To begin learning to read with these cards I suggest starting with the single card draw. You can do this daily, or more than once a day, as you see fit.
For this reading, remove the shadow cards from the main deck and place them aside in their own deck. See the section on shadow cards for more ideas on how to utilize them.
If you are new to elemental/chakra symbolism/work, consider using the “Core Element Deck” as outlined in the deck section.
This approach is meant to be personally expanded, but an outline of how this might look is as follows…
Setting Up the Reading Space
Set aside some time and space for this reading. Create a contemplative environment in the ways you like, using music, spoken word or any practices you see fit that will create a space to facilitate this inquiry.
Shuffle the deck until you feel the energy in the cards shift to a feeling from which you would like to draw.
If you have a particular inquiry in mind, state or write it down now. To begin with it can be as simple as “What card is best for me to contemplate at this time in my life?”
Draw one card from the deck and place it in front of you, making sure to keep the rotation of the card intact as you place it. For this example I will say I have drawn Air of Water, “Intuitive Navigation.”
Take in the colors, shapes and any images that stand out to you. Read the words and let them sit in you for a moment. The image on the example card is of a boat moving along the water, drawn by the wind. To me, in this moment I can feel that wind, the speed it is curling by me, and the quick rise and fall of the water below the boat.
At this point you can read the description of the card in this book if you like, or wait until later in the process as you see fit. For beginners, reading it now will be a great way to start the practices that follow.
Engaging the Energy Body
Using the elemental words at the top of the card, locate the chakra location and relationship that this card is indicating. Feel into this relationship, even seeing it energetically if you are so inclined. With Air of Water I see this is taking place in the sacral chakra (water), and is being influenced by (relating with) the heart chakra. I feel into my second chakra, noting how it is in this moment, taking in any sense of it (usually colors and feelings for me) that it is communicating at present. I then feel into the energy of the heart sending its influence down to the second.
With the energy of the chakras engaged in this reading, open to the ideas presented on the card, using whatever points of inquiry stand out for you (images/words/colors). With the above energy relationship in the forefront, I then open to the idea of “Intuitive Navigation.” I open to any information that presents itself, and/or I present my questions about this topic to my energy.
Exploring the Elements
Consider the elements listed on this card and how they are illustrated. Imagine how these elements are playing out in the illustration and how the illustration “illustrates” the concept written at the bottom of the card. With the Air of Water I imagine how the air influences water in nature, as show in this card, rippling across the surface and making or breaking waves. The image of a boat in this environment brings to mind for me how sailing, with the wind above and water below, teaches one to navigate intuitively within the context of a rapidly, unpredictably changing environment.
Grounding the Reading
Sitting in this meditative-energetic space you have created with this card, begin to ground the ideas and energies into your present life. If you had a specific question for this draw, use your dreaming attention, your poetic self, to see ways in which this card is making commentary on the topic. Perhaps it is simply contextualizing the lesson or main beneficial focus suggested at this time. Perhaps it is indicating a way in which to improve the situation.
If you drew this card with the simple intention of exploring a card from the deck, the process is much the same. Bring to mind any situations in your life where you see that the topics and energies of this card as you now see them could be a commentary that provides an expanded context, clarification or perhaps even a suggested course of action.
Trust the information and ideas that come to you from this process. Journal them, contemplate them later, and allow your inspiration to take you into creative ways to explore them.