Tarot is a form of divination which uses a deck of 78 cards. These cards have 4 suits; Wands, Cups, Pentacles and Swords, which correspond to the elements of Fire, Water, Earth and Air.
Swords Cups Pentacles Wands
Of the 78 cards, 22 are called Major Arcana (greater secrets) and the remaining 56 cards are called Minor Arcana (lesser secrets). The Major Arcana depict big events in your life and the Minor Arcana the smaller day to day occurrences. Each card has its own image which is full of symbolism. This symbolism is interpreted in accordance with the question being asked.
By using Tarot cards in various spreads we are able to be guided by the cards, which in turn help to provide us with new understandings and perspectives of our own situation.
Suits and their Elements
Below introduces the elements and suits and what they mean. This is a vast subject that can be expanded on greatly; but here are some basics to get you started:
Earth Fire Water Air
Pentacles are the element of Earth and represent our work, security, money, resources and our materialistic existence. Pentacles are associated with the physical and mundane side of life, and our values and traditions too. Earth heals us.
Wands are the element of Fire and represent our actions, energy, inspiration, optomism, intuition and projects. Wands are associated with our passion, our own inner fire, our success and our failure. Fire transforms us.
Cups are the element of Water and represent our emotions, our love and fantasies, intuition and creativity, our feelings and relationships. Cups are associated with our emotional satisfaction and enjoyment of life, love of the world and the people around us. Cups can hold our secrets and deeply felt affairs. Water shapes us.
Swords are the element of Air and represent our mind, mental activity, thoughts, rationality, self-expression, ideas and information. Swords are associated with intellectual concepts, conscious awareness and communication. Air moves us.
Ideally all elements should be in balance for harmony and peace but this is rarely the case. Elements can work well together but sometimes, when they are out of balance, battles can begin.
So using Fire as an example:
Too much water can put fire out, but too much fire can heat water and make it evaporate.
Too much air can fan a fire into becoming out of control, whereas not enough air can suffocate a fire and put it out.
If a reading had more Swords than any other suit, you’d be inclined to be letting your head rule a situation. Wands would suggest you’re more inclined to act before you think things through. Pentacles would say you’re very much grounded and possibly stuck, and Cups dictate that your emotions are running the show.
But if you have an equal number of each, you will probably feel quite balanced.
I hope you found this brief introduction to the suits and their elements helpful.