With a desire to honor all journeys for self and community growth, The Crux Tarot abandons all sense of gender and hierarchy in the court. To do this, it centers the court system around ways we can embody the elemental energy typically associated with each court card. These activities demonstrate clear ways that we can access the wisdom and power of the suits, and combine the elements in powerful practices.
Each type of card below is represented in combination with each suit in the tarot, culminating in a 16 card body of court cards that mirrors the typical tarot court. All cards are represented, just without gender, hierarchy, or personification.
The Meditation cards are how we listen to the suits. They relate deeply to sensation and grounding. They are closest related to the Pages in a traditional deck, and represent the element of earth.
Anyone, no matter how experienced they are with a suit, can benefit from some meditative time. It isn’t about a lack of practice, but rather about letting go of expectations and desires. Meditation cards are our window to our roots, our physical body, and our past.
The Ritual cards are how we manifest with the suits. They relate to desire and all forms of movement. They are closest related to Knights in a traditional deck, and represent the element of fire.
Accessing your desires is an important part of finding direction and passion in life. Whether our movement is vertical or lateral, it is driven by desire and action. Ritual cards are how we insert ourselves meaningfully into our practices, and honor our spirit.
The Altar cards are how we imagine the suits. They relate to dreaming, and intuition. They are closest related to the Queens, and represent the element of water.
Holding space is an art, and art is work. When we construct spaces to hold ourselves, our loved ones, our communities, we are creating a more loving and inclusive future. Altar cards are how we honor our capacity to dream the future and expand on our perceptions.
The Prayer cards are how we communicate through the suits. They relate to boundaries and processing. They are closest related to the Kings, and represent the element of air.
Articulating a thought, either out loud or in our heads, is a process of structure. Bringing ideas into words, constructing boundaries, or expressing permissions are how we communicate clearly with others, and ourselves. Prayer cards are how we carve out our meanings from thin air.
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THE PURPOSE OF A NON-PERSON COURT
My inspiration for these cards is to make the court more personal and accessible. In my readings, I often find myself identifying the court card as a character, only to then dive into elemental connections, symbolism, and the activity or role it could allude to. The Crux’s action based court system is all about cutting out the middleman, and bringing the actions, elements, and symbols directly to the querent.
As people, the court can feel like a set of identities, which creates friction when the card contrasts the inclination of the person being read. For example, someone very passionate and inspired my nature may have a hard time connecting with an archetype of complete grounded stillness like the Page of Pentacles. By transforming these cards into actions, we can use them as active participation in our journeys. The card does not ask you to change who you are, or to seek out a person identical to the archetype, but rather see how these elements exist in your life already. That same passionate person seeing the Meditation of Coins could understand how they might pause, listen, and get grounded, as it makes sense to them.
The cards are not just clearer, but more inclusive. By eliminating the cis-hetero-normative hierarchy of the royal court model, there is no longer a sense of “better than/worse than”, nor is there the assumption of romantic or sexual union between the Queens and Kings. Instead, we are left with four ways we can participate with the suit, each action based in it’s own sense of elemental power. They open us up to imagination. How might we build an Altar of Coins, a space to honor and imagine our grounding. What might a Prayer of Cups sound like, a sharp and firm boundary to foster our self care.
Likewise, by prioritizing the connection between court type and the element it represents, we can see the court reflected in the other cards. Does the Five of Cups feel like air and water clashing in grief and endings? Find wisdom in the Prayer of Cups, or perhaps Altar of Swords. And for that matter, how do pairs of the same elements fuel each other?
This court system is a deep well of symbolism and actions, offering us an opportunity to receive guidance from The Crux on our path through life.