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Tarot Alchemy: What Do Different Tarot Card Combinations Mean? by Psychic Ginger

Date 5/15/2023
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Time feels more real when we cannot slow down the changes that are coming towards us. Alchemy is about a process of change. It taught me how to observe that change. It also has a strong relationship with time. We cannot pause but we can have an idea on how to manage what comes next. Tarot with its meaning and symbology helps us understand what is happening and these two systems helped me find little windows into being able to understand combinations in the cards. Alchemy was written in code. Tarot's roots are images. Those images guide our intuition through the fog of any given situation.

Tarot Cards

What is Alchemy?

Alchemy grew my perspective around the four astrological elements: Earth, Air, Water, and Fire. The classical planets and orbital bodies Sun, Moon, Mars, Mercury, Jupiter, Venus, and Saturn. The planets were commonly used to represent metals. That was a part of the code. When I started to understand the relationships with metal those planets added details to the tarot readings that ran alongside the traditional zodiac influences. The planets line up with days of the week so my intuition around timelines expanded.

Let's start with the elements. I want to keep from complicating this. When I think of fire and earth, I mentally picture a campfire. A cozy campfire means things are controlled. But we all know that if a fire is not watched and taken care of, we can have chaos. Fire destroys and burns, the earth itself will not burn, but everything on top of it will. Just think about the other elements naturally. Water evaporates and turns into clouds. That's air and water. Bubbles in water. That's also air, possibly trying to escape the water. Earth holds water in rivers, lakes, ponds, oceans, etc. But it also absorbs it. Wind corrosion means both the interaction of the earth and air. Temperatures are related to fire. On Earth, high temperatures create a desert. Water boils with heat. 

You get the idea now, but all these combinations (and I am sure there are more) actually help a lot with the images in tarot too. I just wanted to get you thinking and see the pictures and the element’s relationships. 

With alchemy, I was introduced to the classic planets. Just a heads-up we are only working with 7. And how they represent a metal. I had to let go and just work with them in the tarot cards. I am going to start with some combinations and leave a cheat sheet at the bottom of the article to refer back to so you can see what is so fluid about this process.

Working with both sources has taught me to pay close attention to what we are asking and why. Symbols transmit important ideas. The symbols relate to the questions we are asking in that moment. One new to me idea was how the elements in alchemy could restrict or even cancel each other. I realized over time we are working towards solutions and the elements can really highlight how well our plans and ideas are going to work.

Tarot Cards Su

Tarot Card Combinations

I am going to jump in and show you some tarot card combinations so you can see what I am talking about because this is a lot to take in.

Question: "Will we reconcile?"

Tarot Cards Pulled: The Sun, 7 of Wands, and 3 of Swords.

The Sun speaks of success, with the 7 and its general over tone of perseverance we gain a deeper understanding that reconnecting is going to take establishing a friendship first because the 3 of Swords gives us a hint that this break-up or split could happen again if things come on to heavy. The Sun card indicates there will be expectations around hearing from them during the weekend. I sense the density of gold here, we won't complicate it, but this adds value. With the wands card element of fire and being a 7, Venus is also influencing this, so we need to be reflective. In addition, copper is associated here, and copper is significant today in wiring because it conducts heat. With the swords card being air, I see a strong relationship there. The elements are balanced.

If we can keep them balanced by controlling our expectations, this is going to go well. Limit over thinking and we can have a strong emotional reconnection. There's already a deep connection between these two people. They want more from each other but at this time they are in slightly different places. But they will soon get on the same page and understand each other. There's hope if we can establish a friendship because talking can bring clarity. Our initial reaction cannot be we are getting back together. That is too much fire and that will bring disappointment. Now that 3 of Swords is air and Saturn which is lead. Lead is heavy. If we over think that's the influence of the metal having the negative effects. Heartbreak can sink thinking. We can't live in the past or we are doomed to repeat it.

I realized two things right off the bat working with this. Time is important to us. Knowing if our intuition is right is just as important. Through looking at these combinations we can get a strong answer to both.

Here is another example:

Question: "I just met him, but is this love at first sight? Is this real?"

Tarot Cards Pulled: The Lovers, 6 of Cups, and The Fool.

The Lovers card and 6 of Cups speak of being like-minded but of opposite natures to the point where they are complimenting one another right now. They are sincere because there is a deeper familiarity between them. The Fool card adds to the tones of excitement because there is a real emotional connection that they are both going to trust this. Alchemy wise, the Lovers card has Mercury and air. Gemini as a Zodiac sign is also represented by the Planet Mercury. The 6 of Cups relates to the sun and water. And the Fool card has air as an element. So, the thinking between them, that concern about this being real, is rational enough to where both people are checking in and keeping things on the same path.

Question: Am I Pregnant?

Tarot Cards Pulled: The Empress, 10 of Cups, and 4 of Wands.

Every card in front of us speaks of family. What links these cards using alchemy is the balance of water and fire through the Venus energy in the Empress Card. The cards show the family is expanding and the excitement that comes with it and how the planning is moving towards celebrations, baby showers, and birthdays. Venus brings the family to the forefront of everything. There's delicate, but real happiness in the cards. Tarot is ripe with symbols of pregnancy, life, and fertility. Psychic Advisor Flora explores select tarot cards and some of their indications in the realm of family planning.  (As always, when it comes to pregnancy and other medical issues, Tarot is a guide, but not a substitute for speaking with a doctor or medical professional.)

Tower Tarot Card

What About The Tower Card Combinations?

The Tower Card in a reading often brings people to fear the worst because of its negative connotations. However, it represents change and that isn’t always bad, especially when paired with some other cards. The two cards I look out for when it comes to The Tower Card are:

8 of Cups: Water + Mercury
4 of Pentacles: Earth + Jupiter

The Tower Card brings Mars and its ironclad energy into the picture. Traditionally this card represents sudden change that we cannot control. Mars caught off guard is reactive and self-protecting. When the 8 of Cups is combined with The Tower, it tells us things are emotionally reactive and we need to back up. Disappointment can cause actions we regret. Shame is highlighted between these cards.

The 4 of Pentacles brings Earth and Jupiter to the surface which can and does reshape everything. There are going to be things that we cannot control and if we don't become aware of them fast enough, they will control us. We may owe serious money or have issues where we are living. Ultimately these changes need to be handled as soon as possible.

Death and Tower Tarot Cards

Death and The Tower Tarot Combinations – Is this Really Bad News?

When it comes to the Tower Card, I know we all look out for the Death Card coming with it. What do these two cards really mean? Their titles set us on edge instantly and I feel through the tower cards representation with Mars and the Death cards relationship with Scorpio we are meant to check in with the feelings of who is asking the question. Getting this combination says stop and take time to care about what is happening because this is a difficult moment. We may have so little control over what is shifting, therefore talking about how we feel right now is how we are going to cope. These cards speak of some of the hardest things to observe. Things or situations will go one step forward and then two steps back. Progress will look different in this reading. Our thoughts are a mixed bag. Alchemy through these cards highlight we can be "okay" because we have each other. This is where your relationship with your reader matters. On the positive side these cards remind us that we are pushed more towards a path of least resistance for our own good. There's water, Mars, and Scorpio elements all over these dynamics. Don't fight to fight.

The High Priestess Tarot Card

The High Priestess Combinations

A livelier combination in the cards is when we have The High Priestess card show up with any of the Aces. In alchemy, the moon is highlighted for this card but in the major arcana we have a moon card so there's dual dynamics in play. For example, if we have the Ace of Cups in the reading, which represents water, new connections, and shows the real relationship, we know the High Priestess is aiming to get what she wants. Her intuition isn't wrong, and we just have to integrate the subconscious concerns and anxiety around what is happening can be managed. The other Aces add in their elements. With the High Priestess and the Ace of Pentacles, clear manifesting in finances are underway that will pay off. The Ace of Swords tells us that the High Priestess will influence a positive breakthrough and you will be told the truth. When the Ace of Wands appears, the High Priestess does not waste time on potential. Experience from the past built the intuition into the situation and we can control what happens next. The Aces can be very influential with a lot of cards.

Queen of Swords Tarot

Queen of Swords Combinations

When it comes to dealing with difficult situations, we can all have natural tipping points. Intuitively it may come through as "what's gone on has gone on long enough." The Queen of Swords in combination with a few different cards can highlight changes that are coming that are working in favor of who's asking the questions. For example: the Queen of Swords is paired with the 9 of Wands. We have that combination of Air and Fire. These two cards literally speak of reaching a tipping point. Whoever is playing games with the querent, they are about to find out what the consequences are. This is where we see a lot of quick decisions with changes that are serious, but fruitful. To be fair, the Queen of Swords and 9 of Wands are going to cause a “Tower like” moment in other people's lives because they are making their own rules.

The Queen of Swords can also come with the 2 of Swords. Double air signs here mean duality. The 2 tells us we are shutting down emotionally and the relationship with the Queen is pushing for independence. Do not mistake indecision from the 2 of Swords as an issue, it is balance for the double air. It's a way to pause the Queen to see all options in front of her and a way to organize our next move. What if it's not balanced though? I mentioned earlier how I saw where elements could cancel each other out. Too much air from the Queen of Swords and 2 of Swords means we can't breathe. We have to stop overthinking and breathe. And if our emotions are overflowing, then we have a potential issue. We need to stop and think through what we can do right now.

Wheel of Fortune Tarot

Wheel of Fortune Tarot Combinations

When the 10 of Pentacles comes with the Wheel of Fortune card, we are experiencing the Earth and Jupiter. We see how hard work and being focused pays off with trades that move in our favor. There's security with this combo.

If we have The Hanged Man, 7 of Cups, and Wheel of Fortune, we need to change what we are doing. We have water in The Hanged Man. Our feelings are telling us to surrender, and we are fighting an outcome with wishful thinking. Our head wants something that our heart realizes is distracting us. The 7 of Cups is water and Venus. The Wheel of Fortune is always turning. With this combination, we have too much water in this reading. Don't go under because it is easier. It speaks of complacency bringing about issues. If we can shift into handling things, we can see what is real and we can balance out how to surrender. Change fate to where we land more by choice, not by chance.

I hope these examples above have shown you the varying ways Tarot Combinations can occur and how the meanings of these cards can change depending on how they are presented in a spread. Tarot Alchemy is a deeply fascinating topic and one I could go on and on about, but before I leave you, as promised, here is my “cheat sheet” that helps summarize some of the major topics covered in this discussion. As always, I am available for a Tarot reading and can help further explore specific tarot card combinations that may come up in your next spread!

Tarot Cards

Tarot Alchemy Resource Guide:

Elements in Alchemy

Earth: physical object, responsible, tangible.

Air: thoughts, logical, unpredictable.

Water: emotions, sensitive, adaptable.

Fire: behaviors, productive, ambitious.

Suits in Tarot Move with These Elements

Air: swords.

Fire: wands.

Water: cups.

Earth: pentacles.

Planets and Metals in Alchemy

Sun - Gold. Influential. Valuable. Security.

Moon - Silver. Mirrors. Sea. Adornment. Precious.

Mars - Iron. Abundant. Sturdy. Harsh. Unyielding.

Mercury - Quicksilver. Speed. Mobility.

Jupiter - Tin. Resists corrosion. Bonds. Trade. Transitions.

Venus - Copper. Delicate. Love. Vanity. Habits. Vibrancy.

Saturn - Lead. Robust. Stability. Actions. Leadership. Optics.

Major Arcana (Traditional Zodiac Signs, Alchemy Elements, and Planets)

0 - The Fool: Air

1 - The Magician: Mercury. Motion.

2 - The Priestess: Moon. Intuition.

3 - The Empress: Venus. Abundance.

4 - The Emperor: Aries. Mars. Fire. Structure.

5 - The Hierophant: Taurus. Venus. Earth. Beliefs

6 - The Lovers: Gemini. Mercury. Air. Values.

7 - The Chariot: Cancer. Moon. Water. Ambition.

8 - Justice: Leo. Sun. Fire. Truth.

9 - The Hermit: Virgo. Mercury. Earth. Introspection.

10 - Wheel of Fortune: Jupiter. Turning Points. Recuperation.

11 - Strength: Libra. Venus. Air. Persuasion. Copper.

12 - The Hanged Man: Water. Perspective. New Paradigms.

13 - Death: Scorpio, Mars. Water. Transition.

14 - Temperance: Sagittarius. Jupiter. Fire. Bonds. Tin.

15 - The Devil: Capricorn. Saturn. Earth. Lead. Stubborn.

16 - The Tower: Mars. Iron. Unyielding.

17 - The Star: Aquarius. Saturn. Air. Thinking. Lead. Reactions.

18 - The Moon: Pisces. Water. Moon. Silver. Intuition.

19 - The Sun: Fire. Instincts.

20 - Judgment: Fire. Behaviors.

21 - The World: Saturn. Lead. Integration.

Major Arcana Tarot Meanings Reference Guide Download!

Use this guide as a quick reference to each of the Major Arcana tarot card meanings.

Minor Arcana Suites (with the traditional associations)

Cups: Water

Pentacles: Earth

Wands: Fire

Swords: Air

Minor Arcana Numbers 3-9

These are loose guidelines to help confirm potential timelines. Always trust your intuition here and the other cards in combination. Remember how the classical planets correlate with the days of the week. It is okay to use numerology here as well.

Minor arcana with the alchemy planets:

3's: Saturn

4's: Jupiter

5's: Mars

6's: Sun

7's: Venus

8's: Mercury

9's: Moon


Author's Photo Get a Reading with Ginger x3037

Ginger has 14 years of experience reading tarot. Working with different questions and creating spreads that peel back layers for any situation has been a huge blessing. Working with guides that help bring clarity, guides us through circumstances that could influence us. With tarot, it takes looking at the unknown and opening doors to create new courses.




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