The Tarot Queens

  *Before diving into the Queen of Cups, Queen of Wands, Queen of Pentacles, and Queen of Swords:
Check out my previous posts in this Tarot court card series on the Tarot Pages, which includes general guidance on the entire Tarot court and sets the stage for this 4-part masterclass. You can also check out the Tarot Knights and the Tarot Kings.

We continue onwards with the Tarot Queens, the “moms” of the court family.

In my last post in this series on the Tarot Knights (click link above to check that out first), we explored the active, masculine energy of the Knight of Cups, the Knight of Swords, the Knight of Pentacles, and the Knight of Wands. Now we turn to the traditionally “feminine” and receptive energy of the Queen of Cups, the Queen of Wands, the Queen of Pentacles, and the Queen of Swords. Not to say, of course, that these Queens can’t be active as well. Or that the Knights can’t be contemplative and introspective. In the Tarot, gender is a fluid, complex, and multilayered category.

With that said, though, the Queens are traditionally read as embodying a more open, receptive, and reflective nature than the Knights. The Tarot Queens are the “moms” of the deck, in the sense that they’re nurturing, supportive, and they care for their families and friends. Some of the Queens embody these characteristics more than others — say, the Queen of Pentacles is definitely more nurturing than the Queen of Swords.

The Tarot Queens also represent that powerful, sacred, divine feminine energy that moves within and through all of us, whether we identify as male, female, neither, or anywhere in between. Although more contemplative than the Knights, the Queens can also inspire you to take aligned action: for example, going for that job promotion, or starting a new business, or taking charge of your finances, or heading the PTA at your kids’ schools.

Queens can also help you with confidence and self-esteem issues, encouraging you to become empowered, unconditionally in love with yourself, and more authentic in everything you do.

Let’s look at each Queen individually.


Queen of Cups


Suit: Cups (emotions, relationships)
Element: Water
Gender: Female
Family Role: Mother/Feminine Energy/Yin

The Queen of Cups is the most emotional and sensitive of the four Queens. She’s extremely intuitive, in touch with her emotions, and a highly sensitive person. She tears up watching a sad or romantic movie. Her heart is totally open and vulnerable — she wears it on her sleeve.

Therefore, the Queen of Cups can help you identify, acknowledge, and express your emotions. A good mantra for working with this Queen is “It’s safe for me to feel.” Think of your heart as you speak these words. Or, even better, place your hands over your heart.

The Queen of Cups is especially good at going with the flow (hence all the water on her card) and adapting to different life situations. This doesn’t mean that she’s unfocused, though. You can see how she gazes on that golden Cup intently. When she sets her eye on a goal, she holds steady to that vision and uses her fluid, receptive, intuitive powers to achieve it.

A warning with this Queen is to avoid falling into a pattern of putting everyone else ahead of yourself. Since the Queen of Cups is an empath, she’ll often want to “fix” everyone else’s issues and difficult circumstances. By doing this, though, she drains her own energy and exhausts herself. Not a good idea. She must put that oxygen mask on FIRST, before helping anyone else.

Specific questions to work with the energy of the Queen of Cups:

  • How much am I allowing myself to feel my feelings right now?
  • How often do I express what I’m really feeling at home and/or at work?
  • Am I caring for and protecting myself before helping others?
  • How does my heart chakra feel: open, closed, vulnerable, protected? What can I do to balance and heal it?


Queen of Swords


Suit: Swords (intellect, the mind, thought processes & patterns)
Element: Air
Gender: Female
Family Role: Mother/Feminine Energy/Yin

The Queen of Swords features some of that fast-moving energy we saw with the Knight of Swords (notice the wind-swept trees and abundant clouds in the background). However, the position of the Queen of Swords is extremely different: she’s not riding a horse at full speed, but sitting solidly on a throne made of heavy stone. There’s a sense of groundedness and solidness with this Queen. This is because she has trained her mind and no longer chases every thought that passes through it. She can sit still, in silence, and focus her mind on the flame of a candle, or a grounding mantra, or on a single task ahead of her (rather than multi-tasking frantically).

Rather than using her mighty sword to go into battle, as the Knight does, the Queen uses her sword to cut through any drama, bullsh**t, confusion, and ego illusions. For example, she doesn’t get caught up with limiting thoughts of insecurity and self-doubt. She knows her worth deep in her bones and embodies it powerfully.

The Queen of Swords doesn’t have time to waste on trivialities. She speaks her mind openly and asks for what she wants. If you look carefully at her hands, you’ll notice she has what looks like handcuffs or some sort of rope around her wrists. This rope, which used to bind her, has been cut with her own sword. She has found a way to liberate herself from the imprisonment of negative thinking. The sky is clearing behind her to symbolize that she has cleared her mind.

This Queen also encourages you to become a respectable and admirable leader in your field, especially if you work as a professor, researcher, scientist, CEO, public speaker, or any other profession that requires you to be inventive and precise.

Specific questions to work with the energy of the Queen of Swords:

  • Are there any areas of my life where I’m not speaking up? Why not?
  • Which beliefs and thoughts are limiting me? How can I release them?
  • What can I practice this week to quiet and focus my mind? (Ideas: meditation, yoga, hiking, taking a bath, drawing, coloring).
  • Which area of my life needs less drama? How can I reduce or eliminate it?


Queen of Wands


Suit: Wands (creativity, spark of life, energy)
Element: Fire
Gender: Female
Family Role: Mother/Feminine Energy/Yin

The Queen of Wands is the most mercurial of the Tarot Queens. She’s a little bit up in the air, a little bit flowy like the Queen of Cups, and very fiery and sparkly — as her suit (Wands) implies. You can even picture that bright orangey-red banner behind her as a representation of this Queen’s flames. That giant sunflower she’s holding reaffirms this theme.

Indeed, the Queen of Wands is always searching for the bright light of the sun — meaning, some form of attention. Not because she’s narcissistic or egoic, not at all! But because she’s charismatic, very social, an entertainer, a girl who likes to party and create unforgettable moments for everyone around her.

As her fiery personality suggests, the Queen of Wands can be prone to jealousy, moody outbursts, and emotional tantrums. But this only happens when she’s tired, drained, hungry, or out of alignment. When she’s happy, well-rested, and grounded, she’s the funnest, most supportive, most encouraging friend and partner. She’s also a bit of a risk-taker and a daredevil.

The Queen of Wands is associated with witchcraft. That black cat sitting by her feet is her familiar, or her spirit animal, assisting her with her magic. This Queen is a powerful witch, in the sense that she can manipulate energy and manifest whatever she wants — almost instantly. Her humor, confidence, and enthusiasm are contagious.

She just has to remember to rest and engage in self-care sometimes. Remembering this helps her to avoid burning out.

Specific questions to work with the energy of the Queen of Wands:

  • How can I work my magic this week? (Idea: plan a fire ritual — safely! — to burn any thoughts or beliefs that no longer serve you. Working with fire magic helps you connect with the energy of this Queen.)
  • Am I taking enough worthwhile risks in my life, or is everything too “safe”?
  • How could I increase my enthusiasm and excitement about my current situation?
  • Am I engaging in enough self-care throughout the week?


Queen of Pentacles


Suit: Pentacles (the material world, finances, career)
Element: Earth
Gender: Female
Family Role: Mother/Feminine Energy/Yin

Tarot Queen of Pentacles

And, finally, the Queen of Pentacles. She’s the most down-to-earth, practical, and nurturing of the Tarot Queens. She can also be a bit of a hermit and a homebody. She adores creating and designing sacred spaces for herself and her family. Her home feels like a sanctuary, filled with beautiful, aesthetically pleasing, and peaceful things. This Queen loves spending time with family and close friends and nurturing them as much as she can. She’s a very affectionate person, and she loves cooking and baking to show her love.

But, don’t let the Queen’s seemingly shy demeanor fool you. She’s also an insightful financial planner and investor. She’s fully in charge of her finances, and she knows how to manifest abundance for herself and her family.

Harnessing the Queen of Pentacles’ energy can help you efficiently handle your money, whether at home or in business. This Queen also encourages you to ground yourself as often as possible, because the powerful energy of Mother Earth will replenish and nurture you whenever you need it.

A warning with this Queen is not to become your family’s go-to caregiver, cook, chauffeur, or house cleaner. You can do all of these tasks joyfully if they bring you happiness, but you can also take a day off, ask for help, say “no” to others’ needs, or ask your partner to get a pizza for dinner.

Specific questions to work with the energy of the Queen of Pentacles:

  • How’s my balance between giving and receiving?
  • Are my finances in order? If no, why not? How can I get a handle on them?
  • Am I “beautifying” and protecting my space (home, office, desk, car, etc) enough?
  • How can I strike a better balance between work and family right now?

Happy shuffling!

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*Illustrations from the Rider-Waite Tarot Deck, known also as the Rider Tarot and the Waite Tarot, reproduced by permission of U.S. Games Systems, Inc., Stamford, CT 06902. c. 1971 by U.S. Games Systems, Inc. All rights reserved. The Rider-Waite Tarot deck is a registered trademark of U.S. Games Systems, Inc.

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