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Radiant RWS and Aces Question

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Radiant RWS and Aces Question


I really enjoy my Radiant RWS deck and something caught my eye as I was studying them in different groups today. Does anyone know why the Ace of Swords has a purple/red background while the other Aces have blue? Also, I know the Ace of Swords represents air, but what's the little spots around the blade that look like fire? If anyone can explain this to me I'd appreciate it. I tried searching in other threads but didn't find what I was looking for. Thanks!
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Originally Posted by AlohaAngel View Post
I really enjoy my Radiant RWS deck and something caught my eye as I was studying them in different groups today. Does anyone know why the Ace of Swords has a purple/red background while the other Aces have blue? Also, I know the Ace of Swords represents air, but what's the little spots around the blade that look like fire? If anyone can explain this to me I'd appreciate it. I tried searching in other threads but didn't find what I was looking for. Thanks!
Each of those little spots around the blade is supposed to be the letter Vau, the sixth letter of the Hebrew alphabet. It is the third letter of the Tetragrammaton YHVH, in which it stands for the element Air.

The spots actually look more like the letter Yod, the first letter of the Tetragrammaton, but if so they should have been colored red for Fire. I think this is another instance of Waite being deliberately misleading with the symbolism. It gets tiresome after awhile.
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People I tell I'm into Tarot must think I'm into some deep, mystical stuff. In actuality, I'm counting Yods and thinking if they make me feel like "bright pale yellow" or "brilliance." I agree with you that this seems an anomalous card and the more I think about it, the less sense it makes. I guess six Yods make a Vau, and I'm betting they're the bright pale yellow of the Fool in the King scale.
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The only other Ace with Yods is Cups, and they are blue, so I guess by analogy yellow is okay for the Sword's Yods. The Golden Dawn Ace of Swords has six upside-down Vaus near the point of the sword. In the Hermetic, they could be either Vaus or elongated Yods. Book T specifies that they be six Vaus.
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AlohaAngel, I've been looking at those Aces and to me they all seem to have slightly different colors. The differences are subtle but noticeable. The Ace of Wands is lavender; the Ace of Cups is blue with shades of lavender towards the bottom; the Ace of Pentacles is light blue with shades of lavender throughout. I don't believe there's really any significance to this other than the artist's choices as to what would be the most pleasing, and to give it that radiant look. The Golden Dawn Aces have all white backgrounds and Waite's are gray. B.O.T.A., in their coloring guide, suggests leaving them all white. The Radiant is an attempt to liven things up with color but nothing more beyond that, in my opinion.

You aren't far off when you say they look like fire. The Golden Dawn "Book-T" describes them as "leaping Flames, or Yods..." I like to think of them as points of light, or energy.

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......You aren't far off when you say they look like fire. The Golden Dawn "Book-T" describes them as "leaping Flames, or Yods..." I like to think of them as points of light, or energy. ......
The attachment is the Tetragrammaton, basically the four-letter 'personal' name of God, whose pronunciation is unknown (which is an interesting bit of history, but OT in this context). From right to left the letters are Yod, Heh, Vau, Heh. These letters are pictograms of an open hand, a window, a nail, and another window, respectively. In the Tetragrammaton, from right to left, they have the attributions of Fire, Water, Air, and Earth, respectively. It is interesting that the Yod not only signifies Fire but actually has the appearance of a flame. The Vau is basically just an elongated Yod. Most of the little tongues of flame depicted in the Rider-Waite cards are Yods.
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Thanks for the info. I never heard of Yods before. I'm going to have to look into this!
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The word Yod itself depicts the spark of creation by its very shape. It begins with the point of Yod, which then descends vertically to form the Vau, and corresponds to the straight line of Chochma. The Vau then extends horizontally to form the Daled, corresponding to the structure, form and dimensions of Binah.
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Originally Posted by closrapexa View Post
The word Yod itself depicts the spark of creation by its very shape. It begins with the point of Yod, which then descends vertically to form the Vau, and corresponds to the straight line of Chochma. The Vau then extends horizontally to form the Daled, corresponding to the structure, form and dimensions of Binah.
Here is a graphic. (Remember the right-to-left rule.)
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Originally Posted by LRichard View Post
Here is a graphic. (Remember the right-to-left rule.)
Thanks, I tried to find one but I got lots of pictures of iodine (yod in Hebrew).

Iodine, as we all know, burns like fire on cuts, so there's another connection.
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