This morning I was thinking abut the old Doublemint gum jingle and how it might be applied to the elemental dignities between the Minor Arcana in two-card sets.
“Double your pleasure, double your fun!”
But I switched it up a bit to create four “opportunities:”
“Double your pleasure, double your pain;
Double your money, double your fun!”
For illustration, I laid out the RWS Aces in their “friendly and supportive” combinations, with the suit of Cups representing “pleasure” and the Swords signifying “pain,” the Pentacles meaning “money” and the Wands symbolizing “fun.” Each card of a suit has three suits with which it cooperates – at a decreasing level of intensity – for the fullest expression of its inherent power: 1) the suit of its own element; 2) the “active” or “passive” suit with which it is most friendly (Fire and Air, Water and Earth); and 3) the suit of opposite polarity (Fire and Earth, Water and Air) with which it is aloof but still complementary (or in Golden Dawn terms, “neutral and supportive”).
For example, two Cups together (depending on which ones they are) have the greatest potential for emotional pleasure; a Cup followed by a Pentacle can give that happiness a physical slant; and a Cup with a Sword can mean more cerebral enjoyment. Two mutually-reinforcing Swords can dramatically escalate the difficulty and discomfort often associated with the suit; a Sword followed by a Wand could mean an unpredictable situation with tempers flaring; a Sword with a Cup suggests a calming influence that injects the uncompromising Swords energy with a little empathy.
Pentacles obviously relate to economic gain (some people think they relate to nothing else), and two of them in an auspicious alignment (both by element and intrinsic nature) can easily double one’s chances for productive increase; a Pentacle followed by a Cup lends a casual mellowness to practical circumstances; and a Pentacle with a Wand implies abundant creative power that revels in its self-expression. Two well-favored Wands can be exhilarating; a Wand followed by a Sword is full of eagerness to explore stimulating new ideas; and a Wand with a Pentacle signifies the gratifying exercise of physical prowess.
This exercise will be especially interesting with the court cards, where different personalities (or, as Aleister Crowley called them, “moral characteristics”) can be brought into the analysis.