Updated: Aug 5
Merry Meet! Today begins a series of blog entries on the tarot pip cards (AKA minor arcana).
While I still occasionally read with illustrated pips, my favorite tarot decks have non illustrated pip cards. Many people shy away from these "pip decks" because they think it's too hard to memorize all the meanings.
But you don't need to memorize individual meanings to get started reading with pip decks. All you need is a system to organize them. There are several different systems.
I don't always care to superimpose quite as many concepts of western magic onto the tarot as some do, however, the pips can really come to life when considered as existing within each of the spheres on the Tree of Life of the Hermetic Qabalah.
While it's very true that Qabalah was never intended to be part of the ancient Tarot, the Tree of Life DOES make for a very accurate system of understanding the pips.
The Aces On the Tree of Life, the number one is depicted by the sphere named The Crown. The crown is the Godhead. The crown is unity. The Crown is pre-gender. There is nothing to oppose it. The Crown is the Seat or Root of all subsequent power. How can a crown be a seat or root? Consider that monarchical power was seen to SIT in the crown which rested on the head of the monarch. The monarch was thought to be the mortal representation of the Godhead here on earth.
If we consider the idea of the Aces existing within the Crown sphere they show themselves to be the seat or root of each of the powers of their respective suits. In readings, I don't often attribute the suits to each of the four elements. I find that it can be like forcing a square peg into a round hole. Instead, I like to consider the actual practical purposes for the implements after which each suit is named to inform my understanding of the powers within their respective suits. In other words, wands blossom and lead, cups hold liquid, swords stab, and coins are earned and spent.
The Ace of Wands
Wands are creativity. Wands are work in the world. Wands are passions. Wands are desires. Wands are purpose. Wands are growth.
The Ace of wands represents the root of all that inspires you, all that motivates you, and all that you desire. In many decks, the wand depicted on the ace of wands card is in full flower and often looks rather phallic. This is a good way of representing the power of the suit for which the ace is the root.
In a reading, ace of wands can often mean a new opportunity, a new project, a new job, a new business, etc.
The Ace of Cups
Cups contain liquid. All liquid must have a container to exist in any meaningful capacity on the earth. Even the ocean has a container.
Cups represent our capacity to contain that which requires a container in us. Our souls are contained by our bodies. In this respect, the body can be likened to a cup and the soul the liquid in the cup. Often cups can represent emotions. All aspects of our non-physical self can be seen to be liquid in nature. Emotions are only one small manifestation of the nonphysical parts of us. Thus the cups can represent our spiritual nature. In a reading, the Ace of Cups can often signify new understandings, new faith, religious experiences, a rebirth, forgiveness, grace, deep abiding love, peace, etc. In matters of romance and relationships, the cups have much to say.
It is ultimately our relationship to Spirit that determines the quality of our relationships with everything and everyone.
The Ace of Swords
Swords are forged to stab. They aren't tools that have been repurposed as weapons. Swords are fashioned to be weapons.
Swords signify conflict. The suit of swords always aptly teaches us the lesson that one who lives by the sword dies by the sword. The cards of the suit of Swords aren't there to scare you. The swords are helpers that are showing you how to resolve or escape any conflict you may be experiencing. The Ace of swords is always the sign of the winner. As power on its own, the Ace of swords allows for all to be winners, but the Ego only finds value in winning if there are losers. In a reading, the Ace of Swords often depicts overcoming conflict or difficulty. It signifies victory in a battle of any kind. The Ace of Swords reminds us to give our battles to our higher power to fight on our behalf.
Ace of Coins
The original suit in the ancient Tarots was always coins, not pentacles. Even if the suit in your deck is Pentacles, think of them as coins.
Coins are minted for one thing only and that's for trading. Coins are money.
Money itself is a symbol. Money represents assets. All things that can have a monetary value attached to them fall under this category.
The Suit of Coins symbolizes more than mere currency. The root of this power is pure and utter opulence. The Ace of Coins is pure abundance--infinite prosperity. The Ace of Coins teaches us that there are infinite abundance and an endless supply of all good for each of us. This is the truth that cannot be refuted. Remember the aces are one with the God-head on the Tree of Life. In a reading, the Ace of Coins can represent a new source of income, a new job, a windfall, as well as the consecration of all our tangible assets to the work of our higher selves. I certainly love having you with us here at Ariel's Corner, on our daily streams, on the Forums, and on our Facebook Group.
You are the BEST! Blessed be!