You are familiar with the Periodic Table of the Elements – that friendly and convenient listing of all the chemical building blocks of matter, be it living or inorganic. But what happens when we view the 78 cards of the Tarot in this same way? What then?
First we must recognize that if the Tarot is a sort of ‘Periodic Table of Elements’ then it deals not with matter but with Time. Each card in the Tarot deck is a building block in the fabric of Time. Each card is an element, a temporal chemical.
The Periodic Table of science and reason and the physical world draws its power also from the fact that it lists the building blocks of matter in such a way as to arrange families of chemicals together. It has been done is such a way that we can tell just by looking at the table what element will bond quickly and easily with what other element, and what elements have a natural enmity toward each other.
For me too, the periodic table was a passion. … As a boy, I stood in front of the display for hours, thinking how wonderful it was that each of those metal foils and jars of gas had its own distinct personality ~ Freeman Dyson
The same principle applies to the Tarot. It is organized into suits, each of which is dominated by an Element. Here we’re talking about the metaphysical Elements of Earth, Air, Water and Fire. Therein lies the bonding attractions and aversions of the cards.
As an example, Water and Fire are inimical. When used crudely and unintelligently, they obliterate each other. So, if in a Tarot spread you see a Water card in proximity to a Fire card, then you can be sure that an imperfect bond between these cards is formed, such that even if the cards signify good their imperfect bonding, their contrary Elemental compositions, reverse the beneficence of the decree, as it were. Similarly, if the cards in question bode ill, then the severity of the pronouncement is softened. And all of this is due to the Elemental incompatibility of the cards involved.
Aggressive Fire and passive Water dislike each other. The same applies to aggressive Air and passive Earth. Fire and Air mix beautifully, with spectacular effect. Earth and Water react the same. Earth and Fire are not bad. The Earth gives Fire plenty of fuel to burn. Air and Water are fairly neutral to one another, but Air and Earth always butt heads. If you don’t believe me stand outside during the next tornado that whirls your way and you’ll see exactly what I’m talking about. Earth is too unmoving, too solid, too predictable and stubborn for the flexible, impatient, never-ceasing Air.
I have a firm belief in such things as, you know, the water, the Earth, the trees and sky. And I’m wondering, it is increasingly difficult to find those elements in nature, because it’s nature I believe in rather than some spiritual thing ~ Bill Blass
I said above that the Tarot represents a Periodic Table of the Elements of Time. So that if you lay a spread on a question important to you and you see a disharmonious configuration of cards, “disharmonious” referring to the Elements, then you can know that the “Time atoms” regarding the question are not at their best. You can know, at the very least, that you will have to batten down the hatches on this one. You will know that now is not the time to put on your “everything’s going to work out for the best hat”.
Naturally, if the reverse is true, you will interpret accordingly. If you’re asking whether or not the “bad thing” is going to happen and the cards respond in the affirmative, but with a disharmonious distribution of the classical Elements (Earth, Air, Water, Fire) then you can suspect that indeed the “bad thing” will occur. But it will have a surprisingly positive result, or will yield a boon when you expected a punishment, or the punishment will not be anywhere near as bad as you first thought.
If you ask whether the “good thing” will occur and you receive a spread in the affirmative, but the cards are of poor Elemental relationships, then you can know that the “good thing” will come, but probably you will wish that it had not.
I like this idea that each Tarot spread is its own Periodic Table describing the formation of Time. Why not carry it into your own Tarot practice? Just experiment with it, see if it fits your style. Maybe you’ll have room for it in your own pantheon of techniques, and maybe it’s not for you. But without doubt you should be fully aware of the classical Elements of Earth, Air, Water and Fire. These are the building blocks of understanding the future before the future arrives.
About The Author: Incorporating many psychic disciplines into one unique formula, Stephen's Tarot readings reveal the true Self from every metaphysical angle! An autodidact, he has the ability to solve complex problems and uses this talent along with his highly developed psychic gifts to provide you with answers that have previously gone unsolved in your life! If you'd like Stephen to uncover your future, this North Carolinian treasure can be found at PsychicAccess.com.
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