Note: We’ll work through the pips by focusing on each number group rather than one suit at a time. Thus, to avoid redundancy, the first post of each number set will include the general information, that which is consistent across the number, in addition to suit specific information. The other three posts of each number set will focus on the suit specific information.
Generally, all Aces:
- Share the purest, uncorrupted, attributes of their suit, or element.
- Reflect the themes and wisdom of the Magician.
- Symbolize potential.
- Can represent Act One, the set-up, of your story; or the first stage of your character’s arc, their change and growth; thesis.
- Begins the first of the three triads, or mini-dramas as mentioned in last week’s Numbers in Tarot post.
- Tarot Notes is doing a series called Take a Number, for additional info on Aces check out her post on Ones.
Air is the breath of life, it blows away strife and carries positive thoughts. In most decks this would be the Ace  of Swords. Typically depicted by a right hand (symbolizing action) holding a sword aloft, think Excalibur.
What I See:
I choose to start with Air because of the butterfly, it reminds me of how we started this journey with the Fool or Seeker. I’ll bet you knew the Greek word for ‘soul’ is psyche. But did you know the Greek word for ‘butterfly’ is also psyche?! We have the butterfly emerging from the chrysalis. This image speaks to me of birth and transformation. We have the spring blossoms reminding us of the seasons and cycles of life. According to the book, that’s hawthorn which is considered the May-flower, so awesome that we’re starting the pips in May I come away from this image with a sense of trusting oneself to change.
General Air element/Sword suit:
- Keywords: Strife, Tension, Conflict, Struggle, Communication, Travel, Powerful, Intelligence, Foresight, Boldness, Reason, Logic, Sarcasm, Threats, Legal Actions, Surgery, Cutting, Accidents, Justice, Truth, Detachments, Separations, Moving On, and Mental Activity.
- Style: Storming, Freezing, Striving, Communicating, Cutting, and Confronting.
- Jungian Function: Thinking
Light (upright) Reading:
You are blooming with new thoughts or decisions.
- Keywords: Power, Courage, Fresh Ideas, and Authority.
Shadow (upside down or reverse) Reading:
You may be stuck in your comfort zone and avoiding change.
- Keywords: Threats, Sarcasm, Pessimism, and Cynicism.
The Ace of Air represents a new beginning on an intellectual level. Perhaps your story is about a student, or a teacher. The sword represents justice. Perhaps your story is about a mediator or lawyer, or even a law enforcement officer. How about a knight, sworn to protect and defend the weak? Or someone with knight-like qualities?
How about a Sci-Fi twist, and the people emerge from giant chrysalises? Or has that been done already?
How about a Charlotte’s Web type story featuring a butterfly?
All Aces represent the potential for creation. Perhaps you story involves a pregnancy. Perhaps a new idea is conceived.
- Ace Themes: Beginning, Potential, Opportunity, Conception, Birth, or Elemental Energy.
“Follow your heart,” says Hawthorn.
“You’re a brand-new being,” say Butterfly.
- Suit Archetype/Feudal Class: Nobility, Warrior, and Political class.
The personality enneagram, a nine-pointed array of personality types, might also be a useful reference for character building.
All Aces are E1: Perfectionist and/or Reformer
- Self Image — I am right
- Passion — Anger
- Virtue — Serenity
- Narcissistic Trap — Perfection
- Avoids — Vexation
- Speaking Style — Teaching or Moralizing
E1 people are instinctive, spontaneous, and intuitive. Their “gut” feeling is the center of their awareness. They are often direct or territorial. They are concerned with power, ruled by aggression, and may be troubled by self-doubt or self-blame.
Additionally, look up one of the Air signs (Gemini, Libra, Aquarius) for personality traits.
Image: Gaian Tarot by Joanna Powell Colbert from Llewellyn Worldwide