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elemental correspondences

Thread originally posted on the Aeclectic Tarot Forum on 12 Dec 2001, and now archived in the Forum Library.



DeLani  12 Dec 2001 
Hi all,
Hopefully someone can answer me this. According to the Golden Dawn and just about every author on Wicca I've read (which I think is all of them!), Swords correspond to Air and Wands to Fire. But according to the Nigel Jackson and Shapeshifer decks, among others, the opposite is true (Swords=fire, Wands=air). Can anyone tell me where this came from? What system is this?
Thanks! 


Kaz  12 Dec 2001 
DeLani,
I can't tell you where this comes from, somebody else probably knows.
There are lots of reasons why you can assign Fire to the suit of Wands, but just as many to assign it to Swords or Pentacles.
But, I can tell you it doesn't really matter what suit you choose for what element. As long as it is clear to you what represents what.

Kaz 


DeLani  13 Dec 2001 
Quote:
Kaz (13 Dec, 2001 05:22):
DeLani,
I can't tell you where this comes from, somebody else probably knows.
There are lots of reasons why you can assign Fire to the suit of Wands, but just as many to assign it to Swords or Pentacles.
But, I can tell you it doesn't really matter what suit you choose for what element. As long as it is clear to you what represents what.

Kaz


Hi Kaz,
Yeah, I'm with you on that. I feel very stongly that Wands are firey and Swords are airey. But I teach Tarot classes, and sometimes students bring in the Nigel Jackson (which I love by the way) and other decks with the reversed correspondences and want to know why. So I'm just trying to find out answers. Thanks.
DeLani 


MeeWah  13 Dec 2001 
DeLani: I also feel very strongly that Wands are Fire & Swords are Air because of the attributes of those elements.
I've had the impression that the particular
assignment of those elements to their suits in the Nigel Jackson Tarot & the Shapeshifter Tarot are based on Druidic correspondences. Neither deck seems to have specifics to clarify the particular associations, nor have I found any other references to this arrangement.
Sorry I'm not of more help with this, but I shall keep this in mind just in case-- 


Jewel  14 Dec 2001 
There are several decks that have the swords/fire wands/air correspondence, and I have read the explanation in various places, just can't recall it ... like you guys I am a wands/fire kind of girl *LOL*. I think the Mary Greer book "Tarot for Yourself" might have something on that ... it definetly has a section on the Strength/Justice 8/11 argument/explanation. And I am not sure, but '78 Degrees of Wisdom' might also mention the correspondences thing. Sorry this is not much help but I would recommend looking it up in those 2 sources. If anyone does find the explanation please post it, would be nice to remember it.

Love & Light, 


Thirteen  18 Dec 2001 
Just when you think correspondences are going to be easy....

This is an old, old argument. Yes, there are some folk that assign Fire to swords and air to wands. Their reasoning is something like this: the element shouldn't be able to destroy the thing. So, fire can destroy a wooden wand, so it can't be the element of a wand. It can't destroy steel, so it must be the element of a sword.

However, I go for the reasoning of sword/air, wand/fire. Which is the idea of sword being sharp, cutting, two-edged--and whistling as you swing it. This suggests the traits of air, the intellect, the cutting mind, the sharp words, the two-sided debate, the sounds carried by air. Wands, being made of living stuff and, yes, able to be consumed by fire, hold the fire. Throw them in the fireplace and they'll burn brightly and keep you warm and give you light for a while. Very much like passion, faith, creativity. They can also burn up and turn to ash--like those things as well. Then you need a new wand. Swords, like the intellect, can be blunted, but they don't burn up.

That's my reasoning. But those who feel the other way have as valid an argument. General rule is, believe what YOU want. But if the tarot cards emphasize in image or title a different belief, then go with that when using that particular deck. 


The elemental correspondences thread was originally posted on 12 Dec 2001 in the Talking Tarot board, and is now archived in the Forum Library. Read the active threads in Talking Tarot, or read more archived threads.

 
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