With all the buzz over the new prince in Great Britain's royal family, it seemed like a good time to introduce the Tarot Royal Family. There are many people depicted in the Tarot; the Major Arcana is populated with archetypes of humanity, the Minor Arcana shows us facets of everyday life for average people and then we have the Court cards, which are the royal families of the Tarot.
Like most modern families, everyone has their role in the family dynamic. Each suite has a King, Queen, Page and Knight. Some tarot cards will rename the personalities and you'll frequently see the Page as a Princess and the Knight as a Price. For advanced tarot students, there are subtle differences between Pages and Princesses and Knights and Princes, but that's a discussion for another day.
One role the Court cards play is to represent a living person in a tarot reading. The person asking for the reading is called the questioner or the Querant. Often the tarot reader will pull the Court cards from the deck before shuffling, selecting one royal personage to represent the Querant. This card then becomes the Significator and the remaining cards are shuffled back into the deck.
The simplest way to choose a Significator is to look first at age. A mature man is a king. A mature woman is the queen, a female child or teen is a page and a male child or teen is a knight. If you look at each of the Court cards, you'll notice that some are light haired, some dark etc. Some readers use those cues to help them select the right card. Next, look at each of the four possibilities and narrow your selection by astrological sign of the Querant. Astrologically, Wands relate to the fire signs of Aries, Leo and Sagittarius. Cups are associated with the water signs; Cancer, Scorpio and Pisces. Coins are connected to earth signs of Taurus, Virgo and Capricorn. Swords are governed by the air signs of Gemini, Leo and Libra.
Using this basic method, there are many other elements that could be considered in making your selection and as your basic tarot knowledge grows, no doubt, you'll refine your selection process.
It's helpful if you really get to know your Court cards. Court cards represent important people in a tarot reading. They can be interpreted literally as people one knows or is asking about or they might represent the influences from outside people, or aspects of the questioner's personality. Think of them as your distant relatives, each with their own personality and individual quirks. Spend some time getting to know them by taking all of the Court cards out of the deck. Arrange them in rows by Houses and study the differences and similarities. Notice the surroundings, the clothing and expressions on the faces.
Imagine what they might say to each other, King to King or perhaps Queen of Wands to the Knight of Cups. This is one time when eavesdropping is ok! It can be fun to shuffle just the Court cards and randomly draw two. Think of what they might say to each other. Are they friends or enemies? If you met them on the street what would your interaction be? Do they instantly remind you of someone in your life? Listen with your inner ear and you may be very surprised at what you learn.