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Tarot of the Four Elements

Tribal Folklore, Earth Mythology, and Human Magic

Published by Bear & Company
Distributed by Simon & Schuster
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About The Book

A new tarot based on shamanic imagery that invokes the magic of nature, numbers, and imagination

• Works with colorful primal symbols and vivid natural images to explore the soul’s primal roots and its relationship to sacred geometry and nature

• Uses tribal memory and symbolism as ways to connect with our own dreamworld, power, and creative potential

• By the author of the bestselling Inner Child Cards (more than 100,000 sold)

This innovative 78-card tarot deck calls forth a shamanic presence through its evocative imagery of primal symbols and tribal art forms from earth mythology and folklore. The potent journey mapped out in the deck has roots that reach into our ancient ancestry, encouraging us to feel and dream as a means to contact the unconscious forces of life. Through this journey we can develop a conscious understanding of the magic of nature, which allows us to unlock creative potential.

Tarot of the Four Elements prepares the soul for a magical exploration of the dream world using images that span cultures, races, and religions, including masks, totems, stars, handprints, and various symbols representing the natural world. Artist Amy Ericksen invites the mind and heart to dance into the images, and with that dance, to find a stillness and depth. Her paintings invoke the magic of nature, imagination, and the human spirit in order to stimulate our own power and creativity.


The Major Arcana

Archetypal Images

The cards of the Major Arcana are the heart and soul of the tarot. The twenty-two cards, also known as the Major Trumps, offer colorful images of the phases or initiations that the enchanted traveler will encounter on the path of life. Sometimes called “the greater mysteries,” these cards serve as guideposts along the winding road of life’s never-ending passages of transformation and awakening. Their archetypal imagery serves as a lens through which we can see and embrace the unconscious and conscious realities of life.

2 – The Priestess

Traditional Image
The usual representation for this card is a seated female figure who holds a sacred scroll or manuscript. She is usually on a holy throne between two pillars that represent mercy and judgment. Sometimes known as the female pope or the high priestess, she links back to the Egyptian veiled Isis and perhaps the Greek Athena as an emissary of esoteric wisdom. In our more modern understanding, she is a clear representation of Carl Jung’s idea of the anima or the archetypal feminine power of the psyche. Since this card is designated with the number two, it carries a sense of separation from divinity and the simultaneous urge to return to one’s spiritual heritage and source.

The Tarot of the Four Elements Image
An African goddess sits in the lotus position within a sacred triad, representing the harmony of light, love, and wisdom. The emanating pearl white rays of the moon pour upon her like tiny crystalline drops of lunar wisdom. Her body is imprinted with drops of the moon’s essence and the lunar crescent she sits upon is her throne. The two palm trees on either side form the pillars that balance and unite the female/male aspects of her knowledge. The trees strengthen her ability to embrace the duality of love and will. The yellow light surrounding the palm branches creates a stimulating vibration around her head. She is awake, at peace, and truthful. A tiny moon appears upon her third eye. Pure and serene, she sees all.

The Elemental Message
Enter the sacred pyramid of your own inner sanctuary. Visualize pure white light vibrating throughout your body. Listen to the tones of your soul. What instrument does your spirit body play? Is your tone a deep and gentle drum rhythm similar to an echo heard in the twilight of a soft African night? Perhaps you hear the sound of singing or maybe the comforting breeze as warm wind travels through the palm leaves. For some, there may be pure silence. Stay attuned and awake to the voice of wisdom that beats in your heart. Do not push or struggle. Surrender to the peace of the night. The little lights of the moon shower you with insight.

Key words: Meditate, Listen, Be still, Align, Pray, Chant, Receive, Channel, Listen to sacred music.

The Minor Arcana

Pictures of the Soul

While the four-fold court cards may seem archaic, they allow you to come face to face with beings and figures that connect deeply with your psyche. Each page equates with someone who plays the role of a messenger or carrier of information. Every knight stands for strong action, movement, or an adventure that must take place. Each queen represents a nurturing presence and a source of wisdom you can go to when you are in need of support. Every king reminds you of the long climb upward to becoming a respected leader or experienced elder within your family and circle of friends, colleagues, and associates.

Page of Earth

Every page is a messenger or carrier of information. Here we see an alluring devic figure whose body is composed of a colorful, spiraling flower or plant. She stares straight at you and is crowned with a pentacle. The exotic color scheme reminds you of the entire rainbow. She appears to contain healing energies and forces that can be transmitted to earth dwellers needing a dynamic transfiguration. The manner in which she stands makes one think of her ability to dance and glide through life with few cares or burdens.

Drawing this card may be a special invitation to explore fields like gardening, herbalism, flower essences, shiatsu, painting, fashion design, ballet, and various graphic or fine arts. The Page of Earth can represent an actual person who is entering your life as a giver of material pleasure or satisfaction. At the same time, the mirroring function of the tarot can mean that you are gazing at a reflection of a deep, primal part of your own being. If so, it is time to unlock a more feminine, passionate, exciting dimension of your personality. Release old fears, and cast self-doubt and worry aside. Get back into the enjoyable aspects of physical life with enthusiasm.

About The Authors

Isha Lerner is a professional astrologer, tarot consultant, and flower essence practitioner. She is the author of three book/deck sets, Inner Child Cards, The Power of Flowers, and The Triple Goddess Tarot, as well as the Inner Child Cards Workbook. She lives in Eugene, Oregon.

Amy Ericksen is an artist and a member of the Petaluma Art Council and has contributed illustrations to several books, magazines, greeting cards, and posters. She lives in Petaluma, California.

Product Details

  • Publisher: Bear & Company (November 9, 2004)
  • Length: 208 pages
  • ISBN13: 9781591430308

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Raves and Reviews

"The potent journey mapped out in the deck has roots that reach into our ancient ancestral webwork, encouraging us to feel and dream as a means to contact the unconcious forces of life."

– Branches of Light, Spring-Summer-Fall 2005

"The primal language of this deck reaches straight to our inner depths and evokes a response that feels ancient and all-knowing. The images comfort the mind and nurture the heart even as they speak of profound cosmic mysteries. Stripped bare of the arcane and medieval, the Tarot of the Four Elements offers an original approach without compromising the Tarot's inherent archetypal structure--a feat indeed!"

– Kate Warwick-Smith, author of The Tarot Court Cards: Archetypal Patterns of Relationship in the Mino

". . . an evocative tarot kit that fulfils Lerner's definition of the oracle as a rich source of mystical tribal knowledge."

– New Age Retailer, Holiday 2005

"This is a set I would recommend to anyone interested in exploring tarot, whether it's your first deck or a very good addition to your collection."

– Karen Phillippi, The Beltane Papers, Issue 36, Oct 2005

"If you are looking to find balance and harmony with the natural world around you, this deck could prove useful as it seems to draw its inspiration from the earth."

– Ladyfogg's Deck Reviews, Oct 2005

"What is wonderful about this tarot is that it draws [the images] forth emotionally as well as intellectually. Using the Tarot of the Four Elements almost makes any tarot reading an instinctual act."

– Muninn the Changeling, TCM Reviews

"This is one of those tarot decks that get better and better, the more you use it. The Tarot of the Four Elements is a deck not to be missed!"

– Amanda Bureguard, Timeless Spirit Magazine, July 2007

“The stimulating and thrilling artwork and insightful text in Tarot of the Four Elements will help every reader bring its ancient energies to life.”

– Rachel Pollack, author of Seventy-Eight Degrees of Wisdom: A Book of Tarot

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More books from this author: Isha Lerner