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What I See:

Gaian-Tarot-Elder-WaterWater is a passive element and I certainly get a feeling of patience looking at this card. The colors are soft, yet cool like predawn. I can hear the gentle lapping of the water against the boat. Feel the sway. He looks like a fisherman and “the early bird catches the worm” comes to mind. Something has caught his attention and I can’t help but wonder what. A bird? A glimpse of the Aurora Borealis? An incoming storm? And we have the seal, which according to the book is a reminder to pay attention to our dreams.

General Water element/Cups suit:

Please refer back to the Ace of Water

Light (upright) Reading:

You are a comforting presence to others.

  • Keywords: Consideration, Understanding, Dignity, Protectiveness, or Passion.

Shadow (upside down or reverse) Reading:

You may be lost at sea, emotionally.

  • Keywords: Obsession, Paranoia, Nihilism, Duplicitous, or Sleaziness.


How about a story around that breath of time between dream and wakefulness? An “early bird get the worm” tale? The changing seasons?

A fisherman’s tale, or anyone who makes their living off the water. Perhaps a devoted family man?

How about King Neptune? Seal = Selkie for me but any water related shifter story might work.

  • Elder Themes: Competence, Authority, Respect, Decision Making, Mastery, Leadership, or Prowess.

Or perhaps explore the flip side, in Tarot for Writers, Corrine Kenner says the King of Cups is “a man in a powerful position who could be shifty in his business dealings.” A crook? A hypocrite?


“I seek out the wild and magical places that fill my heart with gratitude.” ~Joanna Powell Colbert

  • Suit Archetype/Feudal Class: Clergy and Priestly class.

MBTI: ENFJ (Extraverted Intuitive Feeling Judging)

The nine-point personality enneagram can also be useful for character building.

Elders/Kings are E2: Helper and/or Giver

  • Self Image — I help
  • Passion — Pride
  • Virtue — Freedom
  • Narcissistic Trap — Service
  • Avoids — Needs
  • Speaking Style — Flattering or Advising

E2 people are relationship oriented. They are concerned with what others think of them, image and prestige. They see themselves as being for others and often believe they know what’s best. They dislike being alone and may feel sad or inadequate.

Additionally, look up one of the Water signs (Cancer, Scorpio, Pisces) for personality traits.

  • Careers: Health Care/Medicine, Ministry, Therapist/Counselor, Education, Fine Arts, Scientists, Research and Development, Customer Service, Navy, and Private Investigation.
  • Recreation: Weights, Iyengar Yoga, Kick-Boxing, Pilates, Swimming, and Anything that allows them to channel their intensity and devotion.

For more information on the Elders in general, please refer back to the Elder of Fire.

Image: Gaian Tarot by Joanna Powell Colbert from Llewellyn Worldwide