Court Cards: The Four Families of Tarot


Welcome back everyone! Georgina here.
Today we’re going to talk about the four suits and the court cards. The deck I’m
using is the Radiant Rider-Waite Tarot, which is a recoloring of the Waite-Smith
Tarot. But you can use any Tarot deck you like. Now back in the olden days of Tarot,
the four suits were described as being active or passive, and the court cards
were defined as being either masculine or feminine, according to their sex. Kings
were men who were masters, queens were women who were supportive sidekicks to
the king…yada yada. Even when I was first learning Tarot
(back in the 1970s) meanings that strictly defined court cards by their sex and
gender were still very commonplace. You know as if everybody was cisgendered and
everybody was straight! Well that’s just ridiculous. And if you think that’s bad,
there were even physical assignments for the court cards: Wands were fair-
skinned people with white, blond, or red hair. Cups were fair-skinned people with
brown or auburn hair. And Swords were olive-skinned people with black hair. And
anyone who wasn’t a white European was shuffled off to the suit of Pentacles.
Ouch! Of course contemporary Tarot readers find this
very limiting and quite frankly very offensive. So if we want to provide good,
relevant Tarot readings we need to update our language. So Kings: They can be
people of any sex or gender who are mature and externalize their experiences.
They know how to be an adult in the outside world. And Queens: They can be
people of any sex or gender who are mature adults, but they internalize their
experiences and choose to express themselves to a close circle of friends
and family. Knights: These can be people of any sex or gender who are still
working out what it means to be an adult. They’re running around, having lots of
character-building life experiences. And then the Pages can be people of any sex
or gender who are inexperienced in the ways of the world. They’re still learning
who they are and they have not yet decided what role they want to play in a
society. So you could be any of these cards, depending on your life situation.
Managing your own company? Well that’s a King thing. Taking care of your kids or
coaching a friend? Well that’s a Queen quality. Moving from place to place or
job to job? You’re expressing Knight energy. And if you’re learning a new
skill? Well, you’re a studious Page! I place the court cards into four
families: The Wands (and that’s the folks you’re seeing right now) this is the entrepreneurial family. You can find these passionate, ambitious folks
starting up their own businesses. Steve Jobs of Apple, Bill Gates of Microsoft,
Elon Musk of Tesla Motors and SpaceX. Oprah Winfrey, Doris Fischer (who started
the Gap), Sara Blakely (who started Spanx). All of these dedicated folks worked hard
to make their dreams a reality. So the cards in the suit of Wands
in general deal with work and ambition. Now let’s take a closer look at the
family. The King of Wands. He’s the company founder, the person with
vision and drive. When you seek a mentor, look to this King. The Queen of Wands is
the hospitality Queen. She works in public relations and arranging company
events. When you see this Queen, you are likely to receive a party invite. Or
maybe you’re throwing a party yourself. The Knight of Wands. He is a manager, an
aggressive salesperson. He’s the mover and a shaker. When you see this Knight,
expect a sudden change in your employment, your residence, or both. And
the Page of Wands is the chatty intern, learning what makes business work. The
Page of Wands is also a literal page, carrying messages between departments.
When you see this Page, expect a lot of email and an increased activity in your
Twitter and Facebook feeds. Got that? Okay! Moving on to the suit of
Cups. This is the emotionally savvy family.
These are the artists, the poets, the musicians, and the mystics. They’re also
your immediate family and relatives. In the workplace, you may find them in the
human resources office or in the Employee Assistance Program. They are
people who have great empathy for others. So the cards in this suit, the suit
of Cups, deal with things as emotions, dreams, desires, and memories. The King of
Cups is the emotionally supportive person. When you seek a mentor in the
fine arts, look to this King. He has paternal instincts. The Queen of Cups is
also an emotionally supportive person, but is concerned primarily with matters
inside the immediate family. You can depend on this Queen to listen
sympathetically to your problems and well, maternal instincts. The Knight of
Cups is the romantic Knight. This card has traditionally meant a new romantic
relationship, but it can also mean expressing yourself creatively through
the fine arts: music, poetry, writing. Either way, when you see this Knight,
there is an opportunity to express love. Page of Cups is the dreamy, mystical Page.
This Page is learning how to express their feelings. That emo kid writing bad
poetry today? Well tomorrow is a rock star!
We all start from somewhere. Let’s move on to Swords. Swords! Now this is the
intelligence-gathering family. I think of it as a spy agency. They deal with
information, strategy, and planning. These are also the politicians, military
strategists, soldiers, and spies. Scientists, lawyers, and librarians are
also part of this family, as are tech analysts and whistleblowers. Oh yeah,
Edward Snowden: Definitely a member of the Sword family! The suit of Swords is
filled with action and intrigue. Very exciting! The King of Swords is the head
of the spy agency. When you need all sides of a situation to be thoroughly
examined or a masterful masterful plan of action for dealing with your
challenges, you look to this King. This King is your attorney or your CPA. The
Queen of Swords is an analyst who sees deep connections between the cold hard
facts. This Queen internalizes knowledge and gains brilliant insight into the way
the world works. This Queen is also known as the “widowed Queen.” The Knight of
Swords. Now this is our “James Bond” of the Tarot spy agency. If you need a bold,
brash champion or advocate to your cause, this is your guy! The Page of Swords. This
is the sneaky Page. This Page enjoys gathering information on everyone and
everything, but hasn’t learned how to determine the value of the intel yet. Moving on to Pentacles. Pentacles is the legacy family.
Remember how Cups was the emotionally savvy family? They’re very much like your
immediate family. Pentacles would be the family *legacy*. The one that’s going to
survive generations and generations. This is a dynasty! We are talking about “old
money” families like the Rockefellers and big business tycoons like Donald Trump.
But for all that grandeur and big talk, this is also the family that physically
works with the earth: the farmers gardeners, and yes, miners. Also folks
whose business involves property, such as realtors, land developers, ecological
conservationists, and environmentalists. Bankers and stockbrokers are also part
of this family. So the cards in this suit deal with resources, money, and property.
The King of Pentacles. This is the grand patriarch who established the family
business a very long time ago. It is this King whose painting hangs
prominently in the company lobby. When you need resources, money, time equipment, when
you need those things to reach your goals, this is the king to whom you must
request it! The Queen of Pentacles. Well, this is the grand matriarch of the
family business. this Queen is one of the “ladies who
lunch,” leveraging their position and power to help the less fortunate. They
set up foundations to make positive changes that will last long after they
are gone. The Knight of Pentacles is the slow-moving Knight. He brings the best
opportunity for wealth and position, but it will take a long time for these
opportunities to present themselves. If you’re looking for something to happen
quickly, like a new job or a new money offer…yeah, don’t count on this Knight
immediately. It takes a while. Then there’s the Page of Pentacles. This is
the most studious, bookish Page. This card frequently signifies a person in school.
They may lack practical, hands-on experience, but they’ve studied the
experiences of others. Now did any of these court cards sound like you or
remind you of people you know? When you’re doing a Tarot reading you may be
working with a spread (also known as the layout or a pattern) and it will require
you to choose what we call a significator to represent the person who is receiving the reading. Kind of an avatar. So let’s
play a game: Take out your court cards in the deck
and assign a card for yourself and for some of the people in your life. Be sure
to jot down your assignments in your Tarot journal. Now when you’re reading
for yourself in the future and you see any of those cards, you’ll know who they
represent. For example, if you knew a young person who was just starting out
in school, you might choose this Page of Pentacles to represent them. If you were
reading for an older woman who had lost her husband, you might choose the widow
card, the Queen of Swords. If you’re looking to establish a new business and
you need some advice, you might choose the King of Wands. That would represent
him. If you’re going back (to school) and perhaps learning a new artistic skill like
painting or poetry…yeah, Page of Cups. That would represent you. For myself, the
Queen of Cups represents my mom. So have fun with that. Next time we’ll talk about
the four Aces and I’ll share an original Tarot spread of mine that uses just the
16 cards you’ve learned so far. I call it the Dream Team Spread. It will be your
very first Tarot spread. Hey, exciting! Now remember: When you read for
other people they may have a very different idea of which card best
represents them. I had a querent many years ago that didn’t like any of the
court cards. She insisted on using a Major Arcana card. She insisted on using
the Star as her significator. Now always honor your querent’s wishes. It’s their
reading after all! So be flexible and chat with your querent to determine the
best significator card together. And that’s it for this time! If you’ve
enjoyed this video, be sure to Like it. And if you’ve really enjoyed it please
share it and subscribe to the channel. Tell me in the comment section what
kinds of Tarot subjects you want to see in future videos. Until next time,
remember: The magic is not in the cards; the magic is in you! Be awesome!

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