I love that some how it’s worked out that the first week of spring, at least, first full week of spring is when we fall onto the Ace of Pentacles. It seems so fitting as we begin sewing our seeds for the summer that we should begin talking about the material seed we sew in the Tarot.
The Rider-Waite Ace of Pentacles shows a grey cloud on the left side of the card with a hand emerging toward the right, cupping a golden disk with a star on it. Below is a garden with lilies and a hedge of roses. A yellow path grows through the garden and under an archway. Beyond we see a glimpse of smooth, peaked, blue mountains.
The Spiral Tarot features a yellow disk from the bottom of a card from which a tree grows. The trunk of the tree is the shape of a woman, with her hair and arms raised up as the branches. The tree is dotted with fruit, and a peacock and peahen sit in the branches. The Disk is in a garden with leaves and flowers. The background is blue.
The Thoth Tarot shows a disk in the center of the card, with To Meta Therion written in Greek lettering. Within the disk are two pentagons overlapping each other at different angles, with the secen-pointed star within the two pentagons. Inside this are three disks—one with the number 1 on it, and 666 written over the top of the other two coins. Behind the disk are four sets of wings: two sets mostly green, the other two sets are a more rusted color.
The Vampire Tarot shows a black and grey disk over a black coffin. The disk is a mirror image of what looks to be a moon in the center and a bat at the top and the bottom of the disk. There is a red runner across the foot of the coffin.
The Faerie Tarot Ace of Pentacles shows a golden disk with a sun in the middle of it. A bird with an extravagant tale perches on top of the disk, which hovers over a field with red poppies dotting the green. The background gives way to small grassy hills and fuchsia then blue clouds.
The Prisma-Vision Ave of Pentacles shows a door with rainbow lines patterning it, set in a bick wall. At the top of the door is a pentacle. The door is open, revealing a sparkling invitation to the other side, through which trees can be seen. The trees are higher than the wall and cover the top portion of the card in green leaves. The sky behind it is golden.
The Impressionist Tarot borrows a painting by Edgar Douglas called The Star (1878). It shows a painting of a ballerina dancing, a yellow tutu circling her.
I hope that you take the time to observe the Ace of Swords in your own decks, and notice what stands out to you. This would be a great time to think on those symbols, colors, numbers, images, and journal on their significance to you. Where do you see these things in your daily life?
What cards did you use to reflect on the Ace of Swords? What stood out to you that you hadn’t previously seen? Let me know 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.