This is part 5 of the weekly focus on a tarot card. To read the rest of the series on the Ace of Swords, check out the following links:
Table of Contents
On a daily and mundane level, the Ace of Swords can mean new forms of communication, but most likely some news delivered to the Querant. However, it can also be the representation of a new idea that needs to be discussed. The Swords can sometimes represent legal matters, as they correspond to communication and logic which generally falls into the realm of law. It can denote an idea of traveling as well, usually by air.
On a deeper and more spiritual level, the Ace of Swords represents higher understanding, messages from the divine. It is a call for us to think logically and critically, though to open ourselves up to what we can’t see, to ideas outside our own realm.
The Ace of Swords is a call to examine and test our thoughts, a difficult task as represented by the jagged mountains. However, our thoughts fuel our beliefs just as our beliefs fuel our thoughts. To test one is to test the other, and if those thoughts and beliefs hold strong, then stronger is the conviction of the individual (also seen in the reference to Thelema and the call of the True Will).
There is a reminder that intellect is greater than the sword, that fights can be won with the wit rather than with violence. This reminder is found in the plant representations, which denote victory and peace.
The Ace of swords is the intellectual stimulation. It is the reminder that we have the mental capacity to train and that training can benefit us on our journeys. However, the sword has two edges, and for every gift it gives us, it also comes with the warning of cutting away at something. The Ace is a reminder that we must shed the old to make way for the new, and in the context of the Swords, these can be outworn ideologies or ways of thinking that might slow us down.
Keywords: victory, ambition, achievement, clarity of mind.
How do you relate to the Ace of Swords? How do you define it? What lessons has it taught you? I’d love to hear all about it in the comments!
The Decks Used
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.