Ace of Swords
The supreme end of education is expert discernment of all things–
the power to tell the good from the bad, the genuine from the counterfeit,
and to prefer the good and the genuine to the bad and the counterfeit.
— Samuel Johnson
The Ace of Swords makes another appearance this week, having visited last on the cusp of Springtime. Now, at the end of the harvest season, we can see what results have come from our intentions and actions; we can evaluate what is worthwhile, and what should be discarded.
The Aces in the Tarot, of course, represent new beginnings, strength, speed and energy. Each Ace depicts the essential energy of its suit. Aces are the growth process, whether that growth is physical, mental or spiritual. Since the Swords suit relates to the intellect, ideas, choices, and the mind, the Ace of Swords points to new possibilities in the realms of communication, understanding, and judgment.
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, the material world, or perhaps even the Crown chakra, for the intellect is the most common way by which we move beyond our own immediate experience.
Knowledge can be a two-edged sword, though, and its power can be wielded for good or ill. The sword is a weapon and a tool of power like the athame. Whether it is used for protection or for attack is up to the person who holds it.
The Ace of Swords offers a powerful opportunity to see clearly what may have been hidden. It brings us new ideas and reminds us that we are at our best when we are intelligent and courageous.
This week could bring an opportunity for startling clarity. Intellectual honesty, skepticism without cynicism, and communication may be on the agenda this week. Perhaps there is an important message to be sent or received, or an epiphany that may bring sudden inspiration or understanding.
This is a week to stick to the facts and to keep your eyes wide open. Look at the big picture and continually ask yourself what truth is being revealed, and what is being muddled.
In the big picture, remember that Thomas Jefferson warned us that we cannot have a functioning democracy without an educated populace. There is much that is busily at work, “dumbing down” the public, and interfering with our ability to be discerning.
Keep yourself awake, informed, and clear. This is not the time for intellectual laziness, or indulging in emotional drama. It is a time for clear-eyed discernment in all things, even if the truth is difficult.
For only the truth will set us free.