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Zodiac signs, court cards, significators

Thread originally posted on the Aeclectic Tarot Forum on 20 Jul 2002, and now archived in the Forum Library.



Dystopian  20 Jul 2002 
Hi,

I'm just starting out on tarot spells and have questions regarding significators:

1. Can a queen court be used to represent a male? It just seems funny to be. Similarly, can a card with female art be used to represent a male, and vice-versa?

2. I know court cards can be used to represent the 12 zodiac signs, but a few sites I've visited suggested different cards to represent the different signs. Can someone help me out here?

Also, any futher advice about choosing the most appropriate significator is also appreciated. 


jmd  20 Jul 2002 
You post an important and useful question, Dystopian. If you want to read some previous discussion of court cards generally, check this thread started by Kiama.

With regards to your questions, here are my brief answers - opinions may vary, and can only add further elements for reflection.

re.: '1. Can a queen court be used to represent a male?'

In my opinion, absolutely. It will partly depend on the reading at hand, and whether you see the card as referring to a quality, or a person of a specific gender.

re.: '2. court cards can be used to represent the 12 zodiac signs ?'

As you point out, various attributions are made. With regards to astrological ones, possibly the most common is a more loose one, with elemental attributions also referring to astrological elemental attributions. For example, if you associate Wands with Fire (not everyone does!), than a court of Wand may indicate a Fire astrological sign (which are Aries, Leo and Sagittarius).

With regards to significators, I personally prefer to not use such!

Looking forward to reading other responses. 


lunalafey  20 Jul 2002 
Cards can represent both male or female.
as far as the signs go..
just as the suits have the 4 elements Earth Air Fire Water, apply that to the Court.
Earth signs are Taurus, Virgo, Capricorn
Air= Gemini, Libra and Aquarius
Fire= Aries, leo, Saggitarius
Water= Cancer, Scorpio and Picses.
Seems like every book I read has a different sign for the cards, I go with instinct.
The Majors have both planet and sign associations.
12 signs and 10 stellar bodies= 21. 


Dystopian  20 Jul 2002 
The thing is, some people have different definitions of the courts. For example some people say that the King of Wands is a Leo, while some others say it's an Aries. Hmm... 


Dystopian  20 Jul 2002 
Quote:

With regards to significators, I personally prefer to not use such!


Personally, I don't use significators in my readings too, but they play an important role in spells. 


Helruna  20 Jul 2002 
I agree with the previous answers. A court card, no matter if "female" or "male" can represent any gender as we all possess female and male attibutes (anima for men and animus for women). Therefore, yes, why should a Queen not be able to represent a man? :)

Regarding the zodiacal association, I found them to be a bit confusing too and saw different correspondences. I guess, the easiest one really is to go by the element the four suits represents and which lunalafey already posted.

I have tried to find the associations, and I know how confusing the search can be. If I want to use them, I stick to the little booklet I have by "Evelin Buerger & Johannes Fiebig". If you are interested in some more confusion, let me know and I'll post them. :) I assume though, that some site you have visited already might have presented them...

Concerning your question about the Significatot - I hardly ever use them. I never got into using them from the start, and I never had problems in getting meaningful readings without Significator. On this topic, I found also some varying information, which only confused me too, so I decided for myself to not use them. There are authors you go by the outer appearance and/or age, some go by zodiac, other simply by age and so on. And even than some authors have different opinions on what card correspondences with which type... and some also say that you can use almost any card that represents the situation at hand, even a Major Arcana.

I suggest, if you really want to use a Significator, you trust your own instinct and gut feelings. If you feel you should use a Significator, and the person is present, why not let her/him choose what card they want as their significator? If they are not present, you might go by your own intuition completely.

BB,
Helruna 


Helruna  20 Jul 2002 
Quote:
Originally posted by Dystopian
The thing is, some people have different definitions of the courts. For example some people say that the King of Wands is a Leo, while some others say it's an Aries. Hmm...


I have an idea why this might differ, but I am not really very knowledgable in Astrology... could it be that there are certain traits and attributes/associations which those signs that might make it for some people more appropriate to connect it with the King of Wands?

It's just a thought, and I am not sure about this, but it might be an explanation...

BB,
Helruna 


Helruna  20 Jul 2002 
Quote:
Originally posted by Dystopian


Personally, I don't use significators in my readings too, but they play an important role in spells.


Oh - lol - I see! OK, I misunderstood your question then. You mean the significator that best represents your goal/aim of the spell? Or that represents you or a certain person?

BB,
Helruna 


Thirteen  20 Jul 2002 
Quote:
Originally posted by Helruna
I have an idea why this might differ, but I am not really very knowledgable in Astrology... could it be that there are certain traits and attributes/associations which those signs that might make it for some people more appropriate to connect it with the King of Wands?


Yes and no. See, here's the problem--it's the creators of the decks that decide (and tell you in their books) which court card stands for which Zodiac sign. One deck will tell you that the Queen of cups is Cancer (and there will be a crab and Cancer symbol on her throne), another that she's Scorpio and yet another that she's a Pisces (maybe depict her as a mermaid with fish swimming all around her to remind you). Why the difference? Interpetation of the Queen. Interpet her as all moody and motherly, well that's a Cancer; interpet her as all dreamy and psychic, well, that's Pisces, interpet her as having deep, strong emotions, that's Scorpio.

See the problem? Any water sign has certain traits that can be applied to any of the Cup Courts--it's all up to how the creator of the deck to decide which traits of which sign he's going to make central. Consider this--King of Pentacles. We have two decks. From one we pull the King of pentacles, seated on a Throne (fixed, solid, not going anywhere), from the other the Queen of pentacles, standing, gazing at the palace surrounding her. Both are interpeted as Taurus. The seated King is interpeted as such because Taurians love the home, can be stubborn and take charge. Okay. But what about that Queen? Taurians also love beautiful things, love to repair and create, garden and such--which would seem right for a Queen, in charge of the palace decor, wouldn't it? Both work. It just depends on which trait of which Zodiac sign you're going to emphasize.

Now GENERALLY speaking, I'd say that all Kings are Cardinal signs (inspire/initiate action--create the Kingdom), all Queens fixed (maintain the kingdom) and all Knights are mutable (travel around spreading the word). This makes sense to me, but really, what it comes down to is--what deck are you using? If in this deck Q-Cups is Cancer, then Q-Cups is Cancer, if that deck, then she's Pisces, and if that other deck, she's Scorpio. Just make her what the card images/card creator tells you to make her for that deck. 


amyel  20 Jul 2002 
As an expansion on Thirteen's post, I started with the Mythic Tarot deck, and they way they describe the court cards is more as "personalities" as opposed to "people" if that makes any sense. So using that approach, yes, a Queen could represent a male, if the traits describing that Queen card are similar to personality traits for that male, just as a Knight or King could describe a female.

Let's use an example: If a man is raising children alone, he is likely to develop some "motherly" and therefore traditionally feminine traits. Similarly, if a woman is raising children alone, it is likely that she has developed some traditionally "fatherly" or masculine traits. A young woman just starting out in in her chosen career might show traits of a knight, although most traditional decks imply these cards are teenage/young adult males. Depending on the situation and qestion posed for the reading, this could be reflected in the spread. The Mythic tarot often uses a "disclaimer" when a court card appears in a spread for a querent, something along the lines of "When this card appears in a spread, it could indicate that *you* need to develop the traits of the [insert court card here]."

As for significators, I never use them, but then I've never used tarot for spell work, either. I did notice this morning, though, that Janine Renee's book "Tarot for a new generation" has a whole section at the end of the book which outlines the influence of any card as a signifactor. 


HOLMES  20 Jul 2002 
i call them soul cards and in my reading they are 0 numer, being the first that all other energyes coem from.

i pick it randomly first trusting the sycoinity of the universe to help me pick it.

i lay it down in every sprea it do.

by understanding it as a soul card/energy card of the overrall sititution
and using it to tell me what level the soul is at right now
i can get a deeper insight into the reading it means as much as to me as the outcome card :O) in the celtic spread 


Dystopian  20 Jul 2002 
Quote:
Originally posted by Helruna


Oh - lol - I see! OK, I misunderstood your question then. You mean the significator that best represents your goal/aim of the spell? Or that represents you or a certain person?



In spells, significators are used to represent the caster (me) or the person I'm trying to influence. 


Helruna  20 Jul 2002 
OK, I see now. Well, if you want to make it easy, I would suggest either the Fool card as your significator, or perhaps the Highpriestess.

Somehow, I would see to what card you personally have a special connection to and what card "talks" to you being your significator. In spells, I found that the significator can change, due to the intend of the spell, which also shifted a bit how I precieved myself. And, btw, I do not do spells to influence others.

Of course, when you say they represent you, they could also stand for the purpose/intend of the spell itself, and even how you would like to see yourself, as a spell should be thought of as already been "reality" and the state "now".

But, this is just my humble opinion.

BB,
Helruna 


Thirteen  20 Jul 2002 
Quote:
Originally posted by Helruna
OK, I see now. Well, if you want to make it easy, I would suggest either the Fool card as your significator, or perhaps the Highpriestess....

Of course, when you say they represent you, they could also stand for the purpose/intend of the spell itself, and even how you would like to see yourself, as a spell should be thought of as already been "reality" and the state "now".


The only problem with using Major cards as signifiers is that they're then taken out of play when laying down the cards. So it might not be a good idea to use the Fool to represent yourself if that was it's only purpose. On the other hand, as you so astutely point out, if they stand for the purpose (you're moving, traveling, staring afresh--aka, the Fool), especially in a spell, then it'd be a great idea to use a Major. They have more weight and can give the spell direction. 


wetsheep1  20 Jul 2002 
JMNSHO here, but...

(1) Can court cards represent people of the opposite sex?

Absolutely! I've always viewed my Courts as **aspects** of personalities, rather than specific people (unless otherwise indicated in the spread), so to me, it makes sense.

(2) Regarding astrological signs and the Courts....

I dunno. My deck is pretty overt about it; the artist was obvious about where her mind was when she painted the images, lol. For example, on her Sister of Water (read: Page of Cups), she depicts (from top to bottom) Libra, Scorpio and Saggitarius. Now, I'll be the first to admit that I am disturbingly weak on astrological meanings, so I'm really sure I'm missing out on a great part of where she was headed with her interpretation. But what I get from the image is a message in a bottle, a search for something that was lost, pining away for something or someone....that kind of thing. (The deck, btw, is the Tarot of the Spirit...) Exactly how my feelings about this card tie in with her astrological "hints," I'm not entirely sure yet, but I have a **lot** of reading to do before that becomes clear!

Just bumbling along,

;) -- k 


Helruna  20 Jul 2002 
Quote:
Originally posted by Thirteen


The only problem with using Major cards as signifiers is that they're then taken out of play when laying down the cards. So it might not be a good idea to use the Fool to represent yourself if that was it's only purpose. On the other hand, as you so astutely point out, if they stand for the purpose (you're moving, traveling, staring afresh--aka, the Fool), especially in a spell, then it'd be a great idea to use a Major. They have more weight and can give the spell direction.


this is one reason why I do not feel that comfortable with choosing a Significator card, as it is "missing" and I somehow feel that one "message" is missing, even if the card I would have chosen for the Sig doesn't come up in the spread... I don't know, guess it's just some unconscious flaw of mine...

I also see the Fool in a spell as the person who is open-minded, not biased or prejeduces and therefore simply open to how the spell works and the result manifests. I have learned, if you do a spell, no matter if with Tarot or not, you should be careful about your real intentions and not try to "influence" the spell too much as far as giving "directions" how the spell should work but leave it up to the Goddess or Universe to choose the way it manifests.

That's just my humble opinion though.

BB,
Helruna 


The Zodiac signs, court cards, significators thread was originally posted on 20 Jul 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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