This is Part 2 of our focus on the weekly tarot card. To read Part 1 about the Ace of Swords, click here.
The focus of the Aces is about beginnings and germination of ideas. The element of the Swords is Air, and for this meditation, we’re going to be focussing on how Air nourishes us, and what it does to feed our minds. You can read more about the actual element itself in tomorrow’s post on Air, the Swords, and the Number 1.
Find a comfortable and quiet place where you can keep a pen and paper near you, and ready to write what you find. If you are not a writer, or aren’t in a position to be able to write, making a video recording or a voice recording is just as good. Just try to avoid typing your responses during this exercise. You can transfer your findings onto a computer later, but not during the exercise.
Be sure to put your devices on silent or on Airplane mode so as not to distract yourself. If you prefer meditative music while you do this, try to avoid streaming anything, as any advertisements might disrupt this process (unless you have paid accounts).
Pick the Ace of Swords from the deck you intend to work with, or all of the decks. This meditation is for your connection with the card, and your developing understanding.
Close your eyes, and allow yourself to breathe. As you inhale, feel the parts of your body expanding with the breath, and focus the pure white energy entering the base of your throat, which is your Throat Chakra.
Exhale, letting go any tension you’re holding. Relax your shoulders, your neck, your tongue, your toes, your fingers. Just relax.
As you inhale, slowly and steadily, but comfortably., drawing in the white light, the rich blue of your Throat Chakra brightens. It gets brighter and brighter with each breath you take, and you feel open to the energy of the Swords.
As you breathe, really focus on your breath, the power of it, the way it expands your chest, raises your shoulders, pushes out your belly. Acknowledge it filling your body, being carried through the blood stream, nourishing your organs, your muscles, your brain.
As you exhale, acknowledge the energies being relieved of you, the ridding the body of the carbon dioxide you don’t need. Consider the transformation between oxygen and carbon, and the cyclical nature of expelling what plants breathe, who in turn expel what you breathe. Through this connection of breaths, you are connected to earth and life, and participating in its symbiosis.
After a few moments of breathing like this, as long as is comfortable (but for at least a few minutes), open your eyes, and let yourself look at the Ace of Swords. Try not to impost your definitions on the card, what you know of it. At this point, you are just looking, observing. Mentally take note of anything that jumps out at you, but don’t put any meaning on it. Not yet. Just simply gaze at it, breathing slowly, but comfortably.
Take time to jot what you notice, what you feel, what you think. Spend as much time doing this as you want, fill as many pages as you’d like.
After you have finished writing your observations, spend some time journaling or vocalizing your responses on the following questions. Really think about your responses, explore the question from all its angles. With each answer you provide, take a moment to reflect on it, add to it if you need, and then ask yourself if you are giving the most honest response you can.
The suit of Swords corresponds to speed, the intellect, and communication. In order for our ideas to be heard, we must communicate with them. In order for us to understand our ideas, we must have good comprehension. Understanding the dual nature of how we communicate, how we understand, and the ideals we hold to be true can determine how our reality is shaped, and how we influence the world around us.
The pen is mightier than the sword because the pen writes history, it solidifies ideas, it brings messages, it communicates. The pen is represented by the Swords in the Tarot for this very reason.
As with all the Aces, the Ace of cups is about new beginnings within the suit. They correspond to the Magician, who is the gathering energy of a seed readying itself to break through its shell and grow into the world. By examining your understanding of your thoughts and means of communication, you will be gathering the energy to examine your projections on the world, and thus create a stronger presence in the world, for your ideas and your words will be heard.
What did your meditation yield? What have you found has really enhanced your understanding of the Ace of Swords? What meditations/observational practices do you embark on? I’d love to hear about your experiences in the comments!
Faerie Tarot by Nathalie Hertz, published by U.S. Games Systems, Inc, 2008. Hertz is a French artist, and the creator of several other beautiful tarot decks. The Faerie Tarot was ‘inspired by the flora and fauna of the French countryside,’ and ‘invites you to see the world in a delightful new way…blending fantasy, whimsy, and nature.’
Impressionist Tarot by Arturo Picca (artist) and Corrine Kenner (author), published by Lo Scarabeo in 2015. This deck takes works of classic impressionist paintings and recreates them to fit the meanings of the tarot. It pulls from works of Edonard Manet, Claude Monet, Pierre Auguste Renoir, Edgar Degas, Vincent van Gough, and Paul Gauguin. A truly beautiful deck, especially for those who have interest in the art world.
Prisma Visions Tarot by James R. Eads, 3rd ed., published in 2016. The deck itself is beautiful, though perhaps not for the beginning tarot reader. The suits all fit together to create a master picture displaying the energy and progression of the suits. The figures and images flow from one card to the next, showing movement within the stationary cards.
Rider-Waite by A. E. Waite. The deck used in these photos is currently out of print. I won’t say much about this deck, as it is fairly standard and probably one of the most produced decks. It serves as a standard for many tarot readers and artists, depicting classic images relating in part to the original playing cards that tarot developed from.
The Spiral Tarot by Kay Steventon. With turn-of-the-20th-century style art, this deck takes from the classic Rider-Waite deck and brings it up to the late 1800-early 1900’s, a time of industry and contemplation for the western world as it moved forward into a more technological era. I am a little biased toward this deck as it’s been my main deck for 15 years. The cards are thick with additional symbolism that can be tricky to pick out of the traditional Rider-Waite, and adds layers of Greek myth throughout the Major Arcana.
Thoth Tarot by Aleister Crowley (designer and author) and Lady Frieda Harris (artist), published by U. S. Games Systems, Inc., in 1978. This deck takes from most esoteric imagery, and requires the reader of the deck to have deep, initiate knowledge of the symbolism used. There is nothing within the cards that is without meaning. However, on a more surface level, the deck draws from Egyptian symbolism and from the style of the Marseille Tarot (mostly seen within the Minor Arcana). For those looking for deeper understandings of the universe, I recommend this deck. I would caution that this deck is highly advanced, and might be avoided for the budding reader.
Vampire Tarot – by Nathalie Hertz, published by U.S. Games Systems, Inc. in 2000. As mentioned above in reference to the Faerie Tarot, Hertze is a French artist who gained her notability through the publication of her tarot decks. The Vampire Tarot was a bestselling deck upon its release, and plays on more gothic symbolism, providing more jarring interpretations to allow for the accepting of negative forces within the world to compliment the positive forces. The deck brings together myths and legends in the form of vampires, which ‘gives tarot readers a macabre passport’ into the world of divination.