The Queens

When interpreting the Tarot, the court cards (kings, queens, knights, and pages) can cause major headaches. Do they represent the querent? Someone else? Like most things with the Tarot, it depends on context. The Queens are near and dear to my Tarot-reading heart. They are powerhouses of insight.[1] So what exactly do these women tell us about ourselves and the people around us?

from the Radiant Rider-Waite Tarot

from the Radiant Rider-Waite Tarot


Queen of Wands

The Queen of Wands is a person of vision. Their aspirations are undergirded by strong convictions. Surrounded by and clothed in yellow, this Queen speaks to the solar plexus chakra. Her immense optimism comes from her self-assurance and conviction in her own strength. The lions decorating her chair recall Strength in the major arcana. Her crown is an embodiment of the flourishing of her passions. Such a self-assured, positive person is likely to come across as charismatic. Her optimism and passion are not only infectious – they make her success possible. Her rooted, open posture says it all.


Queen of Cups

The Queen of Cups sits comfortably on the edge of the vast sea that is the subconscious. Thoughtful as she is, she can navigate turbulent waters within herself or when counseling others. Intuition always guides her to safe harbors. She may sometimes see in others that which they are unprepared to acknowledge. However, she knows when to intervene and when to be a buoy on their voyage. She often “sees” more than she articulates. And she knows when to take time to fill her own cup. Her color, blue, is the color of truth.


Queen of Swords

If I had to describe myself as a Tarot card, it would be the Queen of Swords. This person knows the transformational power of words. In traditional imagery, she holds one hand open as if speaking a great truth. In the other hand, she holds the sword she uses to cut through mental confusion. Concise, efficient, effective. These are her goals in everything she does. Moreover, she embodies the mental acumen of her element, air. When she speaks, she does so with great reason and integrity.


Queen of Pentacles

This Queen clothes herself in the red, green, and gold of abundance. Pentacles represent the material world, so this Queen calls to mind the emotional comfort that can come with material stability if it’s approached in a healthy way. What is her wealth and comfort for? It’s for her family. She is the center of a prosperous, stable home. Even when not the breadwinner, she is the rock upon which others find purchase. She glories in this role and finds great gratification and self-worth from it.

These Queens are all powerful and relevant to our lives at different times. Reflection on them teaches us a great deal about those around us as well as our own potential.


[1] Many Tarot readers talk about the Queens in terms of “feminine energy,” but I want to try to move beyond binary thinking here. The Queens represent capacities to nurture and manage that are not exclusive to one gender.