The Quintessential Card is the overview of a tarot reading. It can bring the cards together in a more meaningful manner or give a last piece of advice to the questioner. Not all readers use this method, but it is an added bonus to any reading.
The Quintessential Card is found by adding the numerical value of all the cards together and reducing the number if more than 22. You then pick the card corresponding with the number from the Major Arcana. The Fool can be viewed as either 0 or 22.
The court cards, with no numerical value suggested, can be viewed upon in numerous ways. The important thing is to follow the same process during each reading. Some readers give the court cards the value of 0. Another way is to value the court cards as they fall in sequence to their suit. (Pages = 11, Knights = 12, Queens = 13, Kings = 14) You will find that wherever you look for advice to determine these values there are many different opinions. Some give these values: 1 to Kings, 2 to Queens, 3 to Knights and 4 to Pages. You decide, but think on this: No numbers appear on the cards; therefore they truly have no numerical value.
For example: In a three card reading, you pull the 10 of pentacles, 6 of wands, and the Chariot (7). Your formula would look like this: 10+6+7=23. Since 23 is greater than 22, reduce it once more: 2+3=5. The corresponding card, the Quintessential Card, would be the Hierophant.
Give this a try with your next tarot reading. You'll be amazed by the accurate overview, no matter the size of the reading.