To all my lovely subscribers and followers, most of whom are women, identify as women or are men with strong Anima relationships, I send you love & dedicate this post to you!
After we dabbled in the deeper meanings of the Major Arcana, I would like us to focus now on the tarot’s court members, those royal characters that round up the suits of the Minor Arcana. They are infamously difficult to interpret, especially if you are a novice at reading tarot. Also, these characters are part of the Minor Arcana, because this Arcana deals with mundane and everyday aspects of our lives and their energies (while the Major Arcana deals with fated, predestined and deux-ex-machina kind of events in life).
After some time spent on feeling through their energies, I find that the court cards are also the most fun apparitions in a spread, especially in love readings. Tradition has it that they represent real people that might appear in your life, but they could also speak of traits that are energetically looming around you and you just need some tarot awareness to reach out and grab those traits and integrate them into your full, loving and wholesome Self.
Overall, these cards show action, or the potential for action that appears in your life, and they mark events and the human energies that infiltrate such events.
In casual interpretations, the Queen of Swords cuts people off really easily with the power and her intellect and sharp tongue, the Queen of Wands is fun and sexy and full of confidence, the Queen of Cups is moody and intuitive but also very kind, while the Queen of Coins has every material resource imaginable and tends to keep things this way through her patience and common sense. But there is more to these ladies than meets the eye. They speak about an intuitive and inward energy, the energy of holding space and grounding things in order to help them grow and materialise. Just as they are aptly described in the Mary-El tarot, Queen Cards talk about an environment, where potential action can take place; they do not necessarily describe the action itself but the circumstances.
It’s mostly women who dabble in magic, witchcraft and tarot, or men with an acknowledged Anima, so when Queen cards appear in your spread if you are a woman, this is an indication of your current energy – you might have created an energetic space around you where intellect and communication (Swords), creativity and self-expression (Wands), emotion and memory (Cups), or material goods and sound reason (Coins), can thrive now. If these cards appear in combination with the other court cards, they might show what type of actions (The Pages, The Knights and the Kings) you need to take to change or balance out your circumstances/environment (the Queens).
Let’s take each Queen one by one and see more deeply what these goddesses are all about. Below is a summary I created from the booklets of my tarot deck collection, to which I added my personal twist:
The Queen of Swords
Meaning & Interpretations:
- This Queen represents Gemini/Libra/Aquarius energy in full bloom (usually the middle of a person’s life, the 50s & approaching the second Saturn return)
- This regal presence speaks of wit, intelligence, good advice and strategic thinking and communication. She is a shaman of the mind, she protects and nurtures her throughts so that negativity and other people’s vile intentions stay away from her magnetic field. The Queen of Swords raises her weapon in a defense position, she is not chasing an argument, but she is appealing to the power of her intellect to protect her energy and that of those around her.
- This Queen is eminently intelligent and I really dislike the bad rap she sometimes gets, when she is interpreted as a cut-throat influence. She can be direct but never impolite or confrontational. With Air energy she is too intelligent for pettyness and too elegant for bad-mouthing. Instead she appeals to her rhethoric and impecablle grammar or syntax skills to help us understand a situation or a relationship from a completly new light.
- She helps us attain a higher state of consciosness, when she appears in a spread she is a sign that your dark night of the Soul has ended (especially if she stands close to the Hermit or the Hanged Man). This is a self-actualized, deeply aware woman who has been through a lot in her life and is capable of picking up a lot of informational clues. She reads people like none other and she cautious to a fault. In the traditional meanings of tarot, she would stand for the figure of a widow.
- This is the most open minded Queen. She isn’t blunt but fair, she might be too much in favour of justice rather than kindness but that does not mean she is cruel (maybe if the Devil is sitting by her side in a spread, but even then I would see her as the limit of toxicity). She reminds me of Gandalf from Lord of the Rings, wise, funny and so powerful in his speech that he can block out the force of pure evil with his spoken command and clear intention. When you see this Queen, trust in the logic of your intuition and set healthy boundaries to achieve success.
- Our Queen is using her mind to direct nervous human energy towards positive outcomes, reconciliations, equality and succesful negotiations. I see her as the quintessential image of the judge. She attracts information whether overt or covert like a magnet, and she uses this information to manipulate outcomes; she also multitasks to fullfil two or three goals at the same time in her efforts to maintain balance and peace at all costs: where there is too much, she cuts back, where there is too little she trains and educate to multiply. This Queen loves honesty and wit, and she admires those who speak the truth with compassion and honesty.
- The Good Tarot offers the following affirmation to pair with the Queen of Swords: Can I let go of false truths and be rigorously honest with myself and others?
The Queen of Cups
Meaning & Interpretations:
- This Queen represents the Cancer/Scorpio/Pisces energy in full bloom (usually the middle of a person’s life, the 50s & approaching the second Saturn return)
- This is our most sensitive Queen, compassionate and loving, she is the Queen of the inner santuary, the type of person who requires a couple of hours of solitude each day to be still and peaceful in order to hear the voice of her intuition and to connect with Spirit. This Queen is so in tune with the rhythms and fluctuations around her that she might suffer from SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder), or she could have odd and unique illnesses that mostly have to do with her empathy not fitting the rough conditions of the material world. And so she lives secluded, in a protective, ‘womb-like’ environment most of the time (could work from home, retreat in an old library, antiquarian or museum, or could be a stay-at-home mom devoted to caring for others).
- This Queen is a nostalgic sweetheart. She is emotionally strong, precisely because she can be so vulnerable and perceptive. She feels people’s intentions and their thoughts, she reads bodily messages like no one else and because her senses are so sharp she has the gift of premonition, pre-empting things before they happen. She is an extraordinary storyteller, whispering meaning into being, calm and soothing into the world, healing with her words where others have cut deep wounds within your self-worth.
- She governs over the exiled, excluded and downtrodden – this woman uses her material resources to heal others through her affection, her touch, her wise words of solace and the pleasure she is able to offer you. She is an excellent caretaker and listener because she feels what others need before they are able to ask for it. Her dreams are prophetic and rich and produce many deja vu’s in reality. She inspires others to be humble and considerate, and when she appears in a spread she is a sign of practicing more self-care and self-love. It can indicate the presence of a healer in your surroundings.
- The Queen of Cups is comfortable in her own body and encourages you to do the same, to not be shy about it; she governs over the menstrual cycle. She contains our anxieties and the wealth of our collective and ancestral wisdom. The body stores emotions and if you feel too heavy or uncomfortable in your own, then when you receive this card it is an indication that you need to release unprocessed feelings. So work at letting go the pain and emotional baggage through breath-work, then let the beauty of life fill your heart as you go with the flow.
- The Good Tarot offers the following affirmation to pair with the Queen of Cups: I am my best friend. My relationships with others reflect my security in knowing I am always worthy of love and respect.
The Queen of Coins/Pentacles
Meaning & Interpretations:
- This Queen represents Taurus/Virgo/Capricorn energy in full bloom (usually the middle of a person’s life, the 50s & approaching the second Saturn return)
- The Queen of affluence, charity and the careful management of resources. An expert on physical health, a loyal, fertile and prosperous woman with a consistent family. A dignified presence, a noble soul. When she appears in a spread, this card also signifies community support.
- A regal woman who is extremely patient, watching her efforts grow to full fruition, in time. Generous and abundant, a giver, a resource of wealth. The keeper of tradition, preserving the body through proper nutrition, maintaining the social fabric of home and family life.
- She is an ambitious woman who loves to perfect herself and her environment, wanting to always improve and go higher. This Queen is however hiding a fear of being poor and making mistakes, but she carefully crafts a strong public image that hides these insecurities.
- Our Queen could also worry too much about risks, but in order to keep prospering she is aware that calculated risks are necessary for material and financial growth. She plans and plots to get the desired outcomes, but also works hard to sustain her wealth.
- To me, this Queen is like a baby Empress card; it’s sometimes hard to distinguish them, especially since both this Queen and the Empress represent Venusian signs, and more precisely Taurus energy. As always, follow your intuition when reading tarot.
- This Queen’s lower vibration is stubbornes, inertia and greedy stagnation, but her higher vibration is a magnet for wealth because she understands the moral principles of equitable exchange: to receive, you first must give and viceversa.
- The Good Tarot offers the following affirmation to pair with the Queen of Coins/Pentacles: I use all my resources wisely, whether they are finances, opportunities, or people willing to help me and my endeavours.
The Queen of Wands
Meaning & Interpretations:
- This Queen represents Sagittarius/Leo/Aries energy in full bloom (usually the middle of a person’s life, the 50s & approaching the second Saturn return)
- The woman of power and self-assurance, a person who teaches you self-knowledge, self-fulfillment and transformation. An excellent hostess, a sympathetic and understanding woman, the life of the party. A sincere, confident, assertive woman – she looks at things in life with a playful wonder and loves to laugh and have a good time. A woman who radiates a self-assured energy that radiates from her heart and thereby attracts everyone around her.
- Attracting others through beauty, physical fitness and charisma, but can be slightly arrogant and selfish as well. This Queen is to me, the ultimate of all Queens because she has a flair for the dramatic. She is the one who encourages the Knights to set off on new adventures and sends the Kings to war. Nonetheless she is a good artist, and can be an excellent dancer, singer, actress, opera singer, or manager.
- The Queen of Wands is similar to the Queen of Pentacles in her energy, just that she is slighlty more fun and passionate and less loyal and generous than the latter.
- This Queen uses her intuition to see through many masks, diguises and defenses, she offers her observations honestly, because of her razor-sharp perception. A shamaness, walking the Earth to revitalize, liberate, heal and energize.
- She is capable, energetic and optimistic, drawing upon her experience to bring self-assurance to any professional endeavours. She doesn’t like other people’s extra behaviours, cutting out any unecessary behaviours, especially those that eclipse her. She can represent obstinacy and envy when paired with more difficult tarot cards.
- The Good Tarot offers the following affirmation to pair with the Queen of Wands: How might I join in the dance of co-creation, letting Spirit flow through me and inspire me to express my passions?
Alternative Tarot Interpretations
In the Mystical Dream Tarot the Queens become Ladies, Guardians of different natural elements, both by supporting them and by feeding of their energies. The Lady of Swords ushers in a period of spiritual awakening, the Lady of Pentacles is approached for support during the fiercest of upheavals, the Lady of Cups fiercely protects those she loves even if she can become moody under the influence of the Moon, while the Lady of Wands brings the seeker to the plane of cosmic love.
In the Muse Tarot, the Queen of Emotions allows you to flow into portals of self-discovery, while the Queen of Voices teaches you to speak with clarity and profound insight. The Queen of Inspiration helps you move in the direction of desire and the Queen of Materials teaches you how to manifest prosperity and then maintain this abundance.
In the Mary-El Tarot, The Queen of Cups hides deep layers of feeling and emotion that resemble Tiamat, the primordial goddess of the sea, while the Queen of Coins stands for Hathor, the goddess of women, motherhood, childhood, joy and birth, then the Queen of Swords symbolizes Odin’s left and right eyes, Huginn and Muninn, and lastly the Queen of Wands is the archetypal Witch, Hecate the powerful shapeshifting goddess of the Hearth, clad in obsidian and nursing a jaguar to maturity.
If you’ve been reading this blog for a while or saw my Youtube readings, you might know how in love I am with the Mary-El tarot, and it was the original way in which the Queens were described in the booklet that sealed the deal for me – it was a perspective shift, when I switched from seeing these goddesses as women to understanding them as environments. In these environments free-speech, self-expression, material resources and emotions can grow and mature to their fullness.
These are just some of creative adaptations of the original Rider-Waite court cards, and I described them here with the intention to inspire you. I hope this post helped you see your own tarot practice in a new light. Keep in mind this is only my perspective which was acquired from studying the tarot since 2012, but feel free to share your opinions in the comments section below.
With universal love,
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