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Tarot's Four Elements: The 4 Suits and Astrology Signs

By TarotC,

When I first started to learn Tarot, I was more concerned with the meanings of the individual cards than with the metaphysical and spiritual concepts behind them. While it was a viable strategy, I didn't know at the time that I was missing on something much more important — the deeper understanding of many fundamental spiritual concepts, such as, for example, the Four Elemental Forces of Nature.

In this we will see how these elements relate to the tarot cards and also what's their connection with the Zodiac signs. All that within the three most important subsets of tarot — "Major Arcana", "Minor Arcana", and "Court Cards".

The Major Arcana of Tarot contains 22 cards (enumerated from 0 to 21). This subset of Tarot Cards contains symbolism and hidden mysteries and is connected to the major issues of life. In contrast to the Major Arcana, the Minor Arcana cards contain answers to questions from everyday life, thus complementing to the aspects of the main Tarot cards. There are 56 cards in the Minor Arcana, divided into 4 Suits times 14 Cards. Each suit is represented by a symbol, Pentacle, Wand, Cup, or Sword. There is a one-to-one correspondence between these symbols and the four elements of the esoteric science: earth, water, air, and fire.

The knowledge about the four elements governing the Natural World is very old but still powerful. How many times have your wondered over the powers of Nature, when the mighty elements put their forces in movement? Various religious and spiritual schools of thought have known about these elements and therefore the tarot's four elements are to be understood according to these teachings.

the Magician card contains all four elements

The Earth Element. It means material objects, income, possession, and economy. Taurus, Virgo and Capricorn astrological signs correspond to Earth, while in tarot we have the pentacles. The 14 cards from the Minor Arcana marked with pentacles (Pentacles Suit) are thus to be related to the Earth Horoscope signs.

The Air Element. It means intellect and understanding. Gemini, Libra and Aquarius are related to the Air element. In Tarot we have the swords. The 14 cards from the suit of swords from the Minor Arcana Deck (from 1 of Swords to 10 of Swords, along with the court cards) are related to the 3 astrological signs of the air element.

The Water Element. The water is expressed through the 14 cards of the Cups Suit of the Minor Arcana Deck. Water conveys feelings and emotions. In the horoscope, the watery elements are the Cancer, Scorpio, and Pisces, hence, we span these astrological signs as we go from 1 of Cups to 10 of Cups.

The Fire Element. It means inspiration, and will. Astrology signs connected to the element of fire are Aries, Leo, and Sagittarius. As before, the tarot cards 1 of Wands to 10 of Wands as well as the wands court cards are related to Aries, Leo and Sagittarius.

The major arcana cards, also have some deeper connection with the elements but this goes beyond the scope of this text. The following Major Arcana Cards are from the Rider Waite Tarot Deck, which is one of the world’s leading tarot sets.

The Star Signs and Their Corresponding Tarot Cards

In addition to the relation between the Zodiac Signs and the four elements, to each of the Star Signs we can assign a single Tarot Card from the Major Arcana Deck. Here is how:

Aries (03.21 - 04.19) — The Emperor

the emperor tarot card

If you are born in the Zodiac Sign of Aries, your Tarot Card is the Emperor. The Emperor represent loyalty, reliability and authority. With your highly developed analytical skills, you are always there to help the people you love and those who rely on you.

Taurus (04.20 - 05.20) — The Hierophant

the hierophant tarot card

If your Star Sign is Taurus, your Tarot Card is the Hierophant. The Hierophant represents knowledge that comes from higher spiritual sources. The Hierophant can see through the illusion of the superficial worlds to deliver valuable lessons about life and love.

Gemini (05.21 - 06.20) — The Lovers

the lovers tarot card

If you are born in the Sign of Gemini, your Tarot Card is the Lovers. This card represents duality, relationships and moral choices. The Lovers card urges you to make the right choice regarding the path in life you are about to choose, resisting temptation and following your own integrity.

Cancer (06.21 - 07.22) — The Chariot

the chariot tarot card

If you are born under the Sign of Cancer, the Chariot is your card. It represents intuition and the ability to be above the conflicts in life. There is a duality in this card which is seen in the constant longing for freedom as opposed to seeking security and shelter.

Leo (07.23 - 08.22) — The Strength

the strength tarot card

If your Zodiac Sign is Leo, your Tarot Card is the Strength. The Strength represents various types of strength: physical, emotional, mental and spiritual. They are all exemplified in this sign. Leo individuals are courageous and able to overcome different obstacle on their life journey.

Virgo (08.23 - 09. 22) — The Hermit

the hermit tarot card

If your Zodiac Sign is Virgo, your Tarot Card is the Hermit. The Hermit represents meditation, self-reflection and exploring the inner world of the soul. It also represents the need to slow down and rediscover the real purpose of your life.

Libra (09.23 - 10.22) — Justice

justice tarot card

If you are born under the Zodiac Sign of Libra, your Tarot Card is Justice. Justice represents fairness, justice, fair outcome, truth and abiding by the law. Only if you are able to overcome your indecision will you be able to serve the world.

Scorpio (10.23 - 11.21) — Death

death tarot card

If you are born in the Sign of Scorpio, Death is your Tarot Card. Death represents an important ending — transformation and transfiguration. You are capable of going through a change that will free yourself from all the unwanted ties and constraints.

Sagittarius (11.22 - 12.21) — Temperance

temperance tarot card

If you are born under the Zodiac Sign of Sagittarius, Temperance is your Tarot Card. Temperance means adaptation, coordination, peace and tranquility. You will be able to find a good balance by awareness, understanding as well as by following the middle way.

Capricorn (12.22 - 01.19) — The Devil

the devil tarot card

If your Zodiac Sign is Capricorn, your Tarot Card is the Devil. The Devil represents your human shadows — the hidden negative forces that constrain your actions. You have to face your shadows to be able to acquire wisdom that is necessary to transform your nature and to be true to the light that you also carry within.

Aquarius (01.20 - 02.18) — The Star

the star tarot card

If your Zodiac Sign is Aquarius, your Tarot Card is the Star. The Star represents optimism and purity of the goals you want to achieve, but at the same time you are aware of your own vulnerability. By helping others so that they too can achieve the highest goals possible, you will help yourself achieve your goals.

Pisces (02.19 - 03.20) — The Moon

the moon tarot card

If your Zodiac Sign is Pisces, your Tarot Card is the Moon. The moon represents emotional nature, introspection, shadows and mystery. Like the phases of the Moon, your moods may change very often. You can use your emotions and your compassionate side to help others.

About the Author

In order to get a deeper understanding of Tarot it is advisable to keep in mind the internal link between the 4 basic elements of Nature and the tarot cards, especially those of the 4 Tarot Suits. In prognosis and readings, this link can ease the interpretation and the reader should be able to go above the mere mechanistic correlations and investigate the more profound meaning of the individual Tarot Cards. TarotC writes for http://tarotcardsmeaning.net.

Disclaimer:

The above guest post is published based on the premise that it will be helpful and informative. The opinions made within it are those of the author and not of sunnyray.org. The links you may find within this post do not necessarily imply our recommendation or endorsement of the views expressed within them.



Comments:

Julie says:
12-26-2013


I was looking for the corresponding water sign of the Tarot Star Card.

sunny says:
12-27-2013


Actually, the corresponding zodiac sign of the Star Tarot is Aquarius, but Aquarius is not a water sign. It is an air sign.

tela says:
12-29-2013


What horoscope signs correspond to the suit of swords in tarot?

sunny says:
12-30-2013


Hi tela,
All signs of the air element: Gemini, Libra and Aquarius. In particular, 2, 3 and 4 of Swords correspond to Libra. 5, 6, and 7 of Swords correspond to Aquarius, whereas 8, 9 and 10 of Swords correspond to Gemini.

mujtaba soomro says:
09-21-2015


Cancerian 28/6/1979 (premature)

sunny says:
09-21-2015


Hi! Obviously, The Chariot is your Major Arcana. From the Minor Arcana, it should be 8 of Swords (sorry 2 of Cups).

Andrastae says:
03-01-2016


I'm a libra..
Born on 10/10/1962
is there more than one tarot card that is associated with my sign?

sunnyray says:
03-01-2016


Hi Andrastae,
Given the date of birth, the main card associated with your sign is the "3 of Swords" Minor arcana. You can read somewhat more about the link in this post. Thanks for commenting and all the best.

Adrian says:
03-31-2016


I was thinking some cards don't correspond to the zodiac and since I'm attempting to draw some of the cards as an art project what signs I could put on these cards for eg. The sun card is obviously ruled by the sun, but there isn't a symbol for the sun, is there?

wahab Hakeem says:
11-06-2016


i whish to know more about this

Lisa says:
11-11-2016


Thank you for sharing this!
I'm a Cancer,(7-4-71).
Are there particular minor arcana cards within each suite that represent each sign? I see you mentioned the Swords above & stated the 8 would represent Cancer?

sunnyray says:
11-11-2016


Thanks for reading, Lisa. Cancer (June 22 to July 22) is a sign of the water element. Hence, the minor arcana of Cancer are the Cups (not the Swords, as wrongly indicated in the comment above). The first decade of Cancer (June 22 to July 2) corresponds to 2 of Cups, the second to 3 of Cups and the third to 4 of Cups.

Andraste says:
11-14-2017


Wouldn't the ace of Swords also correspond with the zodiac sign of Libra? 10/10/1962

sunnyray says:
11-15-2017


Not really. Ace of Swords is a representative (archetype) of the entire suit, so it equally belongs to the Libra, Gemini, and Aquarius.

Jramma says:
01-20-2017


I still fail to see the correlation to astrology...the only crossover is the person being read for, astrology can have an effect on a persons character/personality which in turn will effect the way he/she deals with situations...and what's more...deal with the information given to them after a tarot reading... All this contrived crap about "the Fool" representing Neptune????please you're talking out of Uranus...I don't know if it originated with these ridiculous links to the zodiac (and when they run out of stars they started using planets...PS Pluto isn't a planet anymore) or if it came about later to make it more believable...either way whoever TRIED to link the two were smoking too much wacky shit

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