Thursday, 19 March 2015

When Court Cards go Wrong: The Pages


Even in upright positions the tarot cards are not univocal or one-dimensional. There are shades, shadows, reflections, inflections and layers of meaning to each card. Often whether you read the cards "positively" or "negatively" depends on the theme of the reading, their position and their relation to other cards in a spread.

With the Court cards we know that they can represent a theme, a situation or an event. A Page (or Princess) can also be a message or piece of news. However, more usually they are people. Sometimes the querent, more frequently someone the querent knows, has known, or is about to know.

But what if it's not a happy sight? What unwelcome qualities could the Courts betoken in a person? What might they look like on a bad day?

Here's a Psyche Profile of the Court cards in their less likeable guise. Of course, it should be noted that they don't exhaust a personality; they only highlight those qualities or characteristics most pertinent to the issue at hand. 

Images are from the Radiant Rider-Waite Tarot, US Games Systems Inc. 

Skipping ahead, there are QUESTIONABLE QUEENS

Page of Wands
Our Page of Wands is an exuberant, highly motivated fellow. He's energetic, dynamic, passionate, engaged, aspirational and inspirational. He's a go-getter and an explorer. 

Gone wrong, he's lazy and slobs around with no motivation, focus, goals or projects. He sits about yawning, bored, twiddling the TV remote and stolidly immobile on the couch. He can barely be bothered to walk to the fridge for the next snack. This Page impatiently orders a take-away instead, if that's possible, or shouts for someone else to act as maidservant or butler. 

If he or she is a child, the schoolwork will be hiding under all the washing-up accumulated around the Page. If any of it is still salvageable the Page will still have something marginally more interesting to do. Such as sleeping. He has no direction and if you try to inspire him he'll act the most depressed person on the planet. Indeed, he is depressed. He's tried a few things and when they haven't worked out he's become discouraged and despondent. 

It's not been a total catastrophe for the Page hasn't gone too far as yet, but he's not starting out again. He's not sure how. He can't decide. Approach him and he might aggressively snap your head off or else retreat into the couch with a helpless shrug complaining that's he a victim of ill winds that never blow any good his way and all the silver linings in a cloud are delusory. Including all your hopes and dreams, you're wasting your time as nothing ever goes right and you can't possibly believe you can succeed. If you're lucky he might let you join in with a grump session. 

Page of Cups
The Page of Cups is a sensitive, creative and imaginative soul. He's sensible to the feelings of others and in touch with his own. He values caring and sharing, love and emotional expression. He's intuitive, dreamy, able to pick up on vibes and atmospheres, undercurrents, overtones and undertones. 

On a bad day he's a stroppy nightmare. Getting put of bed this morning he stubbed his toe on his favourite good luck leprechaun statue and the world ended. Just to make matters worse the toaster wasn't working and the cat had had an accident which he failed to see until the last minute but it was to late to instruct his feet not to step in it. 

If a child, he dithers for so long looking at clouds out of the window wondering if there are any newts in Nan's garden pond that he misses his school bus and, if an adult, he spends so long looking at clouds out of the window and recollecting an outing he once took on such a day to have a go at landscape painting that he's horribly late for work. The child quavers at the thought of walking to school as Nasty Norman walks the same route. The adult Page finds his car won't start. 

It's all too much for our delicate Page of Cups who collapses at the kitchen sink and bursts into tears. He feels oppressed and stifled and simply wants to run away. Why can't people help him more? If his Mother hadn't put him in that scary high-chair he would be so much more confident and less fearful. He starts to hate himself for being pathetic and crying. He starts to hate everyone for making him like this. Our child Page reaches for the biscuit/cookie tin and comfort-eats through the lot. Our adult Page heads to the drinks cabinet. 

Page of Swords
This Page has bundles of nervous energy and oodles of intellectual curiosity. He wants to know the "whys", "hows", "whats" and "wherefores" of everything. He's quick witted and talkative, idealistic and uncannily perceptive. He wants to get to the heart of all matters and share ideas. 

The unrestrained Page of Swords is to be found rushing around starting things but not finishing them. It's not that he doesn't know everything (of course he does) but he hasn't had enough experience to underpin his projects. He's surrounded by books and Wikipedia is permanently bookmarked on his computer.

 Hang on! He's spotted an error in a discussion forum. It's a really dumb comment. People are so stupid! His mind whirring and ticking over at warp speed he throws himself into the debate without looking through the comments properly. He's too excited about getting his thoughts out there. Zooming in, our Page of Swords immediately corrects all the mistakes, misapprehensions and misguided perspectives of everyone else. 

He doesn't take the time to consider where they might be coming from. He doesn't care, after all it's just mere opinions here, not knowledge! They clearly haven't done their research. That's so irresponsible. Irritated and intellectually affronted he doesn't realize he's being patronizing and sanctimonious. Slicing away at people's ridiculous warped pieces of logic he is surprised when @MarthaGrimbotham tells him he's a cold-hearted, arrogant psychopath who doesn't get it. The Page attempts to explain further but @BillyBoyBlag informs him that he's being confrontational and making things worse with all his defences and justifications. Ping. The Page sits back supremely puzzled. He has been thrown out and blocked. He can no longer comment. He can't believe why anyone thought he was being offensive. People are incapable of appreciating true wisdom, he decides, although he does feel a little mystified. 

Page of Pentacles
The Page of Pentacles is pragmatic, circumspect and organized. He plans methodically and carefully, always practical and sensible. He likes his creature comforts and stability. He loves to learn and acquire new skills with a view to responsibly turning them into a venture with tangible rewards. 

The Page of Pentacles on a slow day is just impossible. There he is, industriously bogged down in the instruction pamphlet for his Build-It-Yourself Multi-Level Revolving CD and DVD Cabinet with Pop-Out Coffee Table. Even if he's a child. He was too lazy today to check he had the right tools for the job. Or to think about where this new cabinet was going to go. Or even whether it was really worth it for three DVDs and six compact discs. 

He hits his thumb with the hammer, jerks back, and knocks a chunk off one of the multi-level shelves. Frustrated, he wonders for a brief moment whether he's up to the challenge. He decides to take a step back, both literally and metaphorically, and treads on all the nails. There's a hiatus in the cabinet construction while he pops to A&E with the foot. Was this dream ever going to be realized? It was taking far longer than he might have thought had he thought about it. For some reason things weren't working out. How tiresome. He was feeling sluggish anyway, had been all day ever since he had failed to think ahead about the imminent upcoming visit from Aunty Violet and started on this cabinet instead. 

It was too late now. His ambitions had been totally blocked by badly-made shelving, an incomprehensible instruction pamphlet, a headache and now a knock on the door. Presumably Aunty Vi. Wasn't she the one who hated mess, clutter and DIY? He could take her into the garden but he hadn't finished the new summer house, the rockery, the patio, the Eezi-build home gazebo or laid the turf squares for the new ornamental lawn. Probably he shouldn't have tried to do it all on the cheap. 

© Donna Hazel at Tarotdon Tarot


  1. This was too much fun. I laughed and laughed then I burst into tears because I'm definitely having a Page of Swords week...month...Oh god, we do get to swap pages now and again, right? Right?!

    Well done, Donna. This was a refreshing take on the ever elusive pages. Thank you!

  2. Yeah we do, I've been all four this week. They conspire together sometimes just to increase the merriment, I'm sure!

  3. Great post Donna! It's really helped me to get to know the Pages a little better and in a fun way :)

  4. Thank you! That's beautiful jewellery you have, great blog.

  5. Thank you Donna :)

    1. You been too busy beading to do much blogging :D


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