Traditional Elemental Dignities

Traditional Elemental Dignities

Analysing three Tarot cards at a time is the basic skill in Elemental
Dignities. Use the  building block of three cards many ways
as you work through the system. We will start with a traditional reading of Three Cards. Please note that this method is an example – it is not intended to represent a finished spread!

Deal out any 3 cards right way up, and interpret them. Consider the Central card as the Principal, with the ones either side as ‘Modifiers’. Transpose the three cards three times in all:

Modifier: 1: 2: 3:
Principal: 2: 3: 1:
Modifier: 3: 1: 2:

As a general rule:

  • Minor cards are within the control of the Querent
  • Major cards are out of the querent’s control
  • Court cards personify an action or actually represent a person.

Next, transpose the cards as shown above, and see if you feel different about them. Repeat the process. Then reverse one of the cards, and reinterpret. There are far more combinations of Reversals than transpositions. You should experience slightly different feelings each time. It is usually easier to avoid Court cards to begin with, but persevere. This stage is essentially how most people would read the cards. Most people’s experiences are that there is some difference with each transposition, even if it is hard to quantify exactly what these differences are.

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Traditional elemental dignities - three card readings
Analysing three Tarot cards at a time is the basic skill in traditional Elemental Dignities. This building block of three cards is used in many guises

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