Learn Tarot: The Aces

Learn Tarot: The Aces


The Aces, or Ones, signify new beginnings, untapped potential, or an opportunity that will arise. Let’s compare them to The Magician, Key 1 in the Major Arcana. The Magician stands behind an altar with a Sword, a Wand, a Cup, and a Pentacle laying before him. He has the ability to harness the power of all four suits. He raises a staff to the heavens in his right hand while pointing to the ground with his left – he is the bridge between the spiritual and physical planes. This is a card of opportunity, of the ability to manifest desires and ideas into action. Each Ace symbolizes an opportunity that the Seeker must set into motion. A hand materializes out of thin air and presents a Sword, a Wand, a Cup, or a Pentacle. The Ace of Swords is a symbol of opportunity for new knowledge or power. A hand presents a Sword, a symbol of intellect, topped with a crown to signify mental clarity. The crown is adorned with garlands which symbolize mental and physical fortitude. Note that the crown is weighted equally by both garlands. This card could signify a leadership opportunity, a new understanding of a situation, or a chance for the Seeker to stand up for what they believe is right. The cold, rocky landscape in the background of the card reminds us that it can be lonely at the top – sometimes being right or being in charge is not the most important thing in life. The Ace of Wands symbolizes the start of a new enterprise, passion, or profession. A hand reaches out from the clouds to present a Wand, from which new growth and development are forthcoming. This card tells the Seeker to look for creative inspiration where they may not expect it, or for the chance to develop a new or latent talent. It can serve as encouragement to act bravely or boldly, to take a risk in pursuing a new idea or project. This creative energy can manifest as restlessness if the Seeker does not know how to harness it. Far off in the distance is a castle atop a hill, promising rewards for one’s effort, but the Seeker must take the initiative to get there. The Ace of Cups is an offering of love, joy, and fulfillment. A Cup or chalice rests in the palm of a hand that extends from the clouds. Five streams of water flow from the cup into a larger body of water, providing nourishment for lotus blossoms. The dove represents peace and harmony, reminding the Seeker to trust their intuition. This Ace may represent spiritual or emotional fulfillment achieved through relationships or the expression of one’s emotions. The Cup literally runneth over, suggesting an abundance that is meant to be shared. Is there someone in the Seeker’s life who needs a little extra kindness and compassion? Is there a hobby that brings the Seeker joy, that they could make more time for? The Ace of Cups encourages the Seeker to think about aspects of their life that could use some extra nourishment. The Ace of Pentacles symbolizes the material or financial resources which allow the Seeker to build the foundation for a stable, secure life. A hand comes forth from the clouds, offering a single Pentacle above a fertile landscape. While many Tarot practitioners associate this card with a small financial gain or job offer, the Ace of Pentacles can also serve as a reminder to build up one’s savings, to make one’s home more comfortable, and to make plans for the future. Notice the pathway leading out of the walled garden and toward a mountain range. The Seeker should feel confident enough to explore that rough terrain, since they know they can always return to the comforts of home. To summarize: the Aces correspond to Key 1 in the Major Arcana, The Magician, who can harness the power of all four suits. The Aces encourage the Seeker to harness the power of a specific suit and take advantage of new opportunities that arise.

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