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Water can heal and purify. In most decks this would be the Ace [1] of Cups or Chalices. Typically depicted by a left hand (symbolizing receptivity) holding an overflowing chalice balanced on the palm.

What I See:

Aw, this card makes me think of the Pacific NW. The salmon struggle upstream, returning to where it was born, just to give birth. It was an amazing thing to watch the fish swimming up the ladder at Bonneville Dam. This card is a calm one to me with its soothing blues and greens. We have a quiet pool of water making me think of mediation. We see the salmon eggs, some newly hatched fish, and a fingerling. Those speak to me of birth, infancy, and toddlers exploring their world. I get a sense of the circle of life when I think about the salmon. Salmon journey out to the ocean yet find their way back to the stream where they were born just to start the circle again.

General Water element/Cups suit:

  • Keywords: Emotions, Moods, Affections, Artistic Abilities, Creativity, Nurturance, Love, Relationships, Empathy, Intuition, Sensitivity, Dreams, Fantasies, Comfort, Soothing, Flowing, Healing, Counseling, Psychic Abilities, Receptive, Yielding, Secretive, Merging, and Fantasy.
  • Style: Flowing, Expanding, Diffusing, and Loving.
  • Jungian Function: Feeling or Intuition

Light (upright) Reading:

Trust in your heart’s wisdom.

  • Keywords: Birth, Abundance, Spiritual Love, and Joy.

Shadow (upside down or reverse) Reading:

Beware of mistrusting your intuition.

  • Keywords: Unrequited Love, Melancholy, Abstinence, and Denial.


The Ace of Water represents a new beginning on an emotional level. Perhaps your story is about a new love or friendship. How about a tale about a sea creature, real or mythical? Perhaps your story is one of reflection, getting back to nature, or coming full circle.

What about the Fountain of Youth? Or a Holy Grail type quest? How about voyage?

All Aces represent the potential for creation. Perhaps you story involves a pregnancy. Perhaps a new idea is conceived.

Perhaps more than the other aces, the Ace of Water can indicate pregnancy, think of the womb and how a baby is housed in amniotic fluid. In traditional Ace of Cups images there is often a dove symbolizing the spirit, the cup as a feminine symbol for the womb, thus the joining of a spirit with a physical body.

  • Ace Themes: Beginning, Potential, Opportunity, Conception, Birth, or Elemental Energy.


Follow the shaman’s journey of descent and return.

  • Suit Archetype/Feudal Class: Clergy and Priestly class.

Additionally, look up one of the Water signs (Cancer, Scorpio, Pisces) for personality traits.

For more information on the Aces in general, please refer back to the Ace of Air.

Image: Gaian Tarot by Joanna Powell Colbert from Llewellyn Worldwide