The Five Elements of Tarot: Water


Water is associated with the Suit of Cups in the Minor Arcana. Water flows, water bends. It is both movement and stillness. It cleanses and nourishes life on earth. It is admired for its depth and its capacity to ripple and reshape itself against its environment.

Because of its depth, water often represents the subconscious, the deep, massive undercurrents that moves and sways us. We may not be always aware of these currents that affect and define us, and some currents are easier to detect when they are closer to the surface. For the most part, water receives and reacts. It is what we feel when things happen to us, when things in our environment trigger us. It is how we receive and react to our reality. Water is our heart, our desire to feel, to take part in this world.

Water also connects. The vast oceans connect the continents of earth and join the worlds into one. This is why water also represents relationships; relationships that we have when we attempt to relate, understand, interact and exchange with another–be it social, romantic, familial, or personal.

Lastly, water is associated with divination and imagination. Its depth contains the darkest and most wondrous parts of us. It contains all the mysteries and dreams unknown that we haven’t discovered and yearn to discover. We gaze upon the vast waters of our unconscious and we wonder how much we know, how much we don’t know. With a thirst we reach out and attempt to grasp and measure its depth. We reach in so we will see the currents, the energies that link all of us together. It is the collective unconscious and reality that bind us; our desire to dive into the depths of this world is what unites us in this journey of seeking, and peeking into the heart of the universe. This is the essence of divination–to know. This is the swirling spark of imagination–to experience.

Lessons from the element of Water:

  • What are your emotions?
  • How would you define yourself as an emotional being?
  • How do other see you as an emotional being? What is the general impression?
  • How do you express yourself emotionally and intuitively?
  • Do you wear your heart on your sleeve? Do you shove them under the carpet?
  • What “stirs your water”? What makes you feel happy? Sad? Angry?
  • Are you aware of your emotional undercurrents and what is driving them?
  • How often do you know “why” you’re experiencing certain emotions?
  • What would you like to experience and to feel?
  • Where do your emotions come from? From the world around you, or from you?
  • How do you get in touch with your emotions?
  • How do you understand and process your feelings?
  • Do you trust your intuition? Your “gut feeling”? What does this “gut feeling” usually tell you?
  • Are you psychic? Are you able to discern realities other than your own?
  • Are you able to tap into the collective consciousness of the world and extract information?
  • Are you able to connect and interact intuitively with a person, a place, or an object?

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