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Card Meanings:

The Major Arcana...

0 or 22 -The Fool
1 - Magician
2 - High Priestess
3 - Empress
4 - Emperor
5 - Hierophant
6 - Lovers
7 - Chariot
8 - Strength
9 - Hermit
10 - Wheel of Fortune
11 - Justice
12 - Hanged Man
13 - Death
14 - Temperance
15 - The Devil
16 - The Tower
17 - The Star
18 - The Moon
19 - The Sun
20 - Judgement
21 - The World

The Minor Arcana...

Wands (Rods):
King of Wands
Queen of Wands
Knight of Wands
Page of Wands
Ten of Wands
Nine of Wands
Eight of Wands
Seven of Wands
Six of Wands
Five of Wands
Four of Wands
Three of Wands
Two of Wands
Ace of Wands

King of Cups
Queen of Cups
Knight of Cups
Page of Cups
Ten of Cups
Nine of Cups
Eight of Cups
Seven of Cups
Six of Cups
Five of Cups
Four of Cups
Three of Cups
Two of Cups
Ace of Cups

King of Swords
Queen of Swords
Knight of Swords
Page of Swords
Ten of Swords
Nine of Swords
Eight of Swords
Seven of Swords
Six of Swords
Five of Swords
Four of Swords
Three of Swords
Two of Swords
Ace of Swords

Pentacles (Coins):
King of Pentacles
Queen of Pentacles
Knight of Pentacles
Page of Pentacles
Ten of Pentacles
Nine of Pentacles
Eight of Pentacles
Seven of Pentacles
Six of Pentacles
Five of Pentacles
Four of Pentacles
Three of Pentacles
Two of Pentacles
Ace of Pentacles

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The Ace of Swords
The Ace of Swords

Card Nicknames: The victory card, the sudden changes card, the triumph card, the force card, the conquest card, death.

Short meaning: This card could mean a quick victory or a clean break with the past. It's also the card that could represent a physical death. While the Ace of Swords is similar to the eight of cups (the "moving on" card), the Ace of Swords card usually signifies a sudden and complete change, for example someone deciding to just quit the job and move to another city.

Full meaning: In Lewis' book (see Sources), the one-word meaning of the Ace of Swords is "Death." The Ace of Swords often does represent a physical death.

Martello also attributed other negative meanings to the card -- "Often called the death card. Really a worried mind, doubt, delay, setback, bad news, the need to fight for one's rights, trouble, anxiety, expecting the worst. Interference in one's plans, being blocked, fearful anticipation. When this card touches the person being read, indicates one who is 'sick with worry,' depressed, sad." (Martello, p. 108)

However, the Ace of Swords can also represent a quick victory or victory by force. Sometimes it's called "the force card." Waite's divinatory meaning was "Triumph, the excessive degree in everything, conquest, triumph of force. It is a card of great force, in love as well as hatred. The crown may carry a much higher significance than comes usually within the sphere of fortune-telling." (Waite, Pictorial Key, p. 252)

Much like the Death card of the major aracana, the Ace of Swords can represent a transformation, but with the Ace of Swords the transformation is usually sudden and complete -- a clean break with the past. Peach described the card as "A new beginning, a rebirth. Victory, success, triumph, great force. A complete change of mind, including all aspects of the Querent's life." (Peach, p. 69)

Gettings said the card indicated "The beginning of some undertaking involving considerable effort and struggle." (Gettings, p. 126)

Ace of Swords Reversed
Meaning coming soon!

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Above illustration: Feng Shui Tarot deck (Eileen Connolly and Peter Paul Connolly).

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Last updated 13 December 2011
All original content © 2003, 2011 by and Pam Rotella

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