In this series of posts, I plan to discuss all of the Tarot cards in order, using a different deck for each card. Today I'm exploring the ACE OF SWORDS from Tarot of the Hidden Folk by Giacinto Gaudenzi published by Lo Scarabeo).
Ace of Swords
(Root of the Powers of Air)
This is the vital cold current which
transports nourishment, seeds, pollen, ideas.
(from the LWB)
The LWB for this deck tells us that the Root of Air "concerns psycho-physical health and spiritual well-being." Also called "the Force of Eternal Wind," the Ace of Swords represents "the breath which gives form to every word and thought."
Like all Swords cards in this deck, the Ace has a pale blue background, a color commonly associated with the element Air. Swords take various forms in this deck B a cutlass, a dagger, or a straight sword like the one on the Ace.
The first thing I notice about this sword is that the tip has broken off, and there are a few nicks in the blade. According to Jack Tresidder in his Dictionary of Symbols (Chronicle Books), a broken sword can represent failure. This seems like an odd interpretation for a card like the Ace of Swords, especially when the card also features a butterfly (rebirth) and a vine (regeneration). In my Tarot system, the Ace of any suit suggests a beginning, a fresh start, the core or vital energy of the suit, potential, and opportunity. Why, then, would the sword on the Ace be broken?
The sword is missing its point, which brings to mind the expression "missing the point." Is it possible that the broken sword tip on this card is encouraging us to make sure we "get the point" of an idea or undertaking before we embark on a new venture? Or could it imply that we may not "get the point" of something until we get farther along the path? I also get a sense that perhaps we are being shown that a sword doesn't have to be brand new, shiny, and smooth in order for it to be useful. Book T* notes that the Ace of Swords represents "strength through trouble."
*Book T The Tarot, Comprising Manuscripts N, O, P, Q, R, and an Unlettered Theoricus Adeptus Minor Instruction. A Description of the Cards of the Tarot with their Attributions; Including a Method of Divination by Their Use. A public domain manuscript.
About the deck: The cards in Tarot of the Hidden Folk "deal with magic tied to the forces of nature, to the essence of the world itself which surrounds us and which the writers of fairy tales call the Secret Realm." (from the LWB)