Part II The Minor Arcana
The 16 Court Cards
SWORDS (Air, Clarity, Thinking)
Page of Swords:
Phrase: " A student of the mind; detective or spy, making private notes based on subtle observations; checking things out, reality-testing; (reversed) hyper-vigilance or else; keen self-observation.”
Image: A young man standing on a windy hill, brandishing a sword.
Traditional: Vigilant, acute, subtle, deceit, spy or rival, secret service.
Spectrum: (Observation) detachment/cunning, suspicion/paranoia, calculation/caution.
Knight of Swords:
Phrase: "Moves fast, cuts through all nonsense, great skill in penetration; on the quest for clarity; seeker of knowledge; (reversed) obsession, over-intellection.
Image: A knight riding furiously, brandishing his sword, through the wind. His clothing is decorated with butterflies and red birds.
Traditional: Romantic chivalry, skillfulness, martial bravery, cleverness, capacity.
Spectrum: (Insight) focus/discrimination, rationalization/obsession, evaluation/reduction.
Queen of Swords:
Phrase: "Independent, self-sacrificing woman of character; suffers in the service of honesty and clarity; sorrow in response to seeing things as they are; (reversed) animus ridden, manipulative, plotting, or deep penetrating insight.”
Image: A stern queen, sitting on a throne decorated with butterflies and winged cherubs. Her crown is also decorated with butterflies. She holds firmly a sword in her right hand.
Traditional: Familiarity with sorrow, widowhood, dour, mourning, intensely perceptive and intelligent.
Spectrum: (Accuracy) penetration/honest, vindictive/self-righteous, congruence/consistency.
King of Swords:
Phrase: "Impartial and objective knowledge; the judge at court--makes unbiased judgments based on objective facts and presented information; command and authority; (reversed) judgmental, prejudiced, or crystallized awareness.
Image: A stern king seated on a stone throne carved with a waxing crescent, a waning crescent, butterflies and women. His crown incorporates the design of a winged cherub. In his right hand he brandishes a sword.
Traditional: Full of ideas, man in authority, judge or critic, intelligence, captain, lawyer, power.
Spectrum: (Clarity) precision/judgment, intellectualize/judgmental, crystallize/awareness.
CUPS (Water, Heart, Feeling & Healing)
Page of Cups:
Phrase: "Dreamy youth, all sounds good but nothing manifest; romance, poetry, jealousy, passion, moodiness often led by unconscious factors; (reversed) immaturity, lability, ambivalence, wearing one’s heart on their sleeve, the puer aeternus.”
Image: A page standing beside the sea. He holds a cup from which a fish is jumping.
Traditional: A bachelor dreaming of his pleasure; seduction, deception, artifice.
Spectrum: (Vulnerability) innocence/openness, moodiness/lability, affection/dependency.
Knight of Cups:
Phrase: "Seeker of the heart; quest for the holy grail; romantic hero; Braveheart; bodhisattva; seductive troubadour; (reversed) narcissism, effeminism, Don Juanism, quixotic, or bhakti devotion.
Image: A knight, wearing a winged helmet, rides over a desert toward a river and the mountains. He carries a cup. His clothing is decorated with red fish.
Traditional: Dreamer haunted in his vision; lover, rival, seducer; stranger, sailor, drug dealer; occultism, strong sexual tendencies.
Spectrum: (Heart Quest) romance/quest, narcissism/infidelity, passion/idealization.
Queen of Cups:
Phrase: "Healing nurturing Queen, works with psyche, heart, and emotion; Queen of Hearts; (reversed) helper syndrome, codependency, emotional reasoning, or goddess worship.”
Image: A queen sitting on a throne by the sea. She holds an ornate cup decorated with angels. Her throne is decorated with cherub-mermen and incorporates a scallop motif in the heading.
Traditional: Reception, reflection, illusion, a good fair woman honest and devoted, the watery part of water (Crowley).
Spectrum: (Nurturance) care/healing, smothering/punishing, giving/sending.
King of Cups:
Phrase: "The healing, feeling King; today's therapist, doctor, diplomat or social leader primarily involved with compassion and human service; (reversed) con artist, philanderer, or guru, inspirational poet.”
Image: A king seated on a throne which stands on a stone block in the middle of the sea. A fish emblem is pendant from a chain round his neck, repeated as a jumping fish in the background. In his right hand he holds a cup, in his left a lotus scepter.
Traditional: Honest man, philosophical or idealistic; kindness, liberality, generosity.
Spectrum: (Compassion), wisdom/support, manipulate/betray, empathy/sympathy.
WANDS/RODS (Fire, Spirit, Energy)
Page of Wands:
Phrase: "The wanderer or messenger, anonymously bringing forth some secret information or inheritance of great consequence, the faceless envoy; Pied Piper, the stranger, (reversed) fear of commitment, inadequate personality, or Magician’s apprentice.”
Image: A young man, his clothing decorated with salamanders, standing in a desert with a wand.
Traditional: Dark young man, messenger, an envoy, communication.
Spectrum: (Communication) message/information, disguise/obfuscate, sharing/showing.
Knight of Wands:
Phrase: "Impetuous knight, hasty lover, charismatic fire starter; spiritual warrior; gets what he needs and splits; mania, hit and run; (reversed) frustration, rage, spinning his wheels, or alchemist, yogin, magician, or artist.
Image: A knight riding through a desert. His clothing is decorated with salamanders. A fiery plume streams from his helmet.
Traditional: Impulsiveness, pride, traveler, abandonment and flight.
Spectrum: (Determination), pursuit/tenacity, impetuous/explosive, charisma/warrior.
Queen of Wands:
Phrase: "Female executive; the energizer; she runs the king's castle; directed psychic energy; creative projects; the catalyst; (reversed) explosive, catty, impulsive, dampening, or channeler, psychic, transformer.”
Image: A queen on a lion throne. She holds a sunflower in her left hand, a wand in her right. A black cat is before the throne. The designs of lions and sunflowers appear behind her on the canopy.
Traditional: Dark woman, attractive power; passionate anger, fertility, persistent energy.
Spectrum: (Energy) conduit/catalyst, repellent/retardant, pacing/channeling.
King of Wands:
Phrase: “Self-possessed fiery ruler; mastery and effortlessness; at the center of his self-created universe; purification; (reversed) self-destruction, the tyrant, megalomaniac, or visionary; mystic.”
Image: A king on a salamander and lion throne in the desert. His robe is decorated with salamanders. He holds a wand in his right hand. There is a salamander beside him.
Traditional: Married man, honest and conscientious, knowledge, spiritual force, courage, strength.
Spectrum: (Vision) empowerment/control, dictatorial/meglomaniacal, manifesting/envisioning.
PENTACLES/Disks (Earth, Wealth, Solidity)
Page of Pentacles:
Phrase: "Student of science, objectivity, observes what's out there, seeks unbiased factual information; (reversed) materialistic, superficial, mechanistic, or self-reflection, sensory awareness.”
Image: A young man stands in a field of flowers holding a pentacle.
Traditional: Application, study, reflection, diligence, business management.
Spectrum: (Objectivity) dissect/analyze, reify/compartmentalize, separate/reduce.
Knight of Pentacles:
Phrase: ”Conservative, very trustworthy, somewhat 'square’ knight. Laborious, patient, grounded, dull; seeks practical feet; (reversed) dense, expedient, over-identified with appearance, money grabber; or naturalist, physician, master of the body.”
Image: A knight on a black horse bears a pentacle before him. His helmet is crowned with oak. A partially visored knight, his armor has pentacles upon it.
Traditional: Utility, responsibility, trustworthy, man, upholder of the establishment.
Spectrum: (Practicality) economy/utility, density/compulsivity, account/contain.
Queen of Pentacles:
Phrase: “Goddess of the home, mature sensuous nurturer of ordinary magic, self-trust and earthly splendors; lover of children, animals, plants and trees; physical consciousness; (reversed) agoraphobic, lethargic, over-parental, insecure; or self healing, communion with nature.”
Image: A queen, seated upon a ram's head throne. She sits in a flowery field beneath roses. Near the throne is a rabbit.
Traditional: Opulence, generosity, intelligence, greatness of soul.
Spectrum: (Ordinary Magic) home/happiness, phobic/carelessness, sensuous/wholesome.
King of Pentacles
Phrase: "Business magnate, ground-breaker, wheeler/dealer, worldly leader, wealth-maker, earthly power, natural integrity; (reversed) corruption and avarice; over-ambition, arrogance, hubris, or great inner strength, confidence, rootedness.
Image: A king on a bull's head throne. In his right hand he holds the scepter with orb at its end. His left rests upon a pentacle. In the background is a stone castle. His robe is decorated with a pattern of grape vines and ripe grapes.
Traditional: Solidification, business strength, practicality, perseverance.
Spectrum: (Responsibility) achievement/enterprise, corruption/failure, integrity/increase.