The last minor we will discuss in relation to Arcanum I, the Magus, is the Ace of Swords.  We remember that the Swords are the ancesters to our Spades in today’s playing cards.  So, this card would be equal to the Ace of Spades, which is always dramatized as The Death Card in Hollywood movies, right?    Even though the key phrase for the exoteric meaning of this card is News of Sickness or Death, we would NOT EVER forecast death for fear of a self-fulfilled prophecy.  Based on the influence of Mercury and Capricorn combined, however, we would forecast perhaps the following from Blending Astrology, Numerlogy and Tarot, by Doris Chase Doanne, which is available at the bookstore at

Talk of a melancholy nature


Trouble with your mail

Struggle to gain organization

A depressed turn of mind

Opposition to your ideas

Repression of News

Delays in Intellectual Pursuits

Difficulty in Adjustment

Faulty Analysis

mental blocks

Division of Ideas

Inability to communicate fluently

and, lastly, bad news in general

The inner or esoteric meaning of the Ace of Swords is held in the first degree of Capricorn (which is the sign of Capricorn and decanate of Capricorn, sub-ruled by Saturn) and symbolized by the constellation Cygnus.     

Cygnus is Latin for swan, and this constellation is pictured in the heavens by a swan migrating from the frozen northlands toward warmer southern climes just as the winter solstice in Capricorn harkens warmer days to come.  Swans are the first of the migratory birds to return in spring.  They are born and reared in the icy and perilous conditions of the north but when grown to adult size, migrate to sunnier and warmer conditions in the south at the onset of winter.  Zain writes, “Like some friends we have known, loved ones who already have passed, they leave the scenes of their early hardships, and wing their way to sunnier skies.”  Because swans in the northern hemisphere are predominantly white, graceful, and have tremendous wing spans, they are often likened to angels or messengers from a brighter realm, bringing news of loved ones, and telling something of the surroundings there, where we too will one day reside.  The conditions of the afterlife, as told by Cygnus, are much the same as ours, except that the substance of the astral world can be molded by the application of thought.

The spiritual text for this constellation is:  Under certain conditions the stone is rolled from the entrance to the tomb and man consciously exchanges ideas with those who have entered the chamber of death.   C.C. Zain also write of this card: “Whether from the standpoint of the physical world, or from that of the after-life worlds, the most important things of life are man’s thoughts, desires and ambitions; for here and hereafter they are the factors determining his destiny.”  In other words, if our thoughts, desires, and ambitions are directed positively, every environment offers opportunities for spiritual advancement and new opportunities.

 Like the swan, harbingers of spring in a well-defined V-formation, People born under this decanate tend to be the forerunners of better conditions and realize better than any others the value of system and organization to effect worthwhile change. The key word for the inner meaning of this card is, therefore, ORGANIZATION.  From the key word, we can gather that the need for organization, the lack of organization, or an appreciation of system applied to all things could be considered if this card should turn up in a reading.  Life is about overcoming obstacles and we must learn to properly use our thoughts, desires, ambitions, coupled with a strong sense of system and organization to achieve our goals.

For more information about The Egyptian Minors, browse to for a donation-based online course.


About letstalktarot

Allyn McCray began reading Tarot in 1971 after discovering a deck in an occult shop in San Francisco, California. In 1999, the American Tarot Association recognized her as a Certified Tarot Reader. During her experience as an Internet reader between 2000 and 2002, Allyn’s readings were regularly featured on the websites, Psychicnut and Roadtalk. In 2002, Allyn joined The Church of Light, aka Light.Org, a non-profit international school of esoteric studies, where she is now a Hermetician, Certified Teacher, and Minister. Allyn also serves as the Communications Director of The Church of Light and is a Section Advisor in The Order of the Sphinx.
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One Response to THE ACE OF SWORDS

  1. Shannon Beamer says:

    Fantastic to have this available to enjoy and to use ANYTIME!

    Thank you for the effort
    Aloha, Shannon

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