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Ace of Swords Meaning – Smith-Waite Centennial

The Ace of Swords invites you to take decisive action in today's Card of the Day reading for the Witch Hazel Tarot collective. It's been a couple weeks since we've talked about the Aces in tarot. But readers might recall that Aces are all about the purest, rawest form of each respective suit's energy.

As we've seen over the past month and a bit since opening our books to online tarot readings, the Ace of Cups means deep emotional energies and the healing love of relationships. Meanwhile, the Ace of Pentacles is about material comforts and the nurturing power of wealth. And while the Ace of Wands is all about the creative spark that drives our passions, the meaning of the Ace of Swords is quite different.

Swords, of course, are the suit of reason, decision-making, and ideals. In the upright position, the Ace of Swords asks you to trust in your logic and move forward with a big decision. Have you been overthinking? It's time to stop holding back.

Ace of Swords tarot card from Rider-Waite-Smith deck, pictured with selenite tower on dark blue background, detailed card image description in body text

The Ace of Swords in the Smith-Waite Centennial tarot deck

In our free daily tarot readings, we've been paying close attention to the backgrounds in the classic Rider-Waite-Smith cards, and this is especially true of the Aces. Notice that while the Ace of Cups has a vivacious pond replete with lilies—and the Ace of Pentacles features a rich, verdant countryside with an inviting archway in a hedge—the Ace of Swords card is more austere. Here we see cold-hued mountains, desolate and maybe even daunting.

But this drab horizon doesn't mean bad luck by any means! Instead, it's a no-frills card that reminds you not to get too sidetracked by bells and whistles. Remember, Swords are the suit of the calculating, rational mind—which sees straight to the heart of things. In tarot, this energy also correlates with the Air element. So it's fitting that we see those lofty peaks and all of that mighty, windswept rock.

Like the other Aces in the Rider-Waite-Smith tradition, this tarot card features a magic hand emerging from a cloud. An upright arming sword is magically crowned with a floating coronet of ruby-studded gold. And hanging from that crown are two green sprigs. One appears to be laurel leaves, while the other looks like an olive branch.

While the laurel suggests mental accolades, academia, and intelligence, the olive's meaning is more social in nature. Its connotation is friendliness, anointing, and bounty. So, while the crown celebrates mental autonomy and free will, the two leafy garlands in the Ace of Swords card symbolize the triumph of the intelligent mind and logic's power to forge social connections.  

Trust in your judgement and take decisive action

Today's triumphant appearance of the Ace of Swords means it's time to stop overthinking. You've looked at the question one your mind from every angle, carefully weighing the pros and cons. Now it's time to trust in your own intelligence and move forward with confidence!

Remember that the rational mind is incredibly powerful. But it can only plant the seeds of something great when it doesn't turn in on itself. There's a time for emotional wisdom, a time for worldly concerns, and a time for artistic passion. Yet today is all about clear thought and following through on your ideals with decisive action.

The Ace of Swords asks how you'd act if you had complete faith in your reason

It takes courage to follow through on your big ideas, especially when self-doubt starts to creep in. But the Ace of Swords asks you to imagine what it would feel like not to doubt your own carefully thought-out conclusions. If you had faith in your mental strength, what next steps would you take?

Today is the right day to focus on reason and see if you can bring your lofty ideals down to earth. Remember that your mind is worthy, and it deserves your appreciation. In the spirituality and tarot community, there's a lot of casting reason aside to champion intuition. But I believe quite passionately that they're equally important, and they're not at all at odds. We need to heed and honour logic as well as emotions.

And remember as well that you're not alone—that other people share your goals and values even when you act alone to pursue them. So what do you think? Can you take the next step? It's time. 

S.M.