Cartomancy – Court Cards as People

When divining the card meanings in a spread, the court cards stand out as unique. Court cards often symbolize people in the reader’s life. It can be very difficult trying to figure out who specifically the card represents. So, rather than try to instantly identify who in my life the card might represent, I look for what traits the card is actually conveying.

Let’s look at the suits. Each suit represents different personality traits:

  • Spades: The spades are powerful. Their association with Fire gives them an intense outlook on life. Spades value power and control. They can be charming and ambitious, but they can also be demanding and possessive. In extremes, their tendencies toward introversion and self-containment can make them ruthless and emotionally-detached.
  • Hearts: The hearts are emotional. Their association with Water gives them a passionate outlook on life. Hearts value affection and creativity. They can be sympathetic and generous, but they can also be moody and overly sensitive. In extremes, their tendencies toward extroversion and emotional fulfillment can make them irrational and histrionic.
  • Clubs: The clubs are idealistic. Their association with Air gives them an optimistic outlook on life. Clubs value individualism and independence. They can be inspiring and free-spirited, but they can also be high-strung and easily distracted. In extremes, their tendencies toward extravagance and impulsiveness can make them inconsistent and unreliable.
  • Diamonds: The diamonds are pragmatic. Their association with Earth gives them grounded outlook on life. Clubs value sensibility and constancy. They can be helpful and trustworthy, but they can also be stubborn and bull-headed.  In extremes, their tendencies toward realism and complacency can make them cynical and stagnant.

Each court card corresponds to a particular age group, and can even apply certain physical characteristics. Here’s a table of traditional attributes. This chart can also help when choosing a significator card for the querent. Note that Jacks can represent either gender.

Age Range Fair hair (blond, red). Light green or light blue eyes. Sandy Hair (blondish-brown, copper). Hazel, blue or green eyes. Medium Hair (brown, auburn). Brown eyes Dark hair (dark brown, black, burgundy) hair. Dark brown eyes
Adolescent-Young Adult Male/Female Jack of Diamonds Jack of Hearts Jack of Clubs Jack of Spades
Adult Male King of Diamonds King of Hearts King of Clubs King of Spades
Adult Female Queen of Diamonds Queen of Hearts Queen of Clubs Queen of Spades

A note about Significator Cards: Significator Cards are used to represent the querent in a reading. Some readers use them, others do not. Often I will use a significator in a Fate Cross spread. Rules change a little bit when selecting a significator card.

  • Adult male querents (and females who identify primarliy as males) are always Kings
  • Adult female querents (and males who identify primarily as females) are always Queens
  • Adolescents, young adults under 21, and transgendered querents are always Jacks. (Note: this is not to equate transgendered persons as “young and immature”, it is simply because the energies of the Jacks transcend gender restrictions).

When dealing with couples, the respective King/Queen of that suit represents the querent’s significant other. For example, if I choose the Queen of Diamonds to signify the querent, then the King of Diamonds will automatically represent her partner… regardless of gender or personality traits. Should any of the other 3 Kings show up in that reading, I know instantly that they do NOT represent her spouse. It does not necessarily mean that the other kings represent romantic connections, either… simply another male in the person’s life (a family member, a business associate, a friend, etc.).

Pairs and Groups of Court Cards

When more than one court card shows up, take note of the positions. They indicate a social grouping of some sort. Look to the suit of the last court card to determine the general nature of the grouping:

  • Hearts – emotional, a party with friends or family
  • Clubs – purposeful, a practical meeting or work engagement
  • Diamonds – intellectual, a study group or reward celebrations
  • Spades – necessity, a negative but required or obligatory gathering

When dealing with a group of court cards, the querent’s position is traditionally held to the left of a row of cards. If a Court Card faces left, that card is showing interest in the querent. If it faces to the right, that card does not show interest. Some other suggestions include:

  • Court Cards of the same gender
    • Facing: friendship or agreement
    • One Facing, One Not: broken friendship, betrayal
    • Not Facing: disagreement, estrangement, enemies
  • Court Cards of opposite gender
    • Facing: marriage, strong relationship
    • One Facing, One Not: one-sided, unrequited love
    • Not Facing: divorce, break-up, parting of ways

If one or both face away from each other, note the pip which the face is looking toward. It can give you and indication as to what this person is focused on, or what is influencing their life at that time.

For this example, let’s look a row of 3 cards. From L to R, we have the QD, the QS, and the 10 of Hearts.

  • There are multiple face cards, so we look to the Pip of the last face card in the series, the Queen of Spades. This indicates a social interaction. The spades suit indicates that this interaction was a required or obligatory meeting, or had a negative mood.
  • The Queen of Diamonds faces left, turning her eyes toward her own Diamond pip. This could indicate her focus on practical or business matters.
  • The Queen of Spades, on the other hand, turns her eyes toward the 10 of Hearts. This could indicate her focus or (or desire for) matters of love and the home.
  • Overall, this series indicates a disagreement or estrangement between two adult females, each focusing on different priorities. Use the nature of the question being asked to get a more detailed understanding.

Court Cards and Zodiac Signs

Each court card corresponds to a different zodiac signs. If you’re interested, you can read more about court cards and the zodiac.

2 Responses to “Cartomancy – Court Cards as People”

  1. Nancy says:

    Do you know where I can find any sort of history on Where, When and Why the suits (heart,club, diamond, spade) were selected as the new representatives?

    ~ Nancy

  2. Chris says:

    I don’t know. A few hundred years at least I’ve heard

    C. -jack of clubs


  1. Cartomancy - Card Meanings - The Guarded Path - […] For further reading on Court Cards, check out my new posts: Court Cards as People and Court Cards and …

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>