Element of Water in Tarot

Element of WaterThe Element of Water

Minor Arcana:

The Suit of Cups

Court Card:


Major Arcana:

The Priestess, The Chariot, The Hanged Man, Death, The Moon





The element of Water embodies the primeval emotion and intuition, it is passivity and placidity, receptivity and responsiveness. Water is fluid, adaptive and pragmative, it will always go the way of the least resistance, changing its course at the slightest disturbance. With no outer influence, water won't move.

Water is associated with the level Neshamah and the world of Briah, the dark unconscious receiving the spark of life from the Fire thus giving birth to creation. But, the creation born in the Water is not a creation that actually creates anything - that act will be left to Air (Yetzirah) and Earth (Assiah).

When looking at the Qualities of the elements, we remember that Water is considered as cold. Warm power separates and dissolves, while the cold power unites and binds, which Water does without ever taking a defined form. It will mix and solve, dissolve and rearrange, change and transform. Water is the Mother who receives the semen and nurtures the embryo but leaves the actual birth to someone else.

The Element of Water as the realm of emotion, subconscious and intuition is often seen in an over-romanticised manner. What people tend to forget is that conscious 'emotion', in the very moment we are aware of one, is but our mind's transcription of the original emotion. Subconscious does not need telling - in the moment we are aware of it it is not 'sub' anymore - it is conscious. And what often gets identified as 'Intuition' is usually the first conclusion the mind had jumped on. A thought, not a feeling. And the very moment we have it in our *thoughts* it is Yetzirah at work, not Briah.

The world of Briah is a dark and cold world, a bottomless pit of archaic, unsorted notions, a quicksand of quicksilver and yet in slow motion, if any motion at all. Quiet, limitless, passive, a black hole into some unknown dimension.

Yet, Water is also a life-giver, as much as no life would be possible on this planet without water, the spiritual being would be nowhere without Water as well.

In the Tarot Water is associated with the Suit of Cups.

Dependency of the Elements

Elemental Dignities - Pairs - Triads - Layouts - Elemental Dignities in Court Cards - Exceptions - Major Arcana
Fire - Water - Air - Earth - Dependencies

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