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Prince of Cups, Air or Fire?


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Ealasaid Enfys

I'm currently reading The Thoth Companion (M.O. Snuffin) and adding to my notes. For the Prince of Cups, I'm confused about his element. According to my 'research' I found the Thoth Prince = Waite Knight. In my notes I have Knights as fire, but in the book it says Princes are Air. While I thought Kings were Air... I'm lost.

 

Or do Thoth and Waite just have a different approach and I should seperate the two schools in my notes?

 

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timtoldrum

Each deck is a different world and should be approached on its own terms.

 

Over time, different readers have drawn different conclusions on the Smith-Waite courts. Pamela Colman Smith appears to follow the continental courts whereby the Smith-Waite Kings should be the Harris-Crowley Knights.  Quite a few cartomantes favour this correspondence.   However, if you look at the Smith-Waite Knights and the Harris-Crowley Knights, the iconography often overlaps. In addition, when discussing significators, Waite states:

 

A Knight should be chosen as the Significator if the subject of inquiry is a man of forty years old and upward; a King should be chosen for any male who is under that age a Queen for a woman who is over forty years and a Page for any female of less age.

 

Based on the designs I believe the Smith-Waite kings are the Harris-Crowley princes and air. The Smith-Waite knights are the Harris-Crowley knights and fire. 
 

However it’s best to treat each one singularly. Even though both draw from the same traditions — such as the knight winning the old kings daughter — neither draw the same conclusions. 

 

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Ealasaid Enfys

Thank you for responding, timtoldrum. I really like to bundle all the information I find on one card. In doing so, I can compare imagery and symbolism. What I find in one card (or deck) helps me understand the same card in another deck. Details I didn't notice, other aspects that are emphasized, infuences that are more prominent in one card than in another, ... Especially the elemental attributions are so helpful! But obviously the cards don't let themselves be put in a pigeonhole. Message received. 

 

I'm also really stubborn in trying to understand all of this (especially the Thoth, but without the Kabbalah-approacht. That's way out of my league). I found an interesting discussion on the ATF and a website that focuses on the Court Cards. I do see how the designs of the cards steer towards a certain view. I will have to dive in deeper to see which way I will swim.

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SparklePuffy

Just personally, I skip over assigning an element to each Court card (aside from the element it gets from the suit).

 

But it can make sense to see each Court in terms of yin and yang, which are in a sense simplified elements.

 

So most knights would be yang but knight of cups has a lot of watery yin.

 

Queens of course have a certain amount of yin, mixed with whatever yang etc. that comes from the suit. Queen of Cups might be double yin, whereas Queen of Swords has a lot of yang, etc.

 

Just brainstorming with you, as phrases like water of fire don't resonate with me, but the yin side of fire or the yang side of water might.

 

 

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Ealasaid Enfys

I've never thought about the yin and yang, but it makes sense as well.

 

Working with the elements helps me understand the court cards better in terms of personality. Like Air of Fire, thoughts fuelling action. You get the immediate picture. Because I know I'm not the only one struggling with the court cards. But when sometimes you find Knights are Air, no Knights are Fire and Kings are Air... Or are they Fire? It's doing my head in. The Thoth deck was my first deck and I haven't used it in ages so I can discard them where the elements are concerned. But I get the feeling there's also a discrepancy within the RWS-system. Could be wrong... One day I hope to understand the elemental dignities as well, but let's start with the courts.

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SparklePuffy

May I ask - let's say Knights are fire. So what does that mean for Knight of Cups?  That Knight is "fire of water"?

 

What does that mean in a reading? Does it mean active water or something?

 

 

 

 

Edited by SparklePuffy
Repeated sentence
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Ealasaid Enfys

Could be. 'A strong rain', I read on corax.com. Over the weekend I found some other examples, can't seem to find them right now.

I would say something like he acts (fire) on his feelings (cups). But he needs to balance both, they're not really friendly. Too much fire can make the water vaporate (he will act without listening to his conscious), too much water puts out the fire (nothing gets done at all). Because it's hard to balance these elements he's not the easiest of character to be around.

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