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Saturday, 16 April 2016

It's not about the hulk hand -- interpreting the Ace of Pentacles

PCS Commemorative 
Elemental dignities and affinities have become my favourite means of interpreting tarot. They add such depth, and are much more meaningful for me than wondering why a giant hand emerges from a cloud holding a big coin over a garden gate. Yes, you can do that, and at some point you should analyse images of course, but the elemental attributions cut closer to the spiritual level of tarot, for me. My spiritual concept of life is based on a balance of what is represented by the classical four elements, and tarot provides a fertile ground for exploration of how these elements interact.

Today we have Fire of Earth in Ace of Pentacles. (The other Fire of Earth cards are King of Pentacles, Four of Pentacles and Seven of Pentacles.) Whatever could it be referring to?

Fire of Earth is the will, passion and drive being directed toward achieving groundedness, security, and stability in matters of health, hearth and finance. The Fire of Earth personality is proactive to material gain and eager for growth, and so might be a very avid collector, a personal trainer, an exercise junky, a first responder, emergency services worker, mountain rescue, or a financial advisor. You might think that an insurance salesman, stock broker, or CEO might fit the bill for Fire of Earth, but not really. The Earth element does not allow for much risk taking. The Earth element is fired up by security, not playing the market. It's not interested in power so much as safety and security. When you get into risky behaviours, you're moving into the actual element of Fire, the Wands suit, whereas with Fire of Earth, we're talking about how 'Wandsy' a Pentacle will allow itself to get. (Unsurprisingly, not very -- Fire and Earth have a neutral relationship, in traditional elemental dignities. Some would say that Fire and Earth actually have a negative relationship, because earth won't burn and will actually smother out fire. I suppose it's up to the reader what your take is on that.)

In any case, today is an Ace of Pentacles day for me, Fire of Earth. I have lots of Earthy tasks I could and should focus on today. Tax returns, researching the home buying process, finding an IFA, earning the money I've been paid by doing a reading that's been ordered. I ought to work out, eat well, and go out and buy some needed supplies for my physical upkeep -- healthy food, some vitamins, and some cream for an itchy spot on my skin that's come up. Lots of activities that promote stability, groundedness, and security, with the added fiery sense of growth and improvement.

What earthy aspect of your life needs a bit of fire today?


  1. I plan on pulling out the rebounder today as it's too wet for exercising outdoors. I need to clean house, but I'm trying to intentionally forget that chore. :)
    Is there a book (or website) you would recommend to understand elemental readings?

    1. Well, I've pulled together information from lots of different sources. I'd say just read widely about tarot and keep some sort of folder to write down ideas that strike you as useful. :)

    2. Hey again, Sycamore Tree, I looked around a bit to see which books of mine offer the most information, and Benebell Wen's 'Holistic Tarot' has a couple of chapters about elemental dignities and affinities. :)

  2. "we're talking about how 'Wandsy' a Pentacle will allow itself to get." :D
    It's interesting how you apply elemental dignities to the minors - how do they decide which element goes with which number? The Court card elements make sense to me, as do the suit elements, but the Minors not so much... And if the Ace, Four and Seven of Pentacles, as well as the King, are Fire of Earth, then how are they differentiated in that system?

    1. If you look in the Online Reference Library in this blog, there's a link to Tarot of the Bohemians. It comes from there.

      They seem to work really well for me. They are differentiated according to the value of the card. How does a King act Fiery/how does Earth act kingly? How would the number 4 behave within the confines of the Earth element? Within the confines of the number 7, how does Earth behave?

      King of Pentacles - A work mentor, a professional sports player, a personal trainer, a 'lineman of the county' (Glen Campbell song)

      Ace of Pentacles - Business opportunity, investments, from little acorns big oaks grow

      4 of Pentacles - seeking shelter, structure, safety, security, for our physical bodies and material wealth, fierce defender of status quo

      7 of Pentacles - growth in material realm, return on investment, passions are going into hope for a good return...

      In fact it seems to me that most of the traditional card meanings emerge from elemental affinities.

  3. I don't know why, but I don't use elemental dignities very much. I don't know if it's the artist in me or what. I have to interpret the images. But, it works well for me.