Tarot & the Four Elements: Air

tarot element airAir is a masculine (yang) element; fast moving, abundant, the least dense of the four element. It is invisible, but we can see its effect on the things around us: blowing trees in the wind, fluttering paper on a desk in a draft, clouds moving across the sky. We can feel it every time we breathe as it keeps us alive.

Air energy is light and can feel almost any temperature when it is being worked with. It is most powerful during the fury of a storm.

The Air element represents our need to keep moving and learning, our quest for knowledge and curiosity. It is the energy of intellect, wisdom, and understanding. It also supports communication and friendship.

Positive: Truth, justice, courage, strength, organisation, ethical principles, decisiveness

Negative: thoughtlessness, being judgemental, sharp-tongued, fear, confusion, disharmony, conflict, animosity, unhappiness and sometimes illness.

Tarot Cards

Major Arcana: The Fool, The Lovers, Wheel of Fortune, Justice, The Star

Minor Arcana: The Suit of Swords; Knights

In Tarot the element Air symbolises mind, rational thought, intellect, conflict; uncomfortable processes. It can also indicate communication, a desire for truth and justice and necessity to decide about (or separate from) past attachments.

Air Correspondences
Astrological signs Gemini, Libra, Aquarius
Atmosphere Hot and moist
Direction East
Moon Waxing Crescent
Season Spring (Autumn in Tarot)
Time Dawn
Animals Birds, butterflies
Chakra Throat
Colour Yellow, pastels, steel grey, crimson, ice blue, blue-white
Plants Dandelion, Frankincense, myrrh, pansy, primrose, vervain, violet, yarrow
Places windswept hills, plains, windy beaches, high mountain peaks, high towers
Jungian Function Thinking
Stones/Gems/Crystals Aventurine, pumice, Topaz
Spirit Playful sylphs, who looked like the winged fairies of folklore
Tools Wand, aromatic; Athame, sword, censer; incense
Tree Aspen

How to get  in Touch with the Water Element

  • Stand outside on a windy day; the gusts will cleanse your aura and revitalise you, clearing your thoughts and making you feel fresh and alert.
  • The idea of each of the elements can be conveyed through the medium of air: depending on the seasons, the east wind can be sharp and harsh, the north wind cold, the south wind dusty and dry and the west wind warm and gentle.
  • Visit places that are subject to a lot of strong winds: beaches, hills, cliff tops, grassland, open desert. Feel the clarity of the place and observe how it affects you.
  • Pick up twigs and leaves that have been blown by the wind; they often retain a vigorous, blustery feeling. Windy places can give you a sense of cleanliness and lucidity.
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The Four Elements in Tarot

In the Western Mystery Traditions, the four primary elements are Earth, Air, Fire and Water.

These basic components have been a core part of occult sciences including Tarot, Astrology, Magick and Alchemy for over two thousand years.

The Greek Philosopher Empedocles of Acragas (495—435 B.C.) developed the theory, that the four elements were the basis for all life on earth, everything in existence. This theory was later endorsed and supported by Aristotle.

Since then scientists and philosophers have studied and investigated the meaning and attributes of the four elements, their influence on our world and interaction with each other.

Gradually, the elements were incorporated into the Tarot.

In order to gain a deeper understanding of the Tarot, it is necessary to familiarize yourself with the elements, their attributes and correspondences, to  increase your awareness of them around you:

Fire Water Air Earth

the four elements in tarot - Ace of WandsAce of CupsAce of SwordsAce of Pentacles

 

 

 

 

 

Images: The Aquatic Tarot, © Andreas Schröter, aquatictarot.de

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