A few notes on how to read court cards in connection with yes/no questions.
If you’re one of those who follow the cunning folk system of reading playing cards – which is to say that you’re logical about it all, and use your own head rather than that of another – then you know that the first rule you obey is that of color. If the card in the final position is a red one, then the answer is yes (for more on this, see my intro to reading with playing cards here).
So, what if the final card is a black court card? Is the answer no? Not necessarily. Court cards are people, not relations, so depending on the nature of the question, the court card in the final position will always tell us something about an other person influencing the yes or the no of the situation.
Take the example below:
5 of Spades, 3 of Hearts, Queen of Spades
If the question is: ‘Does this woman love me?,’ then the answer is yes, especially if one of the two significators is the Queen of Spades herself. The 3 of Hearts tells us that there’s an increasing interest in the querent coming from the woman in question, and she is responsive to the querent and to what otherwise can also be perceived as a sick infatuation with her (the 5 indicates the body, here, an illness that the querent suffers from, and with the 3 of hearts, presumably an illness due to the impatience of love).
If the querent is a male whose significator is the King of Clubs, and wants to know whether the Queen of Diamonds, the other significator, loves him, the answer is still yes, but the following would need to be said: ‘The Queen of Diamonds (not present in the spread) is quite interested in the King of Clubs (also not present in the spread), but she listens to the advice of someone, the Queen of Spades who is present in the spread, and who is not in the King’s corner.’
In the case of no significator for the woman, the answer is also, ‘yes, but she responds more to your own projections of love’ – we say this because of the presence of the 5 of Spades in the spread.
Now, if we had a different question coming from a woman who wants to know: ‘is my mojo working?’ – in the sense of her wishing to hold someone specific in her power – then the answer would be yes, because of the nature of the question par excellence. Here we look at the function of the Queen first, and then at her function as a Queen of Spades.
Generally the Queens represent truth (the Kings power, and the Jacks thoughts). The Queen of Spades, by virtue of the power of her suit to cut through it, may represent a truth that disturbs or one that questions truth. Here, insofar as the 3 of Hearts precedes the Queen of Spades, we could argue that the truth of this Queen is well-aspected.
Given the nature of the question, and falling more under the magical realm where we deal with projections of phantasy that are not only willed but that also become ‘real’, we take the Queen of Spades, the Lady of Fate herself, as a strong affirmation that the mojo is indeed working. If anyone can hold anyone else in their power the magical way, then that would be the Queen of Spades.
Now, and as in the first scenario, given also that here the string begins with the 5 of Spades indicating a case of illness related to the querent, we may question the truthfulness of the extent to which our querent’s mojo is working in her best interest. Magically speaking, it’s definitely working, but is it good for her? While the Queen holds power over the other, she is also tied. Consequently she is prone to making herself sick over this, by obsessing over it. Now, this would be the sort of thing that the reader, if she wants to help, would have to bring into question. But some readers prefer to stay neutral and not ask anything beyond the scope of the reading. I admit that I’m one of those. I don’t like yakking too much.
However, as we’re dealing with a red card here, we could also argue that there’s pleasure involved in exercising this otherwise unhealthy power. To keep it simple then, and given the indication from the cards, the final answer would be: ‘your mojo is working, but you’re also a (sadistic) victim.’ So the color code is also upheld. A black card ends the string, bad outcome.
My advice for tricky situations such as these, when we have to figure out what to make of the court cards in the final position particularly for yes/no questions, is to think of the court cards as appositions, as if saying, yes… but, or no… but.
More could be said here, but I can see that my quick post has already turned into a lecture, so I’ll leave it for now. However, if you have any additional questions, or some other insights, you’re welcome to send them my way.
Enjoy your powers.
Deck: Dondorf, Otto Tragy Jugend Spielkarten, Ver. Stralsunder Spielkartenfabrik, 1910
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