The Janati and the Tarot

6 Maia/April 23



O, Madria Theia, Jana of Illumination, Joy and Benevolence, be with us. May the Pure Stream of Your Virtue flow within me, in this world and in all the worlds to come. Blessed are You.


The Deanic Faith differs in the assigning of the Elements to the  Cardinal Direction than most Traditions. For example, most Traditions have Air in the East, Earth in the North, Fire in the South and Water in the West. The Deanic Faith uses the system whereby Water is in the East, Fire in the South, Earth in the West and Air in the North.

It took me a few years to get used to this system, but now, nothing makes more perfect sense to me, especially when we consider the complete correspondences of each Direction and Element taken in conjunction with the Five Deanic Mysteries of the Faith.

The other difference, for Janites, is with the tarot symbols. In our system, swords represent Fire and wands are the symbol for Air. Whereas with a majority of modern spiritual Traditions, it is the other way around.

I was happy to find, through research, that there are other traditions (and even tarot decks!) which support my own premise. Swords are forged in Fire, they are a symbol of great strength. We think of someone, an hero, perhaps, who was ‘tried in fire’ as it were. Like the sword, a person of great inner strength is forged in Fire either through suffering, hard work or other means. Swords are very often associated with fire.

If we look at the manufacturing of each of these tools, I think we’ll also find a natural alignment between the blade and fire and the wand and air.  Though both the wand and the athame are created from materials that come from the earth, the argument could be made that both are ‘tempered’ in their respective elements.  For example, casting and shaping the athame’s blade requires a great deal of heat to melt and temper the metal.  Similarly, wands are harvested from tree branches–not the roots or the trunks.  Therefore, they come from the parts of the trees that are shaped by the wind:  branches must be pliable enough to bend with the breeze but strong enough to resist its forces.  Wind, then, tempers branch wood as much as flame does metal. (1)

Those who use the Swords/Air, Wand/Fire tradition are following the Gardnerian/Crowley/Golden Dawn system. However, there are those who say that this was switched on purpose to preserve the oath of secrecy and to ‘throw-off the uninitiated’. (See Techniques of High Magic by King and Skinner.)

And way may also read:

However, Waite’s membership in the Golden Dawn included an oath of secrecy, so he hesitated to reveal too much in his deck or accompanying book. He decided to switch two of the elemental correspondences in order to preserver his oath. He couldn’t very well change the association of Cups to Water, since that’s a pretty obvious one, and Pentacles are mostly depicted as coin – and again the association between money and Earth is straightforward and obvious. But Swords and Wands are abstract tools, that were not in common usage at the turn of the last century. The Golden Dawn associated Air with Wands and Fire with Swords, so Waite reversed these two and filled his deck with Fiery Wands and Airy Swords.The Way of Four Spellbook by Deborah Lipp. (2)

For ‘changed-element-association tarot decks see the following: Unfortunately, the tarot deck that I like the best, the Medieval Enchantment, is no longer in print. The Celtic Dragon, Arthurian and Shapeshifter Tarot decks do follow this system.

By the same token, our custom of placing Air in the North is also seen as the original placement for Air and was switched for similar reasons as the above.

What do tarot associations have to do with the Janati? Each suit is linked to the energy of the Element and each Jana is a ruler of that energy.

Correspondences and associations are very powerful. They are powerful to the human subconscious mind and when combined, they are powerful in universal energy. Correspondences tend to ‘pull everything together’ so to speak,; they form a cohesive whole. Even in certain forms of Christianity, we see correspondences with regards to liturgical colors, the associations of the Archangels and the like.

Where each symbol of the Elements: Swords, Cups, Wands, Pentacles/ Discs and the bell (for Spirit), these symbols would naturally be associated with a Jana due to the fact that each Jana (like the male Archangels) are Guardians of a Cardinal Direction and each rule over an Element. The male Archangels are also naturally associated with a suit of the Tarot.

The Janati of the Four-fold Earth: Madria Grace, Madria Vicka, Madria Thema and Madria Sofia, are considered to be ‘of the Four-fold Earth’ precisely because they are the Guardians of the Four Cardinal Directions. And so, they may be easily associated with the Minor Arcana or the minor secrets/mysteries of the Journey of Life. The Minor Arcana represent the material journey and life on the material plane.

Let us take a look at Madria Vicka with the Janite tradition of placing swords as the symbol of Fire in the South. Swords represents strength, valor, protection and courage, all of which are Virtues of the Life Stream  of Madria Vicka.

The sword is often the symbol of valor and courage. The valiant medieval knights or the Three Musketeers swiftly come to mind. Madria Vicka is the Mistress of Martial Arts which would include the noble art of fencing. (Please note that there are those who feel there is a difference between fencing and sword-fighting.) (3)

 (Arthurian Tarot which uses swords/Fire and spears (rather than wands) for Air. Also, I don’t always use the accompanying book for tarot decks. I choose the cards that resonate with me while using the interpretations with which I am the most familiar.)

Madria Grace is associated with Cups because She is the Guardian of East and Water. When we think of Her Virtues of Compassion and Mercy or Her gifts of healing and grace, all are associated with Cups and Water.

Even though all tarot books will provide a brief description of the meaning of the Suit (Cups, Swords, Pentacles, Wands and Trumps), when it comes to the Minor Arcana, I look to the Ace of each suit to find what the suit really means as each Ace contains within itself the potentiality of the entire suit. From the Ace of Cups, we learn that Cups contains within itself the potentiality of: devotion, charity, amity, empathy; the life forces of fertility, nourishment and nurture as well as love all of which come under the purview of Madria Grace.

 (A beautiful rendition of the High Priestess as found in the Illuminati deck, which has no association with the secret society of Illuminati.)

Now let us turn our attention to the Major Arcana or Trumps, which is represented by the Element of Spirit. The Major Arcana represents the path to self-awareness/gnosis/enlightenment. It represents the more spiritual aspects of our Journey. (4) The Janati of the Three-fold Heaven, Madria Candra, Madria Theia and Madria Rhea, are the Guardians of Spirit and the Heavenly Realm. Therefore, they may be associated with the Major Arcana.

In all things, correspondences represent many different aspects of life, like pieces of a puzzle. And like a puzzle more pieces or correspondences you join together, the clearer the vision of the completed picture, in the case of tarot correspondences, the picture of Life.

Our list of Janati correspondences now include the tarot associations:


May Our Lady bless you,

Blessed is She.


ArchMadria Candra Sophia







2 thoughts on “The Janati and the Tarot”

  1. Wow, Sorella Sophia, thank you! What an amazingly colorful and vibrant deck! I was happy to read a review which stated that the deck has nothing to do with the secret Illuminati society.
    I would be very interested in purchasing this deck for myself for even though it probably has swords/Air, wands/Fire… really, one can use any tarot deck according to their own interpretation and system.
    Great sleuthing! Thank you.

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