The Rider-Waite Ace of Swords, illustrates a white hand (Kether is colored white on the Tree of Life) exiting a gray cloud, holding upright a great sword that is supporting a crown strewn with an olive branch and a palm. Implied by the palm of suffering and the olive branch of peace are the dual possibilities of action attributed to the "Sword of Good or Evil". The Crown is one of the symbols for the 1st Sephiroth-Kether, on the Qabalistic Tree of Life. The six Yods (flames of Spirit) imply that this is the "seed " of the Solar Logos, that is Tiphareth, the 6th Sephiroth called Beauty, which is attributed to the Christ or Buddha mind both of whom suffered and spoke and acted on peace.
The Aces reside in the Unknowable Kether, the 1st Sephiroth called the Crown. To us it is described as infinite light, which sounds like knowledge but is human made description that is without experience. Again, definitions are not Idea, they are the description of an idea. In the case of Kether, the description has no beginning and thus no end, for the infinite is without measurement.
Yet, we are "God's Image", a "measurement of Divine Self" and therefore, are also potentially anything, which makes each us not as comfortably understood as one would like. It Seems that the Divine Collective Unconscious, wishes us to be as vast as our forms seem to be limited. This may be seen by the Imagination's ability to expand concepts so far beyond reality, that maybe even reality is just imagined.One moment we are the human dreaming of being Spiral Energy, the next we are Spiral Energy dreaming we are a human. Much like that old Chinese tale of a man dreaming he was a butter fly, then upon awakening he wondered if he was a butterfly dreaming he was a human. Considering Kether, is much the same. Therefore, Kether is often shown as three symbols, that of the whirling force, the Swastika, or the First Point, or the Crown of white and golden light. Christians may see this symbol as a halo around the head of the saints.
The Qabalist knows that All is Mind, and we are not talking about the human consciousness, but the Mind that the Dream of the Universe floats in. The Ace of Swords is a "seed or essence" of Mind, the Root Powers of Air and symbolizes the influence of Kether in the Astral World. This Kether influence may be understood as the motion in the Currents of Astral Fluid, however, that is just the "elephant's foot print in the Jello"(*old joke see below) and not the Power itself. The Astral realms are the realms of fleeting forms of fluid light where nothing is solid. Thought forms for the realm of Malkuth (Earth) begin to take form here. Thus the Ace of Swords is a potent card of "mind seed" which can be extremely good or extremely evil ; evil, being live spelled backwards, basically implies devolution rather than evolution. To move forward progressively, is living, to move backward, is "living in the past" which is a form of "living dead", since the past isn't now we can live only in yesterdays. Thus we have philosopher's saying."Let the dead bury the dead...".
The Mind is called the Element of Air, for it is Heated by Passions, as Air is heated by Sun, and thus it can become violent and life threatening. However, this is avoided if the Will of Love, is the controller of Passion, then the Mind becomes Life Expanding and Liberating.
Hence, The Ace of Wands represents a natural force, while the Ace of Swords represents that which is invoked; A force called upon. One must remember that Spirit, is Will and in fact the Sephiroth Kether, is Eheieh in Hebrew. Eheieh means, "I Will Be", and therefore, is considered the Will that began it All.
Therefore, the currents generated by Kether on the Astral are both dynamic and erratic, having the potential to be applied at will to different situations. Thus, we have the description of a "whirling force" that gains strength through trouble. To Qabalists, this is an affirmation of Divine authority and may become the Sword of Wrath, punishment and affliction. Pure mind has no conscience, it is up to us to supply discrimination and/or discernment to thought. This can only be done by experience, and therefore, measurement.
But let us not despair, for the Thoth Ace of Swords represents the Sword of the Magus crowned in the twenty-two diadem of light. To those of magic, the number 22 refers to Atu known as 22=2 x 11, the Magical manifestation of Chokmah, Wisdom, and the Logos. In Hebrew letters, that are also numbers, is the Word of Law, that blazes forth clearing the dark clouds of a Mind based on fear, or survival thinking. I would suggest getting the Book 777 by Aleister Crowley to further study this, as the words "Achath Ruach Elohim Chiim" are the numbers 777 and means in English translation,"One is Spirit of the Gods of the Living". The Ruach being Tiphareth, the Solar Logos. There is a lot of investigative gematria to understand here so get the book!
WHEN THE ACE OF SWORDS IS THROWN DURING A DIVINATION,
- Mental clarity and inventiveness.
- Problems being overcome with Original thinking.
- The dawning of a new intellectual process.
- Acting with logic and discrimination
- Strength in adversity. Out of evil some good will come. Something that looks bleak can surprisingly turn out to be promising.
- Doom, this is the card of Morgan the Fate. Finality, Tragedy, and ultimate fate; However, it is release, freedom from past restraint and a new lightness and/or a kind of salvation.
- The beginning of and idea or information. The arising of Inner insight.
- This card depends on the surrounding cards to show whether it is fate or rebirth.
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*Old Joke: How do you know if an Elephant is in your refrigerator?
answer: By the foot prints in the Jello!