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Sophie-David  Sophie-David is offline
Join Date: 11 Dec 2004
Location: Ucluelet, BC, Canada
Posts: 2,813

Hi WalesWoman

I'm pretty much of a Tarot baby as far as being a reader goes, so I can only comment from my own na´vetÚ. From what I have read, this assignment of the elements is a minority opinion, but by no means exclusive to Anna-Marie.

I am with you in ascribing Fire to Spears (wands), Air to Swords. But I guess its just a difference in the perception of a metaphor, not in meaning. For example, the Spirit of God is often imaged in tongues of flame and in the Anglican Church (Episcopalian) we use red hangings when celebrating days of the Holy Spirit. The Spirit represents creative energy, inspiration, and passion - I see it (her/him) as pretty much identical in attributes to Spears.

But the Hebrew and Greek words for this Spirit actually mean breath or wind. There is also a lot of imagery associated with the spirit as wind, "the Spirit of God hovered over the waters", the "breath of God", etc. Breath brings life and sustains life. The word "inspiration" means to breath in. The more energy we expend, the more we need to breathe. And passion generally brings faster heart rates and stronger respiration. Like fire, the wind can strike with violence and shake us up, it can also propel us forward or push us back.

In the metaphor of the spear itself, it could be a flaming spear, but a more natural image is of a spear airborne towards its target.

On the other hand, analytical, incisive, intellectual and combative Swords can sound like the cutting edge of the wind, the mind soaring high with bold ideas, the cool dispassionate voice of reason. But in these same concepts in fire could be alchemical, burning off the dross to achieve the truth or essence, fire as the great achievement of developing man as in the myth of Prometheus, fire melting metals to transform them into other forms or to temper or alloy them, fire as the destroyer and incubator (isn't it some forms of pine cones that will only open after a forest fire to release their seed?).

The sword itself slices through the air, but can also be a flaming or burning sword.

Imaging the RWS Three of Swords in Fire, we see how the blood red heart is burning in distress and consumed with loss. The Legend Three of Swords has red and yellow flame type images, but focuses on the emotional or watery loss experienced at the well.

In the RWS Three of Wands in Air, we see the airy expanse of the great expanding horizons. The Legend Three of Spears has a nice airy stable, but I don't really pick up much air imagery. But there is no fire image there that I can see. I notice that dogs seem to be associated with Kings in Legend and Anna-Marie has placed Kings in air also.

If you are going to continue to read with this deck, I guess you either have to adapt to Legend's elemental assumptions or ignore them as you have been doing. While not denying that I might learn something new from a different elemental approach, I think I will probably ignore her attributions when reading. I tend to treat these various Tarot issues from the point of view that I am the final arbiter in how I will use the cards. I bought them: they are now mine. The operation of my psyche is my sole responsibility and right, and I will not easily surrender the intuitive interpretation of imagery to others - I'm the one who has to live here.
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