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Court Cards in Readings

To: alt.magick.tyagi,alt.tarot,alt.divination,alt.magick,alt.pagan.magick
From: nagasiva 
Subject: Court Cards in Readings
Date: Fri, 06 Jun 2003 08:07:02 GMT

50030529 VII

	Courts in Card Readings

	in strict fortune-telling the focus is usually 
	on some person influencing the querent's life,
	or at least in the area about which was asked.
	sometimes the reader may range farther afield in
	interpreting a layout and consider these to be
	references to people in the past and future. 

	if imaginative, she may examine the character of 
	the Court with respect to the cards around it: 

		Smaller Cards indicate the Court is 
			subject to direct influence 
			(these often people of some 
			relation to the character of 
			the Court representing, 
			whether in appearance, role, 
			or actuality), 
		Trumps may indicate cosmic forces 
			may be appearing in the guise 
			or manner of, or by virtue of 
			someone indicated by the Court. 

	in Tarot, the reading may gain somewhat greater
	depth and range of meaning, because the Court 
	Cards are associated with a elemental matrix:

		Fire of Fire
		Fire of Air
		Fire of Water
		Fire of Earth
		Air  of Fire

	they form a 4 x 4 graduator of personae or 
	appearance for which all manner of additional 
	quality may be supplied (e.g. one may substitute 
	Solid (for Earth), Liquid (Water), Gas (Air), and 
	Plasma (Fire) and mean by these some protocol of 
	movement, stability, utility, and any number of 
	other energies or intelligences that are capable
	of combining meaningfully) and derive significance.

	suit is prerequisite to Tarot and many fortune-
	telling decks, but is not always present in cards
	used for readings. some of the parlour decks are
	merely series of themed and helpfully-labelled
	objects or events depicted on the card. sometimes
	these will not be numbered. in these decks there 
	may be no immediate analogy to the Court, 
	excepting cards specifically indicating a person, 
	such as through art or name (e.g. the cards labelled
	"Officer", "Sweetheart", "Widow", "Judge", "Lover", 
	etc.; or those like "Merriment" which depict a person
	with whom the merriment is supposed to be enjoyed).

	the fact that they are called 'Court' cards and by
	definition have human beings on them, usually of
	high station, indicates their societal and personal
	nature. occult association of suit and element 
	predisposes a further zodiacal mapping but for the
	numerical disequivalances (4 x 4 rather than 4 x 3).

	as some Playing Card decks (e.g. American) dispense 
	with the Knight and leave J/Q/K x 4, this facilitates 
	a very easy zodiacal attribution (my arrangement for
	the Piscean Age -- follow from Pisces diagonally-
        upward and to the right for a zodiacal band-series):

                 Hearts     Clubs       Diamonds     Spades
                 Water      Fire        Earth        Air
        Jack     Pisces     Sagittarius Virgo        Gemini

        Queen    Scorpio    Leo         Taurus       Aquarius

        King     Cancer     Aries       Capricorn    Libra

	which occult Tarot symbolists have maneuvered *very
	inelegantly*, omitting the Knaves/Princesses and
	considering for zodiacal attribution in Courts only
	those three highest in rank, AND out of sequence(!):

	Queen     WofW      WofF        WofE         WofA       	
                  Pisces    etc. from above

	Prince    AofW      AofF        AofE         AofA

        Knight    FofW      FofF        FofE         FofA

           [source: Crowley's Book of Thoth]

	with a vague description of how the omitted 
	Princesses form some kind of Polestar Quarter 
	Guardianship (very unconvincing!! anyone know
	of the source for this awkward construct?).

	instead, when constructing any Tarot, the Mage
	in charge of design should key whatever Courts
	are selected for their numerical resonance 
	and plainly admit of ill-fitting matrices,
	reconstructing the entirety if necessary.

	for example, with a 5-suit Tarot, incorporating
	5 Court Cards, this 25-card composite might be
	hard-pressedly applied to zodiacal standards.
	its pentafold division makes quaternal formatting
	even more awkward and ugly than a 16 => 12 mapping
	(trying to map 25=>12).

	distributing these Courts around a zodical circle
	uses at most 24 elegantly, and so makes necessary
	some kind of arbitrary delimiter like dropping 
	a single card to arrive at this, selecting out 
	a fraction 12 by virtue of rank and/or suit. 

	leaving zodiacal association behind, one might go
	about applying it to something like Blum's Runeset 
	of 24 + 1 blank or something more or less arbitrary
	(ideas for 25-sets? please let me know about them!). 
	of course, this presumes that "zodiacal" includes
	some consistent 12-fold structure, whereas alternate
	zodical designs (e.g. one based on *5s and 10s*)
	might facilitate this, and interestingly (because 
	the Chinese seem to enjoy both), may mesh better 
	with a 5-element-suit-base. 

	departing from tradition as I know it, there are
	FAR more elegant choices that can be made for
	developing the Court attributes than the zodiacal,
	ignoring their personal qualities and adhering
	to a strict numerical designation. Geomancy's 16 
	figures and Yijing's 16 tetragrams are two major
	examples. each of these is mappable to personality
	also, and need imply no temporal correlate 
	(compare the personality-types that are usually
	ascrubed to what is called The Enneagram).
	by convention in card readings, Court Cards have
	been associated with personality by virtue of
	rank and element by virtue of suit. as such,
	card reading traditions have developed sets of
	characteristics which vary over time and serve
	to map out a broad generalization of influence
	(usually personal) for apprehension by the
	querent (known or an impending arrival into 
	their perceptual sphere).

	the structure of the deck in question will have
	a determining affect on the manner in which
	signification may be discerned in the cards,
	and the deck's function in reading (e.g. for 
	fortune-telling or for self-discovery or for a 
	discovery of some occult Mysteries) will make
	for greater and lesser elegance of design.
	            (c) copyright 2003 nagasiva yronwode. 
	                             all rights reserved.

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