Nurturing The Queen Of Cups

“What is the best way to go about learning/memorizing the meaning of the cards?”

This is a common question in the online tarot forums whenever someone new to tarot picks up a deck. While understanding the traditional meanings of the cards by rote study will get you a basic understanding, my opinion is that tarot doesn’t really shine until we take those interpretations and make them our own. Book meanings will get you by, but in my experience I never truly step through the veil until I develop my own personal relationship and understanding with each and every card. 


Queen of Cups from The Distant Past Tarot


I tend to read the courts as a hierarchical progression of the elemental energy they embody, yet there have been times where their message remains elusive. In one of her recent online sessions,  Christiana Gaudet explained her method of not only reading the courts as a progression within thier element, but by employing keywords to nutshell how their courtly position would apply in a practical sense within those elements. Thanks to Christiana’s discussion, I have been able to add another layer of functional understanding to the court cards:

Page – communication – messages – study

Knight – pursuit – action – travel

Queen – nurture – compassion 

King – leadership – responsibility – protection – provision

These active keywords served me very well in a recent read involving the Queen of Cups.


I still need to introduce this fabulous deck – a post on the interview spread coming soon!


When the Queen came up as a significator in a spread regarding a goal to reignite my creative fires, it all suddenly clicked into place – not only does this Queen signify the emotional process and investment I put into my creative work, but by applying the practical keyword NURTURE, it suddenly becomes clear that I am also being asked to free myself from my own harsh inner critic, to treat my creative process with patience  and love, and to recognize the beauty rather than only seeing perceived faults within a finished piece. Talk about a court card breakthrough – now that I have a tangible experience in reading this Queen, her message rings clear as a bell!


This alone is one of the reasons i feel it is so important to make a habit of reading for ourselves – so that we have the opportunity to see the message of the cards materialize in our own personal experiences.

It’s funny how once an idea can be applied to everyday life in a tangible way, what was obscure becomes so blatantly obvious… While I could have rolled off all of the rote meanings for this card off by heart, it wasn’t until this read that the practical application of the Queen of Cups’ energy truly hit home for me.
Sometimes all it takes is a little guidance, and whole lot of nurturing.

Christiana hosts a monthly online discussion on tarot via the Global Tarot Circle.  Her recent discussion on the court cards and the “tarot mulligan” is available here. Perhaps we will meet one another at the next Global Tarot Circle meetup should you choose to join us!