Saturday, October 6, 2007

Breaking down the cards -- Aces

These Aces are from the incredible Rohrig Tarot. Click on the image to see it much larger and more clearly. So few tarot decks have truly great artwork, this one does. My favorite touch being the notebook paper sketches and scribbles on every card. It adds something really special to the entire deck.

Aces=One. Aces denote beginnings, youth, newness, new approaches, new attitudes. Wands are about fire, passion, work enthusiasm, and I often associate Wands with friendliness. Cups are about emotions, love, feelings, the subconscious, water, and the sea. Disks=Pentacles=Coins. Coins are about the earth, material things, physical things, wealth, real estate, animals, and tactile things.

Starting with the Ace of Cups… in this deck I am always surprised that this isn’t a wands card because of the color and fire. Traditionally you will see red or “fire” colors associated with Wands. The artist who created this deck took a different tack with this card. There is a cup sitting on the sea, the woman seems to stand beyond the sea and to rise right out of the horizon. At the base of the sun that seems to burst from her you can see stars. The sea blends into paper on which is written words relating to the card. Not all of these words are in English but all of them relate to love and emotions. I suppose one could say that love and light is bursting forth from her heart. It’s a beautiful card even if I always have to do a double take to realize it’s not a Wands card. Looking at this card I see, simply, new love, new emotions, new attitudes about feeling/loving. If I reverse the card she seems to be almost swimming or diving into this ocean of red and gold. Her cup looks as if it could fall from what now looks like the light of the setting sun and into this ocean of emotion that she is diving into. I don’t know that in this deck I would interpret this as necessarily negative—that would depend, but it’s certainly a more powerful looking card when it’s reversed. She’s either falling into emotion (love) and/or she’s about to bite off way more than she can chew on an emotional level. This powerful ocean of feeling looks as if it could overpower her so easily.

Now we have the Ace of Wands. The wand on the card reminds me of a candle, although there is no wick. A feathery blossom of fire and fuscia spouts up from behind the wand. The paper has various messages of fire and empowerment written on it in various languages. A vast expanse stretches out behind the wand. There is so much possibility in this card. If I drew this card for someone I’d wonder what new enterprise they may have recently involved themselves in. Or, perhaps, I’d wonder what wonderful new empowering thing had just entered their life. When I reverse this card I am more aware of the abyss that sits at the bottom of this card—although it’s at the top now. The flame and fuchsia seems to be shooting at me rather than up in a celebratory way. The wand doesn’t look like it has anything to stand on anymore, now it looks more like a projectile than a candle. Even the paper appears to just be starting to burn in the center behind the candle. I see this card in this deck very negatively. You may see it differently. It doesn’t matter what I see. All that matters is what you see and what it means to you. But to me, reversed, Rohrig’s Ace of Wands looks like directionless, reckless energy. It also looks a bit like a face. The wand becomes a long nose, the hills become eyes, the fire and fuschia are like some kind of flaming facial hair. This has no particular meaning to me now, but it's important to note this kind of thing because, one day, someone may ask you to draw a card asking what, say, the burgler who robbed their house looked like and you'll draw a card like this and you'll remember, "Oh, yeah, this does look like a face... and this card doesn't make sense here except for this face... hmmmmm."

The Ace of Disks looks like a calm, cool salve after the reversed Ace of Wands. The cold rock mountain and the expanse of ice stretching beyond it are symbolic of the earth element that Coins nearly always represent. A man stands on the top of the rock mountain looking up at a bright and shiny star. Messages of success in various languages are written on the paper. The man has his eyes on his goal, in his mind he has reached a pinnacle of success, and he’s going to live into that vision. This card is an extremely good omen for material success. Reversed I am much more conscious of the Disk set into the stone. It holds my eye. I’m more conscious of how hard and barren the rock is. The man looks so small now. But the star is still there shining it’s beautiful light upon him. The possibilities are still there, but they may be more difficult to realize now. Reversed cards often indicate delays or that things will be more difficult than we had hoped or planned. All is not lost with the reversed Ace of Disks, but maybe more difficult.