Some Exercises To Break Down The Court Cards
I recently put out an open call on social media asking what tarot learners were struggling with. The number one answer is, of course, The Court Cards. If you're SUPER new to tarot, the Court Cards are the cards labeled Pages, Knights, Queens, or Kings. They might be rewritten in your deck, but they most likely have a title and a suit (hence the Architect of Vessels above).
The Court Cards are very often taught or explained as people. Even a lot of otherwise really, really good tarot books can lead you astray here as you try to understand why your spread is giving you random, useless information about a dark haired man with bad intentions when that man is absolutely nowhere in your life. To add to the confusion, the Courts are often needlessly (and kind of hilariously) gendered, and can often equate material wealth with achievement & worth in a way I’m very, very uncomfortable with.
All of that being said, I love the court cards. They encourage me to bust my butt or take a break--both messages I hate but frequently need. They don’t usually represent 16 different people most of the time. Instead, they represent 16 different energies or aspects of YOU. The court cards coming up are most likely the energies or aspects within yourself that you need to call on and bring into being right now. Pairing each card with a well-known celebrity may not help you crack the card, understand it, or remember it in the heat of the moment. Instead, I've got some suggestions outlined below for how to connect with these cards in a way that stays true to both the card and your own experiences and journey.
If you are Pagan and work with deities, try pairing each court card with a deity that you could call on to inspire you or work with you regarding the energy of the card.
If you are Pagan and do not work with deities, pairing each court card with a mythological creature or spiritual entity (like a type of faery, a spirit or ghost you’ve worked with, or an animal guide) that you could call on now to inspire or aid that card’s energy allows for a similar clarity as the diety exercise.
If you are not Pagan, or are but want an alternative exploration, think about times in your life when the energy of this card was easy for you to take on. So one card might be the version of you that started a business that failed, and a different court card might be the version of you that started a successful business. One card could be a version of you that cried over a “B” in high school, and one could be a version of you that cut that college class all the time to have sex with your suitemate. Lock in those actual, living versions of yourself as your "go to" for how to interpret this card.
If this blog post helped you unlock your understanding of the Court Cards, I've got a whole E-Zine for sale chock full of tips and tricks to help New Age Misfits learn tarot in a personalized but true-to-your-deck's-intentions way. You can grab a copy here for just $13.99.
If you're looking for free resources, Siobhan at Radical Tarot has some great thoughts about the Courts here.
Blessed be, y'all!