Say It With Tarot

Everything you want to know about Tarot--especially for contemplation, self-empowerment, personal growth and creativity--from Tarot expert, author and deck co-creator Janet Boyer.

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Fun with the Elements

Four Elements SymbolThe four elements are found throughout philosophy, myth and literature, in addition to being foundational for both magical work and Tarot.

But what do they mean? What does the energy of each feel like? How are the four elements expressed in the real world (apart from literal manifestations in movies like The Last Airbender)?

I thought I’d create a fun post on how the four elements might look through various lenses, including Star Trek races, candy, Retro TV, music and Hogwarts houses. Although these are light-hearted associations, they can still be utilized in magic making with the elements.

First, let’s go over the four elements and associations:

Earth SymbolEARTH Element (PENTACLES Suit in Tarot) – Feminine/Receptive Energy

Associated with: Material World; Physicality; Health; Money; Five Senses; Food; Environment; Possessions; Resources; Simplicity; Solid; Slow; Responsible; Loyal; Cautious; Hands-On; Grounding; Foundation

Symbolized by: Seedling; Leaf; Soil; Grain; Rocks

Chakras 1 (Root) and 2 (Sacral): Survival; Power over others

Astrological Signs: Taurus, Virgo and Capricorn

Magical Creature: Gnome

Fire SymbolFIRE Element (WANDS Suit in Tarot) – Masculine/Active Energy

Associated with: Ambitions; Passions; Vocational Pursuits; Innovation; Energy; Personal Identity; Matters of Self (Self-Esteem, Self-Direction, Self-Starter, Self-Reliant, Self-Exploration, Self-Help, etc.); Aggressiveness; Daring; Expansive; Fast; Catalyst; Blazing; Enthusiasm; Originality; Sexuality

Symbolized by: Flame; Fire

Chakra 3 (Solar Plexus) – Personal power; Self-esteem

Astrological Signs: Aries, Leo and Sagittarius

Magical Creature: Salamander

Water SymbolWATER Element (CUPS Suit in Tarot) – Feminine/Receptive Energy

Associated with: Feelings; Relationships; Spiritual Life; Connection with the Divine; Values; Mood; Aesthetics; Dreaminess; Quirky; Flowing; Healing; Joining

Symbolized by – Wave; Droplet; Rain

Chakra 4 (Heart) – Love; Compassion; Forgiveness

Astrological Signs: Cancer, Scorpio and Pisces

Magical Creature: Undine

Air SymbolAIR Element (SWORDS Suit in Tarot) – Masculine/Active Energy

Associated with: Intellect; Mental Realm; Judgments; Analysis; Beliefs; Anxieties; Decisions; Strategy; Communication; Separation; Complexity; Restriction; Narrow; Bracing; Severance

Symbolized by: Stylized curves as “wind”; Cloud; Feather

Chakras 5 and 6 (Throat and Third Eye) – Communication; Vision

Astrological Signs: Gemini, Libra and Aquarius

Magical Creature: Sylph

So now let’s have fun and see how each of the four elements might find expression in the real world:

Star Trek Races:

Earth – Ferengi
Fire – Klingon
Water – Betazoid
Air – Vulcan


Earth – Licorice
Fire – Fireballs
Water – Liquid Filled Wax Bottles
Air – Hard Tack Whistles


Earth – Brown and Green
Fire – Red and Orange
Water – Blue and Aqua
Air – Gray and White

Hogwarts Houses:

Earth – Hufflepuff
Fire – Slytherin
Water – Gryffindor
Air – Ravenclaw


Earth – Penguins
Fire – Phoenix
Water – Pelican
Air – Eagle

Retro TV:

Earth – Gilligan’s Island
Fire – A-Team
Water – Love Boat
Air – 6 Million Dollar Man


Earth – Percussion
Fire – Brass
Water – Woodwinds
Air – Strings


Earth – Water Boys
Fire – Players
Water – Cheerleaders
Air – Coaches


Earth – Andrew Wyeth
Fire – Salvador Dali
Water – Claude Monet
Air – Van Gogh


Earth – Rice, Pasta, Tubers
Fire – Hot and Spicy Fare
Water – Cold Beverages
Air – Mint, Puff Pastry and Cotton Candy

Music Genres:

Earth – Gregorian Chant, Tribal Drumming, Folk Music
Fire – Salsa, Mambo and Dance
Water – Catchy Pop, Ballads, Lullabies
Air – Electronica, Trance, Classical

Fiction Genres:

Earth – Westerns and Sagas
Fire – Thrillers
Water – Romance and Fantasy
Air – Mystery and Science Fiction


Earth – Fall (harvest time; a slowing down)
Fire – Spring (new life sprouting; new energy)
Water – Summer (pool! sunshine!)
Air – Winter (cold weather; clarity; sharpness)

Lastly, here are some songs that I feel correlate with the four elements:

EarthThe Downeaster “Alexa” by Billy Joel

FireFirework by Katy Perry

WaterCaribbean Blue by Enya

Air Natural Science by Rush

What would you add to these lists? Agree or disagree with my choices? Have any questions about them? What other contemporary categories can you think of for the four elements? I’d love to hear what you come up with!

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Janet Boyer is the author of Back in Time Tarot (Hampton Roads), Tarot in Reverse (Schiffer Publishing) and Naked Tarot: Sassy, Stripped-Down Advice (Dodona Books). She's the co-creator (with her husband, artist Ron Boyer) of the Snowland Deck and Coffee Tarot, and authored both companion books to those decks. A Renaissance Soul, she is also an award-winning cook, mixed media artist, jewelry artisan and journal maker. Next to creating, her favorite thing to do is spend time with her beloved husband, son and 5 cats at her rural home in Pennsylvania. Visit her at


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