A phenomenon you will come across during Tarot card study and Tarot readings are sub-elements and contradictory elements. Mainly associated with the Rider Waite-Smith Tarot deck and decks inspired by it, at its most simplistic explanation, sub-elements are those underlying elements that are secondary to the main one normally associated with a Tarot card. They can either compliment the main element and theme of the Tarot card, or they can in fact appear contradictory.
A look at how the four elements of nature have been transposed into the Tarot card Aces; journeying through the esoteric from Fire, Water, Air and Earth, to the Tarot Card suits of Wands, Cups, Swords and Disks. Includes a brief look at the divinatory definitions and tarot card meanings of the Tarot Aces in your Tarot deck.
The Elemental Dignities Mini Series is a short tarot tutorial designed to be interactive and immersive to help you see elemental dignities in action. There are a few short rules that direct the interaction of the elements in this system and building on one tarot card at a time, you will be able to witness this interaction.
Using free association, tarot card meanings, numerology and the astrology associated with each card you will see the depth of tarot reading that can be obtained by applying elemental dignities to one, two and three tarot cards.
There are a number of ways to approach elemental dignities and this tutorial follows the Paul Hughes-Barlow approach.
Paul runs the expansive and well respected tarot website, Supertarot, and personally mentored me in his adaptation of this Golden Dawn system of tarot reading. For a deeper look at elemental dignities, and to see how the Golden Dawn practised this type of tarot reading, head to my Elemental Dignities Dictionary for a full colour explanation of their system and what all those elements mean in one, two and three card combinations. The Elemental Dignities Dictionary is an exclusive and one-of-a-kind exploration and presentation of elemental dignities anywhere on the internet.
The Elemental Dignities Mini Series was first presented as a three part series over three individual posts but has now been combined into one easy to access page with navigation links to enable swift movement throughout the post.
Elemental Dignities Mini Series Index
Pick a Card, Any Card…
Go on then, grab your tarot deck, shuffle and deal one card. Mine’s the 9 of Wands. What’s yours?
Take a good look at it and take note of what jumps out at you.
What does it say to you? What do you think when you look at it? Does the picture speak to you? Or the keywords? Are you thinking about the element it’s associated with? You should be, but we’ll come to that later.