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aloevera  aloevera is offline
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Spiritual Matters


Hi there!

I am curious to know with which of the four elements do you relate spiritual development?

I started to relate it to pentacles. I'm a very visual reader, so the pentagram on the pentacles cards just stands out to me. The thing is I have been reading about the spiritual matters being related to swords and also to cups. Which makes sense also, since swords can represent the intellect, and cups the emotions, but still this seems pretty much incomplete to me because spiritual matters, to me, are about both intellect AND emotions, AND about a third different subject.
I know there are some decks with a fifth element representing the spirit, probably because of this exact reason. But I only have Rider Waite and Marseille at the moment, and I want to know what other readers that are in this same position do?
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Each suite relates to a different aspect of spiritual development:

Wands: Fire - Relating to the development of intuition. It also represents life energy in all forms and how to point and direct this life energy by using intuition. It can represent that creative and spiritual inspiration.
Cups: Water - Relating to the control and development of emotions.
Swords: Air - Relating to the intellect. This oversees choice making, reason, levelheadedness.
Pentacles: Earth - Relating to material matters of all kinds. Financial, career, etc. Control over the material must be mastered.

To me these are all important areas that should be taken care of for you entire well being, spiritually and materially. I see each suite having their own importance. To me all of these things make up the spirit. That is just my take on it. One book I life it Tarot and the Tree of Life which goes into how each suite and each card relates to spiritual development. It does go deeply into the Kabbalah, but there are some really good nuggets of wisdom in there.
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aloevera  aloevera is offline
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'To me these are all important areas that should be taken care of for you entire well being, spiritually and materially. I see each suite having their own importance. To me all of these things make up the spirit.'
To me they make up the physical life of the individual, as they manifest in the pshysical sphere. Of course they are important for self-improvement, self-knowledge, but still they are physical experiences. To me, the spirit is about something else.
This is one of those times when I really regret my english skills, as it's not my first language. I wish I could explain myself better
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If you're talking about 'spirit' in the higher sense, as in the pure soul or life force or however you'd like to phrase it, I don't think you're going to find that in the suits. It's in the arcana. Those cards are the big movers and shifters, the cards that ask the most of us. They represent archetypal concepts and attitudes, entire modes of being, where the suits tend to be more related to situational matters.
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aloevera  aloevera is offline
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Thank you for the insights!
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tarotesoterica View Post
Wands: Fire - Relating to the development of intuition.
I would actually say Cups were intuition and psychic power, as the Major Arcana and Court "water" cards (like HPS, Hanged Man, Moon and Queen/Cups) usually relate to those. Essentially, those that seem to be receiving powerful feeling (like "I'm feeling something sad and unfinished here...")

Wands (fire) to me would be spiritual passions as well as energy. The kind you see in fiery preachers and those moved by the spirit to take action ("We must take this holy fight to the very heart of the beast..."). But maybe I'm splitting hairs there.
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A simple way to look at this:

Fire - Spiritual
Air - Mental
Water - Emotional
Earth - Physical

Although this should lead to insights, I make no claims that this is THE right way! Actually, I agree with much that has been said in this thread so far.
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I agree with both Thirteen and Michael here. The divergence of opinion in the 19th Century regarding the correct attribution for the Fool is illustrative of the question. Some writers thought it belonged to the Hebrew letter Shin, related to Fire and "Holy Spirit," while others (whose opinion seems to have carried forward to the present) believed it fits better with Aleph, related to Air - Ruach, or breath, equivalent to English Spirit - and consciousness. The "force of spirit" does seem like a Wands characteristic since Swords are just a bit too abstract to carry the weight.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aloevera View Post
I am curious to know with which of the four elements do you relate spiritual development?
All of them. Pentacles are Earth, the real, the physical. Without a physical existence we woudn't be able to explore the spiritual. Cups are Water, the emotions. Why would we even bother doing anything, if there were no emotional reward? Swords are Air, thought, the power to discriminate between genuine spirituality and commercial money-making fluff. And Wands are Fire, the drive and ambition to actully explore our spiritulity today instead of leaving it until next week.

Quote:
I know there are some decks with a fifth element representing the spirit,
<cackle> Most of us call that fifth suit the "Major Arcana".
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aloevera  aloevera is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nisaba View Post
<cackle> Most of us call that fifth suit the "Major Arcana".
No.
I was now searching for the decks I mentioned that would have five elements instead of four, and I could not find them - because I confused something
What happens is, while most of the ocidental philosophy contemplates four elements, many of the oriental philosophy contemplates five elements, being that fifth element sometimes the energy of the spirit. I read about this some time ago, and seems like I mixed everything in my head. Sorry, my mistake here.
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