WHAT IS A BLOG HOP???
A blog hop is a Tarot Round Robin that happens eight times a year.
AKA blog collaboration. AKA Variety ftw!!
*use the links at the top and bottom of this post to navigate the Hop.
This year for the Midsummer/Lammas blog hop, Aisling the Bard challenged us with the topic of “a union of opposites,” and gave us a choice between two focuses. One of which was just geeky enough for me to choose it right away:
Find a card that represents, to you, more than one of the four elemental energies, specifically two which might be thought of as “opposites”… is there a case that could be made for a single card being both?
When I hear elements, I can’t help but think elemental dignities.
I went super-literal. I thought of cards with two opposite elemental associations, in particular, a subset of court cards – the ones I’m calling “the ill-dignified courts,” even though that isn’t a thing, and also I’m pretty sure they aren’t really ill-dignified. At least I don’t think so. Totally call me out in the comments if I’m mistaken!
Even the best posts about court cards sometimes melt my brain.
Instead of handling the courts in-depth, I’m going to talk about the elements associated with some of them, the “ill-dignified” ones. The fact that the courts even have elemental associations of their own is why for years I just skipped over memorizing them. “I’ll get to those later…” I wrote this post wondering: how shall I talk about courts without melting brains? One thing led to another, and I made a graphic. Click the picture below to take a peek. I make no claims of clarity or usefulness.
Most know that each of the suits has an element.
But each of the ranks of the court cards also has an element and a modality. Modality as in astrology and stuff. Queens are cardinal, kings fixed, knights mutable, and the pages throw in a monkey wrench representing the combination of the other three as earth and the seasons. I took a course from the Tarot School and it filled in some of the blanks I had about modalities for years. (Finally!)
Before I went all graphic-crazy,
I pulled out a couple of decks and compared the court cards that represent the opposing elements: queen of wands, king of cups, knight of pentacles and page of swords; respectively representing water of fire, fire of water, air of earth, and earth of air.
At first nothing too inspiring showed up. Other than the deck art itself. I love the Mary-El Tarot. And for no logical reason, I kept comparing these four cards in multiple decks.
Here, I felt a bit unsettled. Why are they all staring at the sword page? I figured perhaps I was defensive because it’s one of my favorite court cards. I wrote it off as being a ME thing and didn’t notice a pattern until the third deck.
Why are they all looking at the page?!! Does anyone know?? ← Not rhetorical. I pulled out all the courts and tried, probably for longer than sensible, to rearrange them according to different things – wheel of the year, zodiac, element, clothes. None of the rest matches up like this. It’s probably a coincidence but in the Mary El, they all seem to look forward while the page of sword’s face is hidden and also seems to be looking back to the past.
It totally derailed me.
Here I was supposed to be explaining my woefully unclear graphic (It really is, I’m going to redo it this week for another post about the court cards.) and instead I’m stuck on their faces.
What’s missing in the graphic (well one of several things) is the relationships between the elements. That’s the part that explains why they are ill-dignified because of having a weak relationship. Luckily I’ve posted those relationships in a previous hop.
To sum up, the queen of wands, king of cups, knight of pentacles and page of swords each have two elements that weaken each other according to elemental dignities. This is why I chose them to represent the union of opposites. For excellent resources on elemental dignities (that won’t melt your brain) check out Catherine Chapman of Tarot Elements.
HERE’S a closer look at this elemental cheatsheet
FOLLOW ME to get notified when I post round II
(and attempt to explain the thing)
anyone have any idea why they are all looking at the page?
ENJOY THE REST OF THE BLOG HOP!
– BIO –
Siobhan is a NYC-born writer and spiritual ally living in central Texas. She contributes a column at littleredtarot.com and wrangles a monthly collaborative tarotscope featuring a kaleidoscope of readers – variety ftw!