Learn Tarot: Meet the Court Cards

Reading tarot court cards sounds like one of the scariest possible things that can happen in a reading, if you read what novice readers say.  Just a couple notches below drawing the Death card.

But the “people cards” are some of the most helpful and enlightening tarot cards in your deck.  They can show you:

  • gender or age
  • a person’s hierarchy in a situation
  • a person’s reaction to a situation
  • personal traits
  • new traits or directions a person may need to start taking

Gender & Age

The most general way tarot court cards come up is age.  Are your cards showing you a child or teenager?  Pages will likely be pulled.  Are you wondering about a manager at work?  A king or queen may show up.  This is where you can get really specific information!

In a reading about 2 young siblings, 2 pages were pulled.  The Page of Swords and the Page of Cups.  If you don’t know which is which, look at their appearance and the feelings you get from each.  Does one look more “innocent” or younger?  In this case, I correctly told the querent that the older sibling, a boy, seemed to be the brash one.  The younger female was more soft hearted.

These are the traits usually read from these pages.  But by paying attention to how each looked on the card, I could tell the gender and who was older.  The little guy with the sword stood out as taller and took on a very male appearance.  The images in your cards speak to you.  Even differently each time you pull the same card.

The few times a card’s gender did not match the querent is when I knew their gender already.  Tarot cards tend not to be repetitive in the information they give you.  All these had the added benefit of showing us more about the person.

In one case, a man I read for came up as the Queen of Wands- very capable at his engineering design work but in talks with others about new employment.

So as the Queen, he had lots of great experience and success in his field.  But he appealed to his social skills doing interviews.  He wasn’t the novice page  or the business owner King.

The Queen of Wands in my Russian deck actually showed his design field- the Queen has a needlework picture in front of her.

Hierarchy & Status

You can look at a person’s status within a situation using court cards.  Irrelevant to age or gender, these can show:

  • their relationship to others around them
  • their place or responsibilities

A part-time employee could be the Page of Coins.  A self-employed creative entrepreneur, the Queen of Cups.  A truck driver, the Knight of Wands.  A young man acting as provider for his family, the King of Coins.  A middle-aged retired woman starting an office job?  Page of Swords.

Personal Traits

Does the card feel like it talks about how the person is behaving?  Tarot court cards can examine personal traits as well as how they respond to events around them.

A young man came up in a woman’s reading as the Knight of Swords.  She asked about travel.  I took this as her travel companion.  Turned out, yes, he was a young man with a “Go, go, go” attitude.  His urging was a good thing.  But it was also a reminder to relax.

You can use the card’s suit to help you:


can be logical, swift to decisions and unswayed by others, relies on facts and experience


good at starting things or getting momentum going, all about excitement, may have trouble completing plans


can put others’ needs first, kind hearted, share kind words


practical minded, may be a business owner or involved in financial pursuits


A cool little trick using court cards is to look for those with matching suits.  Many times they have told me I was reading about querent’s family members.

Queen and King of Cups?  A married couple.

Queen and Page of Swords?  A mother and son, very pragmatic.  The son learned from his mother.

A King and Knight of Pentacles could be a father/son company.

Thanks for reading!  I hope you now have a better view of all the ways you can read a court card.  Below is a little cheat sheet on each area covered for each court:


children/siblings, teens, young adults (especially those not yet out on their own in the world)

can be of either gender

students, those not established yet in a career or workplace

tend to be more earnest, may act out of naivete


older teens, young adults into 20s-early 30s

can be of either gender, but mostly male

can show lots of movement, either for work or home matters

shows those gaining experience by being out in the world, the journeyman



either gender but mostly female

more established in the family/home, general career or workplace

can be more concerned with social welfare and emotions of others


adult, middle aged

can be either gender, but most often men

established, in places of authority or management



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