The tarot is made up of three different types of cards: the major arcana, the minor arcana, and the court cards. Court cards most commonly represent ourselves, people within our lives, or aspects of an individual’s personality. Each card represents intuition, thoughts, feelings, or senses based on the archetypes drawn within the images of the cards.
Much like dream interpretation, the archetypes mean the same across all cultures and generations. Carl Jung used archetypes a great deal in his studies of the psyche and subconscious mind, so it is no wonder that the court cards easily represent the individual personality types as defined by Myers and Briggs whose work compiled that of Jungian psychology.
Just as there are 16 Myers-Briggs personality types, there are 16 court cards. Each court card easily represents one of the 16 personalities.
Page of Wands – ISTP
The Page of Wands is enthusiastic and adventurous. Always ready for new ideas and journeys, he is constantly learning how to best use his energy to meet his goals. Sometimes distracted by new paths and inspiration, he may find himself not seeing his current path through to the end, but he always follows through until he feels satisfied. Just like the ISTP, this page loves problem solving on his journeys and is excited for new challenges that arise along the way.
Knight of Wands – ESFP
The Knight of Wands is a risk-taker through and through. While he enjoys fun and adventure, he tends to have a short attention span. As one who is constantly looking for new challenges in his life, he might struggle to stay loyal or faithful for long. Popular and energetic, the ESFP is a charmer who, much like the bucking bronco he rides, is great at entertaining and showing off.
Queen of Wands – ESTP
The Queen of Wands is creative, independent, confident, and sexy. She is a passionate person who is deeply dedicated to her family and career. People love being around her and she enjoys being the life of the party. Optimistic and full of life, she is a generous soul who loves to make others smile. Just like an ESTP, she thrives on action and freedom and has an engaging style to which others are drawn.
King of Wands – ENTJ
The King of Wands is a natural leader. Charismatic and influential, as depicted in his stance upon his throne, this king is decisive and knows how to take appropriate action. He is confident and enjoys friendly competition. Sometimes he may be compulsive in his enthusiasm and excitement for life, but he always carries himself with assertion. While he thrives on structure, this ENTJ is open-minded, capable of changing plans to meet new challenges.
Page of Cups – INFP
The Page of Cups is a dreamer and a lover. He is a sensitive and intuitive soul who opens his heart to those around him. Idealistic in his pursuits of love, he may find himself emotionally needy, but he is always ready to share his deepest, darkest desires. Just like the INFP, this page expresses himself creatively and therefore dislikes rigidity and routines. Often depicted in front of water, he prefers fluidity in his life and is willing to go with the flow.
Knight of Cups – ENFP
The Knight of Cups is impulsive and carefree. He may seem fickle as he bounces from one side of the stream to the other, but his focus is always on expanding his life to encompass more of its beauty. This knight enjoys creative, free form expression and is seen as a passionate and intense lover. He often depicts one who is overtly flirtatious, extroverted, and one who does not think things through. Just like the ENFP, the Knight of Cups experiences extreme highs and extreme lows as he follows his heart over his head.
Queen of Cups – INFJ
Caring and deeply empathetic, the Queen of Cups is an INFJ through and through. She is considered a dreamer and a counselor, an avid listener but an introspective introvert, a feeler and an intuitive. Often representing high levels of intuitive knowing and psychic abilities, this queen is keenly tuned into her sixth sense. She loves to understand others and help them understand themselves, but can be emotionally manipulative or deceitful when she does not take time to herself. Just like the INFJ, the Queen of Cups always listens to her heart but is careful to give heed to logic when appropriate.
King of Cups – ENFJ
Much like the Queen of Cups, the King of Cups is highly empathetic and a wonderful counselor to those around him. He is emotionally mature, far beyond any other type, making him capable of giving stable and well-thought out advice. He wears his heart on his sleeve, making him a wonderful father and husband. He enjoys being surrounded by nice things, though he is not materialistic. Like the ENFJ, he has exceptional communication skills and thrives on empathetic interactions.
Page of Swords – INTP
The Page of Swords is a student of life. Thoughtful and deeply introspective, he seeks truth and just above all else, including emotional balance. He is highly aware of his surroundings and enjoys noticing patterns and inconsistencies. He loves theorizing for the sake of fun and solves problems in his mind, though he may not have the patience nor desire to take action upon such solutions.
Knight of Swords – ENTP
The Knight of Swords, as shown in a determined, forward motion upon his horse, is a revolutionary. He is sharp-witted, clear-minded, and focused in his endeavors. Often impatient and always rushing from one idea to the next, this knight loves to debate. He has no time for emotions as he rushes through philosophical discussions to get to the heart of the matter. Like the ENTP, he prefers scientific and technical ventures and applies this type of thinking to his human relationships.
Queen of Swords – ISTJ
A clear-minded, independent, focused personality, the Queen of Swords is extremely self-aware and emotionally mature. She prefers solitude and is not often lonely, though she may be overly critical of herself when left in her head for long periods of time. This queen has experienced a lot in life and carries this experience as great wisdom. Like the ISTJ, she places high value on truth and justice, and may be overly blunt, overlooking the emotions of others.
King of Swords – ESTJ
The King of Swords is a logical mind, intelligent and clear-headed. He is a direct communicator whose decisions and plans are focused around thorough, well-thought out strategies rooted in truth and justice. With his firm, direct stance, he is confident and authoritative, able to take control of any situation. A mastermind of sorts, he tends to overrun the ideas of another if he feels he is correct. Like the ESTJ, he wants order and structure above all things.
Page of Pentacles – ISFP
The Page of Pentacles is a loyal friend. Young at heart and mind, he is optimistic but cautious as he learns new projects or studies. A practical individual, he enjoys taking action and improvising for the sake of moving forward. Like the ISFP, he thrives on his personal freedom, but is willing to work hard for the things that matter most to him.
Knight of Pentacles – INTJ
The Knight of Pentacles is depicted on a strong and stable horse. He is practical and hard-working, offering great attention to detail. While he may be cautious and slow-moving, any progress he makes is long lasting and firm. Like the INTJ, he may be viewed as stubborn or hard-headed, but at the root of his endeavors, he is loyal and cares deeply for those closest to him.
Queen of Pentacles – ISFJ
The Queen of Pentacles, so clearly depicted by her nurturing stance, is motherly and protective. She makes a great homemaker, running things efficiently and smoothly, while remaining emotionally balanced in her endeavors. Dependable and loyal to her family and friends, this queen cares deeply for those in her life. Just like the ISFJ personality type, she is a protector and supporter through and through.
King of Pentacles – ESFJ
The King of Pentacles is a successful man. He is ambitious but practical, leveraging his actions to achieve wealth and luxury. A lover of nice things, he can be materialistic and prefers to be surrounded by treasures and comfort. Though he tends to be more conservative, he has a warm heart and enjoys sharing with others when he feels it will be beneficial for him in the long term. Like the ESFJ, he makes a great family man as he runs things smoothly and with the utmost care, ensuring the stability and comfort of his loved ones.
As you can see, each card clearly depicts one of the 16 Myers and Briggs personality types. When a court card is drawn in a reading, it may be pointing to someone in your life who has that type or it may refer to those character traits within yourself or another. Associating each court card with a type aids in study, not only of tarot reading, but also within the archetypes passed through the ages.