The Significance Of Tarot Card Pairs
In tarot, card pairs help us to cultivate balance in our life. In order to see life as a task requiring balancing of the different energies that impact us we must know how to express these energies. To attain balance we need to choose from what is available at the time in the most constructive way.
When a tarot reading is done it reveals a guide that helps us see which energies are at work in our lives at that moment. To be able to understand the reading you need to understand the Law of Opposition. This means that the different qualities shown in the reading suggests its opposite – once it is recognized. This is where card pairs come into play.
Card pairs can help us to identify areas in our lives where we need to actively seek balance. If, during a reading we look for two cards that oppose each other we can find out where things may be off balance. For example the Eight of Swords could represent restriction. However once restriction is accepted and acknowledged it could become freedom instead. This could be shown by the Four of Wands.
Thus card pairs can show us the two sides of one coin – two opposite extremes. The correct interpretation of these cards can help us find the area between the two extremes that will result in the most balanced outcome.
Various types of card pairs exist in tarot:
1) Permanent Pairs – These card pairs are easy to spot as they are two obvious extremes. The Eight of Swords and Four of Wands are permanent pairs as are the Magician and the High Priestess. The Magician is an active and conscious card while the High Priestess denotes non-action and unconscious awareness.
2) Court Card and Ace Pairs – Card pairs can be created using any two court cards or two Aces. When two suits or ranks are contrasted in this way balance patterns are revealed. So the King of Pentacles and the Queen of Cups can be a card pair – combining inner and outer focus. Such a card pair could show a conflict between people of different personality types, or ambiguous feelings.
3) Occasional Pairs – It is possible to interpret any two cards as a pair. The meanings of the cards do not have to be direct opposites. Often you can find contrasts that can be helpful when you view them as card pairs and not in isolation. You might find two cards that appear to you to embody two different states where the middle point may provide the necessary balance.
4) Reinforcing Pairs – These are card pairs that do not directly oppose each other. Instead they reinforce each card’s meaning. For example the Empress and the Nine of Cups denote pleasure, sensuality and physical enjoyment. This can show the reader that the seeker needs to work on these issues and in so doing help bring about balance.