The Four Princes

Wow, this certainly is a gang of formidable gentlemen. The Princes present an interesting counterpoint to the four Princesses (or Pages, or Knaves) that we met a while back. They both share all the blessings and curses of youth: vitality, immaturity, simplicity, audacity, curiosity, solipsism, etc. Unlike the King and Queen, the younger set needn't worry about governing or protecting an entire world or worldview; they're still training and conditioning, usually taking on just one battle or idea at a time.

Where the Princesses draw their unique characteristics from the classical element of Earth, however, the Princes are emissaries of Air, the suit of logic, reason, focus, and discernment -- this means they're less interested in their exploring the boundaries of their awesome potential, preferring channeling that energy into specific courses of action with specific (intended) results. If they fail at one attempt, they consider it a learning experience and simply leap back into the fray. Some people only feel truly alive, truly purposeful, and truly themselves when they're embattled, even when at rest. Just look at all the games our civilization plays, and the sports it enjoys!

Don't get the wrong idea -- these figures aren't heartless (though the jury's out on the Tin-Man-esque Prince of Swords). I consider all of the Court cards to be the gallery of faces that we show the world, the way we characterize ourselves -- consciously or otherwise -- depending on the circumstances we find ourselves in. We're like psychological lava-lamps, in that there are always qualities within us that are rising to the surface as others cool and descend back to the depths. None of it ever goes away, it just divides and conglomerates into new configurations. Think of the Princely tendency I've described as just that -- a tendency, often quite an important one.

Of course, you may run up against a countenance that stonewalls you or criticizes you or runs right over you in its attempts to get somewhere else. The Princes often become absorbed in learning and conquering and defending that they lose all concept of how their crusade looks to an outsider. If you don't mind wearing the countenance of a Prince yourself, then these blind-spots are exactly what you want to seek out and take advantage of in dealing with them. Let the games begin!

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