Loose Leaf Tarot

When you’ll never be a royal (Or, on being who you actually are, right now)



Lately, it feels like court cards are coming up an awful lot when I do readings, sneaking in no matter what question I’m contemplating or what story I’m trying to explore. They turn up in the simplest spreads and the most complex. I’ll be hoping for a poignant major card to reveal itself, so I can smile knowingly while feeling wise and connected to deep universal truths, like a real tarot reader. But instead, here’s yet another page or queen, looking smug, forcing me to think up even more possible meanings for these images I’ve been seeing over and over for weeks.

(I get it, court cards. I’ve always shunned you a bit, and now that I’m listening, you have all sorts of things to tell me about what’s up with my shit. Okay. Just stop trying to forcibly take over my blog, maybe?)

Today when I threw my cards, the story was one that comes up a lot for me. I’ve mentioned before that I’ve got a very swords-heavy personality. But I’ve always been drawn to the wands, in real life as well as in tarot. Wands people are warm and sharp at the same time, like a shot of cinnamon liquor. They make you feel like something special is happening no matter what, and like you’re right in the middle of it. Or at least, they’re right in the middle of it, and maybe if you’re lucky you’ll be along for the ride.

I always wanted to be a wands person, as long as I can remember. There’s a little bit of it in me. But if I’m a court card, I’m the Page of Swords – perpetual student, in love with ideas, but prone to analyzing so much that nothing ever gets done with them. A little cool and prickly, without meaning to be. My dagger-wit is my most prized possession, after all.

Today’s spread was simple: current energy, embrace, release. I’ve been seeing a lot of the Page of Wands, and there she is again, reversed because the past week has been a bit like hiking in a bog after a couple previous weeks of momentum! and inspiration! Right now, I am definitely not the Queen of Wands, the card I almost-secretly wish I could be.

Here’s another thing. I will almost certainly never, ever be the Queen of Wands. Maybe the Page, a bit.

That’s probably okay. Wanting to be something so different from my nature is a drive I should let go of. I know this, I’ve learned it repeatedly in countless different ways. But I still have to remind myself of it. Or be reminded, when I let that knowledge slide.

It might seem like certain ways of being a human are inherently better, sexier, more fulfilling. Cinnamon is zingy and delicious! Liquor makes you feel giddy! But some of us are cool, with a quieter bite, like well-brewed iced tea. Sometimes iced tea is exactly what you need.

Be a page or a queen, cool or warm. Even if you’re not wearing a crown, don’t forget that it takes all the cards to make up the full court.


10 thoughts on “When you’ll never be a royal (Or, on being who you actually are, right now)

  1. Hi Mary,
    “to make up the full court.” I think we are a mixture of all the court cards with a couple of prominent royals who take the lead. I am typical queen of Swords but when I bake my muffins the Queen of Pentacles is watching proudly And when I am hesitant to start a new painting the page of cups comes out to play. May be it is up to us to recognize and acknowledge the others. to leave all the door open and welcome them 🙂

    • Yeah, it’s helpful to remember that we all have our own personal ratio of personality traits, and that every ratio is valid, with its own strengths and weaknesses. If only I could keep that thought in my head all the time…

  2. Oi! Courts have been popping up all over for me to lately!

    • It’s both annoying and funny to me at this point, because I’ve always had so much ridiculous trouble reading the court cards. And now I’m like, “I think I have things mostly figured out! Maybe I know who I am and what I need! Yeah!!!” But then the court cards are like, “Nah, keep working on it. Trust us.”


  3. “Wands people are warm and sharp at the same time, like a shot of cinnamon liquor.” Mmmm, nailed it with that, you did. I have the same relationship to wands people (the court cards, as well as IRL people I perceive to be of a wand-y nature). They’re hot, exciting, bold. But like you, that’s not my primary disposition (I’m more the cups type). It’s funny to hear you talk about hoping for a ‘poignant’ card and pulling out something you don’t expect (like a court card). I feel the same way! But it’s one of my favorite things about tarot – it’s gonna force us to think about things from a new perspective, especially when we don’t want to. 🙂

    • I tend to go through phases that last like a week, during which I throw all these spot-on readings with classic, flashy cards, the type where you turn over cards and actually chuckle like a cool witchy character in a movie. And then those phases are swiftly followed by a lot of, “wtf this again?? how do I even tarot?” I guess it’s good for us, though, in the long run.

      Also, wands, man. They get me every time.

  4. Another great post that got me thinking about the cards in a different way. Thanks!

  5. Love this post Mary! I always used to think I was swords, being a Gemini and all about air stuff and all, but as I get older I feel like I’m becoming more of a cups type person. Or, more probably I was always a cups type person hiding behind my sword! Oooh! I’m probably the Page of cups right now, just chilling, talking to a fish. x

    • I’m a bit the reverse, used to act/feel more like a cups person with a hidden sword, but the older I get the more sword-y I am on the surface.

      (This is irrelevant, but the Waite Smith version of the Page of Cups always cracks me up a bit because the page looks so happy and serene, but the fish in the cup looks more like, ‘why am I in a cup, put me down this instant!!!’)

      • What I really want is some freaking pentacles! 🙂

        Yes, I love that he’s so cool about a talking fish! My oldest deck is the Hanson Roberts, I love the page of cups in that – he’s so surprised! I always thought of it as a kind of ‘surprise’ card, but the RW/PCS version has no surprise. He’s totally fine with his talking fish! Haha!

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