Old English Tarot
Ace of Batons
by Helen Howell
I really like the Old English rendition of the Ace of Batons (Wands in the Rider Waite deck). It tends to show you all in one visual: the beginning, the breakthrough and the opportunity. Its more traditional brother, the Rider Waite, does show you the potential that exists in the form of the leaves sprouting and the goal in the form of the castle. The hand represents it as a gift, the gift of taking that creative force that exists and doing something with it. But I feel the Old English shows us that old adage – “Mighty oaks from little acorns grow” -- of course, meaning from little ideas bigger things can come.
Let’s look at the symbolism within this card.
I love that it has a blue background, a colour that, for me, has come to represent reflection, intuition and the flow of ideas. As a sky it can also suggest the higher self. We have a tree, and in the bottom of the picture we can see its roots spreading out beneath the earth and the grass growing on top. The roots can represent for us those ideas that we have now set in motion. The brown earth can suggest a groundedness while the green grass represents the potential, balance and adaptation of those early ideas. The trunk shows us how those ideas or plans can grow into something strong, something stable and lasting. The green leaves and branches, to me, suggest the branching out of those ideas. On top we have a bird. The tree has provided the bird with the opportunity to rest. The bird is a creature of the sky and therefore can represent the higher self. While resting on the tree branch, it appears to me to be a symbol of allowing that higher self, that intuition one has, to connect to that initial idea and help it grow.
Aces as we know are the raw energy of their suit. They are embryos waiting to be born. We can look at them as the potential of what they could be and this Old English Ace, from my perspective, shows us quite clearly that if we allow our higher self/intuition to guide us and connect with our ideas, we can grow them into something worthwhile.
Now, this is just my view of this card. As always, you may see something totally different in its symbolism. However, remembering that Batons/Wands come from the Fire Element and are expressed through creative energy/action and intuition, this card -- just like the Rider Waite card when it appears in a reading -- can tell you that the time is just right to grab that idea and set it in motion. It says: Time to face the challenge for it could take you in a whole new direction.
Creation, new beginning, invention, fortune, birth, at the threshold of an exciting experience.
Reversed: False start, cloudy outlook, emptiness.