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Robin Wood Tarot - Ace of Swords

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Robin Wood Tarot - Ace of Swords


One can't help but notice the pronounced energy present in all of Robin Wood's aces. In her "Ace of Swords," the sword itself, supported by nothing because it needs nothing to lean on, radiates brightly as the sun's rays bounce off it's steel blade. Around this sword are billowy clouds. Since this card's key words are "knowledge victorious," the clouds represent, according to Robin, "confusion and ignorance that the sword is about to dispel."

I'm reminded that the Ace of Swords is again a card of beginnings, giving the purest meaning of the suit itself. Knowledge and the pursuit thereof begins here. There are no assurances that this quest for knowledge will be painless...the sword IS double-edged, after all. But if we agree that ignorance is NOT bliss, then this perhaps is a pursuit worth fighting for. If this card comes up in a reading, maybe the querent has chosen to embark on the road to increase their knowledge in something or another. If so, depending on where the card fell (and in what spread, not to mention the question asked...), its presence may be a vote of confidence that the querent is on the right track. Or maybe the querent is being reminded that the only way to get to the bottom of something is to literally jump-start such a journey. In this case, the card's presence is a nudge to get going and not to procrastinate further. 'course there are many possibilities of meaning when taking into account all the variables present in a reading. In a reversed example, perhaps the querent is on the wrong path for learning and other avenues should be considered. Or maybe the quest should be cancelled altogether. In the latter case there may be other cards in the spread that can clarify as to why this would be so. Etc. etc. etc.....

As in all of Robin's court cards in the suit of Swords, wings or birds are present in the Ace of Swords, as well. The hilt of the ace's sword are wings of gold. Robin said in her book, "...to show the freedom and joy that knowledge can bring." There is no place for stagnation to simmer if one is constantly going forward via studying, observing and self-improvement of the mind. I can only speak for myself, but I'm happiest when I'm learning (and also teaching what I learn, as that is an aspect of my profession.)

I love the greenery surrounding, but not strangling, the sword in the Ace of Swords. White roses, thorns and all; a laurel wreath; and an olive branch are all potent and meaningful symbols. According to Robin, "So victory (laurel) will bring peace (olive), beauty (rose) and freedom (rose); although there may also be pain (thorns)." The DNA shape of the greenery emphasizes the beginning of all life. The caduceus, being also a symbol for healing and the medicinal arts, can represent that healing can take place via knowledge and, as Robin wrote, "...victory and ensuing peace bring healing as well."
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spinningspider
One can't help but notice the pronounced energy present in all of Robin Wood's aces. In her "Ace of Swords," the sword itself, supported by nothing because it needs nothing to lean on, radiates brightly as the sun's rays bounce off it's steel blade. Around this sword are billowy clouds. Since this card's key words are "knowledge victorious," the clouds represent, according to Robin, "confusion and ignorance that the sword is about to dispel."
It struck me today that the clouds could also be seen as echoes of the clouds of imagination and fantasy from the seven of cups, and the light emanating from the blade can be re-interpreted as motion lines showing the swords as a brilliant new idea arriving with tremendous speed and energy from its birthplace within the imagination.

Quote:
Originally Posted by spinningspider
The DNA shape of the greenery emphasizes the beginning of all life. The caduceus, being also a symbol for healing and the medicinal arts, can represent that healing can take place via knowledge and, as Robin wrote, "...victory and ensuing peace bring healing as well."
The DNA helix jumps out at me more clearly than the visual pun of the caduceus (I have to consciously remind myself of the caduceus). It got me thinking about gene-splicing and so on: that it's a pointer to how finely the sword of knowledge can cut (to an extent, the scanning tunneling microscope which can reveal the world on an atomic scale is, from one point of view, an extremely sharp point). There could be a warning in that to look to the devil in the details, or read the fine print, or simply an emphasis on how very small the acorn can be, from which the oak grows?
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Ace of Swords:

My First Impressions:

This card differs from the RW one in that there is no hand holding the Sword. No need to anthropomorphize natural forces, they speak for themselves?

It is also wreathed with what appear to be three types of plants: a palm leaf, a laurel crown, & a wreath of white roses Mind manifesting tself through nature. In Jane Roberts' books, Seth talks about how thoughts grow & multiply like living things. Thought is part of life; the mind-body connection.

The sword hovers in a blue-and-white cloudy sky, either emitting or reflecting light, or perhaps it is directly in front of the sun. This reminds me of a dream in which I saw a rainbow with the sun directly behind it, shining through the rainbow's colors like colored glass, a terrifying & awesome sight. The presence of spirit behind matter, shining through visible phenomena.

Lightness, airiness, clarity, purity. The beginning of clear thought. An inspired idea. Getting on the right mental track. Singleness of mind.

The laurel crown represents military conquest through violence, part of humanity's earlier stages of development, now transitioning to a new paradigm of problem-solving through negotiation, law, communication, & technology -- the use of mind rather than force, shown by the palm & roses which are symbols of peace. Of course, the power of reason can be used to create more methods of violence, such as ever more devastating weapons of mass destruction, so the sword is double-edged.

The gold eagle wings suggest ancient Rome, a symbol of the human power to direct & organize great resources. Blue & red at the base of the sword repeat the motif of peace & aggression, brain & blood, spirit & matter. Red, blue & yellow (or green, in light wavelengths) are the primary colors, showing balance & wholeness.

Conquest through reason, strategy, confronting a problem. Cutting through lies, illusions or illogic. Beginning a situation of conflict. Remain true to your cause, follow your reason, uphold your rights. This image makes me think of the European Enlightenment & how its rational values led to the Age of Revolution

The spiral helix represents the fact that mind & consciousness are evolving, along with human behavior, including our penchant for war & aggression. Evolution involves a gradual transition from brute physical force to language, logic & communication, & the Swords encompass these themes. I am also reminded of memes, the ideas, concepts & mental patterns we receive from ancestors & pass on to future generations.

After Reading Robin's Meanings:

Wow, I seem to be right in tune with the artist this time. Her meanings closely match mine for the most part.

She focuses more on "success, attainment, victory," the outcome rather than the beginning of conflict or trouble often attributed to this card. She explains that the Ace is "the culmination, or perfection of the principles of that suit." (RWT Book, p.128)

The leaf is an olive, not a palm. Shows how much I know about plants.

She says the golden wings represent the idea that knowledge is freedom (as well as power). She doesn't mention Rome, however, which to me is (along with Imperial China) a symbol of humanity's greatest attainments, along with its greatest tyranny.

Knowledge, specifically occult knowledge, as liberation. This makes me think of "Beginner's Mind", openness to new awareness. Emptiness is also a form of clarity.

The clouds represent the fog of illusion or ignorance to be cut through. Perhaps they are a necessary background to knowledge? Vague, cloudy, unformed ideas are often the precursors of clear insights.
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