THE THOTH TAROT DECK
(2) The Minor Arcana
These, as with all Tarot decks, are partitioned into four suits - Wands, Swords, Cups and Disks. Each suit has ten numbered cards plus four court cards. The court cards are the Knight, the Prince, the Queen and the Princess. The first of the numbered cards is the Ace. The Ace of each suit is the isolated dynamism of it, the element (fire, air, water, earth) or facet (spiritual, mental, emotional, physical) in its purest form.
The suit of Wands is associated with the element of fire. Wands are beheld as the spiritual aspect of the person. The suit of Wands is about the natural force within.
The suit of Swords is associated with the element of air. It is judged to be the mental suit, the 'invoked force' as opposed to the natural. It is will, thought and intellect.
The suit of Cups is associated with the element of water. It is the suit of emotions. The suit of Disks is associated with the element of earth. It is deemed the suit of the physical, the material.
Each of the numbered cards (apart from the Ace) bears key words, designating the province of the card.
In the suit of Wands the concatenation is 2: 'Dominion', 3: 'Virtue', 4: 'Completion', 5: 'Strife', 6: 'Victory', 7: 'Valour', 8: 'Swiftness', 9: 'Strength' and 10: 'Oppression'.
In the suit of Swords: 2: 'Peace', 3: 'Sorrow', 4: 'Truce', 5: 'Defeat', 6: 'Science', 7: 'Futility', 8: 'Interference', 9: 'Cruelty' and 10: 'Ruin'.
In the suit of Cups: 2: 'Love', 3: 'Abundance', 4: 'Luxury', 5: 'Disappointment', 6: 'Pleasure', 7: 'Debauch', 8: 'Indolence', 9: 'Happiness' and 10: 'Satiety'.
In the suit of Disks: 2: 'Change', 3: 'Works', 4: 'Power', 5: 'Worry', 6: 'Success', 7: 'Failure', 8: 'Prudence', 9: 'Gain' and 10: 'Wealth'.
The relationship between each suit and its court cards relies on the elemental meanings. Where Wands, Swords, Cups and Disks mean fire, air, water and earth, so too do Knight, Prince, Queen and Princess respectively. Thus the Princess of Cups is the 'earthy' part of 'water', and so ice-cubes are in the drawing, and a tortoise, insinuating mud, both ice and mud being solid 'forms' of water. By extension, the Princess of Cups probably also means the physical side of emotions. Why Knight and Prince are spirit and mind and Queen and Princess are emotion and body, is down to orthodox traditional symbolism. For what it's worth, the cards never meant male and female, but always 'masculine' and 'feminine'.
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