The 4 Elements

The Classical Elements should not be confused with the elements of chemistry seen on a periodic table. The  classical elements are the elements of human life. In these modern times it is easy to forget that only a short time ago human existence was harder, more perilous and primitive and had been so for the millennia since man first walked on earth.

Just as many of us have an irrational fear of spiders and snakes even though we have no prior experience of one so do we also carry the imprinted ancient knowledge of the 4 corner stones of human life and survival.

Element of FireThe Element of Fire represents our home, our family and our community in which we live and work. Fire was our first innovation, it allowed us to cook food and ward off dangerous animals while we slept at night. Around the fire sat our family and our community, the fire has in the human conscious and sub-conscious come to represent the heart of the home, family and community. We still do this today with summer BBQs around which family, friends and communities gather socially. Fire also symbolises our innovation, engineering, our ability to build structures, homes and our creativity. It was with fire that we learned to craft metals and later drive machines.

In the Minor Arcana of Tarot the Suite of Rods, Sticks, Batons, or Wands represents the element of fire. With regular playing cards it would be the suite of Clubs. When considering the meaning of any card from this suite the characteristics of fire and how it relates to mankind's psyche must be taken into account. This symbology applies in dream interpretation.

Element of EarthThe Element of Earth represents our wealth and prosperity. From the earth comes the food we eat. The animals we rear or hunt for food graze upon the earth. Good fertile land has bestowed wealth and even power on those who have it. Even though in modern times where paper money, coins and material possessions have come to represent wealth, within our ancient sub-conscious Earth still represents wealth symbolically.

In the Minor Arcana of Tarot the Suite of Coins or Pentacles represents the element of earth. With regular playing cards it would be the suite of Diamonds. When considering the meaning of any card from this suite the characteristics of earth and how it relates to mankind's psyche must be taken into account. This symbology applies in dream interpretation.

Element of AirThe Element of Air represents the trials and challenges we face in life. Man has always needed to use his intellect to survive whatever mother nature has thrown in his way. Air is representative of wind and the storms of our lives. Knowledge of the seasons and the tides was and still is essential for growing or catching food. Knowledge of how to build shelters to protect ourselves, family, community & food source from the extremes of nature was, and still is, essential for survival. In our ancient sub-conscious Air still represents our knowledge, the challenges we face and intelligence as a resource for survival.

In the Minor Arcana of Tarot the Suite of Swords represents the element of Air. With regular playing cards it would be the suite of Spades. When considering the meaning of any card from this suite the characteristics of air and how it relates to mankind's psyche must be taken into account. This symbology applies in dream interpretation.

Element of WaterThe Element of Water represents our feelings, emotions and intuition. The primary emotion being love. The most extreme human emotions bring about the physical reaction of tears. Tears can come from joy as well as sadness. The secretion of water from the eye's, which are regarded as the windows of the soul, is a powerful symbol of emotion. In music and poetry water, in it's various forms, is often used to convey feelings and love. Elvis sang "Like a river flows surely to the sea", the Watermark album that brought Enya international fame has water as a theme not only in the title track but in every song on the album.

Without water nothing will grow in the earth, we use water to cook on fire and the wind brings water as rain. Water is the key ingredient to life, it is the most important element of the 4. Water cleans our bodies, our food, our clothes, it has the ability to purify. In Christianity water is blessed, it is used in the ritual of baptism. Psychics drink water when they work as water is a conduit to the higher conscious and increases their ability to see with the minds eye. Our bodies are composed mostly of water, it is what we are.

In the Minor Arcana of Tarot the Suite of Cups represents the element of water. With regular playing cards it would be the suite of Hearts. When considering the meaning of any card from this suite the characteristics of water and how it relates to mankind's psyche must be taken into account. This symbology applies in dream interpretation.

Tarot's Major Arcana also uses the elements widely throughout its 22 cards. A Tarot reader must always be conscious (& unconciously) aware of the elements present in the imagery of each card in the Major Arcana. The Sun is a card that is obviously a card of the element fire. The Moon often has water depicted in it's imagery, in the form of a lake or the sea.

 

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