The Four Queens – Wands, Cups, Swords and Pentacles
The Queens in the Tarot represent the Watery part of their Suit. They apply their feelings and emotions (Water) to the natural way they approach life as directed by their governing element. Their focus is inward. Therefore they are more relaxed in general and not as outwardly active and demonstrative in the world as their male counterparts, the Kings. This is not to say that they are passive and introverted. On the contrary these Queens are extremely dynamic in their own way. They are multi-faceted and multi-talented. This is because they are representing the archetypal personalities of mature women: wives, mothers, sisters, friends, home-makers, carers, nurturers. The Queens are also representing the modern woman of the world today. The women who study, have a career, run a business and live independently. The Queens have the ability to combine all these aforementioned qualities without forsaking their own inner essence. They are the peace-keepers and mediators in each of the Royal Tarot Families.
On the Kabalistic Tree of Life the Four Queens reside in the 3rd Sephira,Binah along with the Four Threes of The Minor Arcana. See The Kabbalah section for information on The meaning of each Sephira.
The Rank of Queen in the Court Card Family display her as:
- Wife, partner or consort to the King
- Mother/Step Mother or Carer to both the Page and Knight
- Daughter of an older Queen
- Sister to all
- Friend to all
In the above roles her governing element along with whether she is reversed or not will play a major part in how she conducts her relationships within and without the family and how she deals with situations that arise out of same. The Queen must play many roles.
She is no different from any modern-day woman who is trying to maintain balance in her life by multi-tasking and trying to find time for all, including herself. As you explore the individual personalities of these four Queens some will feel very familiar to you and studying them will be a doddle. This is because we already know these women. We have met them before on many occasions. We might recognise our self in one or possibly parts of us in all, one might be your mother, your sister, your partner, friend, boss or work colleague. You might recognise your old school teacher, neighbour, the woman who runs the shop down the road or even the nurse who cared for you when you had surgery last year.
It is important to note here that each Queen represented will possess quite strong personality traits as a result of her governing element even though they will have been Watered down or tempered by the influence of Water. These qualities may seem excessive or overpowering at times but we must understand that in real life we generally have a mix of the elements. Some of our sub-personalities will be more prominent than others but it is this vital mix that balances our personalities to create our main personality . The combination of our Primary Personality (Main Fire/Water/Air/Earth) mixed with our Sub-Personalities (lesser Fire/Water/Air/Earth) are vital if we are to function efficiently and successfully in our world. Any of the Court Card personalities on their own in real life would either be over-powering or un-believable. We do at times encounter people who have one element in abundance and we usually refer to these people as having very strong personalities. We all know this can be either a blessing or a curse.
Remember, you are not looking at scientific formulas or theorems here. You have been exposed to these Queens as some point in your life since the day you were born. True, some may not be as familiar to you as others and this is because you are not or have not been exposed to them as much as the rest. You may however have cause to be in the future though so getting to grips with their personalities and sub-personalities can help your develop healthier relationships with people in general. We tend to naturally gravitate to elemental personalities who are either the same as or are compatible with our own element. Therefore these archetypal Queens will be more familiar to you and easier to incorporate into a reading. You must learn how to identify with these Queens and relate them to personalities in your own life. Once you do, you will instantly understand their presence in a reading and be able to communicate their message. The same applies to all Court Cards.
For example, if you have identified your friend as the Page of Cups because of her or his loving and sensitive nature. You know only too well that your friend is quite idealistic about love and falls into it too easily. You know how hurt and upset your friend gets when they get dumped and their magic bubble bursts. So, when the Page of Cups comes up in a reading for someone enquiring about their new relationship you know how excited and happy they must feel once the surrounding cards look encouraging. If the Page of Cups is reversed in the Near Future or Outcome Position you know how devastated they are going to be when things don’t work out. You will also know how they are likely to behave as a result. You are all too familiar with how your friend reacts on such occasions. With all this inner knowledge of archetypal personalities you can actually be quite predictive. The remaining cards in the reading will fill in the missing pieces of the jigsaw which is of course the Querant’s story.
The above example is based on the Court Card representing a person. Remember in the Tarot that the Minor Arcana tell you what is happening, The Court Cards tell you who it is happening to and the Major tell us why it is happening..
It would be wise at this stage to go back over Lesson I of the Court Cards to revisit the various ways to interpret a Court Card. The Court Cards can be tricky and do take a lot of practice so don’t give up on them to soon. They are important players in the tarot. Just like a movie with no actors would be boring if not strange, the Tarot is no different.
So let us now look at the Four Queens
The Queens are women, aspects of the Querant (sometimes even when the Querant is a man), approaches to life, atmospheres or advice given. The Queen of Wands represents a confident, enthusiastic woman with great inner strength and courage. The Queen of Cups, sensitive, loving, intuitive and very creative. The Queen of Swords, quick minded, chatty, organised with a tendency to be self-critical. The Queen of Pentacles, stable, practical, methodical, reliable and connected to nature and the animal kingdom.
Multiple Queens in a layout can suggest – Women’s Groups, Support of friends, Gossip, Envy, too much of the feminine influence, lack of opposite sex, being too inwardly focussed.
Three Queens – Powerful Important Women or Friends, Support, Bitchiness
Two Queens – Close friends, rivals, opposing needs in the Querant or of friends
Several Reversed Queens can suggest groups of unfriendly women who are demoralising belittling or awkward. Gossip and bitching. Two Reversed Queens can highlight arch enemies or love rivals.
Absence of Queens – Being too outwardly focussed, lack of feminine touch, lack of caring or nurturing, too much masculine influence, lack of friends and caring support.