Queen of Pentacles: The Caretaker / Abuser

tend to your physical needs and well-being

Queens nurture the magic of the element within and reflect it out + Pentacles represent the material world and how we navigate it

from Darkness of Light Tarot

The Queen of Pentacles is warm, peaceful, and content in their own skin while providing physical nurturance in some way (as the Queen of Cups nurtures emotionally, the Queen of Pents nurtures physically). They are good with their hands, hospitable, kind, practical, and enjoy a comfortable life — reflecting not necessarily one of luxurious indulgence, but one in tune with nature and life. They appreciate the natural world in its ability to calm and the pleasure it brings to the senses; for they are in relationship to that which is around them and, as such, take responsibility in caring for it. They provide a sense of security; but here it is on an interpersonal level rather than the King’s more transpersonal one. A traditionalist, status can be important to them, and they may work to keep up appearances.

In resistance, they are ungrounded. Withholding their care, they deny others physical nurturance or stability. Or, as the Queen of Swords’ critic turns inward to self-criticism, the Queen of Pentacles may become self-abusive. “The good wife” so dutiful to husband, home, and family must remember to give themselves some of the nurturing they dispense so freely to others.

In excess, they are overly concerned with appearances and status, perhaps with a sense of inadequacy. The importance they place on earthly fulfillment may turn to overindulgence as their constant quest for more is displaced.

Questions we may be prompted to ask when this card comes up include

  • When do you feel ungrounded?
  • Do you resist taking care of others or deny them security?
  • In what ways are you self-abusive? What is this (addiction, overindulgence, self-deprivation, self-injury, etc.) masking?

What else? There are many facets to the courts and you may have other insights. What historic or fictional character reminds you of this queen? What internal part presents in this way?

Queen of Swords: The TaskMaster / Critic

establish boundaries and communicate them clearly

Queens nurture the magic of their element within, reflecting it outward + Swords deal with the mental realm of the rational mind and its belief systems

from Touchstone Tarot (trimmed)

Cool, capable, and efficient, the Queen of Swords seeks clarity and gives straight answers. They communicate their beliefs and principles so strongly through their being that they are not threatened by others. They establish boundaries naturally and are clear in expressing them. Precise and uncompromising, they expect things to be done “by the book” and have a reverence for discipline which will keep us on task, teach us to do a thorough job, and keep our promises. More Thinking than Feeling (this is the ISTJ in personality typing), when they make a decision, it comes from the head, not the heart.  They take criticism and conflict well… and can dole it out. Their honest tongue may be sharp but will be direct. This is the friend you turn to for cutting through the bullshit, including your own. The sharpness of their mind allows them to be witty and insightful. They would rather live alone than give up their autonomy, and this independence is an ally of wisdom.

In resistance, the fairness of their sense of justice can be blocked, giving them an air of intolerance and even a vindictive streak. Perhaps they use their tongue unfairly by gossiping in their hushed little circles.

In excess, their sword cuts away at all that doesn’t mesh with their belief systems, and they become scornful, criticizing without compassion — or even basis. Turned inward, their self-critical eye can be ruthless.

Questions we may be prompted to ask when this card appears include

  • Are your boundaries permeable (or nonexistent)? How might you strengthen them?
  • Are you your own worst critic? Where does that come from?
  • What part is critical of others? Is this really just projection of the above?
  • Do you demand perfection? Why?

What else? This is a common archetypal character in fiction. Can you think of one? They are more complex than a simple label or character, of course, and you may have other descriptions or insights. Who is this queen in your life, or in your self?

Queen of Cups: The Counselor / Martyr

hold up the mirror to reflect for another

Queens reflect the magic and power of their suit from within + Cups represent our emotional life and relationships

from the Cary-Yale Visconti

Deep diver of the inner realms, the compassionate and supportive confidante is always there with a sympathetic ear to listen to our woes and help guide us through them. Able to put their own feelings aside in favor of others, they possess an emotional maturity which allows others their own feelings. The unconscious is a mysterious place, obscured to us and often uninviting, but the Queen of Cups can reflect it back whether they mean to or not. It’s almost as if they’re a vessel, channeling water through their core with a natural affinity for the psyche and its shadows, dreamworld, visions, and attunement to the clairs.

They care for the feelings of others, and their natural emotional fluency is reflected outward not only in guiding us through our inner realm, but their compassionate nature advocates for those less fortunate. As empathic as they are empathetic, their sensitivity can be a benefit or a bane.

In resistance, they close off to their own feelings and become reactive and moody, fluctuating as widely as the tides. Similarly, they can be insensitive of others’ feelings, and their environment in general.

In excess, they rely on the love and affections of partner, family, and friends for their own self-worth, sometimes absorbing others’ emotions or values as their own in order to feel accepted, and sacrificing their own needs in service to others.

Questions we may be prompted to consider when this card appears include

  • Do you explore your own emotional drives and triggers? What gets in the way of doing that?
  • Where do you find yourself reacting rather than responding to others?
  • Do you rely on the love of others for your self-worth?
  • Are you sensitive to the needs of others, or is that something you could develop?
  • Do you suppress your own feelings by focusing on those of others? How can you honor your own?
  • Do you readily absorb the emotional experience of others like a sponge? How can you establish better shields?

What else? Court cards contain so many personas and aspects, and you may have other insights. Who is this queen in your life? What internal part takes on this role?

Queen of Wands: The Witch / Pretender

harness your will and direct it

Queens reflect the magic and power of the suit from within + Wands represent the inner fire that sparks our will and identities

from Murder of Crows Tarot

The Queen of Wands is the image of being self-possessed. Their determined nature knows its Will and is straightforward in pursuing it, almost intolerant of doubt; for they know precisely how to use their wand. They embody fire energy in enchanting self-confidence, willfulness, and intuitiveness; standing in their power, knowing who they are, what they desire, and how to get it. They can read the energy in the room and use it to their advantage. Creative and courageous, loyal and supportive, feisty and passionate, their reflection of fire inspires confidence and courage in others. The cat at this queen’s feet in many cards signifies their witchy independence.

In resistance, their self-knowledge is blocked, and a pretender aspect is avoiding their authentic self and projecting a false persona. Or, doubting their own gifts, they suffer imposter syndrome.

In excess, self-assurance and willfulness can turn to self-absorption and pushiness. Their steamy (water of fire) aspect can be objectified sexuality, presented outwardly in the persona of the sex kitten.

Questions we may be prompted to ask when this card appears include

  • In what area are you being called to direct your will? Is this a challenge for you? What prevents you from doing so?
  • When using your gifts, do you feel like an imposter?
  • What is the persona that you project?
  • Whom do you admire for their sense of self, and what part in you responds to that?
  • Do you compensate for self-doubt by objectifying yourself?

What else? Court cards contain so many personas and aspects, and you may have other insights. Who is this queen in your life? What internal part takes on this role? When?