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The Court Cards in a Tarot Reading - What Do They Mean?

Alison Yates

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The tarot consists of 78 cards of which 16 are court cards (similar to face cards in a normal playing card deck).

A tarot court card can disclose much in a tarot reading and has messages to be revealed for the recipient.

There are 4 Court Cards for each suit - King, Queen, Knight, and Page (sometimes the names differ in different tarot decks and can be known as King, Queen, Prince and Princess. )

The revealing of a court card in a tarot reading can be confusing at first. It can be quite difficult and challenging for the tarot reader to interpret the meanings of court cards, and it takes some skill to get to grips with the several different interpretations.

The challenge exists for tarot readers in interpreting the court cards because, in your tarot reading, the Kings, Queens, Knights, and Pages can represent:

* actual people in your life,

* events - past or predicted, or

* aspects of a your personality revealed to you.

Court Cards as representative of actual people you know

Court cards can often represent someone who is of significance in your life. Parents, spouses, bosses, lovers, potential partners, and friends, all can sometimes be recognised within the court cards.

Each of the court cards can indicate the age, sex, character and even eye and hair colouring of a real person.

The Page of Wands for example can represent a child of either sex or someone who perhaps behaves like a child. The colouring of the child would be brown hair with blue or hazel eyes. Another example is that of the Knight of Pentacles, which indicates a man less than 35 years of age. The physical characteristics of the man would be brown hair with brown or dark eyes.

Court Cards as representative of an event or situation

The court cards can often indicate an event in your life. For example, the Page of any suit represents an invitation, gift or opportunity related to their specific suit. So if the Page of Cups comes up it can mean a new love, engagement ring or even the birth of a baby as the suit of Cups relates to love.

Knights often show movement in your life. So if the Knight of Swords shows up it could mean a new course of study to undertake, as the suit of Swords relates to the mind.

When Queens show up in a tarot reading they signify a time of growth and development, a time when you are taking practical steps to get the results you want.

When Kings appear in a spread it can show the motivation or inspiration to begin something. Making plans, coming up with ideas and thinking about the future.

Court Cards as representative of an aspect of your personality

Court cards in a tarot deck most often describe a certain type of person. The Queen of Wands is passionate, warm and outgoing while the Queen of Swords can be sharp, brittle and aggressive. The King of Cups is a sensitive, caring soul trusting his intuition, whereas the King of Swords is very analytical and logical, relying on hard evidence rather than gut feelings.

When a Court Card appears in a tarot reading you are doing for yourself, it may be indicating one of your personality traits or qualities that you need to be aware of. Similarly, if you are giving a tarot reading for a client, it can show some aspect of their personality they need to perhaps subdue or develop.

Bear in mind that there is no definitive right or wrong way to interpret the meanings of court cards in tarot readings. Remember the above possibilities, but listen to your intuition for guidance when doing a tarot reading.

Alison Yates wrote this article. To learn more about the Tarot, as well as Crystals, Psychic Abilities, the Seven Secrets, Chakras, Colour meanings, Herbal Lore, and Magic Spells visit

To download my free course on Reading the Tarot visit


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