Tarot for the Modern Reader
The Ultimate Guide to the Court Card Ranks
Typically, Court Cards are some of the most difficult cards for many readers to understand and interpret, and rightfully so! Why? I think because there are so many and they can be similar. It's not hard for us to distinguish the Sun card from the Tower is it? Yet when we have 16 cards that fall into a 4x4 matrix, where every card is similarly related to 3 other cards in one way (by Suit) and then to 3 other cards in another way (by Rank), all of a sudden, your head starts to spin a little and everything starts to look the same.
I used to feel this way, but trust me, with a little time and dedicated practice to working with the court cards specifically and intentionally, you can turn this around! No more dreading when court cards turn up in your readings, you'll be interpreting them like a total PRO in no time!
So who are these people of the Tarot?
We can begin to think of them as stages in a journey. It can often be based on how new we are at the task or subject vs experienced. Maturity level can also point to the various stages of a journey. The Page represents the start of a journey, while the King represents the conclusion of a journey, complete with life lessons and a deep understanding. Let's take a look at how they can show up in our readings!
As people, Pages often represent young, energetic people who are at the very beginning of their personal journey. They are still developing a sense of self but they approach new challenges with fervent energy and excitement. Pages look forward to the opportunity of learning and practicing new skills.
On a physical level, Pages can represent young children through young adults. I often consider them the representatives for my own children, and they are each assigned to a specific page, based on their sun signs.
However, Pages can also represent those who are discovering a new aspect of themselves, they come to you with a new opportunity or invitation. Pages encourage you to go for it and give you the green light for a new project or initiative. Pages often appear when you are on the cusp of a new idea (Wands), a new feeling (Cups), a new way of thinking (Swords) or a new job or career pursuit (Pentacles). They symbolize a new stage in life.
Pages are also seen as messengers, so when a Page shows up, it's a good time to pay close attention and look around you for signs, as well as regular phone or text messages!
Have you ever found yourself in a reading like this?
This is a real reading I did just a few weeks before writing this blog post. But don't worry, I can help take the overwhelm out of something like this!
If you want a VERY IN-DEPTH INTERPRETATION of each rank of the Court Cards, the Page, Knight, Queen and King, then don't miss this 5 Day FREE Mini Court Card Email Course. Each day you'll receive an email where each rank is covered IN DEPTH, and I explain what each rank symbolizes when it turns up in a reading as either:
An aspect of yourself
I give detailed and explicit examples for each. The course takes the information in this blog post and expands upon it and goes much deeper for each rank. After the 5 days I guarantee you will have a significantly greater understanding of each Court Card rank!
As people, Knights are highly action-oriented – more so than the Pages. The journey of the Page is already underway and the Knight is more focused on keeping that journey going.
Knights are also slightly more mature than a Page. They have enough experience under their belt to know what they're doing, but the trouble is that that do not have the full life experience that the King and Queen have, thus they are prone to being extremists.
Such excessive feelings and behavior can be either positive or negative depending on the circumstances. This reminds me of the energy and temperament of today's modern age average young twenty-something!
For example, the Knight of Swords has an excess of ambition. Once he has his mind set on a goal, he will do anything and everything to achieve that goal. However, the downside is that he will rush into things and may potentially rail-road others to get what he wants. He doesn't have the maturity of the King of Swords to be able to take a well-calculated, moderate approach, and thus he can end up charging down the wrong path if he's not careful.
Always consider both sides of a Knight – does he represent a helpful or harmful approach? What is in excess and what needs to be in moderation?
On a physical level, Knights can represent adults aged between 20 and 35 (more or less).
As events, Knights reflect change, movement and action. They are never still but are constantly on the move, looking for the next big opportunity.
As people, Queens represent someone who has matured and who has a deeper understanding of herself and others. The Queens tap into the feminine energy of nurturing and caring for others, and give way to creating a more sustainable approach to life. She provides nourishment and sustenance that will keep her ideas and actions going. Queens provide support to those around them who need it.
Queens typically express their Suits from the inside. They have mastered the power of gentle persuasion, setting the tone without imposing their point of view. It reminds me of the saying, "Behind every great man there is a great woman." She gently and subtly influences, without being seen to be too pushy or domineering. In this way, Queens can be seen as the most powerful because they influence without anyone really knowing.
On a physical level, Queens often represent people who have a good amount of life experience under their belt. Queens typically represent women, but can also highlight the more feminine qualities of a man. I don't typically use the very yang male energy of Knights to represent twentysomething year old women, I generally see a female as a Page until she becomes a Queen, and that age varies for everyone. A young woman who is unmarried and in her twenties I would still consider a Page. Once a woman reaches about 30, even if she is not married or with children, I often find they are becoming the mature character that a Queen consists of being.
Queens represent creativity and ideas coming to fruition. Queens are also very feminine and nurturing cards, reflecting the rites of passage for women, from embracing sexuality to motherhood and to taking care of others. Queens represent very supportive energy.
Kings are considered to be the most mature of the Court Cards. They have travelled through life successfully and are now at the pinnacle of experience and understanding. Thus, the Kings represent the fully developed personalities of each of the Suits.
As people, Kings have full control over the feelings, emotions, thoughts and actions that form part of his personality. As such, they are stable and solid, and are highly capable of directing the flow of their energy to achieve their visions and goals. They like to manage, direct and stabilize the energy associated with their Suit.
Kings like to be seen as the providers, taking responsibility for others' well-being. Kings want to make a difference and have an impact on the world. They are masters at what they do, and they are our leaders that we look to follow. They draw upon the various elements of their personalities to make their mark.
On a physical level, Kings often represent older males aged 40 and above. While not all Kings have to be male, these Court Cards do represent dominant masculine energy – someone who controls and directs and who wants to be in command.
Kings represent the top of the pyramid, hierarchy or order of operations. A King in a reading denotes a person of power or authority. Kings signify the growth and maturity of an idea or concept until it reaches completion.
Bringing it Together
So, as you can see, if we are looking at our Court members as people along the various stages of a journey, Pages conceive ideas, Knights act upon ideas, Queens nurture ideas and Kings develop those ideas to an established and stable state.
So when a Court member shows up in our readings, the first thing we can do on sight, is determine the level of energy or experience or stage of progression we are in, just by looking at the rank of the Court member that shows up. There is so much more to these noble people though than just this!
Again, if you want an in-depth interpretation of each of the four ranks as an aspect of yourself, as another person, or as a situation, make sure you take the 5 Day FREE Mini Court Card Email Course! You'll get the Day One email immediately! Happy Courting!
I'm Liza, professional Tarot reader, writer and mentor, and this is Tarot Liza. Everyday we're working to bring our mission of delivering more value and Tarot education to the Modern Reader to life! Welcome! Read more...
- We’re now in the window of the true Samhain portal. Tune in to this week’s episode and pickup the ritual I left out of last week’s episode (oops!), as well as why you might want to do these rituals again (or for the first time), this week! But hurry- the portal won’t be open long. I also share a few announcements for the podcast for the coming month!...Read More »
- Halloween and rituals go hand in hand. Although we have turned Halloween into a night of spooky fun, complete with costumes and candy for children, it is really a special night to honor those who are no longer with us, and based on the much older pagan sabbat of Samhain. It's a great time to communicate with those who have passed over, or any of our spirit guides, as the veil is much thinner not only during Scorpio season in general...Read More »
- Death, rebirth and letting go, these are the themes that let us know that Scorpio season has arrived! This is the time of year that we are prime to look into the deepest darkest corners and excavate the things that are no longer serving us. The things that are holding us back. Things that have long outlived their usefulness. Some of these things go all the way back to our childhood, and some are just outdated and outworn patterns of behavior...Read More »
- The Shadow Self, what is it and where does it come from? How is it formed, and how do we heal it? Why do we have it in the first place? These are all questions that come up when we begin discussing the shadow. No discussion about the shadow is complete without a dive into mythology, as all things related to the shadow are naturally related to the Underworld, which is the domain of Pluto (who in the Tarot, rules the Death card). Join me in this episode to learn how to identify your shadows, and join us on a 13 day Shadow Work Challenge!...Read More »
- Want to know what's in the cards? Look no further than the stars! What if I could share with you a cool way to use a 3-card-reading, every 10 days, that you don't even have to draw yourself, that could accurately forecast your next 10 days? What if we could do that for all of the 10 days of the rest of your life? And you don't have to be an astrologer to do it either! This technique also works retroactively- so you can look back in time at the forecasts for significant times in your life to see how they match up! Join me this week...Read More »
- The decans and their forecasts, are determined by their astrological associations- so while we may look at the imagery in this card and think it would be a terrible predictor of our week, it's astrology tells a different story. The association for the Three of Swords is Saturn in Libra, and that's the association we need to keep in mind, when we are considering the energy that we are going to be experiencing during this card's reign or tenure. Saturn is cold, dark, heavy, wet, dreary…. Hence the rain in the Rider-Waite-Smith card behind...Read More »