The cards 'in rest' or: the initial order of the deck


I have given this thread a great deal of thought and I'm still not sure but I think this subject doesn't fit in too well with the already available topics due to its very specific nature.

Right now I am but a beginner with this deck since its only been in my posession for 2 days now. However I do get the feeling that I'm making more and more progress with it. Right now my main activities are picking up the deck and going over the cards from time to time in order to make myself familiar with the deck as a whole. There is so much detail to be spotted that its impossible to even want to attempt to memorize them all, but the global impression is in my opinion the most important goal here.

However.. I think that sometimes people don't give enough attention to the deck in its prestine sequence (hmm, I think I'll make a poll out of that) while this can be of some importance when you wish to cleanse the deck.

So, the initial order of the deck is that of a 2 section split deck. It starts with the minor arcana in the order of wands, cups, swords and pentacles and is then followed by the major arcana. The book explains this aspect; the deck tries to maintain a balance. The philosophy here is that small things are just as important as big things and in order to make sure that you pay the minor arcana the respect it deserves they start off small.

Another key element of this deck are the courts. As has been mentioned throughout the forum it features a whole family, in such a detailed way that you can even spot certain features in the faces and expressions of the people on the cards. But picture my surprise when I learned today that the seperation, or perhaps the attempt to seek a balance, even goes as far as to seperate the key elements of the deck itself. Its becoming obvious to me that wands and cups might very well reflect the opposite of the swords and pentacles. This is displayed in such a subtle way that I only now managed to discover this, when I was busy studying the court cards...

Wands & Cups: In these sections everything is rather straight forward. The sequence begins with the Ace, moves on to the 10 and then we get the Princess who is followed by the Prince and this pair is then followed by the Queen and the King. So far nothing special you may think. After all; if you substitute the Princess for the Page and the Prince for the Knight then you're basicly back to a more common way of sequencing the cards. As reference I'd like to point to the cards section of Joan Bunning's "learning the tarot" website.

Swords & Pentacles: Here we get a different treatment, so subtle yet so important that I had to write this up. As usual we start out with the Ace and go on to the 10. And then we get a different sequence.. Now we start off with the King immediatly followed by the Queen. Only then do we get to see the Prince who is immediatly followed by the Princess. So not only did they change the order of the gender, it would seem as if age is playing an important role here as well.

Which for me makes perfect sense. When looking at the pair of Wands and Cups I see a much lighter pattern, or theme if you want, than when paying attention to the Swords and Pentacles. Where cups can embody joy, youth and eagerness, Pentacles can display mystique, doubt, despair. These subjects are then also reflected in the courts. Not only do we see the 'stronger' of the genders in first place (with all respect to the ladies here, I'm solely reflecting on the "stronger" and "weaker" gender as is the common way to divide man and women) we also get to see that age is playing an important role. Yes, while the Prince of Swords may very well spurr its horse into an attack, you can see the King of Swords on top of a hill carefully studying the things he sees before him. The Queen on the other hand seems to revel in her ambience, even closing her eyes while holding her sword, the Princess on the other hand is actually wrapping her sword and not looking very eager to enter any battle what so ever. Wisdom versus brawn, confidence versus doubt, maybe even disbelief.

So my only logical conclusion is that there is indeed a some form of bond (or relationship) between the Wands and Cups and as such automaticly between the Swords and Pentacles. And once again displayed in a very subtle, not easy to spot, kind of way. Also leaving this entirely open for your own conclusions. So, what do you think ?

swimming in tarot

I certainly find the order of the cards at rest to be significant in elucidating the deck's philosophy. And you've certainly put thought into this. But...I'm sure, when I unwrapped the deck for the first time, all the courts in my deck went from Princess to Prince to Queen to King!


I got my copy of the DruidCraft second-hand, and when I first went through the deck admiring the artwork I noticed that the cards weren't in the same order as my other decks when I got them - Majors then Minors, with the suits going Wands, Cups, Swords, Pentacles and the Courts going from Page (or equivalent) to King. I just assumed that the previous owner had put them in that order for reasons of their own, not realising that the DruidCraft isn't meant to follow the 'traditional' deck ordering.

I shuffled my deck very soon after I got it, so I'm not sure exactly what order the Courts or suits were in, but I don't remember thinking the Courts were particularly 'out of order', although I do remember the Minors being before the Majors. This last fits with what the authors say about the deck in the introduction to the accompanying book; the Minors are the Lesser or Outer Mysteries of the Druid and Wiccan paths, and that with this deck it makes sense to treat the cards in the same way as a series of initiations.

I was, however, given the chance to see the order of the cards in a just-unwrapped new deck that a friend of mine bought when she was staying with me, and her cards went Wands, Cups, Swords, Pentacles, Majors, with the Courts following the Tens in each suit and going from Princess to King. It's been a while since I last used or studied my DruidCraft, so there may well be something in your theory about the links between Wands:Cups and Swords:pentacles, but going on the evidence of my friend's deck I doubt it has much to do with the order of the Courts when the deck is first assembled.