There are three levels of interpretation when reading the tarot cards. First, the individual cards and their traditional meanings. Second, the meaning of the map according to the corresponding positions in a layout. Third, how the rest of the cards relate to each other.
Elemental dignities is a method with which irrelevant cards based on the elements of the card (air, fire, earth, water) are particularly taken into account and eliminated. It is also known as dissonance and resonance. Each color / element is strengthened, weakened or remains neutral in the presence of other colors and essentially exceeds the individual meanings of the cards. So here are the rules:
1. If the suits / elements are the same, they strengthen each other. Swords (air) + swords (air) = very strong.
2. If the suits / elements are male / active or female / passive, they are friendly to each other. Wands (fire) + swords (air) = moderately strong or cups (water) + pentacles (earth) = moderately strong.
3. If the suits / elements complement each other, they are neutral. Wands (fire) + pentacles (earth) = neutral or swords (air) + cups (water) = neutral.
4. If the suits / elements are opposite, they weaken each other. Wands (fire) + cups (water) = weakened or swords (air) + pentacles (earth) = weakened.
Elemental Dignities is like looking at a group in which some people get along very well and get the best out of each other. While others find it more difficult to be friends, they have fewer things in common and find it difficult to identify each other's best points. However, your individual abilities remain fundamentally unchanged. They are simply and positively or negatively influenced by the company that they run.
For example, swords weaken pentacles, but strengthen wands. So when you see the mighty ace of the swords surrounded by solid realistic pentacles, its overall influence is weakened and less emphasized as part of your interpretation. However, if you see swords surrounded by wands, these would serve to emphasize their meaning.
Elemental dignities help you understand the overall feeling of a particular tarot spread.