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:
So, who are these angels and what may they tell us in a reading?
Raphael—”God Heals” is known as the Angel of Love. As the meaning of the name suggests, Raphael assists healing and is a messenger of reconciliation and unity. Raphael also helps with space clearing.
Michael—”He who is like God” is known as the Great Protector. Michael guides us to divine illumination, a fiery warrior of light and protection. Michael offers help when you feel anxious or worried.
Gabriel—”Power of God” is called the Angel of Truth and is the messenger of prophecy, revelation and resurrection. Gabriel inspires art and communication and helps those who speak out for society. Gabriel is regarded as an angel of feminine energy.
Uriel—“Light of God”, messenger of punishment and salvation. Uriel illuminates situations and gives prophetic warnings of disasters; also connected with earth healing after floods, earthquakes and other natural disasters.
The Wheel of Fortune and The World—Additional Correspondences
Two of the association may look confusing—it makes more sense to connect the eagle with air and man with water. However, the following table by Paul Foster Case in his Introduction to Tarot should offer some clarification:
The Devil—What’s going on?
On the three aforementioned decks—RWS, Thoth and B.O.T.A.—the Devil is depicted as a demon-like figure.
Waite describes the creature in his Pictorial Key to the Tarot as “The Horned Goat of Mendes” and refers to it as a “Bathometic figure”.
Bathomet is a mythical figure, its image on the left was created by Eliphas Lévi, a 19th century occultist. There is a lot of controversy about the origins and true identity of Baphomet, but this is not important here.
However, it is interesting that an evil-looking demon can be associated with Uriel, one of the archangels.
Firstly, there is a notable connection between one of the Devil’s many names—Lucifer—and the name Uriel.
Lucifer means Light Bearer, so both names are connected with light and illumination.
It suggests that the Devil is not “all bad”; perhaps it is fair to say that the Devil suggests enlightenment as a result of dark times, and everything carries the light of God/the Divine within.
When contemplating this card in a reading, Uriel may “highlight” the areas, where we go wrong, we know about them, but the Devil prevents us from doing something about it.
Quite literally, this card can mean that the truth shows its ugly face, and Uriel can well be a call for action.
Although Tarot is best known as a fortune-telling tool, it can also be used for self-reflection and personal development.
The Tarot can act as a guide to help you reach your goals, aspirations and fulfil your potential.
Each image depicts an event, a phase in your life or state of being.
It contains numerous hidden messages, which can be discovered by immersing yourself into the pictures of the Tarot.
One type of message the Tarot can offer is an affirmation. This is a positive statement, which encourages the practice of positive thinking.
An affirmation should not include any negations, e.g. can’t, don’t, won’t, haven’t etc. The sentence is kept as simple but as empowering as possible.
An affirmation can be created for each Tarot card. You can do this by looking at the image and explore its meanings. What is this card advising you to do? What is it trying to teach you?
Here are some sample affirmations for the Major Arcana cards, but bear in mind that the possibilities for each card are virtually endless depending on your feelings, intuition and perspective:
The Fool – I look forward to new beginnings and enjoy the journey ahead. The Magician – I use my all my resources and willpower to achieve my goals. The High Priestess – I trust my intuition to make the right decision when the time is right. The Empress – I love and protect the people in my care. My love will dissolve tension and fears. The Emperor – I take control of my life to achieve my ambitions. The Hierophant – I am open-minded and always enjoy being a student of life. The Lovers – In matters of the heart I also use my head when I face an important choice. The Chariot – I harness all my forces to meet my challenges. Strength – I patiently persevere to resolve conflict and strife. The Hermit – I seek solitude to explore my options and to gain wisdom. The Wheel of Fortune – Whatever life throws at me, I can deal with it. Justice – I always endeavour to act with the utmost integrity. The Hanged Man – I pause to gain a new perspective. Death – I let go of what is no longer of use to me, so I can be open to new opportunities. Temperance – I manage my needs and resources wisely to create harmony. The Devil – I face the truth, so I can overcome my limitations and move forward. The Tower – Unexpected events contribute to my inner growth; I will overcome the initial shock and aftermath with passion and resilience. The Star – I am optimistic about the future. The Moon – I acknowledge and let go of insecurities and self-doubt. The Sun – I enjoy every moment of my life. Judgement – I evaluate my actions to achieve the best possible result. The World – I have found my place in this world; there is so much more I can do and experience.
Enjoy creating your own Tarot affirmations that reflect your circumstances and situation, and share your favourites in the comment box below. I’d love to hear from you.
I’m not the greatest fan of oracle decks; they tempt me with their beautiful artwork, and then disappoint me with flat and sometimes shallow readings.
But I love dark decks, so when I noticed Madame Endora’s Fortune Cards, I was immediately drawn to the atmospheric images of the cards and decided to give them a try.
The deck was designed by the creators of the Gothic Tarot, which already hints at the atmosphere of the deck – dark, moody, mysterious.
There is a nice feel to the card stock; it’s somehow grippy and therefore easy to shuffle.
The cards themselves measure a standard size of 12.50 cm x 7.50 cm.
The artwork of the 48 cards blends fantasy, Egyptian and Celtic themes, and the style of the deck is described in the accompanying booklet as “incorporating mythical lore and old world concepts of the Tarot with New Age mysticism”.
This is just my style of artwork
The colours of the card images are vibrant with lots of gold on a black background.
The title of the card is on top with a short explanation at the bottom, for example “The Gate – A barrier keeps you from your goal.”
This allows the beginner to start reading the cards immediately.
The deck is divided into five suits:
The Royal Court—representing people influencing your life or aspects of yourself
The Realm of Fable—various beings from ancient lore representing outside forces affecting your destiny
The Bestiary—creatures of legend representing valuable lessons and truths to be discovered
The Treasury—mystical tools and treasures symbolising aid and guidance in achieving your goals
The Elements—consisting of celestial bodies and the natural forces, which all surround and influence us on a daily basis
The mini booklet included provides brief explanations for each card and also suggests some specially created spreads for this deck, such as the Oracle of the Dawning Day and the Seer’s Fan.
The cards are meant to be read upright; there are no reversed meanings. However, there is definitely potential to introduce reversals for additional depth.
This deck proved a hit with my friends at Halloween. Most of the readings were accurate and to the point (surprise!).
Some of the cards suggest a link to dark magic, such as The Raven, The Hand of Fate and The Mystic Circle. My friends loved that one, especially on Halloween, but not sure how regular clients would take to it.
Unlike the traditional Tarot deck, Madame Endora’s Fortune cards are specifically designed for fortune-telling, with statements such as “darkness looms on the horizon” and “your luck will soon change”, but it’s certainly worth a try using them for more insightful readings offering advice and guidance.
Madame Endora’s Fortune Cards, by Joseph Vargo & Christine Filipak, 48 cards with small instruction booklet
Meet an illustrious group of magical creatures such as banshees, brownies, pixies and leprechauns.
Encounter famous figures such as Morgan Le Fey, Robin Goodfellow and Jack Frost.
They have been called the Little People or the fae in the Celtic lands.
Much loved for their ability to bestow great gifts to those who are favoured, they are also feared for wreaking household mayhem if angered.
With the Fairy Ring Oracle deck you can immerse yourself into this magical world and listen to the wisdom of the Little People.
I have gained much insight into the fairy world by using this deck; Anna Franklin and Paul Mason have put in much thought and effort to create a distinctive 60-card deck, which incorporates all the lovely fairy lore and legends.
The Fairy Ring has eight “fairy festival” cards: Imbolc, Ostara, Beltane, Midsummer, Lughnasa, Herfest, Samhain, and Yule.
It also contains the four suits (“Courts”) – Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter – with thirteen cards each from Ace to Nine and the four court cards Lady, Knave, Queen and King.
The evocative artwork combines photographs with original illustrations via computer imaging in a truly effective way.
Each card is surrounded by a luscious border indicating the season of the suit and depicts a particular type of faery creature or, in some cases, a particular faery personality.
For example, the seven in the Spring Court is an Asrai (small water fairy) while the eight in the Winter Court is the Bogeyman.
The authors appear as characters in the deck. Anna Franklin is the Green Lady and the Lake Maiden while Paul Mason is King Finvarra.
The 248-page book contains a wealth of information including introductions to the fairies, card meanings – both upright and reversed – as well as suggestions for path working and meditation.
Having used this deck for over a year now, I must confess that I enjoy it a lot.
Rather than doing large and complicated spreads, I prefer one or two-card readings, simply answering the question: What do I need to pay attention to in my life right now? and the message of the fairies never disappoints!
If you have an interest in faery lore and would like to learn more, then this oracle deck is for you.
The gateway to the Otherworld stands open for you to enter and receive the guidance of the Little People.
The Fairy Ring Oracle, written by Anna Franklin, illustrated by Paul Mason