Tarot Suits and Compass Points

IMG_4167In line with other correspondences, such as Zodiac Cards, Tarot practitioners also often assign other additional meanings to cards and Suits. Since we have four Suits, this works well with setting up correspondences to the four directions.

The most common such assignments – and the way I was taught these correspondences – pair up North with Pentacles, South with Wands, East with Swords, and West with Cups.  This is clearly a system set up by people who were dwelling in the Northern Hemisphere, since to us, “South” = “Equator” = “hot” — people in the Southern Hemisphere might want to reverse the Wands and Pentacles correspondences here…

So say you have a choice between two destinations: you’re in London, and you can go either to New York or Tokyo. You drew outcome cards for each to help you decide, but they were inconclusive. Using these directional correspondences, you can start pulling cards from your deck until you arrive at either a Swords card or a Cups card (ignoring any others that appear along the way). If you get a Swords card first before any Cups show up, you choose Tokyo (that city is East of you, and Swords = East)…and if you get to a Cups card first before any Swords make the scene, you elect to go to New York (NY is West of you, and Cups = West). Compass-point correspondences allow you to go Around the World in 56 cards!

Leave a Reply