Introducing The Elemental Dignities Dictionary

ED Dictionary

Promoting the study and application of Elemental Dignities in Tarot readings was one of the reasons I began writing my Tarot blog. I was fortunate enough to be personally tutored on them and even with that assistance there were times when it proved a little difficult. During my time of study it became apparent that what I needed was a visual guide to all of the possible combinations of Elemental Dignities – every single one of them, in one place.

What I needed was a visual Elemental Dignities (ED) Dictionary that contained keywords or short guides to all the combinations possible – something I could easily look up and reference. It was something that would have benefited me as a beginner and as I progressed with my learning. I thought about creating the ED Dictionary for a long time, but always shelved the idea because of the enormity of the task.

Bringing The Dream To Life

During recent conversations with Douglas Gibb at Tarot Eon, it became apparent that he’d had similar ideas, that a visual guide to learning the various Elemental Dignities combinations was necessary to help others learn to recognise the elements and apply them in their Tarot readings; to further assist in established and future Tutorials and How To lessons on his Tarot blog, Tarot Eon; and of course the lessons and tutorials here at Tarot Elements. Two heads are better than one they say and before long we had decided to create and produce this work as a joint effort, for the benefit of our readers and our Tarot blogs and the continued promotion of Elemental Dignities in Tarot readings.

The ED Dictionary will be published, simultaneously, over the next three posts, in the following order:

  • Two Card Combinations
  • Three Card Combinations

Douglas and I did have some slightly different ideas about the definitions of some of the combinations. We did agree however that the ED Dictionaries should work exactly like a dictionary or reference guide – you won’t find any theory or lessons contained within them – they are a purely complimentary work to our Tutorials and Lessons, and of course, to your own studies. Think of the ED Dictionary like the Tarot Cards and Their Meanings section – a place where you can begin your studies, add definitions and layers without being confined to my own way of thinking. The benefits of keywords as I point out throughout the site is that you may ‘grow your own’ divinitory definitions that mean something to you personally; the ED Dictionary will provide you with the same flexibility in your ever growing Tarot vocabulary.

On various ED combinations and throughout the entire work, you will be able to see where Douglas and I had a different definition for that combination. We thought it would be a great idea for our readers to be able to see those differences and read them there and then, so underneath my own ED definitions, you will be able to read Douglas’ take on that particular ED combination, and vice versa.

A Visual Guide To The Elemental Dignities Dictionary

The following graphic is to help you gain an understanding of the visual approach we have taken and used throughout the whole of the ED Dictionary. The 3-d shapes contained within the coloured squares represent the Platonic Solids as defined by Plato to represent the Four Elements of Nature. All ED combinations will be shown in this format, for consistency:

The Platonic Solids

I’m really excited about this project. The Elemental Dignities Dictionary is the learning tool I know would have made things a lot easier for me when I was learning to read and apply Elemental Dignities, and would have helped me to apply this branch of Tarot study a lot quicker.

I hope you enjoy it and learn a great deal from it.

The Elemental Dignities Dictionary Index


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I use tarot to help me navigate life and understand myself better. As well as tarot, I enjoy using aromatherapy & herbalism to improve my health & well being. My spiritual seeking lay with Gaia, the environment & what my senses engage around me.

14 thoughts on “Introducing The Elemental Dignities Dictionary

  1. This is a brilliant idea and I look forward to each part. Glad you two are collaborating – I enjoy both of your individual blogs and think this will be interesting indeed!

    1. Hi Theresa,

      Thank you for you comment.

      It is an exciting project – hope you enjoy the finished ‘product’ as much as we did creating it!

      Looking forward to reading more of your feedback as we progress πŸ™‚



  2. Pingback: Having Fun With The Magic Square - The Tarot Elements Signature Spread
  3. Hi Catherine,

    This guide is a tremendous resource for people who are interested in learning about the elemental dignities and how they apply to Tarot. As you know, it’s one of my main goals to apply what I learn about this as I go. I hope to see more in this robust series. Keep it up!

    – Nicole

    1. Hi Nicole – I’m glad you’re enjoying the ED Dictionary Series – Douglas and I hoped to debunk a lot of confusion around ED’s and show people how easy they really can be – you’ll really enjoy the next in the series – it’ll be along very soon πŸ™‚

  4. Hi Catherine,
    You have liberated me and thank you so much for the articles on ED’s that you have produced on your brilliant blog. I have been a busy astrologer for 20 years and you can therefore see why this series has appealed so much to me. I have only been using and studying tarot for 18 months and still consider myself to be very much a beginner. However, although a senior, I am totally committed to tarot now and have received some wonderful guidance from spirit through that medium. I do have a question that may seem basic to you but it has been testing me ever since I started using your magic square layout. The question is this :- When two elements weaken each other as in say earth and air, does the interpretation using the ED combined with the divinity meaning produce the negative meanings of the two cards in question? EG: My friend asked me a question about her new lover and the Knight of Disks and the Magician turned up as a pair. When holding dialogue with my friend it appeared that all of the negative qualities of the earth and air cards were almost an exact description of her new lover. Any comments from you would be most welcome.
    Thanks and keep up the work and the very best of luck with monetizing your blog. Brian.

    1. Hello Brian – thank you for such lovely compliments about my Tarot blog πŸ™‚ In answer to your question regarding contrary elements, in pure Golden Dawn rules, where there is a pair and not a triad, they both have equal weight – one doesn’t cancel the other out like they would if they were part of a triad. We cannot escape the fact that they are contrary though, and it’s this kind of grey area that has caused people to adjust the rules and interpret the cards before them in their own way, keeping the rules as a loose guideline only.

      The Knight of Disks and the Magician can be interpreted in many ways, and that is part of the fun of Card Pairing. Seeing as your friend could clearly identify her new lover in the negative aspects of both cards, then the correct interpretation was made, such is the nature of intuition. For future reference, other interpretations can be made using the positive attributes of one card, say the practical nature of the Knight of Disks; then combined with a negative one from the Magician, say a conman, liar or ‘silver tongued devil’.

      Just to throw a spanner in the works, and in keeping with pure Golden Dawn rules (neither card cancelling the other out), then we could look at all the positive attributes of both cards and say this is a reliable, practical man who is self-employed, a quick-thinker and problem solver…. seems there’s good and bad everywhere πŸ˜‰

      The best advice I can give Brian is to use the rules as guidelines and always, always follow your intuition.

      Thank you for stopping by my Tarot blog and for taking the time to comment, I look forward to seeing you here again πŸ™‚

  5. Hi Catherine,
    Many thanks for taking the time out of your busy schedule to answer my question in such a comprehensive manner. I have ordered your new book with Amazon and now impatiently wait for its eventual arrival. If it’s contents are as informative and clearly presented as your blog then you will undoubtedly be onto a winner. I wish you every success. One final matter. Your question to spirit regarding monetizing your blog has, I am sure, fascinated a great numbers of tarot readers. Are you proposing to update us on the outcome? I am particularly interested in how you eventually experienced The Tower and whether your timing was accurate.
    Long may I open my computer and be blessed with your open and straight forward way of dealing with this ever fascinating way of interacting with the universe!
    Love and Light

    1. Hi Brian – I will indeed be keeping my readers updated. Suffice to say the Tower did indeed strike round about the time I predicted – but with more devastating power than I had anticipated and for much longer than I thought too. It is only just waning, there were even ‘aftershocks’. Not a single area of my life has remained untouched by it – and so far, I am yet to see the healing power of the Star. I actually did begin paid employment in December, and am switching companies this week (Three of Disks). The computer did die, though was repaired – then I lost my broadband connection, hence little blogging activity. I’m still in that position, though I have great friends who let me use their computers for updates etc. As I have said previously on my blog, ever the optimist, onward and upward and don’t look back! It’s ok to move slowly, just don’t stop moving at all!!

      Numerologically, 2010 is a personal year 19/1 for me, which means new beginnings in the one sense, and if we look at the 19, we have the Sun – blessings and light. The Sun also being the card that follows the Moon – no wonder last year was so difficult for me! I’ve had many an illusion shattered since November, painful but necessary.

      Thank you for ordering my new book – it’s a very personal journey, but being a real tarot reading, brings the techniques used to life and easier to see and understand. I’d love to hear what you think about it when you have read it. I will be writing a blog post about it in the coming week, so there will be an appropriate place for comments.

      Thanks again for such a warm and inquisitive comment, interacting after the fact is interesting! I will get round to that update as soon as I can πŸ™‚

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