The three-part finale to our favorite blog series. Continued from Six to Ten.
Dear Ms. Diamond. ♦️
You are cordially invited to attend Jack Spade’s garden party-
“Oh my, but it coincides with that other invitation from darling Jack Heart. Heart is such a splendid host, his redcurrant tart last year was just heavenly. Spade on the other hand, well he does arrange for an excellent death duel. Tell me love, really, how can one choose?”
Without further delay, let’s meet the Court Cards.
Previously on How to Read Cards. A dispelling of myths, the revelation of a secret recipe, an eye on the pips, plus dramatic configurations caused by the small but mighty Aces to Fives and their larger companions the Sixes to Ten. You would think that would be all of the pip cards done already. But, alas there’s more. A party one could say, and if there ever was one! All within your ‘ole trusty deck of cards.
Get your regular playing cards out again, go ahead and separate the courts, there should be twelve. Three darlings per suit, a Jack (or Knave or whatever that B stands for), the King and Queen. Immediately notice that in a standard deck of cards, these are the slightly more ‘illustrated’ ones and are simple renderings of: people.
And that’s all there is to it, in matters of divination, the court cards are people. Good evening and may the fall season bring bright pumpkin blessings to you, never mind the wait, enjoy the party!
Alright, if you insist, I’ll introduce you. Ms. Dawn Jackson in the Hedgewytch materials states: “Please note that a court card does not invariably represent a person.” Read on to find out when and why that is. Spoiler alert: Not to represent ‘aspects’ of the personality.
Now you’ve separated the cards, continue to arrange them like so:
You will observe now, with mighty precision, there are but four single men at this party. Let the games begin!
First impressions: Jacks, are uncoupled, young, and appear less serious than the powerful Kings and so more playful. The Queens are accompanied this evening by their Kings, coupled then, older and more serious. Our pair of Rulers are also distanced from their third wheel/offspring -oh I’ve got the better word scion– by age and rank. Note also that since the Js are attending sans plus ones, their gender is interchangeable. Isn’t this party just getting better already?
Are the King and Queen of Hearts married you ask? Is the Jack their beloved son? Should I feel threatened by the Q of Spades, mayeth she wrecketh a home. Why don’t we have a little chat with the Queen of Clubs first. She happens to have a, club, and a healthy swing.
In divine matters: playing cards of all sorts are but plastic-coated paper without our two essentials: Context (which as you may recall is set by the Question) and a good divinatory eyeball that weaves the “random” visual shuffle placed neatly before you into a crystal- ball-clear answer. Yes, all our good and hearty Oracle stuff.
While these people certainly look like people, they’re actually far more interesting than that, they’re shapeshifters. And the context spell is yours to cast. Oh they’ll comply, in fact the party doesn’t start until you say so. They’re mighty morphin’ power-
Watch as the partygoers transform before your very eyes!
Let’s walk about. Whilst the miniature people here resemble European Nobles, don’t be charmed, they’re all very into the shift of the shape, transfiguration, that sort of thing. Yes even the few simple aspects like age, gender and appearance go all up in the air at any moments notice. A few pointers:
♥️ ♦️ ♣️ ♠️
In terms of physical appearance, simple traps such as a premature judgement on complexion or hair color as informed by suit color (from Red to Black) are easy to dodge when value is instead placed on more precise indicators. Think of the curved, soft Heart, the angular, radiant (possibly translucent) Diamond, the pointed, sharp, sleek, menacing Spade, the tall, long, airy and leafy Club. If you find yourself in a context where gender is not binary or as set by these European Nobles, zoom out to the appropriate distance, and then focus. Remember we do also have a Jack of all trades.
Age appears simple. There’s either young or old. But age is also a great indicator for many types of relationships. Parent/child, boss/employee, teacher/student. Contemporaries, experts, novices, the youth, different generations, we could go on. Just how old are the K & Qs vs the J’s.? Older, younger or the same age as the querent whose age is essential context for these matters.
Don’t disregard the others Although our tiny nobles are very easy on the eye- like the Trumps, they’re equally influenced by other pips, Trumps or courts in proximity, sequence, position, etc. In a tirage en ligne, look for what comes before or after a court card, check if these indicate appearance/character or action. In a square of nine or larger spread, look above, below, and on either side, find lines of interest, notice if cards occupy opposing positions, or if there are clearly marked areas.
When more than one person appears: are they close-by or distanced, what separates them? Are they in similar positions in the spread, linked by any relevant themes? Alone or with companions? Is someone in their way? Connections can be determined by suit, number and sequence but also by zooming out and seeing patterns. Find any repetition or visual cues that either link or separate. One may be the loneliest number, two as bad as one, and when separated by a sea of Spades well, (see illustration above).
Suits are excellent indicators of roles in life. Co-workers in the ♣️ Clubs, family or close relations ♥️ Hearts, fellow witches or doctors in the ♠️ Spades, business partners ♦️ Diamonds. But similarly these are never fixed, a co-worker can also be a Jack of Hearts. Just like the Jack of Spades sometimes serves as romantic partner. The Queen of Hearts is not the only mother. Remember your magic question words.
Similar to how we observed the simple pip’s ability to represent our life and experience in all configurations, just because the courts are fewer, doesn’t mean there’s a limit to their divinatory parlance.
Blur Warning. Despite Ms. Jackson’s semi-cryptic side note. Court Cards are not ‘personality aspects’. It’s tempting to turn to the Esoteric blurs “The Queen seems a tad out of place here, she must symbolize an aspect of the personality of querent.” Please. Why is she there and what is she doing? What’s the witch up to? The challenge is to read the cards not avoid them. Besides, ‘aspects’ happen to show up just about everywhere. The oracle speaks, so don’t just mouth the words to blend in with the choir.
For more on when the courts are not people (a specific occurrence, do read on).
Ultimately we divine with whatever falls on the table. So sometimes we encounter the expected (or the usual) and at others bump into surprise strangers and odd combos. By keeping the shuffle and spread going, these nobles will eventually get to shift into every potential role brought forth to them. From a close friend or co-worker to the crazy villain role in a film an actor happens to audition for. The querent, people he knows or has yet to meet, or simply situations that involve more people than were invited to the party.
What about pets? No worries, our companions of all sizes can be found in the cards. We will find where and look into the temperaments of the Court Cards in the following post.
Coming Up Next. The secret lives of Royals. Stay tuned!