Monday, July 6, 2015

Basic Cartomancy Skills: The Court Cards As People

Part 3 – The Court Cards As People:

When Court Cards appear in a reading, they will most often represent actual people in the querent’s life.  When I first learned to read the cards, I had a terrible time trying to sort out “who was who” in my readings.  I found it helpful to familiarize myself with the personality attributes associated with the four suits, and then apply that information to the basic physical attributes for the specific Court Card.

Basic Physical Attributes:

Jack – Young person of either sex usually under 35 years old.  Can represent a child.  May also represent an older person who is immature, or just young at heart.

Queen – Traditionally a mature female, but the queen may represent a female of any age.

King – male, usually mature, or in a position of authority.  May also represent a younger man who is mature for his age, or is burdened by responsibilities.

Basic Personality Attributes Based on Suit Correspondences:

Hearts:  emotional, creative, romantic, compassionate, generous, sensitive, nurturing, dependable, protective, moody, lazy.

Clubs: practical, friendly, reliable, trustworthy, helpful,  ambitious, enthusiastic, sensible, stable, stubborn.

Diamonds: independent, extravagant, impulsive, impatient, optimistic, dynamic, restless, analytical, intelligent, high strung.

Spades: Powerful, intense, demanding, controlling, secretive, possessive, spiteful, charming, mysterious, calculating, detached.

Traditional  Attributes and Descriptions Associated with the Court Cards:

The following table lists the traditional physical attributes used for choosing a significator to represent the querent in certain layouts.  Alternatively, the significator may be based on the personality attributes listed above, or stereotypical correspondences outlined further below.

Blond or red hair & blue or green eyesSandy hair with brown, blue or green eyesBrown to dark brown hair, brown eyesDark brown to black hair, dark brown eyes
Male under 35 years oldJack of DiamondsJack of HeartsJack of ClubsJack of Spades
Male over 35 years oldKing of DiamondsKing of HeartsKing of ClubsKing of Spades
Female under 35 yrs oldQueen of DiamondsQueen of HeartsQueen of ClubsQueen of Spades
Female over 35 years oldQueen of DiamondsQueen of HeartsQueen of ClubsQueen of Spades
Female under 18 yrs oldJack of DiamondsJack of HeartsJack of ClubsJack of Spades

Basic Court Card Stereotypes:

I found it also helped me tremendously to think of the Court Cards as stereotypes, or cardboard cutouts.  It’s a natural psychological function to sort by archetype, and I found that when I described a Court Card as a stereotype, the querent had an easier time placing that person in their life.

Of course real people are shades and combinations of all of these and many other “types,” but if you focus on a predominate personality feature, it’s not too difficult to pick a card to represent any real person in your life.  When I was learning, I found excellent practice in assigning a playing card Court to each real person in my life.  Then when that card would come up in a reading, I would describe some of the major characteristics of the person I knew.  I was amazed at how often this description rang true for the querent.

Below I suggest two stereotypes for each Court Card.  Once you are familiar with the Suit meanings, you’ll think of many more on your own, and eventually you’ll flesh out the Court Cards into real people. This list is by no means exhaustive, but it should give you a starting point for developing your own associations for each Court Card.


Jack of Hearts The Dreamer:  He or she is also The Lover, and he can represent a loved one, or family member of the querent. He is sensitive and romantic, but can be moody or lazy.

Jack of Clubs ♣ - The Athlete: He or she is also The Trusted Friend, or helper, and can represent someone who admires the querent. He is helpful and sincere, but he can be stubborn.

Jack of Diamonds The Student: He or she is also The Letter carrier or The fashionista, and can represent someone who is related to the querent through marriage. He is intelligent and optimistic, but he can be restless and impatient.

Jack of Spades ♠ – The Charmer: He or she is also the The Soldier or the Spy, and may represent any young person in uniform. He is dynamic and perceptive, but he can be spiteful and controlling.


Queen of Hearts  - The Homemaker:  She is also The Nurturer, and may represent the wife, mother, or quality of “motherhood.”  She is sensuous and loving, but she can be self-indulgent.

Queen of Clubs ♣ – The Trusted  Friend:  She is also The Business Woman, and may represent a female work associate. She is logical and organized, but she can be headstrong.

Queen of Diamonds  The Socialite:  She may represent a woman with money, or who works in finance. In love triangles she may represent The Other Woman.  She may also represent a woman related to the querent through marriage. She is intelligent and independent, but she can be extravagant and highstrung.

Queen of Spades ♠ – The Widow:  She is also  The Divorcee, and although certainly not true today, prior to the 1950′s there was a social stigma attached to the divorcee who was not to be trusted.  This idea is reflected in the symbolism of the Q♠, and she may also represent a rival in business or love. She is decisive and fearless, but she can be secretive and controlling.


King of Hearts The Family Man: He is also The Protector, and may represent the querent’s husband or father or any  paternal influence. He is dependable and kind, but he can be temperamental and self-absorbed.

King of Clubs ♣ – The Advisor: He is also The Businessman, and may represent an executive, a business owner, or a work associate.  He is ambitious and practical, but he can be tenacious.

King of Diamonds The Entrepreneur:  He may have wealth, or work in finance. He is also The Magistrate, and may represent a politician or government official. He is intelligent and enthusiastic, but he can be aggressive or fussy.

King of Spades ♠ – The controller:  He is also The Man of Authority, and may represent the querent’s boss or landlord, or a policeman or military officer or judge.  He may also represent a divorced or widowed male in the querent’s life. He is charismatic and astute, but he can be jealous or possessive.

The Court Cards in Groups:

When the Court Cards fall in groups they will indicate the interactions between the people in the querent’s life.  A cluster of Court Cards may denote a social function.  The final Court Card in the series will generally indicate the mood of the get-together.
Hearts = partying, having a good time, or a family function.
Clubsa practical function such as a class, or a work engagement.Diamonds =intellectual pursuits, or earned or reward celebrations.Spades = a gathering out of obligation, or necessity.

In a cluster of Court Cards, the direction they face can reveal much about the dynamics of the group. The direction a Court Card faces will usually indicate where that person’s interest is focused.   Here are some additional suggestions for interpreting Court Cards based on their  direction :

  • Traditionally, the querent’s position is to the left of a row of cards.  Therefore a Court Card that faces left is generally showing interest in the querent, and a Court Card that faces right is generally not focused on the querent or his/her needs, and may indicate disinterest, disagreement or estrangement.
  • A Court Card facing toward another court indicates interest in that person. If the second Court is looking away, it can indicate a one-sided relationship, or unrequited love.
  • Court Cards of the same sex facing each other indicate agreement or  friendship.
  • Court Cards of the same sex facing each other with heart between them can indicate a same-sex relationship.
  • Court Cards of the opposite sex facing each other indicate marriage or a strong relationship.
  • Court Cards facing away from each other indicate a disagreement, argument, or estrangement.
  • The pip the Court Card looks to will reveal what is on the person’s mind, or may refer to  an event or circumstance  influencing this person directly.


  1. Hi there I was wondering if you had the meanings to each card?

  2. Hi, Yani... I am working on posting all of the card meanings here.

    Update: all of the meanings are now available in the main menu:

  3. Hi David,

    very useful post, thanks! One question please: i would like to know how to read this daily draw: JH-KC-5C.
    Could be that i am the KC and my daugher the JH even if they are from different suits? Or since usually the inquirent is on the left of the spread, i cannot be the KC in any case?
    Is it also possible that the JH is the thought of KC even if they are not from the same suits?
    Indeed the court cards are difficult to menaging sometime.

  4. Any of the possibilities you mention are feasible. Daily cards are very personal, and the message can be quite intuitive. The great thing about doing a daily draw is that the cards will often make the most sense in retrospect, and are therefore an excellent tool for learning how the cards speak to you personally. I pay attention to the suits in any card draw. I think the fact that the King is a club falling with the 5C may be significant. Meditate on it, and then see at the end of the day what the cards are trying to tell you.

  5. Thanks you David, very helpful as usual! Have a great day!

  6. These are the cards I drew. First: King of clubs, second Queen of clubs, third king of hearts and fourth 8 of clubs, can someone help me interprete this please?

  7. Would the joker represent the magician and the ace the priestess?

  8. I don't work with the Tarot, so I really have not thought about how the playing card symbolism would correspond with the tarot trumps. I did write an article once based on something I read in a book about the Ace of Diamonds corresponding with the Tarot magician, but that is the only solid reference I have come across.

  9. Well your posts are fascinating! Thanks for the response!

  10. Thanks so much for these informations
    I'm a 15 yrs playing cards reader