Dictionary.com lists 25 definitions of the spirit, here are just a few:
- the principle of conscious life; the vital principle in humans, animating the body or mediating between body and soul.
- the incorporeal part of humans: present in spirit though absent in body.
- an attitude or principle that inspires, animates, or pervades thought, feeling, or action: the spirit of reform.
- the soul or heart as the seat of feelings or sentiments, or as prompting to action: a man of broken spirit.
I would like you to take a moment and think about what the spirit means to you. Can you identify with any of the above?
Let me just start on my ramble and try to explain myself…
Tarot consists of four elements, these elements are fire, water, air and earth. In addition to these four elements there is a fifth – the spirit. To me, the elements are encompassed by the spirit. The spirit relies on these more material elements just like the elements rely on the spirit to be imbued with the life force or aether. If we take this into consideration we can see how the entirety of the Tarot relates to the spirit. Some people only associate the Major Arcana with more spiritual matters and the Minor Arcana with more mundane day to day matters. I feel like every part of the Tarot can be related to the spirit and soul. Through each card we can learn a life lesson to better our spirit on its journey in this lifetime. Matter and spirit are not totally separate forces, they are closely intertwined. There is a symbioses between the two. The mistake I think many people make is seeing these at two totally separate things. Let me break down each suite and explain further.
Wands – Fire: This suite represents the fire that ignites your spirit. It relates to intuition and that creative spark. Have you ever heard of someone having a creative spirit or a fiery spirit? The spirit houses this drive. Its important to nurture your souls creativity and passion. If we look across the suite of wands we see all of these characters poised to take off on some passionate endeavor, we see the wands themselves shooting across an open landscape with such force behind them. The spirit is being driven and directed in the material realm to feed upon the fire within. Likewise our material body and soul is being fed by the spirit.
Cups – Water: The Cups represent the whole range of human emotions. We can look through this suite and see the full spectrum. Emotion by default is closely and mostly related to the Ego. Even though most of our emotion is rooted in this there is a higher spiritual emotion or exaltation we experience. Have you ever been so moved during ritual or spell work you could feel it in your core? I do believe that your spirit can be moved in the presence of god to an emotional state we as human beings cannot comprehend, it is the closest thing to being one with god that we can feel. To me this s most closely pictured in the ten of cups, the pentacle of emotional completion.
Swords – Air: Reason, justice, logic, the intellectual realm is the sphere of Hod – these are all of the things we see represented in the Swords. The swords deal with our minds, whether is be mental anguish or happiness. The realm of Fire is greatly dependent on Air to see it through. Once we birth a creative idea or endeavor we need our intellect and reason to see us through to make the best outcome. It helps govern the spirits creativity and direct it to an appropriate end.
Pentacles – Earth: Malkuth – or the material realm is a direct manifestation of the subconscious and the spirit. The spirit uses the human body and earthly realm to manifest into form. If we look throughout the journey of the Pentacles we can see the trials and tribulations the spirit faces manifesting in the material. The spirit uses the human body and material realm as a vessel in order to expand and grow. Each experience we face in this realm has a direct impact on the spirit and what we will face in the next incarnation.
You may have a totally different viewpoint and disagree with me entirely and that is totally okay! A trap I think many people get in is seeing things only one way based on one particular source. My opinions change over time like everyone else based on my experiences. Do you see things differently? Is there any suite that you feel is more related to the spiritual experience?