In the tarot deck, there are the 22 main cards known as the major arcana and then there is the minor arcana comprising 56 cards, but is split up into 4 separate suits. These suites are the wands, pentacles, cups, and swords.
Within each tarot suite, there contains four court cards: the page, the knight, the queen, and the king–similar to normal playing cards. Sometimes, however, the page will be called the princess, while the knight may be referred to as the prince, but this is much less common.
To sum this up, there is a page for each suite, a knight for each suite, a queen for each suite, and a king for each suite. This results in a total of four pages, four knights, four queens, and four kings. To get a better understanding, the court cards are listed below.
|Page of Cups, Knight of Cups, Queen of Cups, and King of Cups|
|Page of Pentacles, Knight of Pentacles, Queen of Pentacles, and King of Pentacles|
|Page of Wands, Knight of Wands, Queen of Wands, and King of Wands|
|Page of Swords, Knight of Swords, Queen of Swords, and King of Swords|
There are a total of 16 court cards in all.
Although there are four court cards in each suite, each one has it’s own individual meaning; while each suite has it’s own specific quality. The pages, knights, queens, and kings have their own similar qualities as well.
By combining the basic understanding of the suite and the basic understanding of the court cards, you get a more specific understanding of the individual card.
For example: All of the cards in the suite of cups are generally based on emotions, intuition, feelings, sensitivity, fear, dreams, love, etc. All of the kings have become masters at something or are generally dominating, authoritative, or leading in a certain area.
If we combine cup’s emotions and king’s mastery, we get someone who is emotionally intelligent, emotionally mature, emotionally balanced, or has a great understanding of their own emotions and possibly others feelings as well. This could be a sensitive man, a woman who is not overly-emotional, or a person who is not ruled by their emotions, but also isn’t fearful of their emotions either.
Oftentimes, court cards represent people in our lives, but this doesn’t always have to be the case. If there are many court cards in a reading, this could mean that the person has too many voices or influences interfering in their current life and overwhelming them.
Depending on the card’s position, it could represent an action or event that will require the characteristics of the court card to overcome it or to succeed over it.
Court Card Qualities:
Pages are usually indicative of someone who is quite young in actual age, may have a feminine personality, is immature in a specific area, is learning something new, childishness, recklessness, innocence, or being optimistic.
Pages are also notorious for being known as the messenger cards.
- Page of Pentacles: To prosper, trust, or influence by ways of practicality
- Page of Cups: To be more aware of emotional or intuitive self
- Page of Wands: To open up to one’s creativity with enthusiasm and confidence
- Page of Swords: Should be just and truthful in action and pay more attention to what’s happening around you
Knights generally point to someone charming, spontaneous, brave, rebellious, idealistic, youthful, or has a masculine energy. Knights can be athletic in nature and sometimes show travel, movement, and adventures possibly occurring.
- Knight of Pentacles: To work thorough and hard; cautious, but also courageous and confident in action for end result; realistic, but fresh approach.
- Knight of Cups: Romantic, sensitive, imaginative, and introspective approach to emotions, love, and intimacy; someone who is a dreamer.
- Knight of Wands: Restless and daring nature; fiery, flirty, passionate, charming, confident, and active dreamer who is also a doer.
- Knight of Swords: Well-rounded in knowledge and education; proud, direct, and precise manners; highly logical and skilled attitude toward life.
Queens represent a more maternal or mature person. This may be someone who is nurturing, possessive, wise, supportive, loving, caring, warm, or literally someone’s mother or motherhood. Sometimes, queens can represent our security, safety, or comfort.
- Queen of Pentacles: Trustworthy, reserved, and easy-going, laid-back energy; liked and respected with many offers in resources; grounding, warm energy with much to share.
- Queen of Cups: Intuitive, psychic, spiritual, and deep understanding of things hidden within other’s unconsciousness; divinely connected to the dream world.
- Queen of Wands: Energetic, confident, optimistic, and passionate levels of maturity; naturally expresses sex-appeal through creativity; wise, strong, and big-hearted lioness.
- Queen of Swords: Easily penetrates through lies and deceit; clever, honest, and self-assured; has gained much information through loads of life experience.
Kings, as mentioned earlier, are oftentimes masters of something. A king rules over whatever his suite is. He has fully understood his craft and completely owns it, but could also potentially be overly-dominating or authoritative in some cases.
- King of Pentacles: Reliable, supportive, and grounded maturity; steady and assuring energy and influence one may turn to for guidance or to bring structure and order to one’s life.
- King of Cups: Wise, even-tempered, understanding, compassionate mature adult; soothing and non-judgemental diplomat; can make others understand their own reactions.
- King of Wands: Inspirational, bold, and charismatic influence and force upon anyone who creative expression or words can touch;
- King of Swords: Highly informed, well-spoken, and self-assured; governs over knowledge and intellectual certainty; ethical, analytical, extremely perceptive of environment and details.