It is now autumn in the northern hemisphere and I have been thinking about the seasons and the elements. To me, autumn equates with the earth element and in the Tarot, the earth element is usually represented by the Pentacles (sometimes called coins). The Pages of each Tarot suit and five of the Major Arcana cards also reflect the earth element energies. I have chosen to use the Tarot Grand Luxe deck by Ciro Marchetti for this post because its rich and vibrant colors match the glorious tones of autumn.
THE EARTH ELEMENT in the PENTACLES and PAGES
Where I live in the world, autumn is a time for harvesting things we grow. In the ‘autumn of our lives,’ we see the same kinds of harvesting but in terms of things we have planned or done that are coming to fruition. These are all things of the earth element, portrayed in the suit of Pentacles. Now, I do realize there are different schools of thought on how the Tarot suits align with the seasons and the elements – and many good and valid points are made for each. But for me, I feel they follow the yearly seasons and the seasons of our lives.
Wands – spring – fire – when the energies of life are waking up and spurring new growth
Cups – summer – water – when plants are full and our young hearts are finding love and direction
Pentacles – autumn – earth – when the results of all our efforts are being harvested and enjoyed
Swords – winter – air – when the earth goes still and dormant and our older years lead to introspection and the wisdom of hindsight
The earth element has to do with grounding us into materiality and the efforts we make in our lives to do that. Shown in the 10 minor Arcana of the Pentacles (above) we see efforts to earn an income, further our businesses and our educations, balance our finances, enjoy the fruits of our labors and the growth of our bank accounts and property. These are the things of doing and achieving in the material world, of building and creating a structure within which we and those we love are safe and protected. In our achieving, we also grow our self-esteem and our sense of where we fit within our culture.
Within the court cards of each suit, the Pages represent the earth element (Golden Dawn correspondence).
So in each suit, they would be;
earth of fire – Wands
earth of water – Cups
earth of earth – Pentacles
earth of air – Swords
With the grounding effect of the earth element in the Pages, the Pages would tend to tamp down the effusive or energetic aspects of their suits. In the case of the Page of Pentacles, however, this Page is in their natural element. Being earth of earth, they are strongest here. And despite generally representing “younger” energies, the Pentacles Page is more determined in their stance and direction than their youth might otherwise imply. They have a strong sense of who they are and how best to grow into the King or Queen of Pentacles that they aspire to become.
THE EARTH ELEMENT in the MAJOR ARCANA
The earth element is also represented in the Major Arcana through The Empress, The Hierophant, The Hermit, The Devil and The World.
This seems an odd mix, I know, but it is through their astrological correspondences that the earth element manifests;
The Empress – Venus – ruling planet of Taurus (earth) and Libra (air)
The Hierophant – Taurus (earth)
The Hermit – Virgo (earth)
The Devil – Capricorn (earth)
The World – Saturn – ruling planet of Capricorn (earth)
Each of these cards shows a connection to and an immersion in an area of the human physical reality. The Empress is the sensual Earth Mother while The Hierophant is the leader of cultural learning and traditions – all entirely Taurean areas. The Hermit is the one who goes within, seeking perfection. Very true to Virgo. The Devil and The World speak of entrapment and overcoming – both very Capricorn enticements, particularly the overcoming.
It is absolutely amazing how the Tarot can show such depth about our human experience. Through the earth element cards of the Tarot, we can see the strivings of our lives reflected back to us in unexpected ways.
Many thanks to Sandra Geddes at Firerose Tarot for planting the seed for this post.
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