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Tarot In-depth, 1

I am really excited to be sharing this Tarot journey with you!

This month is all about the four suits, or four elements of tarot. If you can really connect with the four suits then you unlock the potential of all of the minor & court cards. It really is the obvious place to start.

The Time & fate, and four elements PDF's are also on this webpage- in case you prefer a webpage to a PDF.

Please note: You have access to this information for your personal use. You are not authorised to use my work for commercial purposes, or to share the content with third parties.

Downloadable PDF's

These are the downloadable PDF's for this session.

Spreads includes all my main spreads, and we will work through these as we progress through the course.

Time & fate is my personal understanding of how tarot allows us to connect with the flow of time, and predict possible futures.

The Four Elements introduces our main focus, and includes lots of journaling and practical ideas. You don't have to do these- pick and choose any that call to you.

Real-Spreads is your chance to have a go. You'll find a real spread, with some questions on the first page, then my reading/answers to the questions on the second page. You don't have to match my answers, or even be "right". Its your chance to compare how you read, and I read, and learn through this exercise. These will be included in every module.

Audio recordings

Getting started
00:00 / 24:13
suits
00:00 / 30:05

Time and Fate

 

My understanding of time and fate comes from my study of Norse Mythology and the runes. The three Norns are considered to represent the past, present, and future;

 

Urd: Representing all that has been, or "to happen, came to pass" (verda)

 

Verdandi: Representing the present moment, "happening, taking place

now, becoming" (present tense of verda)

 

Skuld: Representing the future, "debt, need, duty, obligation" debt here does

not only have the sense of something owed, it could reflect the concept of

something invested as well. Perhaps a more suitable word would

be consequences - leaving room for the future to either have something of

benefit, neutral, or negative.

 

A simple way of understanding the Norns, time, and prediction.

 

If  I usually drink a bottle of wine on a Saturday night- then the habit is formed (Urd) and I am likely to drink a bottle of wine this Saturday night, though I still have a choice (Verdandi). If I drink the bottle of wine then the consequence will be a hangover (Skuld).

 

 

Tarot allows us to connect with someone’s timeline and understand the flow enough to make an intuitive prediction.  There is always room for a change of mindset, or a different choice to be made in the present moment (which is why I always read the present moment as advice).

 

Our future is hugely influenced by the choices, mindset, and habits of our past.

 

 

Fate

 

There is a balance between accepting your “fate” or that with which you were born into (genetics, politics of your home country, parents etc) but also your ability to change your future as long as you work with in the lores of the universe.

 

I have included an extract from The Twisted Tree (by Rachel Burge) which also

explores fate.

 

....”We were in the shed, setting up her old loom.

 

She pointed to the vertical lines of the yarn fixed to the wooden frame. “There are circumstances in our life that cannot be changed: when and where we are born, who our parents are.” She tugged hard at the yarn. “This is the warp. It’s fixed, see?”

 

I nodded, and she placed my hand on the lines running across the frame from side to side.  “This is the weft- the yarn that goes over and under the warp. This part we can change.”

 

 I looked at her, confused, and she hugged me close. “A person who has a poor start in life can still weave a good tapestry, if they make the right choices.”

 

She whispered, “Strengthen what’s there, my child, and no one will notice the holes. “    The Twisted Tree, Rachel Burge

 

You’ll notice my spreads (almost always) read from the past, to the present, to the as yet unformed future.

 

You understand and validate the past.

 

You understand, validate, and make the very best of the present moment.

 

Which gives you the understanding you need to give a “best shot” at predicting the future- if you choose to.

 

 

 

 

 

But there are three things to consider here:

 

We all have free will. At any point, anyone can change their mind. This makes it hard to predict for anyone who is unstable and means no prediction is ever 100%.

 

There are “lines of fate” certain universal laws that will influence your reading, and have to be followed. (Someone can’t suddenly run a marathon with no training).

 

The more people are involved in a situation the harder it is to read and be accurate- because they all have free-will to change. Except when there is a mass consensus, and a lot of people are all connected and in tune with the same goal.

 

The interplay between timing and fate, prediction and accuracy is something we will explore later on in the course

 

It worth thinking about your thoughts on fate, pre destination and free will.

  •  

  • Do you believe we are born with a soul path or purpose?

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  • Do you believe we have free will? Or are certain things pre-destined?

The Four elements (and the fifth)

The concept of all matter being made up of distinct elements is an old and universal one. In Northern European mystery lore we have fire, water, air, earth with spirit as the fifth. These elements combine to create the pentagram (or pentacle if it is within a circle).

 In Nordic mysteries there is fire, ice, water, air and earth. In Chinese mysteries wood, water, earth, metal and fire. If we go back to the ancient Greek and Roman philosophers we will find the elements represented as blood, yellow bile, black bile and phlegm.

In Tarot we have the 5 elements of the pentacle..

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The symbols are really useful to understand, and create a great shorthand when writing Tarot notes.

Spirit (or ether) is represented by the circle – The Major Arcana.

Fire; upward triangle (masculine, wands)

Water; downward triangle (feminine, water)

Air; upward lined triangle (masculine, swords)

Earth; downward lined triangle (feminine, pentacles)

 

 

 

 

The masculine and feminine triangles can be combined to make a 6 pointed star (see the notes on stars, and the Hermit)

 

 

 

 

The four elements can also be represented  using Astrology and the four Evangelists. (note Wheel of fortune & World)

 

Fire: Lion of Leo, Mark

Water: Eagle of Scorpio, John

Air: Man of Aquarius, Matthew

Earth: Bull of Taurus, Luke

 

The four elements are also linked to a concept that has many names, linked to the Sphinx, the Magi, and various wisdom traditions.  I like to think of them as the four magical virtues.

To Will (fire)

To Know (water)

To Dare (air)

To keep Silence (earth)

And the four psychological traits of Jung can be linked to the four elements (Take a look at the Myers-Briggs personality test)

Intuition – fire

Feeling – water

Thinking- air

Sensation- earth

 

You may have noticed that I always list the four elements in the same order, this is hugely influenced by Rachel Pollack, and I believe they illustrate the order of creation.

Fire (wands) the spark of knowing (linked to the crown chakra)

Water (cups) emotional connection to the concept, a dreamy state.

Air (swords) logical reasoning, planning.

Earth (pentacles) the actualisation, doing, experiencing.

 

Lets link these to planning a holiday.

Fire: I just Know I need to go to Norway. I’m drawn there, I need to go there.

Water: I’m browsing online sites, imaging what it would be like to be there. As I look at various options I can almost imagine I’m there.

Air: I’ve got some dates provisionally booked and am now starting to organise and plan the trip.

Earth: I am on the flight and headed off to experience the trip!

 

So. Lets have a look at the four suits…

 

Fire

 

 

 

 

The suit associated with Fire is the suit of Wands, also called Staves, Staffs, Clubs and Bows.

 

This is male energy, yang, active, our spirit, our energy. Fire is the spark of inspiration, that “Eureka!” moment when we connect to something greater than ourselves (our intuition, higher guidance, guides, divine energy, etc.). It is contagious optimism, with an ability to draw other people into a spirit of hope. It is the constant drive to understand ourselves more deeply, to create more passionately, to be and do just a little more. It is where we place our energy, our focus, our will.

 

Key phrases: Impulse, creative force, inspiration, expanding awareness, freedom, passion, desire, anger, spontaneous action, movement, optimism, energy, enthusiasm, new beginnings, projects, risk, self-growth.

 

Colours & symbols: Red, yellow, orange, golden.  Flames, Yods, lightning, desert, salamanders, lightening, dragons, phoenix, sun, sunflowers.

 

Concepts & Archetypes: Loki, Thor, Kundalini, heart chakra, Prometheus, Dragons, The Pheonix, Transformation, aspiration, Apollo, Brigid, Lugh. The solar plexus, and the inner fire.

 

Watch out for too much Fire energy – it can burn you:
 

  • Unrealistically high expectations (of yourself and others).

  • Very high energy levels lead to a tendency to ‘burn out’.

  • Potential for aggressive outbursts.

 

Whenever you see Fire cards, ask yourself:

 

  • What’s your burning desire?

  • Is there a new idea or inspiration offered here?

  • Where is your energy focused – is it in the right places, and balanced?

  • What is your intuition trying to tell you?

  • Are you feeling burnt out?

  • Are you seeing red?

 

Connect: Light a candle and gaze at the flame, sit by a fire. Connect with your Solar Plexus. Breath in Golden light, Sunbath.

 

 

Water

The suit associated with Water is the suit of Cups, also called Chalices, Vessels and Hearts.

 

This is female energy, yin, passive, our unconscious, our dreams, our soul, our heart, our emotions. Water is the dreamy, reflective, instinctive part of our soul – where we ‘feel’ and words are just not enough. Water, ever yielding, always contained, ever changing. But it can extinguish the Fire, wash away the Earth or saturate the Air. Without that intensity of connection, life is barely worth living, yet too much of it makes life unlivable.

 

Key phrases: Feelings, dreams, relationships, imagination, fears, passivity, love, apathy, empathy, sympathy, psychic powers, visualisation, moods, nurturing, listening, reflection, romance, containment.

 

Colours & symbols: Blue, green, silver, grey. Moon,  Cauldron, grail, mirror/reflections.

 

Concepts & Archetypes: Stella Marie, Freya, Neptune/Poseidon/ Njord. Holy Grail, Collective consciousness. Blood, water, wine. Cleansing and purifying.

 

Watch out for too much Water energy – it can swamp you:

  • It’s easy to be deluded by our dreams, fantasies and fears, and forget to actually live our life.

  • We can be so influenced by others that we are constantly adjusting to their needs and desires, whilst neglecting our own.

  • We can be so emotionally connected to others that we are immobilised by their pain, or our fear for them.

 

Whenever you see Water cards, ask yourself:

  • How do I feel about this?

  • Am I out of my depth?

  • Am I honouring my own feelings, or giving way to others too easily?

  • Do I need to stop dreaming and start planning and doing?

  • Is it time to adapt, or move on?

  • Is this my cup of tea – does it feel right?

 

Connect: Take a bath or shower and experience the water. Walk to natural water (or rain) and just be with the water. Bless your water before drinking (or watering plants).

Air

The suit associated with Air is the suit of Swords, also called Spades, Arrows and Feathers.

 

This is male energy, yang, active, our logical mind, communication, words. A thought formed, then communicated by word. A list, a letter, a plan: thought through logically, analysed meticulously. Words can never completely communicate the full idea. Each person understands them uniquely. Words are never enough.

 

Colours & symbols: Yellow, white, blue, grey, turquoise. Intellect. Breath, clouds, mountains. Birds, storms, daggers/swords, bells and fans.

 

Concepts & Archetypes: Sky Fathers- Odin, Zeus, Jupiter. Hermes/Mercury, Eagle & Wren, sound, throat chakra, intellect, breath of life. Spring, Dawn.

 

Key phrases: Logic, reason, communication, words, planning, honesty, conflict, wit, breath, ideas, focus, opinions, law and order, cutting away, idealism, balance, thought, oppression.

 

Watch out for too much Air energy – it can cut right through you:

  • It’s easy to become detached from our emotions and the reality of life, by being caught up in our own mind.

  • It can lead to conflict, as words spoken are easily misunderstood.

  • Our mind can trap us with thoughts about low self-esteem and our lack of self-worth.

 

Whenever you see Air cards, ask yourself:

  • What do I think about this?

  • How can I plan, prepare and organise?

  • What is the logical response to this?

  • Am I being honest – and should I be honest?

  • Think first, act second.

  • Am I communicating clearly, and being understood?

  • Would it help to talk to someone?

  • What’s the point?

 

Connect:  Open a window, listen to some windchimes, cloud gaze, storm watch. Go some where high and feel the air. Breathe deeply and connect with your breath.

 

 

Earth

The suit associated with Earth is the suit of Pentacles, also called Coins, Discs, Stones and Diamonds.

 

This is female energy, yin, passive, our body, our actions, our physical possessions. Earth, the spirit incarnated, this body you live in, this planet you live on. Everything that you can touch and feel. Yes, inspiration, love and communication all matter, but until we experience them right now, in the immediate present, with our body, they are of limited value. It’s in the ordinary of everyday life that the real magic happens: a good meal shared, a walk through woodland or by the shore, losing ourselves in a craft, the sensory experiences of a garden, dancing to music, gazing into someone’s eyes. When we live with our senses, in the moment, we are truly alive.

 

Colours & symbols: Green, brown, black, grey. Bread, salt, Earth mother, birth, labyrinths, gnomes and brownies, stone circles.

 

Concepts & Archetypes: Earth mother, Frigg/Jord, Demeter, Hades, Rhea, Binah. Winter, Foundation, Receptive, Birth &  Death, Womb & Tomb, letting go. The North.

 

Key phrases: Body, study, health, craftsmanship, attention to detail, tradition, money, abundance, community, food, home, garden, security, dependability, self-reliance, self-worth, grounded. Nurture, sustenance, safety.

 

Watch out for too much Earth energy – it can bury you:

  • With Earth’s overcautious attitude and obsessive attention to detail, it can be hard to get anything done!

  • Don’t become too attached to materialism (money or clutter) – it can get in the way of living.

  • Don’t get too stuck in your ways.

 

Whenever you see Earth cards, ask yourself:

  • What should I do?

  • How should I act?

  • Do I need a little more perseverance?

  • How are my work, home, income and health?

  • Is my attention to detail slapdash or obsessive?

 

Connect: Stand, or lie outside, on the earth. Sit or stand with your feet flat on the ground, and breathe in through your feet. Cook and eat a meal form locally sources seasonal food.

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