The Court Cards and Astrology in the Tarot

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, if still hesitant acceptance.  In this article, I will write about one-way tarot and astrology connect, through the court cards.

The Court Cards

The four suits of the tarot Minor Arcana contain 14 cards.  The first 10 cards are numbered 1 to 10; the remaining 4 cards do not have numbers.  They are the court cards.  Traditionally, the “court” contains the Page, the Knight, the Queen, and the King.  Many modern decks modify this group to include variations like Princess, Prince, Queen, and King or Maiden, Knight, Queen, and King.  Some decks go further and drop the “court” designations altogether.

Regardless, the total number of court cards is 16, which makes a direct match to astrology difficult, since there are only 12 signs, which is why the traditional court designations actually work best when trying to match astrology with tarot.  The Page is an archetype for raw energy and potential.  The Knight represents dynamic energy that adapts to a “quest”.  The Queen is fixed energy, managing the element she rules.  And the King initiates and drives the energy of an element.

In astrology, the four elements have triplicities, three variations of the element.  The air triplicity is Libra, Aquarius, and Gemini. Earth is Capricorn, Taurus, and VirgoFire is Aries, Leo, and Sagittarius. And Water is Cancer, Scorpio, and Pisces.  These triplicities have “behavior” designations: cardinal, fixed, and mutable.  The cardinal signs lead Aries, Cancer, Libra, and Capricorn.  The fixed signs conserve and control Taurus, Leo, Scorpio, and Aquarius.  And the mutable signs adapt Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius, and Pisces.  

The Air (Swords) Triplicity in the Court Cards

If you happen to have Gemini Sun sign, then your court card is the Knight of Swords, represented here by the twin warriors Castor and Pollux.  The Knight of Swords and the sign Gemini quest for knowledge and understanding.  They see all the possibilities and take action and make decisions after sifting through as much information as possible.

If you happen to have an Aquarius Sun sign, then your court card is the Queen of Swords, represented here by Atlanta, who constantly outsmarted her suitors until she met the one that was as clever as her.  The Queen of Swords and the sign Aquarius envision possibilities and then apply strategy to achieve them. They are like chess players planning many moves in advance of the desired outcome.

If you happen to have a Libra Sun sign, then your court card is the King of Swords, represented by Odysseus, the smartest Greek leader and master strategist for the Greek army during the Trojan War.  The King of Swords and the sign Libra decide.  They take the information gathered by the Knight and the wise logic of the Queen and make a judgment.

The Earth (Pentacles) Triplicity in the Court Cards

If you happen to have a Virgo Sun sign, then your court card is the Knight of Pentacles, represented by Aristaeus, who discovered beekeeping.  The Knight of Pentacles and the sign Virgo experiment, problem-solve, and invent.  This Knight quests to get things done and take care of practical matters.

If you happen to have a Taurus Sun sign, then your court card is the Queen of Pentacles, represented by Omphale, who received Heracles as a servent, then freed him, and later married him. The Queen of Pentacles and the sign Taurus establish and sustain.  This Queen manages the finances and makes sure the home, community, and society are “in order”.  She knows where every penny has been spent and saved.

If you happen to have a Capricorn Sun sign, then your court card is the King of Pentacles, represented by Midas, the king with the golden touch. This King directs the projects that provide for the home, community, and society.  He is the “captain of industry” who decides where resources gathered by the Knight and managed by the Queen will be put to use.

The Fire (Wands) Triplicity in the Court Cards

If you happen to have a Sagittarius Sun sign, then your court card is the Knight of Wands, represented by the adventuring hero Bellerophontes, who rides Pegasus and slew the Chimera.  This Knight and Sun sign quest for excitement and inspiration.  They learn about the world through exploration and experience, traveling far and wide to gather wisdom.

If you happen to have a Leo Sun sign, then your court card is the Queen of Wands, represented by Penelope, Odysseus’ wife, and the de facto ruler of Ithaca in his 10-year absence.  This Queen and Sun sign manage creativity and represent self-confidence.  They provide inspiring leadership and help the home, community, and society enjoy responsibility (rather than avoid it).

If you happen to have an Aries Sun sign, then your court card is the King of Wands, represented by Theseus, the King of Athens and demi-god who defeated the Minotaur.  This King and Sun sign inspire and lead by example; they go first and show others how things get done.  They lead the call to action so others can respond.

The Water (Cups) Triplicity in the Court Cards

If you happen to have a Pisces Sun sign, then your court card is the Knight of Cups, represented by Perseus, who has a great love story with Andromeda.  This Knight and Sun sign quest for emotional connection in all its many facets and forms.  They learn about the world through relationships, both healthy and unhealthy.

If you happen to have a Scorpio Sun sign, then your court card is the Queen of Cups, represented by Helen of Troy, the face that “launched a thousand ships”.  This Queen and Sun sign transform others and the world around them through their emotional power and conviction.  They manage home, community, and society through emotional power.

If you happen to have a Cancer Sun sign, then your court card is the King of Cups, represented by Orpheus, the master bard, whose skill to move the emotions of others was so great that he could enter the underworld in an attempt to bring his wife Eurydice back to life.  This King and Sun sign leads with an intense sense of emotional responsibility for others.

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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