Tarot Court Cards and Their Elements

Elements of the Court Cards in Tarot

Elements and Tarot Court Cards

There are elements that correspond with Tarot court cards, and familiarizing ourselves with these associations can further our perceptions and interpretative readings.

Each suit in the Tarot deck represents an element too.

By combining the element resonating with a court card, along with the resonating element of the suit, a whole new world of understanding is available becomes available.

I view Tarot elemental correspondences in much the same way each astrological sign has a modality, and is ruled by an element. Some modalities are fixed, but the ruling element can have an ephemeral feeling. The combination of elements can reflect a fascinating (sometimes maddening) duality.

Same holds true with the personalities in the Royal family.

For example, the Queen of Pentacles is an Water / Earth sign. If you can relate a woman in your life to this Queen, you will know her mood is generally grounded, but she has a hidden side to her, and sometimes her emotions can be startlingly contradictory to her normally stable nature.

Elements of the Court Cards in Tarot
Elements of the Court Cards in Tarot

Enough talk, let me share the elements associated with the Tarot court cards:

The element of the suit will trump the personality element.

Here are the elements of the Tarot suits:

  • Swords = Air (Intellect, Communication)
  • Cups = Water (Emotion, Feeling)
  • Wands = Fire (Inspiration, Spiritual)
  • Pentacles = Earth (Stability, Physicality)

(a cool chart with these associations can be viewed here.)

I realize corresponding all the elements to each suit and each of the Tarot court cards can be overwhelming. But if you play around with it, it becomes totally engrossing. You’ll be amazed at how these personalities come to life too.

To reduce some of the confusion, I’ve created this elemental chart of associations for the Tarot court cards for you. Just refer to the chart, and each element for more elaboration on each of the royal family members.

Tarot Court Cards and Corresponding Elements

PentaclesWandsCups Swords
suit of swords meaning in Tarot
KingsAir / EarthAir / FireAir / WaterAir / Air
QueensWater / EarthWater / FireWater / WaterWater / Air
KnightsFire / EarthFire / FireFire / Water
Fire / Air
PagesEarth / EarthEarth / FireEarth / WaterEarth / Air

Court members who possess double elements, like the King of Swords will be doubly communicative, double sharp intellectually and double masterful in conflict resolution (or otherwise if he so wills it).

Court members with complimenting elements (Fire/Earth and Air/Water) will seem pretty balanced in their methodologies. Well rounded, and even-keeled, stable, flexible and easily adjusting to transitions.

Court members with opposing elements (Fire/Water and Earth/Air) can manifest polarities in wild ways. They have dual natures, shadow sides, and can be extremely unpredictable. That’s not a bad thing. Some of our royal archetypes with polar elements have recognized these dual parts and work to integrate their split personalities. These are the most vibrant of the clan, and often the most resourceful on our journey.

Elements of the Court Cards in Tarot
Elements of the Court Cards in Tarot

Am I talking about the Tarot court cards or real people in our lives? Both.

By associating court card archetypes with people in our lives, our understanding of our motivations, behaviors and actions can be extremely telling.

Look through the court cards and identify them with the people close to you in your life. See how similar their personality traits (in terms of elemental correspondences) are. It’s a fascinating experimentation that yields remarkable results.

I’m the last person to pigeon hole people into personality types…but working with the Royal arcana and delving into their intricacies, including elemental correspondences can lead to an amazing system of personality identification.

This concept of personality identification isn’t much different from loosely understanding a person’s behavior by knowing his/her astrological sun sign and moon sign.

If we consider everybody will fall into eight categories (a royal role and its suit) then we’ve got a template for understanding human behavior. And this understanding makes us better friends, lovers and partners because it’s much easier to interact with somebody when we can relate to where they’re coming from.

Just Tarot food for thought. 🙂

I hope you have enjoyed this extra addition on reading Tarot court cards.

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