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Keywords: emotion, intuition, memory, the heart

Stringed instruments generate sound when their strings are plucked, bowed, or struck. The pitch of each string on a given instrument is determined by its length and its tension; the overall character of the instrument, however, is determined not so much by the strings themselves, but by the resonant body the strings are stretched across, such as a piano sound board or the body of a violin. Unique to strings as a family is each instrument’s ability to play more than one note at a time; a guitar’s capacity for expression, for example, is greatly increased by the fact that it can generate harmony in and of itself.

The suit of Strings corresponds with the emotions. Cards within it address our passions, our sensitivities, our vulnerabilities, our likes and dislikes. Strings are aligned with the element of Water, and like water the feelings they represent can either drown us or nourish us deeply. They can be as pleasurable as joy, as profound as love, or as miserable as depression; as powerful as the tide, as persistent as the rain. In the body, Strings are centered around the Heart Chakra, which is where we give and receive love. Feelings can resonate, or co-resonate, just about anywhere, though, depending on their quality: extreme fear, for example, resonates in the Root Chakra, anger in the Solar Plexus.

Strings are very dramatic, and the sound of a string orchestra can sweep us away -- it grabs us by the “heart strings.” Similarly, we are beguiled by our feelings -- they always seem justified. Part of navigating the suit of Strings is recognizing when our feelings are having us instead of us having them. They will have us -- it’s when we don’t know it that we can slip into melodrama. Of course, sometimes it’s grand to be had. Gratitude, love, and compassion all swell when the Strings swell.

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