TAROT CARD SUITS
The Tarot Card Suits - Wands, Cups, Swords, Pentacles
There are 4 suits commonly found in Tarot decks: Wands,
Cups, Swords and Pentacles. While they sometimes have
different names, the idea behind them is usually the same.
If you understand the meanings of the suits and have some knowledge of numbers, you can read the Minor Arcana of any deck of Tarot cards, or even playing cards for that matter.
Some basic astrological descriptions are included below as the two systems, Astrology and Tarot seem to complement each other. Many tarot readers incorporate their knowledge of astrology into their interpretations and readings and many people who are interested in one are also interested in the other.
Since a great many people have some knowledge of Astrology, the descriptions below might be helpful in understanding the ideas behind the suits.
The Cups (Hearts) Tarot Card Suit
Cups are associated with the emotions, the subconscious,
relationships and intuitive or psychic abilities.
Most decks try to convey emotions in this suit; happiness, love, boredom, disappointment and dejection are usually represented and easily identified.
This suit is associated with the element of water and
like water can be calm and serene, or turbulent and rough.
Astrologically, the nurturing Cancer personality, the depth of the Scorpio and the intuitive, dreamy Pisces could be applied.
The Pentacles (Diamonds / Coins) Tarot Card Suit
Pentacles are the suit associated with work, money,
crafts, the home, the physical body.
Looking at this suit, one sees craftsman at work, business being conducted, the physical comfort and security of having material things and the physical discomfort and pain of not having them. Pentacles are associated with the element earth.
Astrologically one can think of Taurean practicality and love of home, the Capricorn's financial and business prowess and the Virgo's industry, skill and productivity.
The Wands (Staves / Rods / Clubs) Tarot Card Suit
Wands can be described as the suit having to do with
energy, creativity, communication, action, passion, self
improvement/self development, spirituality and enterprise.
If you look at the suit of Wands in most decks you notice that most of the cards show some type of action in progress, or someone who appears to be reviewing or enjoying the results obtained from a recently completed action. Action and energy are two key words to this suit.
Wands are usually associated with the element of fire. If you know a little of astrology, think of the personality attributes of the fire signs, the forceful Aries, the flamboyant Leo and the honest and enthusiastic Sagittarius.
Additional attributes include:
The Swords (Spades) Tarot
Swords are the suit of mental activity, rational thinking, decisions, and intellectual pursuit.
Because much of the turmoil in our lives can be attributed to our thoughts, this suit often depicts conflict and struggle as well.
Looking at this suit in most decks, one finds some of the more negative cards depicting nightmares, craftiness, pain and restriction. Swords are usually associated with the element of air.
Astrologically one can think of the Libran desire for balance, the contradictions inherent in the Aquarian personality, and the Gemini's thirst for intellectual stimulation.
|Note: Swords and Wands are usually associated with Air and Firerespectively, however some writers have reversed theseattributions assigning Fire to Swords and Air to Wands. EmilyPeach does this in "The Tarot Workbook" and Ellen Cannon Reeddoes as well in her deck ,"The Witches Tarot" and her two books"The Goddess and the Tree" and "The Witches Tarot". Argumentscan be made for both points of view and you should chosewhichever attributions seems to fit best to you. The same is trueof the directions assigned. An alternative system for directionstaken from Astrology is: Wands - East, Cups - North, Swords -West and Earth - South.|