Tarot & the Four Elements: Earth

tarot element earthJust like Water, Earth is a feminine (yin) element; stable, sustaining and supportive; energy at its most solid; substance; matter; the body of the Great Mother of ancient times.

Our bodies are partly made of the earth and we return to it when we die. Our ancestors buried their dead in caves and burial mounds, the womb of Mother Earth; they realised our intuitive bond with earth.

Much of the food we eat comes from the soil, and many things we can touch are made of earth in many ways or forms.

Positive: knowledge, ability, stability, endurance, dependability, solidity, self-worth, success, financial prudence; in touch with nature; well-being.

Negative: greed, financial loss, material obsessions, inability to change, stubbornness, possessiveness.

Tarot Cards

Major Arcana: The Empress, The Hierophant, The Hermit, The Devil, The World

Minor Arcana: The Suit of Pentacles; Pages

In Tarot, the element Earth is concerned with the material world, form and substance; putting ideas into practice, practical matters, money, career, home and family, business projects, skills and labour, education, security. They also represent what grounds and stabilises a person; traditions and inheritance.

Earth Correspondences
Astrological signs Taurus, Virgo, Capricorn
Atmosphere Cold and dry
Direction North
Moon Dark
Season Winter
Time Night, Midnight
Animals Cow, bull, snakes (earth-dwelling), rabbits, mice, stag, dogs
Chakra Root
Colour Brown, green, black, white, yellow
Plants Ivy, oats, corn, rice, comfrey, barley, rye, wheat, fruit, flowers
Places Forest, garden, field, caves, mountains, standing stones, rocks
Jungian Function Sensation
Stones/Gems/Crystals Green agate, coal, salt, turquoise, rock crystal, emerald, Cat’s eye, green jasper, jet
Spirit The tenacious, hard-working gnome; Faery folk
Tools Coin, pentacle, stone, shield
Tree Oak

How to get  in Touch with the Earth Element

  • Walk barefoot in the garden on grass and soil; take your time and try to be aware of the earth energies slowly penetrating your feet and rising slowly up your body. This should make you feel refreshed and replenished. Slowly let the excess energy flow back into the soil by visualising it like trickling water. Don’t overdo this or you will drain your own life force. Trust yourself to know when to stop.
  • Sit against a tree trunk. Close your eyes and imagine you’re becoming part of the tree and your feet are roots growing into the soil and drawing up energy, circulating it around your body. Visualise this energy as a greenish-gold light. After a while, imagine drawing back your ‘roots’ into your feet and disconnecting from the earth and the tree.
  • Lie on the ground in your garden. Relax and feel the heartbeat of the earth like a pulse deep under the soil. Imagine the growth of plants, swelling of seeds and unfurling of grass and leaves.
  • Visit ancient sacred sites. Standing stones were placed in a way that they utilised and intensified the earth’s currents, which can still be felt today if you touch or being near them. Something similar, usually a special aura or atmosphere, can be felt at the great ceremonial mounds.
  • Bring fresh flowers and plants into your home. Tend plants in your garden and feel their life force as you enjoy their beauty.
  • Observe the seasonal changes around you. The cycle of growth and decay; see the first buds appear on bare branches. Follow the cycle through to autumn observing the changing colours of the foliage and falling of the leaves. Note how the foliage is not wasted but turned into mulch to nourish future growth.

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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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