Interpreting the Pages in a Tarot Reading

Tarot cards and, more recently, oracle cards are outstanding tools for psychological and spiritual work.  Each year they become more and more a part of the common vernacular and readily available in mass-market venues, especially the online retailer, Amazon. The number of decks available in and out of print is mind-boggling, easily in the thousands, especially if you go do a search for decks on eBay. 

Once shrouded in mystery and a “tool of people with questionable character, dark intentions, or acolytes of heathen beliefs”, tarot and oracle cards are enjoying widespread acceptance.  This article will explore the Pages from the four suits of the Minor Arcana.

The Pages (Youth and Energy)

Believe it or not, the Pages can be some of the most challenging cards to interpret in a reading because their energy is purposefully scattered and unfocused.  They represent excitable, but dispersed energy, full of activity, but lacking in direction.  For this reason, the Pages are often represented as youths, especially boys.  But many more modern decks are now representing them as young girls.  You now have “squires” and “maidens”, sons and daughters, for the page cards.

Astrologically speaking, the Page of Cups and the Page of Pentacles/Coins should be female, since they represent water and earth respectively, and these energies are feminine in the Zodiac.  The Page of Swords and the Page of Wands should be young male figures because those are the masculine elements in the Zodiac.  The Knights, Queens, and Kings of the Minor Arcana represent the 12 signs of the Zodiac as follows:

  • Aries (Cardinal Fire Sign) – King of Wands
  • Taurus (Fixed Earth Sign) – Queen of Pentacles
  • Gemini (Mutable Air Sign) – Knight of Swords
  • Cancer (Cardinal Water Sign) – King of Cups
  • Leo (Fixed Fire Sign) – Queen of Wands
  • Virgo (Mutable Earth Sign) – Knight of Pentacles
  • Libra (Cardinal Air Sign) – King of Swords
  • Scorpio (Fixed Water Sign) – Queen of Cups
  • Sagittarius (Mutable Fire Sign) – Knight of Wands
  • Capricorn (Cardinal Earth Sign) – King of Pentacles
  • Aquarius (Fixed Air Sign) – Queen of Swords
  • Pisces (Mutable Water Sign) – Knight of Cups

The Pages each represent the potential to become one of the types (Knight, Queen, King) of their energy once they reach maturity and authenticity.

Page of Cups

Page of Cups tarot card

From the Mythic Tarot workbook: “The Page of Cups conveys the message that time and space must be provided for new feelings to grow and develop.  When the Page of Cups enters your life, you may be sure that a new phase is approaching in which your ‘feeling’ world must be developed and brought to maturation.  It may come through a new relationship with another, or it may be evoked by the birth of a child.” (58)

The Page of Cups represents strong but immature feelings.  Think about falling in love for the first time, when you were an adolescent.  It is not the same experience as falling in love as an adult, who has raised children, been through a divorce, and has a career. 

If you happen to draw this card and you are that adult, then you may want or need to reach back to that adolescent feeling to know if a new relationship is what you want because it evokes those feelings.  Conversely, the card may appear to let you know that your feelings about the person or matter still need to develop and you should be cautious about “throwing your heart” into the person or the situation.

The Page of Wands

Page of Wands tarot card

From the Mythic Tarot workbook: “The Page of Wands indicates the beginning of a new phase, in which your creative world must be developed and given a new lease on life.  The messenger may come in the form of an inspirational or artistic person entering your life, or perhaps an opportunity will arise for you to develop creative talents through your career or study.” (58)

You may notice the word “develop” in both descriptions from the workbook.  The Pages are in development or needing to develop.  Think about how you envision an experience before you actually have it, whether it is entering the next grade in school or starting a new job without any experience. 

If you happen to draw this card in a reading, think about what inspires you, whether the question is about a relationship or a situation.  You need to apply “youthful exuberance” to the situation or you need to “curb your enthusiasm”.  If the card is upright, “go for it!”.  If the card is reversed, “watch out!” … you are being reckless.

The Page of Swords

Page of Swords tarot card

From the Mythic Tarot workbook: “When the influence of the Page of Swords enters your life, you will know that a new phase is about to begin in which your rational mind must be developed.  This may come through an intellectual person, or it may unfold as a conscious desire to develop the abstract or conceptual side of your personality to a greater capacity.” (59)

The Page of Swords is opinion not thought.  It is both open-mindedness and incomplete understanding.  The two can work in a positive dialectic or negative close-mindedness.  I used to teach critical thinking classes at the university level to incoming students, who were often very full of strong opinions without much knowledge backing those opinions.  My job, with those students, was to get them from the Page of Swords to the Knight of Swords.

When this card appears in a reading, and is upright, there is a need to be open-minded and ready to learn.  If the card is reversed, you need to be made aware of blind-spots and prejudice in your thinking and opinions.  You need to become more informed.

The Page of Pentacles

Page of Pentacles tarot card

From the Mythic Tarot workbook: “When the influence of the Page of Pentacles shows up in your life, your material sense must be developed.  This may come through a practical earthy person who influences you, or it may come through your own need to develop such qualities within.” (59)

I grew up in what is best-described as middle-class America in the 1980s.  As long as I got good grades my parents provided me with a car, nothing special (it was not worth getting collision insurance, just liability), a roof over my head, plenty of food in the refrigerator, and a TV I could control in a “playroom” above the garage.  I got an allowance for chores which was poured into my comic book collection.  When I went off to college and ended up in an apartment, I had to do my own budget for the first time, and that was a shocking learning curve.

When the Page of Pentacles appears upright in a reading, it represents experimentation, trying something new with your money or learning a practical skill.  Take a gamble!  If the card is reversed, you may be facing a situation with “hidden costs” and you need to “look at the numbers” more carefully, lest you take a loss in some fiscal or material way.

Philip Young, PhD

I am a spiritual adviser located in Cary, North Carolina. I earned my PhD in English from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro in 1996 and had a career in academics until 2007, when I retired to become a stay-at-home father. In 2013 I “hung out my shingle” starting my business Black Unykorn Enterprises, LLC. I provide spiritual guidance using different tools: astrology, tarot/oracle cards, numerology, and past life regression (using muscle testing). With a home office, Zoom, WeChat, and WhatsApp, I work with local clients in person and distance clients from around the world. You can read about my practice and contact me through my website: https://www.blackunykorn.com.

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