May 28, 2010

Elemental Dignities

Today I'm going to try something a little different, I've been looking at how Elemental Dignities figure into tarot readings and the depth that they can add when the cards just don't seem to make sense. This isn't a "Tarot Tuesday" post per se, but my attempts at reading dignities instead of traditional meanings.
I am struggling a bit with learning to read this way as I see the card's meanings first and it tends to get in the way of seeing dignities so, I thought if I do a Friday post, the information can creep into my brain as well as help you out there to learn right along with me.

So, with no further ado...Elemental dignities

 I had a wonderful conversation with Catherine Chapman, author of Beyond the Celtic Cross, secret techniques for taking tarot to an exciting new level  and owner of the Tarot Elements website in which we briefly discussed her new book and what Elemental Dignities were about. She was very kind to send me a copy of this book and I am so looking forward to getting it in the mail because it will give so much information on card counting and Elemental Dignities and how when applied to my readings...I'm pretty revved and ready to gain a whole new perspective on just how I interpret tarot.

The first thing I'd like to get into is the Major Arcana and what the Elemental Dignities are for each card, that will give me a firm foundation to continue into the Minor Arcana's elemental meanings and thus introduce the rules for each element and how they interact with each other. This week I'm going to go through my Majors in the Alchemical Tarot Renewed deck, it has the elemental symbols on the Minor Arcana which makes it so much easier to tell at just a glance without too much mental work from myself...(yes, I tend to be a bit lazy at times.)

Fool - Uranus/Air
Magician - Mercury/Air
High Priestess - Moon/Water
Empress - Venus/Earth
Emperor - Aries/Fire
Hierophant - Taurus/Earth
Lovers - Gemini/Air
Chariot - Cancer/Water
Strength- Leo/Fire
Hermit - Virgo/Earth
Wheel of Fortune - Jupiter/Fire
Justice - Libra/Air
Hanged Man - Neptune/Water
Death - Scorpio/Water
Temperance - Sagittarius/Fire
Devil - Capricorn/Earth
Tower - Mars/Fire
Star - Aquarius/Air
Moon - Pisces/Water
Sun - Sun/Fire
Judgment - Pluto/Fire
World - Saturn/Earth

The rules for Elemental Dignities are:

Active - Masculine - Energizing -Active
Fire - Wands...  Hot and Dry
Air - Swords...   Hot and Wet

Passive - Feminine - Inert/Nurturing - Passive
Water - Cups...   Cold and Wet
Earth - Pentacles...   Cold and Dry

Fire and Air are friendly and active and strengthen each other
Water and Earth are friendly and passive and strengthen each other
Fire and Water are enemies; they weaken each other
Air and Earth are enemies; they weaken each other
Fire and Earth are neutral and do not effect each other elementally
Water and Air are neutral and do not effect each other elementally

That having been stated, here's a fun exercise to help with how these Elements interact with each other:

Shuffle your deck and pull two cards, setting them side by side...what are the permutations (or possible actions) of the two cards... How do they act with each other, are they friendly and active or are they enemies and weaken each other... or do they not affect each other at all? Next Friday I will go further and add a third card which will add a new dimension to seeing these Elemental Dignities and permutations at work.


Bonnie Cehovet said...

Love the site music! :) You did a very comprehensive presentation on Elemental Dignities here - a nice way to help readers to follow along and do the exercises.

Catherin's book ("Beyond the Celtic Cross") is excellent! You will love it! Her site is a must visit - so much information, very well presented - and great blogs! :)


Jacqueline said...

Very interesting post; I really enjoyed learning more about the elements and how they affect us and each other...Happy weekend Liz...Blessings of peace and love to you.

Willow said...

It's an interesting way to look at the cards. The book I use as a reference has the elemental dignities as a part of their descriptors, but I very rarely use them. Perhaps I should start!

Tarot By Arwen said...

Just diving into the ED's and found this site very useful for the simple breakdown of what's what. Thank you!

Kevin Cottrell said...

Let us all be cognizant of the logics and their rightfull place as endeared reverent sight of all that is natural.Our small place on and of them.Our responsibility to.And our respect of Earth,Air,fire,and Water.As well as we are cared for;let us be caretakers of logic nature. Thank You for your insights, KT Cottrell. Appalachian Druids & Bards. feel free to inquire at.