(The above image is a copy of The Ace of Swords card in a standard Rider-Waite Tarot deck. The 6 symbols pointed out above are explained below.)
The Ace of Swords is pure intellect incarnate. Beginning the swords suit, this cards establishes many of the themes that will continue as the reader progress through the suit. The Ace of Swords illustrates the element air and depicts the sword as the crown of consciousness. This card appears whenever you need your intellect to overcome an obstacle.
For more information about The Ace of Swords card, check out A. E. Waite’s description here.
Point 1 – HAND
Like all aces, the Ace of Swords illustrates a hand materializing from a cloud and offering the suit to the reader. This is a reminder that the suit is a gift to be rejected or accepted. In accepting the suit, the reader begins their participation with the divine.
Point 2 – SWORD
The sword combines the will of the wand suit and the mind of the cups suit. It can thus be conceived as the intellect incarnate. Double-sided and sharp, the sword illustrates the effectiveness and complexity of our psyche.
Point 3 – CROWN
Above the sword, there hangs a crown. This reveals the regality and authority of the sword. The four points of the crown, combined with the point of the sword, makes five, also revealing the quintessence of the suit.
Point 4 – PLANTS FROM THE CROWN
Two plants spring out from the crown. This could be interpreted in a few ways. It could reveal that swords exercise their control onto nature. The plants could also be seen as laurels, celebrating the regality of the sword.
Point 5 – SIX DROPS OF GOLD
Above the hilt of the sword, there floats six drops of gold. Like the plants, this too could be interpreted in a few ways. On a basic level, they could illustrate the divine spark incapsulated in the sword. Some scholars view the number six as significant and suggest it is referring to the sixth card in the major arcana, The Lovers.
Point 6 – MOUNTAINS
Behind the elegant sword are still the jagged mountains. This reveals that, even after gaining the powerful weapon of the sword, the road ahead will still be rough. In this way, the Ace of Swords reflects The Fool card.
Like all aces, an Upright Ace of Swords represents pure potential. This potential is all in the intellect. An Upright Ace of Swords thus suggests that you open up your mind to new possibilities and worldviews. Perhaps you are considering a new project. This card encourages you to start that project and to see how far your mental capabilities can go.
A Reverse Ace of Swords suggests that a great idea for a project is trying to break thought but some mental block is preventing that from happening. While it can be encouraging to sense something great, it can be frustrating to not see it manifest easily. If this card pops us, take a step back and meditate on where you want to direct your mental faculties.
For more Tarot Card Meanings, check out our blog here.
About the author: John Taylor is a content writer and freelancer through the company Upwork.com. You may view his freelancing profile here. He has a B. A. in English, with a specialty in technical writing, from Texas A&M University and a M. A. in English from the University of Glasgow. You may view his previous articles about Tarot here and his LinkedIn profile here.