I had the incredible opportunity of meeting Dr. Yolanda Robinson in London a few years back, where she gifted me with a copy of Studies on Mystical Tarot: The Court Cards, published in 2013.
Robinson is a professor of transformational psychology and a member of BOTA, the Builders of the Adytum, a western mystery school tradition dedicated to the study of Qabalah and the Tarot. Studies on Mystical Tarot explores the tarot courts through a Rosicrucian lens, contextualizing the courts through Hermetic Qabalah and modes of inner alchemy.
This Sightsee the Tarot video installment will guide you through two self-reflection meditative exercises with the court cards in your favorite tarot deck. The first will focus on the four Kings to reaffirm your personal power and the second will be working with the Page of Pentacles.
These court card self-reflection exercises are a great way to get to know your SKT Revelation deck a little better. Or work through these prompts with the BOTA Tarot. Since these are meditative studies and not divinatory readings, perhaps you’ll want to pull out several different decks and lay out the selected cards from each of those decks so you can compare them head to head.
Additional Notes for Exercise 1: The Kings
In this self-reflection exercise, you’ll start with The Devil card from your deck, and as you work with the imagery on the card as a visual prompt, reflect on what disempowers you. The four Kings represent the epitome of personal empowerment– the archangels, chief higher angels within you. When invoked, i.e., when you fully embody their powers, you defeat The Devil.
The pages in the handout will guide you through free-writing your thoughts and emotional responses to each of the four Kings. Do you find yourself particularly drawn to a certain King, or repelled by one? Both feelings are worth exploring the “why.”
Using your tarot deck for self-reflection in this way, as espoused by Dr. Robinson, is a simple yet impactful way of actualizing greater self-awareness.
Identify what major challenge you face this year and what aspect of yourself feels disempowered (which is why you have identified those particular situations as challenges). Then identify which of the four kings represents the powers you need to embody to be victorious in that challenge.
Page 6 of 7 in the PDF handout shows the four magic squares associated with the four tarot Kings (Archangels in the SKT). If you have any edition of the SKT, you can check the Book of Maps for more in-depth information on these magic squares.
Work with that magic square as a talismanic sigil. Be creative with your craft. Incorporate color and other metaphysical correspondences for that element. In lieu of giving you step-by-step how-to instructions here, I’m going hands-off and telling you to be creative and imaginative. You have to come up with the ideas yourself, all on your own, for these talismans to be truly powerful.
Additional Notes for Exercise 2: Page of Pentacles
In general, tarot Pages are interpreted as messengers. Writes Dr. Robinson explaining this interpretation, “Pages in Malkuth are close to the astral world of Yesod, and they can easily serve as messengers or foot soldiers between the physical and the astral planes.”
In the Page of Pentacles in particular, Saturn is the primary influence here, bonding this card to Key 21: The World, “which closes the Major Arcana and connects the astral world of the ninth Sephirah, Yesod, with the last Sephirah, Malkuth.” The Page of Pentacles is the “Gatekeeper who leads us into a richer, more meaningful world and who teaches us how to utilize our power of manifestation in the Kingdom of Earth as it is in the Kingdom of Heaven.”
Applying Dr. Robinson’s teachings, set out Key 21: The World card from your favorite deck as a magnetized anchor. Before beginning this reading, use your mind and intentions to “magnetize” or charge The World card in your hand with what it is you most seek to accomplish this year. Your Page of Pentacles card should be nearby.
Then return your Page of Pentacles into the deck, shuffle, and then fan out the cards open face, meaning you can see all the cards as they are being fanned out across your reading space.
Look for the Page of Pentacles. You’ll be reading the cards two either side of your Page. These two cards (or a single card, if you find the Page at either end of the fan) will instruct you on how to manifest a more balanced life, what it is your soul is searching for, and the solution to how you can achieve what it is you seek to achieve, as you had charged into The World card.
If you’re working with the SKT, then augment your reading with an I Ching oracle. The card beneath the Herald corresponds with the Lower Trigram. The card above your Herald corresponds with the Upper Trigram.
If your Herald appeared on one of the ends of the fan, then the single card adjacent to the Herald represents the double trigram. For example, if the Herald of the Earth appeared as the last card in the fan and next to it was the Three of Chalices, corresponding with the trigram Water, then you double the trigram Water for Water over Water– Hexagram 29: The Abyss.