Ace of Swords
from Oak, Ash & Thorn Tarot
by Stephanie Burrows with art by Adam Oehlers
January 15-16, 2022: Oak, Ash & Thorn Tarot is a great "talkative" deck for storytellers, especially for those who love shamanic journeys under the guidance of archetypal animal spirits. Today's card--Ace of Swords--veers far away from Rider-Waite-Smith territory and opens up a story of tantalizing mystery.
In the story it will tell you, whose crown has been discarded on those rocks? Whose sword, plunged into the stone, has been left behind? And the raven perched on the sword's hilt? Has this creature of air--Swords represent the element of Air, the mind, and communication as well as conflict--come to witness the outcome of a dramatic event, or does it represent the murderous agent of that event?
By the way, if all of this stirs your imagination, I recommend The Tragedy of Macbeth (Apple TV+ and in theaters), a masterpiece directed by Joel Coen and starring Denzel Washington and Frances McDormand. I happened to watch it yesterday, and the echo of it in our Ace of Swords card, randomly drawn today, is quite eerie.
Shamanic Meditating with Tarot
Gaze at a card's image for a short while, at least a few minutes. You can start with this Ace of Swords or, really, any card that intrigues you. Next, gently close your eyes. Bring the card's image to mind with as many details as you can comfortably remember. Don't strain.
Don't worry if you can't immediately recall all the details presented in the card's illustration. And please don't worry if the image--now, as you're seeing it in your mind's eye--has changed in any way for you. That's actually a positive sign.
What are you seeing? How is this card talking to you and telling you a story that will have a particular meaning for you?
Any changes or developments in the imagery, and details that especially draw your attention, are very important to note.
I love ravens, and this majestic one--wings stretched out and back--has as much dynamic energy as the stormy sky in the card's background. You can almost feel the flap of its wings and the sting of all that autumnal air around it. The leaves fall in silence.
That's actually a bit unusual, tradition-wise. If you'll remember what I've written about the Aces, there usually isn't that much air aswirl at that point in the progression from the Ace through the Ten of Swords. Aces indicate a new, refreshing little breath of air; at most, a beginning, not the brewing threat of a storm. Another sign, then, of Tarot basics upended by a different Tarot vision and a call to make this new vision work for you and your necessary story.
So...what will it be? What will it be?
Catch up with updated CARD OF THE DAY posts here: https://hummingwitch.blogspot.com/2021/11/a-good-weekend-to-catch-up-with-our.html
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