By Judy Jennings
© Copyright 2015
We all know the quiet power of a look. Gazes, glances, and glares all have
the ability to deliver messages far beyond what words could ever convey. In Tarot, the court cards have the same ability, and the direction a royal is facing in a reading contains vital information.
If there are two or more court cards in a layout, are they looking at each other, or facing opposite directions? That can tell you a great deal about the level of compatibility between personalities in a situation, and whether or not the parties involved are heading in the same direction.
The direction of the gaze can also offer information regarding the essence of the card. In the Rider Waite deck, for example, the King of Swords is the only one of 16 royals that is facing directly forward. Others, such as the King of Pentacles, may be facing mostly forward, but the head is turned at least slightly and the gaze is averted. What does this tell us about the King of Swords?
For one thing, it makes plain that this is the card of an extremely direct personality. Another suggestion made by this stance is that this person is highly unlikely to back down from their position. And somewhat obviously, in times of conflict, this King can be expected to display aggression. All of this, and more, can be known about this card just from studying the body language and direction of the gaze of the character, even if you don’t know anything else about Tarot.
Something to keep in mind, though, is that not everyone sees the same things in a card, and everybody is right. Intuitive interpretation of Tarot symbolism is highly personal, much like dream interpretation. One person might see the introspective Queen of Cups as representing a very spiritual state of mind, for instance, while another might interpret her mood as depression.
Certain combinations of court cards in a reading can add to or diminish the power of one another. Knights are advocates for the Queens, especially the Knight of Swords, and a Knight strengthens a Queen in a reading. On the other hand, Knights can conflict with Kings, and that combination often suggests volatility.
Pages almost always show a light-hearted influence on the situation. When a Queen or King presents along with a Page it suggests guidance, and a growth process that is marked with excitement, optimism and vision.
It will really take your readings to a new level if you can not only interpret individual court cards, but put them into the context of their relationships to others. And just like with people, you can tell a lot from the way they’re looking at each other.