Ace of Swords

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Ace of Swords from the Rider-Waite Tarot deck

The Ace of Swords is the first card in the suit of Swords. It usually stands for triumph and the excessive degree in everything: conquest and triumph by force. It is a card of great force, in love as well as in hatred. Great prosperity or great misery.

General description

In the Rider-Waite Tarot deck, Pamela Colman Smith depicts the Ace of Swords as a hand issuing from a cloud, grasping a sword with all its might. The sword is encircled by a golden crown of victory, and some of the gilded blessings surround the sword.

Divinatory meaning

This has to do with a beginning, a strong outpouring of force, an impulse, and a material one too. Positive activity on the material plane is typically masculine, and this is a very masculine card, perhaps the most of all. There is no negotiation possible with it. It is emphatically yes o r no. One of the primary expressions of the masculine is fructification, and the male action is indicated by this card. For the same reason it means seed and its natural consequence is conception and childbirth, the ace indicating here also the ascendant.

In everything this card means the actual beginning in material execution, which at the same time may cut short something else. It signifies of course a decision, the end of uncertainty or twilight. It is a fresh starting point in matter: alea jacta est (the die is cast). It may as well mean a strong demand, an appeal. There is courage in it and firm initiative. It may cause pain and affliction, but annihilates doubt, the greatest torture.

If reversed, the card can mean: Disastrous results. Conception and childbirth. Broken marriage.

Tarot Topics
Major Arcana The FoolThe MagicianThe High PriestessThe EmpressThe EmperorThe HierophantThe LoversThe ChariotStrengthThe HermitWheel of FortuneJusticeThe Hanged ManDeathTemperanceThe DevilThe TowerThe StarThe MoonThe SunJudgementThe World
Minor Arcana Pentacles AceTwoThreeFourFiveSixSevenEightNineTenPageKnightQueenKing
Wands AceTwoThreeFourFiveSixSevenEightNineTenPageKnightQueenKing
Cups AceTwoThreeFourFiveSixSevenEightNineTenPageKnightQueenKing
Swords AceTwoThreeFourFiveSixSevenEightNineTenPageKnightQueenKing
Decks Visconti-Sforza TarotTarot of MarseillesRider-Waite TarotThoth TarotOccult TarotAngel TarotVlad Dracula TarotHieronymus Bosch Tarot