Q&A: King of Clubs


Q: What does the King of Clubs mean in a Tarot Reading?

A: By “clubs” do you mean wands? Wands is the more common name for the suite. In old French decks, the suite we call wands is called “batons” – clubs. In Cartomancy, where we do readings with the modern gaming deck, the black card with the three leaf clover looking thingy on it is clubs too. Bottom line – it doesn’t really matter. I read both Tarot wands and Cartomancy clubs the same way. As I see it, both symbolize our inner world, our relationship with ourself. In either case, I see the King as symbolizing the male, the projected, the outward, the ‘yang’ aspects of the suite.

Seems like a contradiction in terms, doesn’t it? How are you supposed to understand the outward projection of your inner world? Think of connections…how do you connect with your world. This also touches on the notion of authenticity. How do you show your true self to the outer world? Are you your genuine self: warts, scars and all? Or is life a constant exercise in wearing a mask and pleasing others?

I want to take a moment and talk about the differences between masks and hats. We all have different roles to play in life. You are going to connect differently with your boss than you do with your spouse and differently with your 4 year old nephew. Sometimes you put on job interview  hat, sometimes you put on your vacation hat. The hats change…the face under the hat doesn’t. Adaptability is a good thing.  For example, I live in a fairly conservative area, so when I’m doing an intuition developement workshop, I dress nondescript, business casual. At a card party, especially at Halloween, I’ll pull out the pointy hat and do a full on professor McGonagal.  Housework days, I look like a refugee from the set of the Big Lebowski.  That’s different hats: teacher, entertainer, mom. Those are different hats. If I wore a full on buisiness suit to workshops and cleaned house in June Cleaver pearls – that’s a mask. I’d be trying to project an inauthentic image.

This is the kind of thing that the King of Wands/Clubs asks us to thing about. Kings are leaders – are we leading ourselves and others through our authenticity? How do we and our innerworld connect with the outer world? What is the quality of that connection?

A heart-connection with life and others is a vitally important thing. It is an empowering, energizing, vital thing. I can’t remember the exact quote, but in one of the versions of a “Christmas Carol” the ghost of Marley talks about all men being required to send their spirit forth during their lifetime, if they don’t then they are doomed to do so in death…I don’t know about the doomed part, but I would agree with the sending the spirit forth part. To choose otherwise seems kind of lonely and miserable. If connecting with others is miserable, that’s a problem that needs fixed. That’s a problem the King of Clubs/Wands can point out to us, and suggest we fix through building kinder, compassionate, more authentic connections with life and with other people.

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