Seasonal Elements origin

Aeric

I'm curious how the following correspondences came to be:

Winter - Earth
Spring - Air
Summer - Fire
Fall - Water

I looked and couldn't find any explanation that didn't seem arbitrary by personal experiences in the Northern Hemisphere.

If you break down the zodiac signs by seasons, it still doesn't make sense:

Spring - Ar, Tau, Gem - F, E, A
Summer - Can, Leo, Vir - W, F, E
Fall - Lib, Sco, Sag - A, W, F
Winter - Cap, Aqu, Pis - E, A, W

If going by experience, I can understand summer heat, and fresh warm spring air. But in winter, the earth is cold and dead, and depending where you live, fall doesn't receive more or less precipitation than spring. Fire and Water oppose each other, so shouldn't Winter be Water to oppose Summer? That would make Winter Water when there is an abundance of frozen water, and Fall Earth, when we traditionally depended on the harvest.

I thought it might have some alchemical origin, since in the Mutus Liber, the creation of the Philosopher's Stone requires gathering certain elements like rain or dew at certain times of year, but it doesn't sync.

So who decided these and why? I can't find any literature.
 

Barleywine

I haven't (yet) found an exact reference, but Manly P. Hall had this to say about the suits:

"The two colors, red and black, represent the two grand divisions of the year - that during which the sun is north of the equator and that during which it is south of the equator."

Considering Diamonds/Wands/Fire and Hearts/Cups/Water (the red suits) to span the periods from March 21 to September 21, that aligns them with Spring and Summer, while the black suits, Spades/Swords/Air and Clubs/Pentacles/Earth, represent the period from September 21 to March 21, thus Fall and Winter. Each season in the tropical zodiac does in fact start with an astrological sign that echoes this division: March 21 - Aries; June 21 - Cancer; September 21 - Libra; and December 21 - Capricorn

Of course, other writers assign the playing card suits to the tarot elements differently, which could be cause for confusion. I will look a bit deeper, but others may have additional insights before I get to it.
 

ravenest

I'm curious how the following correspondences came to be:

Winter - Earth
Spring - Air
Summer - Fire
Fall - Water

What is your source for that arrangement ?


I looked and couldn't find any explanation that didn't seem arbitrary by personal experiences in the Northern Hemisphere.

If you break down the zodiac signs by seasons, it still doesn't make sense:

Spring - Ar, Tau, Gem - F, E, A
Summer - Can, Leo, Vir - W, F, E
Fall - Lib, Sco, Sag - A, W, F
Winter - Cap, Aqu, Pis - E, A, W

If going by experience, I can understand summer heat, and fresh warm spring air. But in winter, the earth is cold and dead, and depending where you live, fall doesn't receive more or less precipitation than spring. Fire and Water oppose each other, so shouldn't Winter be Water to oppose Summer? That would make Winter Water when there is an abundance of frozen water, and Fall Earth, when we traditionally depended on the harvest.

I thought it might have some alchemical origin, since in the Mutus Liber, the creation of the Philosopher's Stone requires gathering certain elements like rain or dew at certain times of year, but it doesn't sync.

So who decided these and why? I can't find any literature.

In my experience most of this stuff ( elemental seasons and directions ) is related to its location of origin. Even when it 'isnt' , as in 'Qabbalistic directions' , they make perfect sense considering the '4 winds' .... IF you were on the east coast of the Mediterranean. People even use those directions down here ! They also use Wiccan northern hemisphere directions down here too.

First , what does it matter ( what usage are you looking at ) ? Depending on that, use the appropriate one, if it is to use or align self or a working with nature and environs , go local.

Eg, here, I have the Pacific Ocean in the east, the Sun's path in the north, the land mass to the west and southerly winds blowing from the south. Winter is dry and earthy, then as the season changes it gets windy, then it starts to warm up and gets really hot through summer, then at the end of summer and through autumn we get a wet season.

Hey .... it fits ! There is your answer.... it came from here ;)

Further north there are 6 seasons.

And of course , they all modulate. The actual model for weather prediction ( indigenous ) is wheels within wheels ( like orbital gears ) .

Another possibility is to look at what constellation is ( or WAS, at the time of working out the arrangement ... this could be very significant, depending on your source ) was being held significant for that season and what element was associated with it . Still, the 'elemental energy' given to a constellation is based on the observers locality and weather conditions.