Phew! I am verrrry behind with my tarot studies in the Alternative Tarot Course! I was hoping that January would slow down a bit — and the first half definitely did — but the second half of January was crazy with social and work commitments. I’m happy to say that I’ve continued to pull a card a day, and have done a pretty dang good job staying committed to my at-home yoga practice. I’m feeling good! Anyway, I digress.
Part of week 2 includes analyzing the elements in the tarot. One of the exercises asks me to pick some minor arcana cards that I view as “crossover” cards, cards that I feel communicate more than their corresponding element.
Four of Wands — fire and earth
One of the major keywords that comes up for me with this card is stability. In this way, I find this card very earthy. In the Morgan Greer version, there is a castle built upon a rocky structure. There is a strong foundation in this card. There are four, wreathed wands standing before the castle, hinting at celebration, merriment, a opportunity for creativity and optimism that stems from stability.
Three of Cups — water and earth
I’ve recently written about this card, more than once, as my daily card. I love the grounded energy shown by the flower crowns the figures wear and the fresh fruit on the table before them. The camaraderie of the figures is obvious, the cups before them shared. This card points to the peaceful acceptance that one can find within healthy community, a deep rootedness, and how when one is open to receiving one is able to connect to the wonder of life.
Seven of Cups — water, fire, and air
The seven of cups, especially the Morgan Greer version, speaks directly to my airy nature. It is all imagination and ideas. Look at the clouds the cups sit on, the fantastical creatures coming from the cups. This card is abundant creativity, it is daydreaming and wishes. This comes back around to water, for me, in that this is what feeds my soul.
Ten of Cups — water and earth
The ten of cups is interconnectedness. The Morgan Greer version makes me feel more than just the connection between humans. The way that the rainbow comes from/goes into their cups and the forest setting in which this card takes place highlights the connection of human to nature, the joy of being of and in the earth. In addition, the rainbow connects us to God or spirit. Happiness is a gift, and this card implies a grounded, centered, plugged-in celebration.
Two of Pentacles — earth and water
I love what Rachel Pollack writes about the two of pentacles in Seventy-Eight Degrees of Wisdom:
“Like so many Pentacles, the card implies a hidden magic in its ordinary pleasures. The juggler holds [their] magic emblem within a loop or ribbon shaped like an infinity sign, the same sign which appears above the head of the Magician, and the [figure] in Strength. Some people believe that spiritual development occurs only in serious moments. Pleasure and amusement can also teach us a great deal, as long as we pay attention.”
I pulled this card as my daily card on January 29. All week, I have been listening to Lindsay Mack’s recent podcast episode on the brain versus intuition and how to use my intuition more in my tarot and spiritual practice. This excerpt from Seventy-Eight Degrees of Wisdom was like a beacon for me. I noticed the water in the background, no earth in sight. I felt the flow of intuition, the trust in self that it takes to balance the mundane, the magical, and the spiritual. This card is about our daily lives, and guides us in how to stay plugged in.
Knight of Swords — air and fire
This knight is going somewhere, and going there fast. I love the blatant combination of the air and fire elements; the Tower burns in the background. This knight is about to embark on his quest, for vengeance, for redemption, for valor, for honor; he is going right into the thick of the action, where ever he is going. They are wild, all of their energy moves outward. In that way, they are of no air at all. They face the conflict unflinchingly.
This exercise crystalized for me that I find the tarot to be a very earthy tool. Tarot helps me to ground and center. Tarot helps me to categorize, to journal, to process. Tarot is a stalwart friend. The cards are a comfort, a set of universal experiences and archetypes that humans have known for millennia. I find that most cards have an inherent earth-like nature to them because of the way in which I connect with the tarot.
I am blogging my experiences here with Beth Maiden’s Alternative Tarot Course which asks students to draw a card each day, reflect on it, complete weekly readings, and other assorted exercises.