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Intro to Tarot the Fool's Circle

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Tarot - the Fool's Circle of Life

The Aces

The Elements Exalted

by Danielle Astrid Ricard

While the Major Arcana or Trump cards represent cosmic/karmic forces and higher human potential, the Pip, or Number cards - the Minor Arcana - represent mundane circumstances and realities - our physical, tangible, every day world. Within this world, there are basic energies or elements that we perceive in nature, and that live within ourselves.

The Aces

Ace of Cups - Cosmic Tarot  -  Click here for Music - Color My World, Chicago

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Fire - Wands

Earth - Pentacles

Air - Swords

Water - Cups





















The Aces are nearly as powerful as the Major Cards. They initiate us into the pure energy of each of the four basic elements. The Ace of Wands (clubs) is pure Fire, Ace of Pentacles (coins, diamonds) is pure Earth, the Ace of Swords (spades) is pure Air and the Ace of Cups (hearts) is pure Water. These also correspond with the seasons and the four directions.

The elements - an integral part of the Tarot - are honored in many spiritual traditions. They may be referred to very openly - at the beginning of ceremony, as in the Native American tradition of calling in the four Directions; or through cosmic references hidden within prominent figures and mythological characters. Fully understanding and appreciating the Elements is essential to working with the Tarot. They represent the four corners of your world - and you are in the middle!

When an Ace shows up in a reading, it's all about impetus... very much like the Magician - the one who summons the elements for his own use. There is a great deal of energy within the Aces - all aimed toward an ideal outcome. Whenever I draw an Ace, I know that something is coming into emotional, spiritual, physical or mental form. They compel us to have a singular focus, and to unify - and so they are very much related to ownership - of love, of action, of things and of ideas. It is hard to stop an Ace in motion - and so Beginning also means Continuing!

Ace of Cups - is Pure Feeling, the beginning or continuation of Love, a focus on pouring your heart into someone or something.

Ace of Wands - is Pure Energy, the beginning or continuation of Action, a focus on get moving and doing something new and wonderfully energizing.

Ace of Coins is Pure Matter, the beginning or continuation of Desire, A focus on acquiring and/or holding onto something of value.

Ace of Swords is Pure Thought, the beginning or continuation of Idea, a focus on detail, and formulating or stating a solid opinion or plan.

The Ace stands all alone as a powerful symbol of the element it represents. More than one Ace in a reading generally indicates that something new is coming about for the querent. If there is stagnant or negative energy surrounding the Aces, then the focus on change is likely being repressed or ignored - and this can cause a blockage of energy that must eventually be released. Aces surrounded by court cards can signal new or renewed contacts. All in all, I find the Aces to be a good sign that things are (or need to be!) moving forward. I see them as fortuitous most of the time, and certainly - very powerful!

MEDITATION: Contemplate the Beginnings in your life, and also any strong needs and desires.

PERSONAL DISCUSSIONS: When have you felt the energy of the Aces? Have you seen it in other people? Have you had happy/sad experiences with this energy?

TAROT EXPERIENCE: Recalling a time when you may have you drawn Aces, what were the circumstances surrounding them, and what did they mean to you? How do you feel the Aces affect the cards that come before or after?

More Unifying Considerations: manifestation, love, imagination, creativity, initiating, firing up, needing, keeping, taking, single-mindedness, idea, purpose ... any more ideas???

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Element symbols - © Robin Wood 1997, Used with Permission