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Amanda Goldston
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Using a Significator or Not

If you are not familiar with the term, a Significator is a card that the reader picks to represent the person they are doing the reading for, who is frequently called the Querant.

This is usually a Court card, that is to say, a King, Queen, Knight or Page or whatever the people cards are called in the deck you use. They are cards that represent people.  It may also be a Major Arcana card.

There are several ways that you can choose a Significator. These can be based on the gender of a person, so a King would represent a male and a Queen would represent a female. This can be further divided by age, so a King might represent an older male, whereas a Page would probably be a child or a young teenager and a Knight would probably be a teenager or a young adult.

Another way of determining a Significator is by Astrological sign.

The Suits themselves are frequently linked to astrological signs, so, for example, the suit of Cups would be linked to water and the emotions. The astrological signs traditionally associated with Water are Pisces, Scorpio and Cancer.  If someone is born under a Fire sign, that would be Aries, Leo and Sagittarius and this would be signified by the Suit of Wands in a Tarot deck. Likewise the Earth signs of Taurus, Virgo and Capricorn would be represented by the Suit of Pentacles or Coins in Tarot deck and the Air signs of Gemini, Libra and Aquarius would be represented by the Suit of Swords.

You can ask someone their astrological sign and then pick a card based on that sign, their gender and age. So, for example, a 40 year old Leo woman could be represented by the Queen of Cups, a 25 year old male Capricorn could be a Knight of Pentacles and a 50 year old male Gemini might be a King of Swords.

This can work in determining the Significator, however there are numerous downsides to this.

Firstly, the Sun sign is a very small part of Astrology and there are very few people who match a text-book description of any sun sign. There are many other factors that affect an astrological birth chart and often these can be stronger in a person’s chart than the Sun sign.

This is the case with me. I am born under the sign of Scorpio, which makes me a Queen of Cups. This is a very sensitive, emotional sign and yes, I can be like that, however I associate myself more as a Queen of Wands, which is a more fiery, outgoing type of person.

Secondly, in their basic nature, the person may be quite like their sun sign, however, at the moment, they may be acting and reacting in a very different way because of the situation that they find themselves in.

Thirdly, if you pick a Signicificator, there can be a tendency to prejudge that person, based on the astrological information and how they “should” be reacting or feeling.

I tend not to pick out a Significator before I start the reading. I rarely ask people for their sun sign because I want to give them information that is as unbiased as I can.

Frequently, as I put the cards down and start to see the situation unfolding, a card will  leap out at me, which will indicate the person themselves ( the Querant). This will often be in the context of how they see themselves in this situation, how they are reacting and how they are coping (or not) and dealing with the situation.

They may well be acting in a way that is perhaps “out of character.” The card or cards that come up to represent the person may be Court Cards and they may also be Major Arcana cards.

The Major Arcana cards are considered to be archetypes of a Human Being and show major things that can be going on deep inside someone.  If a Major Arcana card comes up as a Significator, then this is likely to be a very important situation, where the person may be dealing with some very fundamental issues and with things that are very significant to their Core Being.

Major Arcana cards can point towards qualities that the person may already recognise within themselves and know that they need to bring to the surface. They can also indicate the qualities and skills that a person needs to develop, or, more likely, to find within themselves in order to overcome what might they might consider to be insurmountable obstacles. 

I don’t personally think that selecting a card as Significator before you start a reading is very helpful because it can lead to pre-judging the person and jumping to conclusions about them and their situation.

However, I believe it is very valuable to watch carefully to see which cards are emerging that represent the person, their current state of mind and their potential for resolving their problems.

This approach allows you to cut across Gender issues. Sometimes you can get a male court card come out for a female querant. This may be a male in their life who is also part of this situation.

 It can also be that the male card represents the woman you are reading for and is indicating that she is either already adopting more male characteristics  in her approach to the situation or perhaps that she needs to do that in order to move forward.

With the court cards, it can be helpful to look at the characteristics of that card, rather than the gender of the figure in the picture or the name of the card. That approach can be much more helpful because we all have both male and female characteristics in us and different aspects become more prevalent, depending on the situation we find ourselves in.


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