Most of us are familiar with the Page, Knight, King and Queen cards in tarot
This ‘royal family’ makes up what is traditionally known as the ‘court’ – and they are often seen as the trickiest cards to learn. They are the characters in tarot, often representing ourselves or the people in our lives.
Many decks have re-named the four characters of each suit alternative ways, which provides different or additional insights into how you might interpret them. Where ‘knight’ might not offer too many clues to a tarot newbie, ‘apprentice’ might help you to understand how they approach or use the qualities of their suit.
In some cases, for example in The Collective Tarot, this also releases the cards from the binary-gendered interpretations we often use without thinking. Tarot writers habitually refer to a queen as ‘she’ and a king as ‘he’, but where the cards are instead named ‘artist’ and ‘mentor’, it becomes easier to leave gendered language behind and focus on the qualities and energies of the person. Hurrah!
Here are a few alternatives to the regular royal family that I’m aware of. (Add your own in the comments!)
The Collective Tarot
Page: Seeker // Knight: Apprentice // Queen: Artist // King: Mentor
The Shining Tribe Tarot – Rachel Pollack
Page: Place // Knight: Knower // Queen: Gift // King: Speaker
Thea’s Tarot – Ruth West
Page: Child // Knight: Amazon // Queen: Daughter // King: Mother
The Motherpeace Tarot – Karen Vogel and Vicki Noble
Page: Daughter // Knight: Son // Queen: Shaman // King: Priestess
The Wild Unknown Tarot – Kim Krans
Page: Daughter // Knight: Son // Queen: Mother // King: Father
The Thoth Tarot – Alistair Crowley
Page: Princess // Knight: Prince // Queen: Queen // King: Knight
I’m a 30-something writer, artist, tarot reader, and perpetual explorer of the space between thought, feeling, and action.
I believe that spirituality and ritual are for everybody. I’m about the journey, in all of its messy, non-linear, chaotic iterations. I am excited by anticapitalist business and living with my whole entire self present. I use tarot cards to bring forth hidden truth, and ritual to affirm my commitment, over and over, to my ever-shifting path.