Inspiring Enchantment & Illumination with Tarot & Intuitive Guidance

Tarot Card of the Week, April 16-22, 2018: Ace of Swords

It is the press, above all, which wages a positively fanatical and slanderous struggle, tearing down everything which can be regarded as a support of national independence, cultural elevation, and the economic independence of the nation.
Who said this? Read the answer below…

After repeatedly showing up several times in 2016, and in one very pivotal week last year, it appears that the call to arms from the Ace of Swords has returned.

Looking back at its appearances over the years, I’ve noticed it has a habit of visiting us around New Moons and new cycles. Coming this week right after Sunday’s intense New Aries Moon, and before that, its visit during the week of the inauguration of the new U.S. President, these are clearly times for a new start, for better or worse.

This habit of arriving for new cycles makes sense, since the Aces in the Tarot represent 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 speak to the genesis and growth process, whether that growth is physical, mental, or spiritual.

Since the Swords suit relates to the element of Air, it expresses qualities that involve the intellect, information, choices, perception, and the mind. So the Ace of Swords would suggest new ideas, inspiration, discovery, communication, or starting new studies.

Although the sky is gray in the Waite-Smith deck’s Ace, it is one of the few Swords cards that is not inherently unhappy. As you can see, this version 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.

It is decorated with a vine of berries and an evergreen bough. These are symbols, respectively, of abundance and triumphant achievement that stand the test of time.

YodThe Hand of Fate

Just above the hand, at the hilt of the blade, we see golden yods, which bring the promise of divine blessings.

The yod is the name given to a small section of the first letter of the Hebrew alphabet, and is usually portrayed in the Tarot as small bits of fire. It is, as expert Robert Place notes, “the seminal form of all the other letters in the Hebrew alphabet.”

It is also the first letter of the name of the Abrahamic Supreme Being (YHWH, pronounced “Yahway” or “Jehovah”).

And a yod in astrology is an isosceles triangle formed by two planets sextile (sixty degrees from) each other and both quincunx (one-hundred-fifty degrees from) a third, Fulcrum planet.

It is also called The Finger of God, The Eye of God, or The Finger of Fate. The latter is particularly common, since “yod” is closely related to the Hebrew word for hand (“yad“).

Thus, when yods appear in the Tarot, there is a sense of Fate moving, and major forces and life-changing events are in play. Or, from another viewpoint, the Divine is interacting with events, which, either in the short term, or in the long run, will be seen as a blessing.

The Razor’s Edge

The Ace of Swords is the epitome of intelligence and consciousness. With its willingness and clarity, we can cut through the crap and know what is real, and what is illusion. It demands honesty and honor. It insists on impartial discernment, the need for eyes wide open, and judgment unclouded by wishful thinking. We must be impeccable with our word.

When facts are faced with calm clarity, success can be achieved. And with the unusual repetition of this card over the past couple of years, it would appear vital that we do so.

Combined with the repeated visits from Judgement — it seems as though we are on a razor’s edge.

The Washington Post motto, “Democracy Dies in Darkness” has become all too relevant. From P45 right down the line, political expedience and self-serving deceit seem to have taken precedence over facts. The Post’s own fact-checker has observed that in his first year in office, P45 was averaging “4.9 false or misleading statements a day.” But as of March, 2018, “he has ramped up production to an average of six falsehoods a day.”

We are being assaulted with a corrosive combination of relentless attacks on the veracity of the credible press combined with a constant spew of misinformation and flat-out lies originating from extremely biased sources.

When the public’s faith in the intentions and integrity of the press is lost, or, worse, we are drinking the Kool-Aid that plants seeds of doubt about the fundamental existence of unbiased truth in the first place, we are ripe for the taking. It is an easy step to then become ignorant pawns of whoever is the loudest, the most dramatic, or whoever has the biggest guns.

As the News Media Alliance notes, “In America, press reporters serve as public watchdogs, holding government, corporate, union and other powerful officials accountable for their actions. They are the eyes and ears of our democracy.”

Who will defend us from the dissembling, secrecy, and obfuscation of facts that are increasingly wearing our people down into acceptance?

We must. You and I. Every day, without giving up.

Because, as you may already know, the quote I chose for this card today is NOT from P45, it is from Adolf Hitler, in his grisly manifesto, Mein Kampf. The fact that anyone could possibly mistake it for the words of our president should be cause for extreme alarm.

The Steel Appears

In Japanese sword mastery traditions, there is a saying: “Jigane ga deru.” The literal translation is, “the steel appears,” and references when a blade is polished so often that the shingane (the core part of the steel) shows through. As a saying, it means “to reveal one´s true character.”

This week of transition, with Mercury having stationed direct, but with the big, challenging influences of Saturn (on Tuesday) and Pluto (on Sunday) turning retrograde, we are being called upon to speak our truth, and shine with the honed, carefully polished steel that is our core.

And how does one keep a sword sharp? Slowly. Carefully. With great deliberation, and undivided attention.

This may be a time when, like an unsheathed sword, held by the hand of Mystery, in the presence of the yods, the true nature of some important matter will be revealed.

Integrity, authenticity, and unwavering honesty are critically important this week. What brilliant new idea is percolating? This Ace gives much support to inspiration, invention, and innovation.

What is it time to cut out of your life, once and for all? What communication channels are opening, perhaps for the first time?

How might you now be called by the Sacred One(s) to step up into a more virtuous life? What decision hangs in the balance this week?

The Ace of Swords urges us to cut away the lies, deceits, and pretense that trap us. Whether it’s small, seemingly insignificant truth-stretching, sincere ignorance, conscientious stupidity, or Pants On Fire, dishonesty of any kind undermines our safety and well-being on every level, and must not be given a pass.

No matter how innocently meant (or not), 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 victories at hand, but only when we cut through the binding cords of our fears and fantasies, and come to our full consciousness.

Keep your wits and your Sword nice and sharp, Ace. It’s time at last to see what we must, and know what we know.

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  • April 17, 2018, 8:44 am nofixedstars

    timely reminders. your card discussions always illuminate current events. thank you!

  • April 17, 2018, 9:35 am Sarah

    Inspiring call to clarity and action. And I love the anecdote about ‘the steel appears”. Thank you!