Exercises - Lesson 14

Court Cards

(See Introduction to Exercises.)

Exercise 14.1 - Reviewing the Court Cards

Remove all 16 court cards from the deck, and place them in a four-by-four square as follows:


Take a moment to look at these royal figures together in one place. They are unique individuals, but they also share commonalities with the other cards in their suit (row) and rank (column). Review the lists of suit qualities and the information page for each card. Look for patterns among the cards.

Exercise 14.2 - Kings

For each item below, decide on an action you might take that reflects the personality of the King. You can check my suggestions, if you wish. Here's an example:

King of Wands: You've been accused of cheating on an exam, but you know you're innocent.
Possible Action: I would confront my accuser boldly and ask for proof.

  1. King of Cups: Your spouse complains that you're never home on weekends.
  2. King of Pentacles: A panhandler asks you for one dollar.
  3. King of Swords: You find a marijuana cigarette in your daughter's coat pocket.
  4. King of Wands: Your roommate keeps borrowing your car without asking.
  5. King of Pentacles: Your friend begs you to skip work and go fishing with him.
  6. King of Swords: You get an invitation to speak at a conference.
  7. King of Cups: A waiter gets your order wrong twice in a row.
  8. King of Wands: You're discouraged because your team is playing badly.

Exercise 14.3 - Queens

For each item below, decide on a feeling or thought that reflects the personality of the Queen. You can check my suggestions, if you wish. Here's an example:

Queen of Wands: You've been accused of cheating on an exam, but you know you're innocent.
Possible Feeling/Thought: I'm confident that I can prove my innocence.

  1. Queen of Cups: You find out your cousin has cancer.
  2. Queen of Pentacles: You lock your keys in the car.
  3. Queen of Swords: You're asked to take over a failing project at work.
  4. Queen of Wands: You begin Day One of your new diet.
  5. Queen of Pentacles: Your best friend admits to having an affair.
  6. Queen of Swords: You interview a promising new employee.
  7. Queen of Cups: You decide to take a long walk after lunch.
  8. Queen of Wands: You go to a party where you only know the hostess.

Exercise 14.4 - Knights

For each scenario, decide which Knight best reflects the situation. Then, give a few phrases that describe that Knight's warning message. You can check my suggestions, if you wish. Here's an example:

You've been working 12 hours-a-day for six months. There's so much to do.
Knight of Pentacles: You're working too hard. You're too compulsive. You never play.

  1. You feel depressed and weepy all the time. No one seems to care how you feel.
  2. You've bragged that you know lots of important people, but you really don't.
  3. The stock market keeps going up. All your money is in a risk-free savings account.
  4. You're always yelling at the kids. Their constant fighting is driving you crazy.
  5. You told your new assistant that his work is hopelessly sloppy and incomplete.
  6. You think your partner is always flirting with others. You don't like it at all.
  7. Your son disobeyed you. You won't tolerate that! Your word is law in your house.
  8. You refuse to consider retiring even though your spouse wants to discuss it.

Exercise 14.5 - Pages

Remove the four Pages from the deck, and place them face down in front of you. Mix them together, then turn over one card. Assume this Page represents an opportunity available to you right now, one that reflects the magic of his suit. What do you think it might be? Does this possibility excite you? Is something holding you back? If nothing comes to mind, watch for an inspiration in the next few days.

Exercise 14.6 - Court Cards are People

The more you understand your fellow humans, the more you will understand the court cards. Over the next few weeks, observe your relatives, friends, colleagues, and acquaintances. Consider celebrities, historical figures, and characters from books, TV and films. Ask yourself:

Exercise 14.7 - Court Card Families

"All the world's a stage, and all the men and women merely players." Shakespeare recognized that each of us is an actor with many roles. Our roles are not who we really are - that is a profound mystery. They are the changing personalities we assume as we take part in this show called life.

Create a cast of characters using the personalities of the court cards in four families - the Wands, Cups, Swords and Pentacles. Each family has a father (King), mother (Queen), teenager (Knight) and young child (Page) of either sex.

Describe these four families so their unique styles are revealed. The members of each family share an approach to life (suit), but have separate positions within the family (rank). What vacation would the Pentacles family take? Would the Knight of Wands drive a Buick or a red Mustang? Here are some props you can use to flesh out your characters:

Exercise 14.8 - Court Cards in Action

For each scenario below, write down one or two interpretations for the first court card listed. Consider the meaning of the card, the position and the situation. For extra practice, repeat the exercise using the second court card. Don't consider the court cards together. Simply imagine you drew them in separate readings. You can check my suggestions, if you wish.

  1. You're getting married in three months. Your future father-in-law is critical of the arrangements and wants to change them.
    Knight of Swords - Position 5
    King of Wands- Position 9

  2. You're planning to buy a new car. You're not looking forward to haggling with a pushy salesperson.
    Queen of Cups - Position 6
    King of Swords - Position 7

  3. Your friend has asked you to watch her kids for a weekend. You want to help, but her children are a handful.
    Queen of Pentacles - Position 1
    Page of Cups - Position 2

  4. You've just met someone attractive who has only been divorced for four months. You worry about getting involved in a messy situation.
    Queen of Wands - Position 4
    Knight of Cups - Position 8

  5. You've been feeling a pain in your chest for several weeks. It's getting worse, but you don't want to go to a doctor.
    Knight of Pentacles - Position 10
    Page of Swords - Position 3

  6. You have an idea for an improvement at work that could be very profitable. You suspect your boss will try to take credit for the idea.
    Knight of Wands - Position 2
    King of Pentacles - Position 9

  7. For the past year, you've felt restless and dissatisfied. Activities that used to be rewarding now seem pointless.
    Queen of Swords - Position 3
    Page of Wands - Position 7

  8. Six months ago a friend borrowed $200 for an emergency. Now he's asking for another $100.
    Page of Pentacles - Position 8
    King of Cups - Position 1

Lesson 14

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