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When are Courts People, and when are they aspects?

Thread originally posted on the Aeclectic Tarot Forum on 16 May 2002, and now archived in the Forum Library.



Kiama  16 May 2002 
I have such difficulty intrepreting court cards in a reading... I can never tell whether they are referring to an actual person, when they are referring to some aspect of the querent, or whether they are referring to some sort of mentality that needs to be taken on by the querent?

The only time I can really tell that they are definitely people, is when it comes up in a position referring to people... But even then sometmes I'm not sure...

Can anyone help me here?

Kiama 


Aerin  16 May 2002 
You aren't the only one.....

I tend to look at in in context, and consider each of the possible interpretations I could make, the other cards in the spread and and also the meaning of the position in the spread (e.g. if it says 'how I see myself' and it is a Court then I'm pretty much sorted LOL, I usually read that as an aspect of me). Then I decide what best fits, sometimes I end up with more than one thing which gives an insight and that's OK.

I do tend to think in aspects though, whether they are projected onto other people or representing the querent. I think that people change what they are expressing in different situations and at different times. (rambling here). So 'a person who is currently expressing Page of Cups' rather than 'a Page of Cups'. I find that more flexible, and less likely to push people into pigeon holes - the 'Well I'm a Queen of Swords so I say what I want and if it hurts people tough, that's the way I am' syndrome.

I'm looking forward to reading what others do.

Aerin 


Kiama  16 May 2002 
Another problem is that sometimes Courts actually mean an event... Page of Swords=Rebelion Page of Cup= Joy, birth of new child.

I'm getting my knickers in a twist with these damn courts!

Kiama 


catboxer  16 May 2002 
Kiama:

I would have to agree with what others have said here. The interpretation of the court cards depends on what slots they fall into, and the other cards close to them in the spread. But that doesn't solve all your difficulties; suppose you get a knight of coins in the "what lies ahead slot." Does that refer to a person that will appear in the querent's life in the near future? or to a general condition of youthful, exuberant materialism that will prevail in the querent's life?

This may sound weak, but you just have to use your intuition.

Sometimes the interpretation of those cards is fairly straightforward. I did a reading for my daughter about six months ago. In her past line (bottom line) she had, from left to right: Queen of hearts (cups)(My deck uses French suit signs rather than the traditional Italian ones), deuce of hearts (cups), King of spades (swords). Interpretation -- my daughter possesses an unusually strong degree love and affection for both her parents (the deuce). The Queen is my ex-wife, Rachel's mother, and a very loving person she is. The King is yours truly, whom my daughter sees as a very powerful and somewhat relentless person (ah, if only it were true).

So I would say whether to go one way or the other with the interpretations depends upon the "big picture."

(Catboxer) 


Thirteen  16 May 2002 
For me, at least, Court Cards are almost always people. They either have to be in very particular positons in the spread for me to interpet them as other than people, or if the reading just isn't working if I see them as a person--only then do I start to venture into meaning. I'll add one exception here--the Pages. Kings, Queens, Knights really hit me as people--either in the querent's life or the querent him/herself--their position or stage in life. Pages are the only ones that are a bit dubious, because they can stand for "messages" or messangers--as well as children, immaturity or apprenticeship. They're mini-Fool cards and so I'm a bit more flexable when I see them. 


Geenius at Wrok  16 May 2002 
Quote:
Originally posted by Kiama
Another problem is that sometimes Courts actually mean an event... Page of Swords=Rebelion Page of Cup= Joy, birth of new child.
Interpretations like these I have a really hard time taking seriously—no offense intended to you, Kiama. Ditto schemes that interpret pages as "You will get a message concerning X" or that turn all queens and kings into lovers and rivals. They strike me as being terribly trivial and mundane, the sorts of things that hack fortunetellers lay on credulous customers.

I always read courts as aspects, keeping open the possibility that they're not necessarily aspects of the querent—they could represent other personalities, in which case, by extension, they'd also represent the people those personalities belonged to. 


Rhiannon  17 May 2002 
Am I breaking a cardinal rule when I tell my questioner that I'm not really sure exactly what the card means, and then I give them the possible explanations of the card and sort of let them choose?

I probably am. Forget I said that! ;)
Rhiannon :) 


Mermaid  17 May 2002 
For me, Court Cards are normally facets of personalities, not actual people. So if the Queen of Pentacles came up in a reading, for example, I'd tend to think of someone who's been acting really nurturing or grounded lately, who may be any sex or age. Instead of thinking of a middle aged woman with dark hair who's astrologically an earth sign! :)

However, there are a few cards that I really identify with people I know, and if they come up in the reason I know that they're referring directly to them. For example, the Princess of Pentacles is my card, and the Prince of Wands always represents my boyfriend if it comes up in a spread. 


zorya  17 May 2002 
kiama,
you already know the meanings of the cards well! i've read many similar questions from you which can usually be answered by, "use your intuition" so.... maybe this will help a little with all of them. center yourself before the reading and try going with your first gut feeling. don't try to analyze it. intuition isn't only for the chosen few. go ahead and try trusting yours. hey! you could even practice on us! you have nothing to lose;) 


Kiama  17 May 2002 
Quote:
Originally posted by Rhiannon
Am I breaking a cardinal rule when I tell my questioner that I'm not really sure exactly what the card means, and then I give them the possible explanations of the card and sort of let them choose?

I probably am. Forget I said that! ;)
Rhiannon :)


I do this too: T omy thinking, I am doing a readng for somebody about their life, and they usually know more about it than I do! So, if anybody's gonna know what those annoying cards that I can't understand mean, its them!

GAW: No offense taken! I tried using these meanings once in a reading, and I got th ePage of Cups, so I took a wild guess, and was totally wrong! The querent had had a hysterectomy 3 years previously, and there was absolutely no chance that a child would be born to her.

Thanks for all your replies! I think I'm going with the aspects idea mostly.... And of course, Catboxer's wonderful adbice of using my intuition!

Kiama 


Liliana  17 May 2002 
were you using "those meanings" when you said my Ace of Swords meant the birth of a child even tho im protected ;)

:THP 


Geenius at Wrok  17 May 2002 
Quote:
Originally posted by Mermaid
For me, Court Cards are normally facets of personalities, not actual people. So if the Queen of Pentacles came up in a reading, for example, I'd tend to think of someone who's been acting really nurturing or grounded lately, who may be any sex or age. Instead of thinking of a middle aged woman with dark hair who's astrologically an earth sign! :)

However, there are a few cards that I really identify with people I know, and if they come up in the reason I know that they're referring directly to them.
Wordy McWord! 


Kiama  17 May 2002 
Quote:
Originally posted by Liliana
were you using "those meanings" when you said my Ace of Swords meant the birth of a child even tho im protected ;)

:THP


Yes, your reading too! I thought I'd chuck in all the possibilities, cuz I couldn't figure out which one to pick!

I do that often, when I'm not sure...

Kiama 


Mermaid  17 May 2002 
GAW - who or what is 'Wordy Mcword?' :confused: 


Lee  18 May 2002 
Quote:
Originally posted by catboxer
(My deck uses French suit signs rather than the traditional Italian ones


Hi Dave, I'm very curious to know which deck it is that you use which has French suits rather than Italian ones. I've been looking for such a deck but have been unable to find one.

Thanks --
Lee 


catboxer  18 May 2002 
Lee:

That's my own deck (that I made).

It's also got only 74 cards because there are only three court cards per suit (jack-queen-king). So it's really just a modified 52-card playing card deck with trumps and the Fool added.

On Beliefnet I post as Deck74.

(Catboxer) 


Geenius at Wrok  18 May 2002 
Quote:
Originally posted by Mermaid
GAW - who or what is 'Wordy Mcword?' :confused:
Just emphatic agreement. Don't worry about it. :) 


kayne  18 May 2002 
I always look at a tarot reading from the perspective of the quarent and therefore, the court cards as aspects of the quarents personality... We are all very complex beings and show many different qualities in different situations... 


Kiama  20 May 2002 
I can see that the most accepted way of reaidng Courts is as aspects of the querent...

Thanks for all your help guys! This has cleared it all up immensely!

Catboxer: I was wodnering why you called yourself Deck74! I thought it was something to do with the number of decks in your collection!

Kiama 


meatbox666  25 May 2002 
Well...........
I use the Celtic cross method so I can tell you how I read themas peopleor not using this method.

Okay............If the court cards fall into the 7th position which means...........the current attitude of the questioner/or the person they are inquiring about .........then then is read as aspects. Also if it falls in the 9th position.....which is the intimate imotions of the questioner /or whom they are inquiring about....it is read as an aspect.......................
But If they fall elswhere in the spread.....................then they are people 


Kiama  26 May 2002 
Thanks for the response, MB666.... My problem is that I don't use the Celtic Cross at all: Either I make up my own spreads, or I use one which doesn't have positions asigned, eg- I just draw, say, 5 cards, and read them... It is the latter which causes most difficulty when bringing up Courts. Calender spreads are also difficult: When you do 12 cards, one for each month...

Kiama 


MeeWah  26 May 2002 
Kiama: Perhaps if you assigned positions to a spread, there would be points of reference that would help to clarify the dynamics of what you are looking at. 


Tragic Ophelia  09 Jun 2002 
I know that most court cards have distinct Zodian affilliations- anyone want to enlighten me? I have a certain card: the Knight of Wands who is coming into my life very soon and I know the card's personality like the back of my hand.
But a guru once said to me that the cards have features (facial body type and such) and zodiac to go along with personality.
Is there a site or book or a path one can direct me down?

thanks ever so much
Love the community I just happened upon today.... 


Starfish  09 Jun 2002 
Interesting question. I do know that the wands are associated with the astrological signs of Aries, Leo and Sagittarius. Is that the answer to your question? Or are you asking if each card (Page, Knight, Queen and King) has a set astrological sign assigned to it (which, if it does, I don't know the answer then)?

Starfish 


Tragic Ophelia  10 Jun 2002 
The real question is- is it: cup=water, wands=fire, pentacles=air and swords=earth?

many people have told me different things- I realise that the deck speaks, as it does all the time, but is there any base? Any slight continuity like the out line above that one may follow? 


jmd  10 Jun 2002 
There has been a number of threads which have discussed associations between the elements and the suits, and the correlation isn't fixed.

With regards to interpreting the cards either as people or personality dispositions or types, Meatbox666 certainly makes a good suggestion, echoed by MeeWah, which effectively gives you some guidance as to how you may wish to interpret the spread when it is difficult. Having this as a guide still allows for, as catboxer suggests, transcending any fixed meaning and allowing the spread before you to be intuitively interpreted.

If you do an (Aeclectic) search on MBTI, you'll also find a couple of other discussions which look at court cards and a way of viewing them in certain readings.

Personally, I tend to often see them as indicating a way for the person to look at the situation, or indicating a way they are looking at it - and if reversed, what they are currently not looking at or a way which they are but may be better off looking in in another. At times, however, it seems to clearly indicate a specific person, and sometimes with specific characteristics. 


ChrisZ  20 Jun 2002 
Yeah, I know that cups = water, wands = fire, swords = air, and pentacles/coins = earth...

And from memory, in each of the suits, it's the Knight, Queen, and King that relate to the various signs of the zodiac...But as I'm not near my deck, I can't refresh my memory as to which is which, so maybe I can get back to you on this...Hope that was in any way helpful... 


Kirali  28 Jun 2002 
Great Thread!

I, too have a problem with court cards. I see it like Mermaid does though. When I see a certain court card, I'll think there's my friend or there's my sister's card. But I also see the different aspects of people's personalities show up and they're not *always* a certain court card.

All the responses have been so helpful. The court cards are still a little mysterious but that's not a bad thing. Thanks for your insight Mermaid! :)

Always,
Jenny 


Rusty Neon  29 May 2004 
Oftentimes, I like to look on the court cards as abstract nouns, e.g., Vision/Insight (King of Swords), Enthusiasm/Leadership/Rashness (King and Queen of Wands), Impregnation/Form-giving (Thoth Princess of Disks), etc. -- and then do word free-association from there. 


Staramber  29 May 2004 
If ever I'm not to sure about what a card refers to (in a reading concerning myself) I take my pendulum out and ask if a particular meaning is right. Most of the time I tent to read them as aspects unless I specifically ask for a person. 


The When are Courts People, and when are they aspects? thread was originally posted on 16 May 2002 in the Using Tarot Cards board, and is now archived in the Forum Library. Read the active threads in Using Tarot Cards, or read more archived threads.

 


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