Working with the court cards of tarot can be approached in many ways. They can represent people in one’s life. They can represent aspects of the self in development. A stage of personal development. Or they may be a messenger. I prefer to use the intuition in what role they play according to context. But my favorite use of the court characters is to look at them as manifestations of the self both internally and externally. The idea behind this last approach is in that we surround ourselves with people who reflect parts of ourselves we find endearing or need greater understanding.
This approach takes blame and victim hood from the reading, lending a greater understanding to shadow aspects of the self. It can also be empowering as one realizes that this person they admire is admired for qualities they already possess but need conscious development.
The strength also comes from the conscious need to surround oneself with people of certain characteristics and values. Whether it be the queen of cups empathy and compassion or knight of coins long term pragmatic planning, one needs support and understanding of the direction they are facing. We can foster these connections mindfully and learn to really value the people in our lives for what they individually offer and what they nurture in ourselves.
Tarot is an art form when done in practice. This means that it goes beyond the rational, touching our sense of magic and creativity. Therefore beyond the technique imagination takes over, but it starts with technique. When the characters of tarot feel like something you know you have arrived at the art side of tarot. The technique is only mastered through practice.