Now let’s look at Capricorn in the court cards. But which one – or ones? For instance, the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn chose to assign cardinal attributes (initiating things) to the Queens, fixed (maintaining order) to the Kings, and mutable (being able to adapt and transform) to the Knights. Each court card is also linked to the elements, with Pages with Earth, Knights being associated with Fire, Queens with Water, and Kings with Air.
Queen of Pentacles (trimmed):
© Universal Waite Tarot
Following this system, we end up with Cardinal Earth sign Capricorn being associated with the Queen of Pentacles (Water of Earth). What qualities do we associate with this Queen? Pragmatic, well-organized, good with finances, a loyal friend who’s always ready to listen and dispense practical advice. As well as finances and possessions, she also represents taking care of – and taking pleasure in – the body. We also associate her with caring for the earth – and enjoying its wealth.
Plenty of goat imagery in the Universal Waite's Queen of Pentacles! We also see plenty of symbolism around nature, a connection to the land, and the enjoyment of its riches.
Queen of Disks (trimmed):
© Thoth Tarot
The Crowley Thoth’s Queen of Disks is one of my favourite representations of this card. We see her resting in a green and fertile oasis, looking back over the barren, difficult landscape that she’s had to travel through to reach this point. The goat looks at us, rather cheekily, I always think – as if to say “see? We made it!” – reminding us of the tenaciousness and independence of the mountain goat as he surmounts obstacles in his way. We see this too in the curved horns on the Queen’s headdress. Remember too, what we said about the goat when we looked at the Devil – that it also represents procreation and new life. This Queen knows what she needs in order to nourish herself – and others – and has worked hard to achieve it. Now she can rest and enjoy the fruits of her labours.
King of Pentacles (trimmed):
© Sharman-Burke/Caselli Tarot
If you work with a system that assigns cardinality to the Kings, you’re looking at the King of Swords. In the image from Juliet Sharman-Burke’s Beginners’ Guide to the Tarot, we see the King on his throne, adorned with carvings of goats’ heads, symbolizing Capricorn and the steady, determined hard work that’s helped him to realize his ambition. Behind him we see his castle and grounds – symbols of his achievement, both in terms of material success but also of his status in society. They also appear to be on top of a mountain, reminding me of the sure-footed-ness of the mountain goat as he picks his way around obstacles in his way to the top. Security and stability have been gained through effort and sheer determination, and the King is now in a position to share this wisely and generously.
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Beginner’s Guide to the Tarot created by Juliet Sharman-Burke, illustrated by Giovanni Caselli, published by Connections
Thoth Tarot created by Aleister Crowley, illustrated by Lady Frieda Harris, published by U.S. Games Systems, Inc.
Universal Waite Tarot created by Mary Hanson-Roberts & Pamela Colman-Smith, published by U.S. Games Systems, Inc.