Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Amazing Aces: Swords

So to follow up from my now completed Favorite Majors series, I decided to focus on another set of favorite cards from my deck collection - Aces. They are minors, but particularly notable minors, seeing as how they open up the suit, and how often they reference major changes, new beginnings and the like. In some decks, they can be drawn rather generically, a utilitarian approach that gets the message across well enough. Other decks though, have particularly nice, thought-provoking depictions. Why not focus on those some?

The Ace of Swords is. I think, an especially interesting Ace to start off with. It's one I personally see as having many layers, both positive and, if not quite negative, sometimes difficult. It can encompass both attitude and action, internal and external, beginnings and ends. So which ones do I like best? After some consideration, here are the three favorites:

Legacy of the Divine

Like much of this deck, the visual aspects of this card are quite stunning. I quite like the color palette especially, as well as the modernized, fantastical qualities of the ace itself. The background of clouds emphasizes the air element nicely, and calls back some of the traditional imagery of the RWS and Thoth Aces - although interestingly, here the Sword is pointed downwards rather than up. A focus perhaps not just on moving forward but also on cutting away, severing, getting rid of that which no longer serves.

I also like the eagles that circle the sword - fierce birds, noble and strong, ruthless when necessary. A good reminder of some of the kinds of traits that Ace of Swords situations can call for. Finally, we have a glowing air element symbol and the astrological wheel in the background, reminding us again of the outside correspondences we can use for additional meaning if we wish, and the grand scheme of things.

Silicon Dawn

The Silicon Dawn Ace of Swords provides us with a rather different image. The color scheme, for one, is at the complete other side of the spectrum. I must admit that I've never been of the school that sees yellow as a particulary airy color - to me it is too close to gold, to the earth-tones. But I can set that aside here, because it works. For one, I like the way the yellow fades into that pure, glowing white at the feet of the figure - an image of manifesting energy, potential.

I love the theme of gears and cogs too - simple details that speak loudly of engineering, of inventions and creativity, the wonders a mind can come up with when it sets to work at a task. A lot of times, the swords suit, which is the suit most associated with intellect, is used to depict the problems our minds can make for us: anxieties, grief, insecurity, self-sabotage. Here, instead, we are allowed to focus on the positive, the wonders we are capable of creating when we think.


The Mary-El is a deck newly acquired, so much so that I haven't even finished trimming it yet. Already though, many of the images are so arresting. This one in particular caught my attention. Again we have the image of an eagle, this time in a much more thought-provoking position, bound upright. The accompanying book, though it rather bizarrely associates Scorpio with air, does provide some interesting insight.

In particular, it speaks of redemption, of evolution, of rising up out of darkness, out of air and water and into the sky: the freedom that flight represents. Again, the emphasis not just on the difficult aspects traditionally highlighted by swords but also on free will, reason and purpose and communication. I especially like the idea of this card as speaking of striving, of doing what we must to free ourselves of those constraints, of seeking clarity, dreams and ideals. It is a card of channeling our visions and working to make them happen; a personal. internal kind of empowerment.


Manda said...

I like your favorite Aces, too! You have such a diversity in your tastes, although the Mary El does call back to the Legacy of the Divine, in a more primal way. Bravo!

Inner Whispers said...

Another thing I see with the Legacy eagles is the question of getting a new perspective and greater clarity. It's funny, the Ace of Swords is the first card my mum checks in any deck. I like it, too, but it's not that vital to me.
Looking forward to seeing your other Aces, too :)

Barefoot Fool said...

Your blog is way too enableing.

...off to look up more information on Silicon Dawn...

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