or dark skinned
  • People linked by wealth or work
  • Taurus, Virgo, Capricorn

Mottos

  • King: There is no reward without risk. Create opportunities, do not be afraid to fail and invest your time wisely.
  • Queen: A loving family is one of the greatest blessings in life. Protect and care for them no matter what.
  • Knight: You can’t get the results without first doing the work. Show up, work hard and keep pushing daily.
  • Page: Never stop learning because if you think you know everything, you know nothing.

Other Meanings for the Court Cards

Pages as Messengers

  • Wands bring new inspiration, creativity, action, enthusiasm, impulse, news, plans and ideas. They can represent fun times and the thrill of a situation but could also lack seriousness, progress, commitment and have either good or bad intentions in their message.
  • Cups can bring messages of romance, feelings, intuiton, imaginative ideas, play, wonder, theatrics, sensitivity, gentleness or emotional immaturity. They can have the ability to detatch, possess a caring attitude, have a gentle or childish approach, are emotionally involved, get lost in fantasy, wear rose tinted glasses as well as sometimes symbolizing someone getting their own way. They can also be day dreamers or admirers.
  • Swords bring news about truth, ideas and plans. They’re clever and have vigilance, can represent exams, are always knowing, can easily talk their way out of conflict, can be two faced or spend too much time watching and judging others. They can also be spies or gossips.
  • Pentacles bring news about money and wealth. Page of Pentacles is practical, thrifty, realistic, have the ability to develop and may lack money. They may have an expensive lifestyle without the backing.

Knights as Movement, Trips and Travel

  • Wands is about taking action and moving forwards (knights are usually pictured upon a horse). These knights can mean a move, emigration, a lover leaving, haste and in-and-out. On a positive note they declare action being taken and things getting done (something tangible). These are the go-getters. They can adversely symbolize doing too much, moving too fast, someone leaving or a level of commitment which isn’t what it could be.
  • Cups can represent the progress of emotion or intuition. They can stand for romance, idealism, faithfulness and rose tinted glasses. Knight of Cups intones loving intentions but can also imply something too good to be true. They can take on an over protective or emotionally intense nature. It can symbolize a prince charming type or knight in shining armor.
  • Swords knights are capable of the quick progress of ideas and communication. They can also represent deaths, military, destruction, confidence, moving quickly, self assuredness, aggression, going for what you/they want, change/shaking things up, a bully, a conflict or fighter.
  • Pentacles stand for stability and stagnation in wealth or health, persistence, patience, responsibility, reliability, hard work or slow movement. They can lack the fun of the other knights, wait too long or be all work and no play.

Queens as Creation (Building the Nest of the Suit)

  • Wands relate to creating passion, creativity, individuality and boldness. These Queens stand for business, friendliness, ambition, leadership and bossiness. They can be nature lovers, a good friend or organizer. They also can appear as a dominant female, a need for control, greed and a love of money, power and status.
  • Cups are about nurturing emotions and intuition. They can appear as symbols for psychic sense, empathy, loyalty, compassion, lovingness and the ability to overlook. They have your best interests at heart. They can also stand for someone or something that is naive or obsessive.
  • Swords can be the planning and nursing of ideas as well as communication. They can also stand for divorce, widowhood, cruelty, “to the point,” independence and loneliness. These Queens don’t need approval and they don’t hide their feelings nor are they easily fooled. They can also appear as meddlers or infertility.
  • Pentacles create wealth and fertility. They can appear as generosity, luxury, a good nature, a motherly type, desires, earthiness and realism. They have good intentions, are conservative, can be attached to earthly desires, be scared to dream or spend money on non-essentials.

Kings as Control (Managing, Organizing and Directing Suit)

  • Wands have control over sexuality, creativity and anger. They can pop up as symbols for innovation, business, authority, extremism, activity and center stage. They’re cutting edge, creators of tomorrow, business minded and certain of convictions. They enjoy attention, do what they want, sometimes see in just black and white and can at times think they are right no matter what.
  • Cups has control over emotions, intuition and psychic abilities. They are emotionally mature, passionate, devoted, social and intelligent. They also can be calculating, unable to let go, devoted to a fault or abusive of their emotional intelligence.
  • Swords has control over thoughts and communications. They can also symbolize law, intelligence, logic, wisdom, manipulation, reasoning skills and justice. Negative meanings can include using the brain for evil, thinking they are above others or taking advantage of power.
  • Pentacles has control over finances and the home. They are business like, successful, stable, wealthy, traditional and materialistic. They value tradition, has plenty of resources and are family focused. They can be dogmatic or only do what is expected of them, be materialistic or overly focused on finances.

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