One of the things I frequently come across while reading is the widespread belief that the Elemental attributions of the Minor Arcana suits of Wands and Swords are those of Fire and Air respectively. Perhaps this is attributable to the popular Rider Waite deck which embraces these associations, which in turn seems to stem from Golden Dawn literature.

To me, and to many other occultists, these attributions seem questionable at best. And it seems odd that many readers accept these attributions unquestioningly.

The usual reasoning seems to be that wood burns and a sword 'cuts through the air' (!), which seems faintly ridiculous when we consider that water boils, so you might as well say that Cups correspond to Fire.

No, Swords, for me, are the cards of Fire. The fire or the hearth is the focal point of a blacksmith's workplace. A sword is forged and tempered in fire. Swords equate to stress, authority, conflict and aggression. Which is why an argumentative or easily-stressed character is described as "fiery".

Wands, on the other hand, have always been an aerial symbol. Carried by Mercury, the messenger of the Gods. He of the winged helmet and sandals. A wand is the classic symbol of Divination, the Mercurial Art. In the ancient grimoires, wands are cut during the hour of Mercury. And that Mercury is a deity of Air is unquestionable.

The trees from which a wand is cut grow upwards, they reach to the sky.