The Four Aces Wands/Cups/Swords/Pentacles
The Four Aces in the Minor Arcana are symbolic representations of the contents of the knapsack The Fool (0) carries, and also the tools The Magician (I ) displays in The Major Arcana of The Tarot. Therefore, there is a connection between the Aces and the above two Major Arcana Cards. There is also a connection with Card X, The Wheel of Fortune (X) and Card XIX, The Sun, of the Major Arcana. 10 in Numerology reduces to 1 when its two digits are added (1+0=1) and 19 reduces to 10 when added (1+9= 10) which in turn reduces to 1 (1+0=1) .
Kabbalistic Tree of Life – 1st Sephira, Kether (Crown)
Kether is the highest and purest of all the Sephiroth. It is closest to God and the source of all creation. The Four Aces of The Minor Arcana reside in Kether. It is a fitting and appropriate place for the Aces, as we see Spirit, in the form of a hand, extend from a cloud, and offer the gift of the potential of each element to its corresponding Suit. The gift that is issued from the source is perfect and pure within its Elemental formation. The Sephiroth are the vessels in which the gift is received. The individual Sephira represent the manifestation of archetypal forces from the divine. The Minor Arcana reside within the Sephiroth and give expression or life to their corresponding archetypes.
The Aces offer the gift of the potential of each Element, and are received into the Sephira, Kether, where the first emanations from the divine burst forth. These Aces can symbolically represent the raw potential each and every one of us are born with. It is what we do with them after, on our journey through life, that we see how successful such potential can be realised or destroyed. In the Upright Aspect of The Four Aces, we step forth on our journey from higher ground, untainted. We get off to a good start. In the Reverse, we traverse the lower planes and will need to climb out of them. As in The Four Aces suggest our raw beginning in life, so do they represent the launch of every new cycle or stage of life we experience, from minor to major. The Wheel of life constantly turns, and everything has its natural cycle or lifespan. There will always be beginnings and endings to deal with along our personal journeys, but we are expected to learn much as the Wheel turns. We must bring wisdom and knowledge forward into the start of each cycle, so that we progress and not regress. New cycles should not see us going over old ground indefinitely.
Corresponding Major Arcana – Fool/Magician/Wheel of Fortune & Sun
The Four Aces in the Minor Arcana are symbolic representations of the contents of the knapsack The Fool (0) carries and, also the tools The Magician (I) displays in The Major Arcana of The Tarot. Here we have Archetypal manifestation of beginnings, potential, purity, along with activation and utilisation of such potential. The Fool must open his knapsack and release the tools/gifts held within if they are ever to be utilised. They remain in the void with The Fool until activated into life by The Magician. Thus, we are looking at the moment of release and activation of such gifts and potential in the Four Aces. Therefore, there is a connection between the Aces and the above two Major Arcana Cards.
There is also a connection with No 10 card, The Wheel of Fortune (X) of the Major Arcana. 10 in Numerology reduces down to 1 when its two digits are added (1+0=1), both The Fool and The Magician.
The Wheel of Fortune is constantly turning and always presenting us with fresh starts and new opportunities. The Wheel, like our life, turns in cycles. 10 in the Tarot stands for both ending and beginning. We go through many cycles in life. After each cycle we are given the chance to start again, move in another direction, or improve on what we already have. Each new cycle gives us the opportunity to change our circumstances and direction. Our cyclical nature gives us endless chances to get it right, amend our ways, try something new, make amends, be something else and improve upon what we have. What goes around, eventually comes around. What begins, eventually must end. Everything has a natural cycle or season. Impermanence is law. Nothing stays forever and we cannot force it to. We must understand the importance of knowing when to let go when a cycle comes to an end. Like The Fool we must be open to starting out or over once more, in the faith and hope that life will support our endeavors. We must continue to evolve, grow and progress.
Card XIX (1+9=10=1),The Sun is also linked to The Aces. In The Sun we witness rebirth, renewal, and re-vitalisation. The card depicts a child which suggests, optimism, hope, freedom and expression. It is where the Aces can find release from the restriction of their journey.
The Aces launch the journey of each Elemental Suit in the Minor Arcana. The Fool and Magician are the archetypal manifestations at this point. The Four Aces will, as their governing Element dictates, give meaningful expression to these representations. The Suits of The Minor Arcana will provide a running commentary on the progress of The Fool as he travels throughout The Major Arcana. Without the Minor Arcana, the Major would remain mute and statue-like in their existence. They are chapter titles in a book, but missing their content. We must express them through real life examples and anecdotes found in the Minor. We may look upon The Major Arcana, but not understand their significance. It is only when we see their influence in action through the Minor Arcana that we understand their purpose. The Minor Arcana are here to tell us the story behind The Major Arcana. Whereas the Major Archetypes often seem remote, the Minor Arcana are easier to personalise when telling our individual stories.
Each Ace holds the pure potential and promise of its governing Elemental Energy. Without The Fool and Aces urging us on to take that first step into the unknown, we would remain paralysed and stuck in our life, both within and without. The Magician stands at the gateway with the power and force to activate us into life. He exerts mastery over the four Elements. The Wheel of Fortune encourages us to move forward, to release old cycles so that new ones can begin. If we fail or fall, it assists us to try again. It teaches us to take the good with the bad, and the important lesson of impermanence. The Sun reminds us to never give up hope, to keep the spirit of The Ace expressed in our everyday life. It encourages rejuvenation and expansion.
The Aces are gifts of boundless possibilities and energy waiting to be realised. Each Ace represents the potential of its governing Element. To begin anything in life we must access the energy of the Aces first. With these Four Aces, anything can be achieved. Without their presence nothing will happen, life will stand still and meaningless. Therefore, the Four Aces individually represent the beginning or early stage of energy release which each Element unleashes in its own way. The Fire Element (Wands) releases an explosion of creative activity and excitement. The Water Element (Cups) releases through emotional stirrings. The Air Element (Swords) releases mental energy and begins to think, plan and talk. The Earth Element (Pentacles) energy releases to build and form .
It is important to understand the energy that accompanies The Four Aces is abstract in nature. It has not yet manifested. It is the potential that has yet to be realised. It is there, ready and waiting should we be willing to grasp hold of it. The Four Aces offer real hope and the possibility of new starts and fresh beginnings. Before anything can manifest, it must first exist as potential. The Fool (O) in The Major Arcana is bursting with potential yet is not quite aware of how to work with it. He carries a knapsack on his back but is totally unaware of its contents and how it came to be. He has yet to understand the contents are not something that stand apart from him. They are part of him, inherent in his presence, his birthright gifts of divine origin. It is The Magician (I) who will unpack the knapsack for him so that he may view the tools of life that have been gifted him. The Magician will introduce him to the power of each tool (Element).
Aces represent 0 and the number 1. 0 symbolically represents the void that is waiting to be filled. In the Numerology part of this course we learned that number 1 stands for the beginning, birthplace or origin of something or even starting over again. 1 stands alone, unique and independent. It is 1 that fills the void of 0 in the early processes of creation.
The Cloud that accompanies each hand in the Four Aces symbolises Spirit and is found in many other cards in the Tarot. It indicates Spirit/Divine Source involvement, guidance or blessings. Aces also represents the receiving of News. The governing Element will determine the kind of news received. Upright the news will be perceived as good or welcome, while in Reverse the news is often viewed as bad or unwelcome.
A single Ace in a reading suggests the beginning of energy related to the governing Element of the Suit that governs it. Something is happening or emerging. An Ace can herald news in relation to its Element. The appearance of two Aces close to each other in a reading often represents a relationship or strong bond. Two Aces can highlight the potential for new cycles to trigger simultaneously growth in more than one area of life.
If three or more Aces turn up in a reading, prepare for multiple new beginnings, opportunities, a fresh start or a new environment. You might be bringing these changes upon yourself or perhaps life is throwing them at you. You may be experiencing a whole change of life which might feel overwhelming initially, but once embraced, will lead to much personal fulfillment and satisfaction.
When three or more Aces appear reversed, expect to find opportunities blocked to you at the moment or delays in getting something off the ground. You may feel you are getting nowhere and are bound to experience frustration as a result. If there is a total absence of Aces in a reading, it suggests that life is quite steady and predictable. Depending on the circumstances this may be what is desired. Several Reversed Aces could point to fear of anything new or resistance to change. Procrastination could also be at play. Always talking about changing your life but never implementing it. It could also be the result of an external force standing in the path of your progress. Someone does not want you to seek more. Bad news all round can be implied by multiple Reversed Aces. Reversed Aces also suggest a lack of basic enthusiasm and interest for life.
Sometimes old commitments need to be addressed before moving on to something new. When the Ace appears reversed one must often go back to the number 10 card of the Suit to learn the lesson therein before being able to understand and utilise the energy or message of the Upright Ace. You may have forced a cycle to completion when it was not yet done and still have ties to it.
Now Click onto The Ace of Wands, The Ace of Cups, The Ace of Swords and The Ace of Pentacles or go to the Sub Menu where you will find their Descriptions and Meanings both Upright and Reversed along with all their relevant Keywords.