Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
This week, it appears that we stand on the razor’s edge of new beginnings and ways of seeing, with the Ace of Swords as our guide.
The Ace of Swords in the Waite-Smith deck shows a hand issuing from a cloud, grasping a sword, the point of which is encircled by a crown.
There are many interpretations of this crown – it may represent victory or authority, material success, or perhaps even the Crown Chakra, since the intellect is the most common way by which we move beyond our own immediate experience.
Just above the hand, at the hilt of the blade, we see golden yods, which bring the promise of divine blessings.
The Aces in the Tarot represent new beginnings. Each Ace depicts the essence of its suit and therefore can be nearly as important and far-reaching as the Major Arcana cards. Aces represent the genesis and growth process, whether that growth is physical, mental, or spiritual.
Since the Swords suit relates to the element of Air, it represents the intellect, information, choices, perception, and the mind. The Ace of Swords therefore suggests new ideas, inspiration, discovery, communication, and judgment.
The Grand Irrationality
As you are aware, knowledge can be a two-edged sword. Its power can be wielded for good or ill.
The sword itself is neutral, just as information is; it is how that power is used that makes all the difference.
The Ace of Swords is a particularly decisive card and holds the possibility of noble words and deeds. It promises clear vision and freedom from confusion. It can enable personal brilliance and the ability to understand others.
It is the ultimate weapon for cutting through deceit and b.s. And it is very clear we need it now.
As the pressure in global affairs increases, including the contentious U.S. presidential campaign, this Ace is our liberator, demanding clarity and truth-telling. It cuts through noisy, emotional grandstanding, and demands rational discourse, fact-checking, and understanding.
As Robert Wilkinson has discussed for many years, we are living in the time of the “Grand Irrationality,” which is “a long wave configuration set into motion every time a planet makes a conjunction, septile, biseptile, or triseptile to Neptune and Pluto.”
This is a 25-year cycle in which choices are made despite being completely contrary to our personal or global best interests. It’s a time when fakery and fact are confused, and is the energy feeding the daily news stories that leave us numb with shock, because they seem impossibly crazy.
The poster child of the Grand Irrationality would have to be presidential candidate Donald Trump. He is no joke, but a poisonous amalgam of lies, pandering, incoherent paranoia, wrapped up in an insatiable lust for power. And yet, under the spell of the times, to a lot of people, he seems to make sense.
In addition, the Grand Irrationality is propping up the facade of business as usual. This is the deep denial that we will be affected by global climate change, massive species extinction, the humanitarian migration crisis, the economic house of cards, or impending geopolitical meltdown.
It feeds the pretend, air-brushed infotainment world that ignores the system-wide racism, misogyny, poverty, and violence that is the everyday reality for many in our citizens. It is the boiling water that the frogs find themselves in, unable to decide when, exactly, to jump.
This sharp Ace may poke us to get out of our comfort zone, and even save ourselves.
Rather than abdicate sensibility, it urges us to use the gift of intelligence that is our birthright. It warns us to beware of those who wish to downplay or even shun education, intelligence, and rationality.
The timing astrologically is also interesting. With Jupiter turning direct today, Annie Heese writes:
Slowly but surely, over the next few weeks, matters ruled by Jupiter will move forward in a more straightforward manner. Our confidence in ourselves and the universe builds. Our faith and perspective expand…
This is a good time for processing recent events and ideas, and for beginning to look at problems or issues from a new perspective and with a new understanding.
Significant new ideas can be birthed at this time, and these are likely to have real staying power or importance in our lives. What we say or write now has impact, for better or for worse.
This is precisely the gift of the Ace of Swords.
You may find that it offers new, possibly aggressive beginnings that promise victory, success, and the settling of old conflicts. It may also indicate a complete change of mind and/or lifestyle.
With Mercury, Pluto, Mars, and Saturn still in retrograde, use this time for reflection, processing and planning.
Seeing With New Eyes
This was our gateway card for the beginning of 2016, and I would suggest that its appearance now, especially coming as it does, hot on the heels of The World and The Tower the past two weeks, lends it great significance.
This is the card I might choose for the step in the “Seeing With New Eyes” spiral, from peace activist and awakener Joanna Macy’s model of the Work that Reconnects:
Experiencing the reality of our inter-existence helps us see with new eyes. We can sense how intimately and inextricably we are related to all that is. We can taste our own power to change, and feel the texture of our living connections with past and future generations, and with our brother/sister species.
In global affairs and also on a personal level, look for a turning point or breakthrough this week that brings new clarity and wisdom.
Now is the time to envision and live a new story. Old scripts and perceptions that are painful, outdated, and dysfunctional must make way for clearer vision, a more honest narrative about who we are, and a more innovative future.
What new idea is stirring? What knowledge or training do you seek? In what ways do you hunger for the truth? There is the possibility of new information, or an important decision, that could change everything.
Although the Swords often indicate conflict, don’t shy away from your new visions, insights, or your own authentic truth. Remember that conflict, change, and even confrontation, although difficult, are not always harmful. Oftentimes, without them, there is no growth.
With courage and strength, dare to think, speak, and see clearly. Stay focused.
No matter how sincerely meant, ignorance and stupidity are truly the most dangerous forces at work in our world.
For the sake of whatever is holy to you, use your Sword of discernment. Do not be silenced. Ask questions. Slice away at whatever would deceive or mislead you.
There are intellectual and spiritual riches at hand, but only when we cut through the binding cords of our fears and illusions, and come to our full consciousness.