By Sarah Taylor
This week, after an all-Majors reading last week, you’re back into the day-to-day experiences of life. Well — for the most part: the Ace of Swords signals something that is available to you, if not if not immediately apparent. As with all Aces, it isn’t going to fall into your lap as much as you will need to reach out and help yourself to what it offers. Yes: you will need to help your self.
And because the reading returns you to the quotidian, you’re also in the realm of what is tangible (though, again, keep an eye on that Ace, which will be more subtle) — so here you’ll really be able to feel what’s going on, and to apply some mental equilibrium to those feelings.
When you look at the three cards in front of you, imagine you’re looking at a seesaw. You have the two cards on the outside, at each end of the seesaw, and then the card at centre as the fulcrum. I’m going to start first with the card on the right, then the card on the left, and finally that point of balance in the middle.
Imagine what it is going to take in your life to get this seesaw to work when you have what you have seated on the right — namely, a bloody big rock. How the hell do you manage to get anything moving — how do you manage to move forward in your life — with the Killjoy-Cube-of-Disappointment that has just whumped! itself down into your life, obliterating the path you were quite keen on taking? That cube even seems to have a voice in this reading. It’s sitting there, practically crossing its arms, uttering that one phrase guaranteed to stop you in your tracks:
“I am so disappointed in you.”
The heart becomes heavy, the inertia of your situation weighs your world down around you. You see little else but this cube. In fact — is this your heart? Is that what you’re looking at when you see it? Is this the shape and inner texture of your feelings? Or maybe something is beating at the centre, if only you could get to it. But how do you move it? How do you get that seesawing momentum back into your life — a life where change is inevitable, yes, but where things move through and move on out because of that inevitability?
The paradox is that even if that rock is immovable, it is not. That seesaw is designed to balance; and here, on the other side, is what you currently have at your fingertips to negotiate a path through Disappointment.
The Ace of Swords is associated with the element of Air, while Cups are associated with Water. Swords are also the masculine counterpart to the Cups’ feminine. Swords represent the mental plane — your thoughts — and the Ace, being the infinite aspect of its suit, is “insight” in its most clear form. Obviously, as with all Aces, they cannot exist in their entirety here on Earth. However, we can avail ourselves of their gifts and use them to the best of our abilities.
This means that what you have available to you, to use in accordance with your means, your imagination and your abilities, is insight. Discernment. Wisdom.
If you look at both cards on either side of the fulcrum — the Five of Cups and the Ace of Swords — you will see that there are some key similarities to the two of them. Both sword and block sit on paths; both have vertical planes; both have mountain ranges in the background; both have blue skies. However, with the Five of Cups, that sky is ‘creased’ — as if there is an interference in that clear thinking because of the sheer magnitude of what is in front of you.
You know what I want to do when I look at the Ace of Swords? I want to take it in the way that I know how, and start using its diamond blade in the service of revealing what that rock really is underneath all of the rough edges and the seemingly impenetrable coldness. I want to find the beating, red heart of Cups. I want to liberate it from the layers and layers of fossilised feelings that are so effective in their own way, because they protect what’s inside as well as hide it.
That voice keeps talking: “I am so disappointed in you.” You can listen; or you can see it for what it is: a voice that belongs to the past, not the present. The Ace is there to cut away what still has a grip but which is so old that it is calcified and unfeeling.
Insight. Discernment. Head balanced healthily with heart. Head to reveal the heart. The Ace is offering inner vision to get to the truth of what is going on, and the truth of who you are. You can take it. It is yours to wield.
When that happens, things start moving, and the card at centre — the Two of Swords — holds the shape of that movement; a transition into blue skies towards the horizon and a different landscape that rises over it.
Aces are significant cards to me personally. As a tarot writer, they hold the promise and potential for the right and righteous balance of creativity, heart, intellect and skill that I can then choose to draw from. Aces are also symbols of initiation, and it was an Ace — the Ace of Wands — that initiated me as a writer for Planet Waves by accompanying my first article nearly five years ago.
In Summer 2010, Eric took a chance on me and my tarot abilities and invited me to write a tarot column for this site. In essence, it was through his invitation that an Ace was held out to me, and I chose to take it. I have been ever grateful for this — not simply because of the opportunity to write, but also to participate in a community that has both helped me to discover more of who I am at heart, and supported me through some significant changes. The writers that we have here embody the Aces in all their forms, and I am privileged to be counted among them.
If you have considered taking out a Planet Waves membership, and haven’t yet done so, then this is my invitation to you to consider again. The site relies on its subscribers to keep this great content going, and has refused, time and again, to bow to pressure to derive revenue from third-party advertising.
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With many thanks.
Astrology/Elemental correspondences: Ace of Swords (the pure, limitless potential of Swords/Air), Two of Swords (Moon in Libra), Five of Cups (Mars in Scorpio)
If you want to experiment with tarot cards and don’t have any, we provide a free tarot spread generator using the Celtic Wings spread, which is based on the traditional Celtic Cross spread. This article explains how to use the spread.