Tarot and Elemental Dignities
Excerpt from Mary Greer
1) Cards are “Strong” when the suits/elements are the same; they are “very strong for either good or evil, according to their nature.”
In other words, two swords cards are like-minded and egg each other on. They can greatly increase either the good or ill in each (depending on their individual meanings).
2) When the suits/elements are both masculine/active or feminine/passive, they are “moderately strong because they are friendly to each other.” [Fire+Air; Water+Earth.]
They increase the power and strength of the other, but whether this is good or bad depends on the specific cards.
3) When the suits/elements complement each other, they are “somewhat friendly” (also called neutral). [Fire+Earth; Air+Water.]
They show relatively ineffectual interactions. (Personally, I like to think of them as irritants that can be mildly correctional and therapeutic to each other but without great impact as to whether they strengthen or weaken the other.)
4) When the cards are of contrary elements they tend to “weaken each other greatly for good or evil, and neutralize [cancel out] their force.” They are sometimes referred to as enemies or ill-dignified. [Fire+Water; Air+Earth.]
In practice, Mathers often cancelled out the effect of cards with contrary elements. He simply did not read PAIRS that were of contrary elements!! (They could not co-exist in the same room so BOTH would leave.)
In TRIADS, if the two cards flanking a central one were contrary to each other, he simply didn’t read those flanking cards but, instead, concentrated on the center card as if it were alone.
However: “If the contrary element is only in one flanking card, then the other becomes a connecting card so that the first [center] is not weakened, but is modified by the influence of both cards and is, therefore, fairly strong.” In other words, the center card overcomes the neutralizing force of its contrary flanking card through the support of the flanking card that is more ‘friendly’ to it – for good or ill.
If both flanking cards are contrary to the center one then they dominate it completely; the effects of the central card become extremely weak.
Tarot Card of the Week
Eight of Pentacles
This card indicates ambition, determination, learning, focus, studying.
At this time of the year, one may be exhausted but there’s just the last stretch before the holidays. So focus, keep building, reflect, learn, finish what you are doing so that when you get back in the new year, feeling refreshed and energised, you can keep going forward rather than returning to unfinished business. You are a master at your craft, distinguish yourself. Keep your energy up. Do not settle for half measures.
Temperance means moderation, this card embodies all things relating to moderation.
Temperance represents balance, harmony, prioritising, cooperation,and synthesis between two opposites.
These are basic card meanings. Please share your own interpretations. I would love to hear your thoughts.
Have a fabulous week.
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