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Court Card Close-Up: The Queens of Tarot

Original photo by Amanda Wilson | Feat. Queens of The Celtic Tarot by Kristoffer Hughes

Of all the cards of the Tarot deck, I find that it’s hardest for me to understand the court cards: King, Queen, Knight and Page. That’s why I’ve decided to write a series of articles about them. We can learn about them together! We will start with the Queen, as I find myself drawn to the Queens of Tarot. There’s something about Her countenance, Her imagery, that just pulls at me, partly recognition, partly longing.

There are four Queens in the Tarot deck:

  • The Queen of Cups/Cauldrons
  • The Queen of Wands
  • The Queen of Pentacles/Shields
  • The Queen of Swords

The Queen of the Tarot represents a person with a number of attributes, many of which are associated with the Crone, or an older, matured woman. I personally don’t think of the Queens as women- they could be any gender, or no gender – which means people of any gender (or lack thereof) could identify with and seek help from the Queen archetype. This is why I refer to the Queen(s) as they/them. The Queen is a person who has been through a lot in their life – a lot of pain, heartache, tragedy, and has learned their lessons well. The Queen is strong, and tough- they may come across as cold or distant, but really, they love hard. Their whole heart and soul goes into loving. That doesn’t mean they’ll go easy on the people they love, though. The Queen is firm, and fair, and never one to coddle. The Queen teaches the hard lessons, tells the hard truths. They will be blunt, if need be. Their wisdom and intelligence is astounding, as is their creativity. Even more admirable, in my opinion, is that the Queen has what it takes to pursue the ideas they come up with. There’s no procrastination, and no excuses, with the Queen. Each Queen has their own unique style, of course. The Queen of Wands is discernibly different from the Queen of Cups/Cauldrons, as the Queen of Swords is from the Queen of Pentacles/Shields. Let’s take a look at each Queen.

Queen of Wands

The suit of Wands is the fiery, passionate suit of the South. The Queen of Wands is energetic and motivating- they’re the kind of person who somehow manages to complete everything on their to-do list and more. Their courage and confidence is admirable, so it’s no wonder they’re a social butterfly.

The Queen of Wands reminds you that you are upbeat, courageous, and determined. You are here to see through your creative visions and life purpose, even in the face of adversity.

Biddy Tarot

Queen of Cups/Cauldrons

The Cups, or Cauldrons, suit is that of Water, the West, and associated with emotions. Thus, the Queen of Cups/Cauldrons is one who is led by love and compassion. They are honest and trustworthy – you never have to worry about this Queen letting you down. This Queen is artistic, and appreciates the beauty in all things. They are intuitive, following their heart and their ‘gut’, which are usually spot on. Kristoffer Hughes states that the Queen of Cauldrons “emulates the true quality of love” and is the “epitome of love and compassion”. (The Branches of the Celtic Tarot, p. 185)

Turn to this Queen if you are lacking in integrity, if you’re weak-willed, if you find it difficult to allow yourself to love others or yourself. If you need help intuitively detecting truth, honesty, or authenticity, this Queen can help with that as well.

Queen of Pentacles/Shields

The Queen of Pentacles/Shields is that of the North and represents the Earth. The Pentacles/Shields suit represents the material side of life. The Queen of this suit is someone who is deeply connected to the earth and an embodiment of the Mother goddess. There is a slight difference, I found, between the Queen of Pentacles and Queen of Shields. The Pentacles Queen represents someone who is affluent and successful, while the Shields Queen is a more spiritual archetype. Hughes writes in The Branches of the Celtic Tarot:

What can be more magnificent than the very earth itself? The queen represents this, the sovereignty within the land. And in the true nature of a mother, she selflessly gives of herself in order to sustain, support, and feed her children.

Kristoffer Hughes, The Branches of the Celtic Tarot p. 232

While the Queen of Pentacles would be an excellent advisor for that which concerns finances, such as career goals, catching up on your bills, financing a house, or saving for a vacation, the Queen of Shields would make for a powerful magical ally, as she is keenly aware of and in tune with the magic of nature.

Queen of Swords

The Queen of Swords is, well, a bad ass bitch. This is one queen I do associate with those who identify as women, simply because of her strength. I’m sorry fella’s, but only a woman could possess the strength of the Queen of Swords. She’s lived through horrible shit and come out wiser, more powerful, and hell of a lot stronger. She may seem distant or cold, but she loves hard. Maybe even harder than the Queen of Cauldrons.

This is the Queen to go to when you’re struggling to find yourself. When you feel like the world has turned against you. When your heart is broken, your mind is tired, your soul is bleeding…this Queen will see you through. She won’t coddle you, nor will she do anything for you. She’ll give you the tools you need to do it yourself, because this Queen values independence and sovereignty. This Queen will give you hope when you have none, and that, my friends, is the most blessed of all magics.

Who is the Queen to me?

The Queen’s qualities may be found in Dark Goddesses, such as The Morrigan, Hecate, Cerridwen, and the Cailleach. I admire the Queen, and seek to gain Her help with many of my challenging attributes. For example, I’m horrible with procrastinating. I avoid finishing tasks, put off starting projects, inadvertently forget to make important phone calls or write important emails. I don’t know why this is, but I know it’s a problem that I need help with. Help the Queens of the Tarot could provide.

If I channeled the Queen’s energy into myself every day, and became half the person (because who said the Queen had to be a woman?), the Queen represents, my life would be so different. I’d be more successful, my house would be cleaner, my children would be more polite. My life is great, don’t get be wrong, but I’m far from perfect. I love my life, which is why I am willing to put in the work to improve it. My magic is strong, but a little help from the Queens of the Tarot would magnify my magic four fold.


The Queens of Tarot are…

Strong & Resilient

Wise & Intuitive

Firm & Fair

Love hard but do not coddle

Experienced pain, heartbreak, humiliation, and tragedy; have come through stronger, wiser, and more determined

Honest; Not afraid to tell it like it is

Possess the ability to not only come up with endless ideas, but has the gumption to make those ideas a reality


Sources

The Celtic Tarot by Kristoffer Hughes

Biddy Tarot

The Tarot Guide


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