As Easy as 1-2-3?

Published by Alison Cross on

I was recently contacted by a lovely person on Facebook, Arthur, who asked about Court cards and links to other cards that shared the same numbers….

Traditionally, of course, Court cards are not numbered, but if they WERE numbered they could follow straight on from the Ten, resulting in:

11 Page
12 Knight
13 Queen
14 King

If there IS a correlation between the Courts and their Major Arcana numbers, this would mean that:

Pages have a link to XI Justice
Knights have a link  XII The Hanged Man
Queens link to XIII Death
Kings link to XIV Temperance

Honestly? If I sat for a long time, I would probably be able to come up with reasonable strands that could reasonably link those cards together, but my gut feeling is that it would be like hammering square pegs into round holes to force things to fit.

Something else to consider, you COULD also knock off the first ‘1’ and say that:

Pages link to I The Magician
Knights link to II The High Priestess
Queens link to III The Empress
Kings link to IV The Emperor

This feels a lot more attractive because of the Queens/Empress and Kings/Emperor links, but really does Knight energy have terribly much in common with your understanding and interpretation of The High Priestess? Do the nascent Pages have the mature, transformative power of The Magician?


BUT – what about abandoning the Major Arcana as the comparison and replacing it with the beginnings of the Minor Arcana?  After all, the Major Arcana originated from a different source to the Minor Arcana, so it makes more sense that the Courts would have common grounds with those beginner Minor cards.

Pages would then link to their suit’s Ace
Knights would then link to the Two
Queens to the Three
Kings to the Four

When you make THESE associations, it feels much more natural – the potential offered by the Ace is also present in the little Page, the vacillations of the Knight can echo the dilemmas/choices present in the Two, the creative source of the Queen can be found in the Three and the stabilising force of the King can be recognised in the Four.

What if you opted to use it ALL?!

What if Pages shared a link between The Magician AND the Aces?
Knights were linked between The High Priestess AND the Twos?
Queens would share commonality with The Empress AND the Threes
Kings would have common ground with The Emperor AND the Fours

I think this could work, if you fancied the idea, but it would be vital to remember that just because an apple is red and so is a cherry it doesn’t make them the same thing at all!  They can have a common touching point in their colour and in that they are fruit, but they taste completely different.  And so it is with a Page and The Magician – they can link through their ‘potential’ as can the Page and the Ace, but they are not the same taste at all πŸ˜€

My over-riding consideration for the accepting the validity of linking the Courts to other cards through the use of numbers is whether it makes sense for YOU.  What does it bring to YOUR understanding of the reading? How does it help YOUR client?  And can you apply the links consistently?

I can see that if out that if a spread contained, for example, a lot of Twos AND a lot of Knights then it makes sense to drill down into whatever dichotomy your client faces.

But enough of what *I* think, what do YOU think?

Alison Cross

The Tarot's Court Cards are my specialist area.Β  They talk to me. Not LITERALLY though ....


Dax Carlisle · 19th January 2015 at 10:56 pm

One of my FAVorite Topics Alison! As a Numerologist also, I've actually taught classes at The Tarot Guild, on this! Most people don't even THINK of it….

A common way to associate Numbers/Numerology to The Court Cards is to just continue the numbering of the Suit, after "10" – 11, 12, 13, 14 …as you indicated.

As a Numerologist, I think of those Numbers (which reduce to 2, 3, 4, and 5) and when I try to associate them to the actual cards (Page, Knight, Queen, King),they don't work, Numerologically. So the way I teach it, is to associate the Master Numbers 11, 22, 33 & 44 with them instead – which fits very well….

Master Number 11, as The Master Illuminator Number, is a prefect "fit" for the Pages. The "education/learning" aspect, as well as 11 reduces to "2", duality and relationship – the Page is representative of the first "journeying out" (like going to College), first social experiences and so forth….

Master Number 22, as The Master Builder Number, is a perfect "fit" for the Knights. Plans, building things. 22 reduces to "4" the Number of Structure.

Master Number 33, as The Master Healer/Teacher Number, is a perfect "fit" for the Queens. 33 reduces to 6, The Nurturer!

Master Number 44, as The Master Manifestor Number, is a perfect "fit" for the Kings. Double Structure (double the Knights energy) – 44 reduces to an "8", the Number of Abundance in Numerology! Fits SO well with the fulfillment of the Suit, that the Kings are – and when you take in account the Elements, as represented by each Suit, as an aspect of Manifestation, in the physical realm….

…Of course there's a lot more to this method, but just "play around" with this yourself – try it out!

Anonymous · 27th May 2014 at 11:57 pm

A lovely explanation and thought provoking interpretation! I love your blog Lady Cross!

Inner Whispers · 15th April 2014 at 9:43 am

What interesting thoughts! Like you, I don't normally look at the Courts as having numbers. Another possibility would be adding the numerals – so Pages would be 1+1 giving 2. I can see the Pages connecting to the High Priestess – going on intuition that's not yet schooled. Then the Knights link to the Empress – lots of creativity, little structure, the Queens becomes the Emperor – he does have a nurturing, responsible side, and the Kings become the Hierophant – dogma, I know what's what energy πŸ˜€ Don't think I'd use it, just *thinking out loud*

    Alison Cross · 15th April 2014 at 11:26 am

    I overlooked this possible relationship – what a dolt I am πŸ˜€ Great suggestions of possible interpretations for these links, thank you! Looking at all the links it shows that good readers can find resonance between all sorts of cards!

    Inner Whispers · 16th April 2014 at 10:15 am

    Ha, as you said once, we could probably *read* a breakfast cereal box πŸ˜€ The mind and intuition make links, if we let them….

Bonnie Cehovet · 1st April 2014 at 3:36 pm


Ania · 31st March 2014 at 3:57 pm

I've always thought that Pages and Aces are very similar. Both embody the qualities of their suit, Aces in terms of events or situations and Pages in terms of character traits, but I'm not sure that they link with The Magician as much as with the Fool. The relationship between Empress/Emperor and Queen/King is also fairly apparent, though not really with the 3s and 4s. As for the Knights, the duality of the 2s might work, though I can't see a link with the HPss, perhaps more with the Magician, if anything. Can't see the 11, 12, 13 and 14 connection at all.

    Alison Cross · 1st April 2014 at 10:44 am

    I personally don't include the Courts in any numerical links, basically because they were not numbered originally. But I do like looking for patterns amongst the cards and looking at the possibilities of numbering has been really interesting πŸ™‚

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