Kings: Accepting responsibility, exercising authority, assumption of
greater responsibility, public acclaim, and leadership.

King of Wands: This noble and courageous King acts swiftly and
decisively once he determines his course of action. he is optimistic,
strong-willed, yet fair-minded. With these qualities he is often
well-suited to the role of mediator, although with a simple, forthright
nature, he is not always ideally suited for dealing with complex, subtle
issues (unlike the King of Cups). He is the one who cuts the Gordian
knot rather than unravelling it. he makes an excellent leader and is at
his best supervising others and ensuring that they remain motivated.
Badly aspected, he can be tyrannical, ill-tempered, ruthless, arrogant,
and intolerant. In relationships, he can be passionate and caring and is
usually the dominant partner. Unfortunately, he can also be emotionally
and physically abusive. In a conflicted situation, this card often
represents the need for forceful intervention. It is also a leadership
card, indicating the need to take charge of a situation, dealing with it
swiftly and, if need be, ruthlessly. The King of Wands also signifies
extreme loyalty. Stick up for someone close to you, even if it puts you
in the line of fire. Adversely, an overbearing or domineering attitude
can be causing friction. Watch your temper. Because of this king's high
energy and enthusiasm, he is frequently to be found in sales and
marketing positions or will be involved in risky or shady ventures.
Watch your wallet.

King of Cups: This cultured, sophisticated, avuncular king often has a
hidden agenda which he conceals beneath a kindly, benevolent exterior.
he can be devious and underhanded, but also generous, compassionate,
sympathetic, and wise. Power and wealth, along with everything they
bring, is what he seeks. No ascetic, he enjoys the high life. In a
reading, the King of Cups can represent someone whose true motives
remain hidden. This King can be very helpful, but watch out for the
possibility of betrayal. this card also signifies the enjoyment and
patronage of high culture and the arts. Often this card can represent a
man (or woman) of the cloth (Cups representing spirituality). One
historical individual I think of when I see this card is the Cardinal
Richelieu, a sophisticated, worldly man who was a master manipulator and
the most powerful man in France. This card is also associated with
medicine and law. The King of Cups is also a master negotiatior because
he understands human nature and what motivates people. This king does
not signify a direct, forceful approach. Rather, his most usual means of
operating is with subtlety and indirection. When ill-aspected, this card
becomes the card of the con man. It can also indicate someone who
indulges his pleasures (drugs, alcohol, sex, etc.) to excess.

King of Swords: Impartial and authoritative, the King of Swords is an
imposing figure. He convinces others by virtue of his logic and his
knowledge. I see this as the "Spock" card (Star Trek, not baby care).
When this card comes up in a reading, it can signify a need for
arbitration by consulting with an expert. it is also a "head over heart"
card. Time to rely on careful reasoning and thorough research rather
than instinct and intuition. This is a person of great emotional
reserve; someone may be acting coldly toward you. it may require
patience to break through that hard sword exterior. the downside of this
card is that it can represent someone who is close-minded,
intellectually domineering, harsh, and possibly even deliberately cruel.
Since the King of Swords can represent a Judge, this card can also
signify lawsuits and other legal matters. When this card comes up in a
reading, some questions to ask are as follows: Are your intellectual
resources adequate to handle the situation? Should you consult with
someone who is more knowledgeable than you? Are you becoming too
emotionally bound up in the matter? Should you be maintaining more
intellectual cool? Are you being excessively severe or too judgemental?
Are you being too callous? Are you being unresponsive to the emotional
needs of others? Do you insist on always being 'right'? Do you enjoy
putting down others and making them feel like fools?

King of Pentacles: This King is pragmatic, sensible, methodical,
patient, and reliable. This is the card of the prudent investor whose
long term investments have yielded steady gains. This is also the card
of the successful merchant or the master craftsman. He is a shrewd
bargainer and has a keen eye for opportunities. This card can signify
assuming greater responsibilities and possibly a promotion. Financial
security is a priority and dealings with bankers, financial advisors,
loan officers, or other authority figures in the business community are
indicated. personal advancement is possible but patience and hard work
are required. Risks should be minimized and shortcuts should be avoided.
Badly aspected, this king becomes reactionary, incapable of adapting to
changing circumstances. Stubbornness, avarice,and a preoccupation with
work and money at the expense of human relationships are also indicated.
In relationships, he is devoted and steady, but, as in other areas,
somewhat unimaginative and unadventuresome.

A few final notes on how I use court cards: I see the court cards as
personality "tool boxes" filled with both good traits and bad traits.
These can be traits assumed by another person as that person's response
to the given circumstances. Or these can be traits assumed by yourself.
Of course, you want to utilize the good traits while keeping the bad
ones locked in the box, if possible. Since we all have preferred modes
of operating, some of these traits may be more difficult for you to
utilize than others. For example, if it is normal for you to act with
great caution and deliberation (King of Pentacles) it may be difficult
for you to take chances and act decisively (King of Wands). I don't
usually see the court cards as being gender specific; males can exhibit
queenly traits and females can exhibit knightly or kingly traits. And I
usually see court cards as representing situations only indirectly, by
the court card responses those situations evoke. If I'm unclear about
the situation, I will draw a "clarifying" card, laid on top of or next
to the court card.

Copyright 1997 Alan Ross
Page Copyright 2000 Diane Wilkes