Tarot for the 21st Century!
Let's say I pick a card for the past, the present and the future, and get the 8 of Swords, Strength and The Chariot. I would think that means, generally, that I overcame past problems and will be moving on to bigger and better things.
Then I read that Strength is Leo and The Chariot is Cancer so the two cards I thought could work together are actually enemies - fire and water.
What do I do here?
This is what I mean about elements making me just get bored with all the memorization it requires. I agree with you John in your original post, reading the cards your first way without the elemental interpretation.
I find I use elemental symbology when it jumps out at me. If there are multiples of an element, then I can also read that energy into my interpretation....and when it's not forthcoming, like in your example, I don't include it in the reading. There just gets to be too much ''adding'' and ''subtracting'' after a while.
Thanks very much for your input. I'm always glad when people contribute, and even when I disagree with what they say, it brings new thoughts and greater clarity.
Here is something about the elements.
Near the beginning of James Bond movies, 007 has a chat with Q, who shows him various gadgets that we will see later in the film. There is for example the watch with the wire or cable inside it that James uses to escape from the middle of a shark-infested pool. The scene is ridiculous, but we can accept it because we saw the watch earlier.
So there is what appears to be going on and what is really going on. The discussion with Q seems to be for him to explain the gadgets, but is really to set up the audience to believe later events.
So there's fire and water and they are apparently 'enemies' but what is really going on here and what is their true relationship?
I first learned about and used the elements in natal charts. Fire, air, earth and water are the four operations of Nature - and that's a huge and multi-levelled concept. To reduce it to the level of fire and waer are enemies - and I'm going to extinguish your burning match with this cup of water - does no justice to the depth of understanding behind this description of elements, whose use is anything but elementary.
To say: This is swords and swords are air is to move one step away from the Tarot card. To then go another step and say: air means thoughts and start talking about how one thinks without knowing what air is in itself, is to move even further away from the starting point. Imagine what would happen if we stayed with the original card-answer.