Added at 13:31 on 09 September 2021

You may have heard the term Significator when using and studying Tarot.

So, what is a Significator?

Traditionally, they are a court card taken from the deck which matches the questioner's astrological sign, their colouring, age or marital status. They were, and are, by a lot of readers, used with a traditional Celtic Cross Tarot spread.

The card is meant to be the questioner in card form and placed in front of the reader, taken from the deck before shuffling. Which aspect of the questioner is chosen, i.e., hair colour, is decided by the reader. A significator is not chosen by the person having the reading. While they can be used in any Tarot spread, with a traditional Celtic Cross, this is a card laid directly underneath the first card, which is titled ‘This Covers You’. In effect, it is then not seen as it is under another card.

While it can be a court card, it can be any card that mirrors the client's issue yet be it a traditional court card or another card, a lot of readers do not use Significators as it can take a potentially important card from the deck. For this reason, some who like to use a significator will use a second deck to take it from. Some readers do like to find what they feel would be the questioner's significator and keep it in the deck just in case it comes out in the reading.

A significator does not have to be a Tarot card, as it is a point of focus for the reader. It can be anything; a photo, a written question, anything which you’re drawn to, or nothing at all.

Significators are one of those personal things in Tarot. Some do, some don't. I tell students to give them a go, be imaginative if they don't want to be traditional, and use something different than a card from the working deck. See what works for them, as it is something that is aimed at being the focus for the reader. 

Significator examples taken from the book Understanding Tarot 

Astrological Signs and Colouring


Wands – Fire

Sagittarius (November 22nd to December 21st) = Knight

Leo (July 23rd till August 22nd) = Queen

Aries (March 21st till April 19th) = King

Or presents with. Hair: fiery colours, brown, ginger, red, auburn, strawberry blond(e), brunette. Skin: fair to medium. Eyes: brown, green, hazel.


Cups – Water

Scorpio (October 23rd till November 21st) = Knight

Cancer (June 21st till July 22nd) = Queen

Pisces (February 19th till March 20th) = King

Or presents with. Hair: pastel colours, pale ginger, pale light blond(e) Skin: fair Eyes: blue, brown, hazel.


Swords – Air

Gemini (May 21st till June 20th) = Knight

Libra (September 23rd till October 22nd) = Queen

Aquarius (January 20th to February 18th) = King

Or presents with. Hair: pale and sharp colours, black, grey. Skin: dark. Eyes: dark brown, striking blue.


Pentacles – Earth

Virgo (August 23rd till September 22nd) = Knight

Capricorn (December 22nd till January 19th) = Queen

Taurus (April 20th till May 20th) = King

Or presents with. Hair: earthy colours, light, or dark brown, dark blond(e). Skin: dark or tanned. Eyes: dark eyes, brown, green, hazel.

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Understanding Tarot by Pam Richards


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