Aces Intro

The Four Aces Wands/Cups/Swords/Pentacles

                                            Ace of Wands   Ace of Cups  Ace of Swords Ace of 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  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. In the Sun we see a young child upon a horse. He shares the immense potential of the Four Aces and reminds us we can be anyone or anything we like if we put our mind to it.


One (1) In Tarot

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 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 activated and 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, excitement and movement.  The Water Element (Cups) releases its energy 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). 

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 represent 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.

Two (II) of Wands   Two  (II) of Cups   Two (II) of Swords   Two (II) of Pentacles

Aces Intro    Twos Intro   Threes Intro   Fours Intro  Fives Intro   Sixes Intro  Sevens Intro  Eights Intro  Nines Intro  Tens Intro


Back to Lesson 5

11 replies »

  1. Hello. I just found your site and I LOVE IT!!!! However, I keep clicking on the “Two’s Intro” but the link takes me to the “Aces intro”. Can you fix the link please. Thank you and have a wonderful day.


    • Hi Sheila,

      Thanks, looks like I have copied and pasted it throughout so will get to change them all as soon as possible. Thanks again. Very annoying when a link does not work. Will be on it asap.


    • Hi Marc,

      Four Aces in the one reading. That is quite powerful. I wonder what the reading was about? What was your query? Four Aces for me suggests a powerful shift in energy, and it’s all positive!!! You must know where this is coming from, have felt the energy building for some time. Something has happened in your life, your current circumstances, that positions you on the threshold of something great. It is as if you are being given a chance to re-write the script of your life, to leave behind everything that hasn’t worked out for you, to recover from mistakes and to start all over again. These cards point to significant change taking place, or to be more specific, the potential for significant change. Just think of these Four Aces as the contents of the Fool’s knapsack. Think of the Fool and his approach to life, his confidence, enthusiasm and absolute belief in what he is about. He is fresh, engaged, eager and set for a big adventure. The world is his to conquer. He can do anything he wants because of what he carries in his knapsack. We must remember that what the Fool has is only the potential for real power, for success, for accomplishment. He could get it brilliantly right or horrifically wrong if he does not take advantage of what has been gifted him or poorly uses them. Indeed he may be out of his depth even if he doesn’t know it. The Fool with such powerful tools as depicted in the four Aces is akin to taking your first driving lessons in a Ferrari. Too much car for one with no experience. However, think of those tools spread out on the table in front of The Magician. He immediately sees their raw potential and is quick to put them to work on his behalf. The Magician can certainly handle the Ferrari as he has the skill and expertise. Because you have these Four Aces, The Magician is in your corner right now but the Wand, Cup, Sword and Pentacle will remain inanimate objects until you breathe life into them. They need to be energised and activated before you can access both their individual and collective power. If not, they could dissipate in a cloud of procrastination and wasted opportunities. Loads of plans and ideas that never get off the ground. You see the Magician activate them in a ritualistic manner. He uses his wand to conduct their energy from the spiritual or divine realm into the psychical where they can manifest and become real. You stand on the brink of a potentially new existence, one that could lead to greatness on either an inner or outer level. Perhaps you have experienced a recent enlightenment and saw your life and situation in crystal clear light. You now know what it is your can do or must do, and the only thing that might stand in your way is personal doubt or hesitation. It is as if the universe has aligned to bring you to this place in time. Everything is in place to make new starts in so many areas of life. You could have reached the end of a personal era in your life. You may be thinking of changing job or career, sorting out your love life one way or another, choosing happiness over mundane. You could be adopting new mind-sets attitudes and outlooks after years of conforming to what others expect of you. You might feel grounded and connected, totally in touch with who you are and what you want. You are seeking big change and are excited about the adventure ahead. Usually Four Aces appearing as so won’t hang around for very long. A window of opportunity has opened for you and you need to look to both the Fool and Magician as to what you want to do about it.

      Now, saying all that above, I never asked as to whether you use reversed cards in your readings. The above interpretations are based on all the cards being upright as you didn’t mention any reversals I would certainly feel very excited if I got these four in my reading. However, if they are Reversed you may feel the total opposite. You may not welcome all the change, think it too much in one go. Your life may feel thrown into chaos, unrecognisable to you. Things might be happening very fast, leaving you feeling out of control. If you have been seeking fresh starts in your life or waiting for a break, Reversed Aces will indicate delays, setbacks, bad news, blocks and challenges to what you hope to achieve. Look to which Aces are reversed to determine in which areas these might be. A reversed Fool or Magician could be to blame. You may be afraid to take that leap of faith and allow new things into your life or you might be attempting to run with or force new ideas or plans that are unworkable or do not have the expertise to execute.

      There are many many ways of addressing the appearance of Four Aces appearing in your reading. They could also point to a life that is very compartmentilsed. With so many ones/aces, it might also highlight an individual who is quite egotisical and likes to get their own way. Four ones, four areas to suggest a singular approach to how you conduct your life. You operate by your own system and may not consider others if it becomes all about you.

      I do hope this helps.




  2. Hello Vivien,
    I had a doubt. In the last paragraph of this page, it says- ‘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.’

    To understand the lesson that has to be learnt from the X Card of the Suit, should we interpret the meaning of that X Card in an Upright or Rx manner?


    • Hi Nidhi,

      Yes, one of the methods to use with Reversed Cards is to go back to the preceding upright card to learn the lesson contained within. In the case of Ace it will be the Upright 10. For example a Reversed Ace of Wands suggest going back to the Upright Ten of Wands. The reversed Ace of Wands – I am eager and impatient to start a new project I am excited about. Will it be successful for me.
      Going back to the Upright 10 of Wands finds a figure struggling under a load up a steep hill, weighed down by obligations and commitments. The individual wants to take on yet another wand – exciting project or commitment. They are already carrying too much. The lesson contained within the Ten is that the individual must complete existing projects and commitments before taking on anything new. They will not have time or focus to devote to new project which could lead to failure. At the very least there will be delays and lack of progress. Finish what you have started before moving on to new things. Having a finger in too many pies. Taking on too much.

      Hope this helps.



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