Time to meet your Royal Courts...
Let's make reading these folks as simple as we did the Pips. Here are some things that they have in common by court member:
Knights - symbolize action or forward motion. In the literal sense, they represent young males; in the figurative sense they are movement (easy to recognize as they are on horses) and their personality traits will, like the others, be related to their suits.
Queens - symbolize nurturing and union. In the literal sense, they represent older females; in the figurative sense they are connections to and nurturing of others and their personality traits will be related to their suits.
Kings - symbolize establishment and leadership. In the literal sense, they represent older males; in the figurative sense they are effective direction and authority and their personality traits will... you guessed it... be related to their suits!
And, just a quick refresher on the suits (though I KNOW you've got it down pat now):
- Imps/Wands - associated with fire, work/career or enterprise
- Ghosts / Cups - associate with water, emotions, intuition, love & relationships
- Bats / Swords - associated with air, intellect and conflict
- Pumpkins / Pentacles - associated with earth, physical resources & finances
Now, to read the court cards we are going to match the Court member with their suit and of course the story we see in the image. Let's meet the courts by Suit so that you can see just how wonderful they rule their own land.
Side Note: When doing your own readings you will get a sense of how the courts are to be read (literal, figurative, symbolic) by the questions you ask. If you ask a question about a person or ask who will influence the situation and a Court card comes up - look to the literal interpretation of the person and the character/personality. If you ask about a situation and a court card comes up - look for the symbolic interpretation (message, movement, relationship/union, establishment or leadership) and if you are asking for advice about your behavior look to the characteristics of the courts to reveal your answers. Sometimes the answer simply POPS out as you it is so clear, other times it takes a little bit to understand the voices, just as it does in real life relationships.
The Passionate, Enterprising Court of Imps
The Page of Imps - Who is this Rockstar? Does that wand not look like a microphone to you? It does to me. I wonder what he is going to sing to us. His audience of imp and kitty are eagerly awaiting his message!
Possible interpretations: about to receive an eagerly awaited message in regards to your career or creative projects, a young dynamic woman in your life, someone who is creative perhaps even flamboyant and can't wait to spread the news!
The Knight of Imps - it's everything he can do to rein in his horse, he is clearly ready to go somewhere but where is he going? Could it be to an art gallery opening? A new adventure? He appears perhaps a bit overeager to me.
Possible meanings: making active progress toward your goals, preparing to take action or clearing your intentions, a young rebellious, eager man, someone who is very competitive even perhaps a bit impetuous.
The Queen of Imps - she just exudes confidence to me, completely at ease, with a black kitty at her full command, now that is a feat in and of itself! Clearly she is very successful and poised.
Possible meanings: you are nurturing your passion or career nicely and it is progressing, to proceed confidence is required, an older woman who is attractive and confident as well as admired, someone who is quite successful.
The King of Imps - he is seated but to me he looks as if he is ready to stand up and join the party, cape thrown backhand ready to push off from his throne! The kitty and chameleon at his side are quite playful and the imp is enjoying the playful banter.
Possible meanings: completely established in your career, having command of the progress of your business, an authoritative, athletic older male, someone who is creative, successful, passionate and perhaps a bit of an adventurer or athlete, a successful entrepreneur.
The Sensitive & Caring Court of Ghosts
The Page of Ghosts - hey, he has a talking fish! Imaginary friend or is this his deep connection to his intuitive side? His mask is off so, he feels to me as if he's having a genuine conversation (remember the pages are messengers) and the ghost, kitty and moon are all quite interested in what is being said.
Possible interpretations: receiving news about love or an interpersonal relationship (I can't help but hear "a little birdy told me.. of course here it's a little fishy told me"), a young, sensitive female, someone who is imaginative, perhaps a bit of a dreamer, someone who wants to please others.
The Knight of Ghosts - well he actually looks a bit stiff to me or perhaps hesitant is a better word. He looks like he's about to cross the river to deliver a decree but is distracted by the ghost who wants to tell him something first. Is he having second thoughts about going through with this?
Possible meanings: pending action in a relationship, hesitant to make a connection, a young sensitive, caring man, someone who is very handsome, charming perhaps even romantic. This is such an engagement card to me.
The Queen of Ghosts - she is a mermaid! So otherworldly and having such a fascination with the ghost she is very intent with her focus on him.
Possible meanings: you are nurturing your intuition or interpersonal relationships, use your spiritual side or intuition to guide you, an older woman who is very nurturing and tender, someone who is honest, devoted, deeply compassionate and intuitive.
The King of Ghosts - he just looks like a professor of the arts, philosophy or theatre to me. Quite fanciful with his fish necklace, his pet cat peering over his shoulder and a clear command over that ghost! (he's got him by the tail)
Possible meanings: having command of interpersonal relationships, being in control of your emotions, a kind, loving, wise older male, someone who is a phenomenal communicator, very well liked.
The Intellectual & Assertive Court of Bats
The Page of Bats - look at me I can carry on two conversations at once while I'm walking on uneven terrain. I'm no fool though, I took off my googely glasses so that I won't miss a thing.
Possible interpretations: having an intellectual debate, receiving news about school or an intellectual project (scientific findings, a research report, your thesis etc.) a young, sharp even quick witted male, someone who is assertive, perhaps naively and boldly so as he does not yet have the experience to back it up, someone who is prepared to defend their position (this feels so Engineering student to me).
The Knight of Bats - is there any question that this is full speed ahead? I mean scorched earth moment. This is someone who is taking the hill and asking no questions. Ambition personified.
Possible meanings: full speed ahead, a young ambitious, assertive man, someone who is domineering, very competitive, not afraid of any conflict (may even enjoy it a bit) but also gallant. Though his horse is not white, this is the Knight in Shining Armour!
The Queen of Bats - she looks so stern and unapproachable, even the bat appears to hesitate and the kitty is peeking around the corner. However, it's clear that the moon really gets her. It could be that she's simply misunderstood (as many women who are highly intelligent, assertive and not afraid to speak their minds may be).
Possible meanings: you are nurturing your own ambitions, looking out for number one in interpersonal relationships, be more assertive with your communication, an older woman who is very astute, quite strong and assertive, someone who is straightforward, to the point, yet fair.
The King of Bats - Look at all of those bats! Like awards and accolades that he has achieved over the years. This is a decisive looking King.
Possible meanings: an expert in your field, having command over your skills or area of expertise, this could be a doctor, lawyer or the head of a research department, a world renown scientist, being in control of your thoughts, a decisive, stern, very powerful older male, someone who is a highly intellectual and dispassionate.
The Resourceful Court of Pumpkins
The Page of Pumpkins - talk about a purposeful gaze! She is focused on that pumpkin and sensibly dressed I'd say. Does that pumpkin have some secrets she's trying to extract about the financial world - I see a stack of books at her feet that imply she may be studying up on her favorite topic - wealth.
Possible interpretations: receiving a message about finances or real estate, studying for a real estate license or SEC exam, a young, easy going, practical female, someone who is educated, financially secure, unwavering in their focus on material wealth or worldly possessions.
The Knight of Pumpkins - Wow this Knight and horse are truly prepared to defend and protect their pumpkin! Does this horse not say "dare you to approach my hard earned wealth"!
Possible meanings: slow progress in your business or long-term investments, a young, industrious male, someone who is very stable, loyal, extremely rational and proceeds with planned purpose.
The Queen of Pumpkins - oh she is clearly an animal lover! Petting the kitty with an affectionate smile on her face, she even has a pet bunny. And with tarot everything can be symbolic so, I believe she's quite fertile in her investments and resources - a VERY successful and nurturing Queen.
Possible meanings: steady progress in your material wealth, nurturing animal lover, consider being more appreciative of nature and the resources provided by the earth, an older, quite charitable and affluent woman, someone who is very resourceful, prosperous and generous.
The King of Pumpkins - Oh now that is quite the castle on that hill and he has a very content look on his face as he commands the gargoyle under his foot. With the two skulls on either side of his throne I'd say he's been quite bullish with his financial empire!
Possible meanings: very established wealth or great command over your investments, a very savvy entrepreneur, who has that Midas touch, very subdued but charming and wealthy older male, someone who is very enterprising, stable, business minded.
Talk To The Royals...
Practical Application Moment - To better understand and get to know the Courts, try to assign the most similar Court member to someone whom you know in your life. Choose who best represents you and your character and then take the Court members you've assigned to others who are close to you and put them side by side - how do they interact?
Now ask yourself, if you were asking this Court member for advice about a particular area of your life... how would they suggest you proceed?
Have fun with this. It's a great way to get to know the Royalty of your deck and to better understand their voices. When they come up for you in readings along the way you'll feel as if you are having a conversation with someone you already know.
That's it for the courts! The last tarot tutorial will be our Major Arcana! The overarching themes and "big" secrets of the tarot. But not to worry, we will NOT over complicate these beauties. We're going to keep it simple and straightforward.
Until then, hope you have a royally good time with this.