The Elements of the Tarot as related to Psychological Qualities
We know that each suit of the tarot closely corresponds with an element. These elements are air, fire, water, and earth. To break this down further, we can see how the elements are related to psychological principles. Early 20th century psychologists such as Carl G. Jung developed psychological principles that closely related to the magician’s paradigm of elemental correspondences. According to Jung, people were divided into thinking, feeling, sensation, and intuition types. He then added the qualities of introvert and extrovert to modify each of them. This follows the magician’s elemental scheme exactly.
The individual is seen as being composed of the following qualities: sensation (earth), feeling (water), thinking (air), and intuition (fire). These can also be seen as doing, feeling, thinking, and being. While Jung and his peers worked on the psychological aspect of these qualities, the magician would seek to use and control the elemental forces by means of what would then be termed “magical weapons”. These magical weapons as related to the four tarot suits are:
The Element of Air- Swords
The Element of Fire- Spears
The Element of Water- Cups
The Element of Earth- Pentacles
The Tarot Suit of Swords as Related to the Magical Sword
The Sword was originally an arrow, or a flying sword, and is associated with air. It relates to hearing, speech, and smell. The human tongue is related to the sword in the sense that it can be cutting or healing and can express our intelligence.
The Tarot Suit of Wands as Related to the Magical Spears or Rod
The Spear or Rod has long been associated with the element of fire. This is because it could keep the campfire in check without being burned. It also provided a simple means of carrying it from one place to another. The Spear, Rod, or Wand can be linked with matches, torches, tapers, and light switches.
The Tarot Suit of Cups as Related to the Magical Cup
The Cup is associated with water, as it holds, pours out, comforts, and cheers. It is linked with the grails and the blood, fertility, and germination. The Cup has been described as a depression that can be found in caves, wombs, wells, hollows, and so on. Symbolized as a horn, it is both female and male.
The Tarot Suit of Pentacles as Related to the Magical Pentacle
The Pentacle is associated with the earth element. It means “all-keys,” and is essentially any kind of surface that can scrape the earth. The Pentacle can represent a spade, trowel, coin, blackboard, or mirror. It can be seen as a kind of mirror that serves as a medium for translating thoughts into things or the reverse. The Pentacle can also be known as a Shield because it protects and deflects. It provides a means of communicating with the inner world by placing some pattern on it that is understandable to both humans and higher types of intelligent entities.