PDU - The Element of Air

I’m taking a different approach this time to the PDU topic and looking at the element of Air in another way.

The Tarot.

Yes, I said the tarot.

Traditionally in a tarot deck, Swords are the symbol of Air. It make sense I suppose, they cut through things, tend to be a decisive and quick action insofar as their purpose. They move through the air when being used and overall have always had the association of Air – intellect, swift action, logic (so on and so forth). 

The funny thing is, I could never fully gel with the idea of Swords being Air. My first ever tarot deck was The Celtic Dragon Tarot, beautiful deck (especially for a dragon mad sort as me), the Swords in this deck are Fire and it just felt right. It made more sense. The basic pointy-ness of them, the pain they could inflict, the absolute burn of a cut seemed to be more on the Fire side of things rather than Air. So I relegate Swords to Fire and it works for me. 

Wands are the epitome of Air to me, so Wands read as Air in any deck I use, whether they are associated or not. I could never understand why they were assigned Fire – it made no logical sense (not to contradict every tarot author and creator out there), Wands are definitely a tool of the mind, I also feel that, while they pack a punch, they also have a gentler energy, one more reminiscent of the mind. They’re also not a rigid as swords, they will bend so far before breaking (much as the mind does), they grow, change, evolve as the mind does (yes, yes I’ll concede fire does too) but most of all, when I think of Wands, I think of Air – I mean, fire burns wood – why would you give it an association that is practically it’s mortal enemy?

I find that in readings especially, Wands resonate better as Air; I often get clearer readings with Wands/Air. Swords scream decisive action to me, a fire in the soul to get things moving whereas Wands/Air signifies careful thought, intellect and rationale in situations. I’m sure there are some tarot purists who would have a heart attack with my approach, but it works for me.

And for your enjoyable perusing - here are some of the images of Wands from a few of my decks - definitely Air to me.

Tarot of the Secret Forest

The Wildwood Tarot

The Shadowscapes Tarot

The Celtic Dragon Tarot

The DruidCraft Tarot


  1. To me wands feel like fire, I've never really read anything about how they (the suites) were associated with different elements or maybe I just skimmed over those bits who knows. But if I stop and think abou it wands do fee like fire and swords feel like air, pentacles like earth and cups like water. Funny that eh? Sarah :)

  2. I think you're right. The sharpness of the sword, the sting of its cuts brings to mind fire. The lightness of the wand, the undulation of its movement makes me think of wind.


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