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Suggestions about contra-positive Court Cards

September 18, 2010

In a couple of blog posts from a few weeks ago I discussed the pairings of contra-positive cards for the numbered cards (pips) in the Minor Arcana. Now, as a follow-up, I will suggest what the pairs of contra-positive cards for the Court Cards might say about each other.  Again, my hope is that this will provide illuminating examples of the process of using contra-positive cards.


Cups and Wands


Youth / Page of Cups -- Tarot of the MastersPage of Cups and King of Wands –

A.  The Page of Cups can signify that “cold sweat” feeling one might get in anticipation of a first date. It’s distressing to say the least, but a way to deal with it is to tap into your inner “King of Wands” to manifest your self-confidence, charisma, and initiative.

B.  The King of Wands can indicate a strong, capable leader, but perhaps he needs to lighten up sometimes with a bit of whimsy King of Wands -- Tarot of the Mastersand imagination, as indicated by the Page of Cups.


Knight of Cups and Queen of Wands –

A.  The Knight of Cups can represent someone who lets his emotion responses guide his actions, and as a consequence he may be temperamental. The contra-positive card, the Queen of Wands, suggests dealing with this temperamental person with her attributes of cheerfulness and optimism.

B.  The Queen of Wands can be very encouraging and supportive of other people, but when she is looking for a relationship, we have to wonder if she leaves enough room in her life for romance (which is what the Knight of Cups indicates)?


Queen of Cups and Knight of Wands –

A.  The Queen of Cups loves a good, strong relationship, but this card also can indicate a need for peace and harmony in her life. Does that mean she can’t deal with passion and spontaneity (symbolized by the Knight of Wands) in a relationship?

B.  How might a Don Juan (Knight of Wands) overcome his inability to sustain a long-term relationship? Perhaps he might try to understand the needs of the other person in a relationship, which is something at which the Queen of Cups excels.


King of Cups and Page of Wands –

A.  The King of Cups is in control of his emotions, which can be a problem if it gets to the point where he suppresses them. In that case, he may begin to distance himself from other people. So consider the contra-positive card, the Page of Wands, which can indicate someone who is friendly, open, and trusting of other people. But what happens if that trust is abused? The result might be a King of Cups who goes to the extreme of suppressing his emotions and exerting strict control over his relationships.

B.  The Page of Wands might have a lot of energy, but that energy can be unfocused, and thus unproductive. This can be quite frustrating to the people around him, but getting angry at him probably won’t help. The approach suggested by the King of Cups might be to remain calm and deal with him in a way that is compassionate and diplomatic.


Coins and Swords


Page of Coins and King of Swords –

A.  Problems inherent in starting a new job (which the Page of Coins might indicate) can be alleviated by seeking expert help, which the King of Swords can represent.

B.  One possible problem with the King of Swords is having a rigid “Expert’s Mind.”[1] This may be addressed or mitigated by returning to, or tapping into the sense of awe and wonder about the world indicated by the Page of Pentacles.


Knight of Coins and Queen of Swords –

A.  The Knight of Coins may be prudent in his relationships, which can result in him being very slow to make a commitment. To cope with that hesitation, we may need to consult with his contra-positive, the Queen of Swords. She can be someone who has had to learn from painful experiences, so perhaps that is a hidden aspect of this knight: past relationship problems are what have made him wary of commitment.

B.  The Queen of Swords can seem haughty and aloof, but that attitude may be the result of a painful past. A way to deal with that is to take things slow and steady, the type of movement that is the hallmark of the Knight of Coins.


Queen of Coins and Knight of Swords –

A.  The Queen of Coins may be a single mother who works a full-time job and takes care of her children too (makes their meals, fixes their toys, etc.).  How does she do it? Perhaps when it comes to her children, she has a “hero complex” fit for a Knight of Swords.

B.  The Knight of Swords may be an opinionated know-it-all, but does he have any practical know-how, which the Queen of Coins represents.


King of Coins and Page of Swords –

A.  The King of Coins can personify strength and power, which may lull him into complacency. He may think he is too powerful to have to worry about anything, but even the mightiest can fall. And so he might do well sometimes to manifest a bit of the caution and wariness that the Page of Swords can indicate.

B.  The Page of Swords has a “beginner’s mind” so he sees endless possibilities. Unfortunately, he probably has not yet learned enough to know which options are viable and which are infeasible.  But the contra-positive card, the King of Coins, indicates hope for him. This card indicates practical wisdom, which comes with experience. So yes, this Page does not yet know which options are good and which bad, but he can trust that time and experience will show him.


[1] “In the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities; in the expert’s mind there are few.” — Shunryu Suzuki

  1. Davina permalink

    James you are a star for doing this. I had not got round to contemplating the courts, (as you know other events here have sort of taken over) and had put them on the back burner as I knew they would perhaps be the most challenging to get my head round. What you have shown here has really helped. I didn’t want to be in the position of ignoring the contra meanings for the courts as they can be just as valid as any of the other cards. I loved your description for the Knight of Coins and Queen of Swords. It seems to make obvious sense the way you have put it across 🙂 If I ever have cause to use these in forthcoming readings will let you know how it goes.


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