PLEASE NOTE: The date of our July meeting is not the first Saturday, but the second Saturday of July, to account for the Independence Day holiday. The date of our July meeting is July 8th, 2017 from 1PM to 3PM at Lilly Library in Florence, MA
This presentation will explore the practice of Elemental Dignities, both in a traditional sense and in ways that go beyond a strictly rule-based approach. Bring your favorite tarot deck to join in practical exercises at the end of the session. All other materials will be provided.
The system of Elemental Dignities was created at the end of the 19th Century by the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, a British esoteric society, as a way to fine-tune the relative potency of the cards within a spread. This is done by relating a card’s assigned element to those of neighboring cards and looking for sympathetic or antagonistic combinations. Elemental dignities work with cards in pairs and triplets, using the four classical elements of Empedocles: Fire, Water, Air and Earth.
These elements in various combinations are either friendly (Fire and Air, Water and Earth and any two instances of the same element), unfriendly (Fire and Water, Air and Earth), or neutral but supportive of one another (Fire and Earth, Water and Air). Elemental friendliness with adjacent cards strengthens a card and augments its effectiveness, unfriendliness weakens and dilutes it, and mutual supportiveness creates a complementary situation, one card providing what the other lacks. There are six possible combinations of the four different elements within this matrix, and matching any two cards of the same element brings the total to ten pairs. Working with three-card sets produces sixteen possible permutations for each element, for a total of 64 variations.
In the words of Elizabeth Hazel in The Tarot Decoded: “Elemental dignities should be regarded as a flexible dynamic between neighbors rather than a set of ironclad rules.”