Ace of Swords: The breath of winter

Image: The Wheel of the Year Tarot

Ace of Swords, Wheel of the Year Tarot

The centerpiece of the Ace of Swords is a massive sword, upright, its tip biting into the earth. Two owls, symbols of wisdom and the night, perch on the guard at its hilt. Their eyes are open, alert. The two watch all directions as if on guard. The sharp length of the sword is wrapped in the branches of a climbing rose, bare and thorned.

The last sliver of a waning crescent moon rests in the night sky, the stars cold and bright over winter mountains. Dark curtains waft in a breeze, a frame between the sword and the open night behind. On the bare ground before the sword, a white-haired sage meditates, cross-legged, his eyes closed and his attention turned inward. In the same breeze that brushes the curtains blows in a trail of dry leaves, the last vestiges of Autumn as Winter closes in.

More traditional decks often show the Ace of Swords held by a huge hand wreathed in clouds, a symbol of the divine. The sword usually supports a jewelled crown, symbol of power, strength, and the implied right to lead. The same impression of greatness and might is imparted in this card through the sheer size of the sword and the presence of the wise old owls, as well as the ever-present mystery of the changing seasons.

Meaning: The Ace of Swords

This Ace is the upwelling of of new ideas or powerful words in the querent’s life. Any Ace indicates that the energy of the suit is coming into the querent’s life in a way that is unmistakable, consuming, and often transformative. This is the time to begin a new project relating to words, communication, or the spread of ideas.

Swords as a rule can be cold and unyielding, unapologetic and stern. The Sword is a double-edged blade, and the energy of this suit has the power to create or destroy. But there is destruction implied in all creation, and creation implied in all destruction. As Fall is now changing to Winter, so Spring will come again.

The Knight’s Advice for You

When you pull the Ace of Swords, a difficult change is on the horizon. You may feel exposed or alone along the way. But in the unadorned way of the Swords, this card also reminds you that you may have guardians and guides that aren’t currently in your awareness. You have the strength and self-awareness to make the coming transition with wisdom, balance, and courage – and you are not alone.

The Ace of Swords asks you to remember that you know where you stand. With the upright card your understanding is clear. You have looked within and you know your way. With the reversed card your thoughts may be chaotic or your path feels uncertain. In either case, this Ace tells you that your answers are within and the conditions are right for you to begin. Make your move.

The Knight’s Question for You

What needs advocacy in your world? Where can your clear analysis and your unique understanding make a change for the better?

You are being asked to make a stand for truth or justice. You have the fortitude to persevere and the knowledge to succeed. Do you have the willingness to engage and take a position to help those who need you?

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