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(For a list of all card articles, open March 2008 on the sidebar).

Thursday, 6 March 2008

Ace Of Swords

it will start
with a crack
in the stone
or a spark
in the fire
or a seed
from a flower
or the point
of the knife
but it starts
it goes upward
it gets back
to the heart
of the flame
to the hilt
of the sword.

it is
the first
of air.

I'm finding this entry hard to approach; the Intuitive card is black-edged and hella sinister. I think this deck places more focus on the pain/conflict aspect of Air than I'm used to. Whatever Air is, this is where it begins. And the beginnings of an idea will often make a warzone of your mind. The collection of stuff here - flowers, an altar, a sword that passes through both - puts a phrase in mind; the seed of doubt. That's here, and it will find fertile soil in the Two. If you sew the wind - [but that card will come when it will].

And what was it that guy said to Batman? You must become an idea.

The Intuitive is a deck of straight swords - which is a bit of a cultural marker. You naturally think of the Swords as being straight, brittle, and made for stabbiness; to some, a sword is curved, or flexible, or for unbreakable defence, or for signifying a specific social status. Air does not point straight from A to B; it's always carrying an extra set of possibilities. Maybe this one isn't a seed of doubt, but a calling down of the light of heavens.

Images of the Ace of Swords:

In 52-card decks, it's usually where you find the maker's mark; it's a card where the designers go to town. Many tarot decks do the same. (Not that Amano ever leaves town). The Scapini image is so full of stuff I can barely tell which way up it's meant to be; it is winged, yinyanged, peopled with chessmen, clouded, lush, and cuddled by a snake.

The Ace of Swords from the Roots of Asia is just sublime - full of shafts of light and double meanings. It's Air coming from a far more positive space.

In the Mythic Tarot, aces feature the patron gods of the suit; for Swords, that's Athene - crafter, thinker, warrior, and not-coincidentally, name of mine.

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