One of the biggest learning curves in working with tarot is understanding the court cards.
These are the pages, knights, queens and kings, though their titles may differ depending on the deck you are using. They can also be princesses, sons, daughter, mothers, fathers, elders, and more.
Titles aside, these cards can be tricky because they don’t often show much of a story. Traditionally, the court cards are pictured as kings and queens sitting on thrones, knights on horseback, and pages standing alone. Even more modern, non-traditional decks can feel sparse in what the court cards offer.
Court Cards don’t always show much action, which is why they can be tough to connect with. Are they people? Energies? Aspects of yourself? Events? Like any other tarot card, the courts can be all of those things and then some.
Once you start to really click with the courts, I promise you’ll find their stories and messages to be layered, complex, and highly insightful.
When I was first learning tarot, one thing I found helpful was to write out my own impressions of the cards.
Below are 16 journal prompts to help you get to know the court cards.
And…if you want to take your understanding of the court cards to the next level, you should register for my upcoming webinar on Tuesday, April 18. It’s an in-depth, online workshop where I will be giving a thorough lesson on working with the courts.
Bonus: It’s only $35, a special sale price for my birthday month. Register here: lizworth.com/court-cards
Pentacles: Element – Earth
The suit of Pentacles connect to the material world and our physical selves. They can represent themes of stability, practicality, work, money, home, and the body, to name some examples. This is a practical, grounded element.
Page of Pentacles: This card is about new beginnings, particularly when it comes to creating new stability or investing in yourself in some way. What do you want to be in a year from now? What small step can you take now to get closer to that goal?
Knight of Pentacles: This card has a strong work ethic, though it can also stress the need for patience and persistence. Review your routine and the rules you’ve created for yourself. Are you steadily progressing, putting off the important stuff, or moving a little too slow?
Queen of Pentacles: This card can remind us that success can come in many forms, and self-care is an important part of any path. Define your version of success. How do you want to feel everyday? How do you want to care for yourself? What would you like to accomplish?
King of Pentacles: This card is accomplished and ambitious, though it reminds us that growth and success rarely happen overnight. We must cultivate our strengths over time. What are some of the things you have done to create stability and growth over the years? Where is there still work to be done?
Swords: Element – Air
The suit of Swords connects to the mind: Our thoughts, ideas, and intellect. This is a very cerebral, communicative suit.
Page of Swords: This card connects to new ideas, new directions, and new decisions. It’s like opening a window for your mind to help clear your perspective. What is driving your curiosity right now? What books do you want to read this year, what would you like to learn, and what kind of statement do you want to make?
Knight of Swords: This card is very decisive and confident in what it knows – for better for worse. When have you hesitated to speak your mind and your silence backfired? When have you rushed into a decision that you later regretted?
Queen of Swords: This card reminds you to stand in your truth. Where are you questioning your power? Was there a time you let yourself be undermined?
King of Swords: This card reminds you that you have control over what you want and where you are going. What feels confusing right now? Write down your truths as you know them. Allow yourself to look at the facts of what you’re facing.
Wands: Element – Fire
The suit of Wands connects to creativity, willpower, ambition, inspiration, and individuality. This is a passionate, action-oriented suit.
Page of Wands: This card is about connecting to your inner fire. What inspires you? What are you ready to invite into your life at this time? Start to think about creating a new reality.
Knight of Wands: This card is about impulsive, optimistic energy – which can be thrilling, as long as it doesn’t get you into trouble. Was there ever a time when you were so impatient for something that you rushed into it blindly? If you knew there were no consequences to your actions, what risk would you take this year?
Queen of Wands: This card is bold and expressive. It is powerful and not afraid to be seen or heard. What do you want to be remembered for? What makes you feel powerful?
King of Wands: This card is daring and fearless, and favours strength and courage. What is driving you right now – what is your mission? What is your definition of courage?
Cups: Element – Water
The suit of Cups connects to the emotional world, including love, loss, and emotional fulfillment. This suit is sensitive heart-centric.
Page of Cups: This card connects to renewal and fresh hope. It can feel like a new chapter is beginning. How would you like to feel differently this year? What is one experience that you think helped you to understand yourself better?
Knight of Cups: This card is dreamy, romantic, and idealistic. It’s in love with love and reminds you to follow your heart. When was the last time you allowed your heart to lead the way? Who or what taught you about love?
Queen of Cups: This card is intense and intuitive. How well do you listen to yourself? Has there ever been a time when you had to trust your intuition and it turned out to be correct?
King of Cups: This card is receptive, sensitive, and emotionally available. When have you had to really be there for someone? Which emotions do you feel most connected to within yourself?
And remember: My court cards class happens live online on Tuesday, April 18 at 7pm EST. Can’t make that date? You can still take part. I’ll be recording everything, and all registrants will receive the recorded class once we wrap up. Sign up here: lizworth.com/court-cards
Until next time,
I started working with tarot in 2008, eventually becoming a professional tarot reader and instructor. I’ve also written a book about tarot called Going Beyond the Little White Book: A Contemporary Guide to Tarot.
I take a very intuitive approach to tarot, and that’s what I teach to my students. I believe that every tarot deck has its own consciousness, and when you make a commitment to work with the cards, you open up a whole new world of wisdom.
Tarot really is for everyone. Transformations begin once you start working with it.