Deirdre of the Sorrows - Ace of Swords


It is so refreshing to see a properly illustrated ace card. Oh so often in decks we see a statutory sword indicating it is the first card of the suit, with nothing else to really get our teeth into when interpreting it in a reading. For this reason alone, I can understand why those new to tarot occasionally struggle with the aces.

In this card we see Alexander the Great. I will not go into detail as to what this would symbolise as Deirdre as already covered this in her first book, but it is worth looking at how it could apply in a reading situation.

This could indicate there are complications in your way. Obstacles can usually be overcome by going round them or by utilising a lateral approach. In this case that approach may not be enough – the issue is too complex and may be asking you to use some heavy brain-power by way of solution. That knot and rope are fairly substantial for sure. However if you look at the knot it does appear to be quite complex – could this indicate the issue is one that may be beyond your natural abilities? If so, you may need to take away your focus from the knot and move it towards the rope itself where there may be weakness you can exploit. The rope is wrapped around a solid tree. Certainly the approach not to take would be to tackle the tree itself. Yes you could bring it down but do you have the time and energy to do this?

Here we see Alexander the Great and he does not look as though he is going to give up with this issue. He has his sword raised, and it is easy to believe he will be able to cut through the rope with one swing. Look carefully though – is he aiming for the knot or the rope? If he is aiming for the knot itself what does that tell you about his determination? It could indicate you are prepared to aim directly for the problem and not pussy foot around. If you are aiming for the rope, it could indicate you are taking the easier path to deal with the same issue. The main colour on the card is shown with the crown he is wearing. Why do you think this is the main colour in the card, and what would it signify to you?

The two main things to consider as Deirdre has pointed out are the sea and the lamb. The sea is behind Alexander. Could this indicate he has already dealt with hardship and overcome that hurdle, ready to fact the second challenge of the knot/rope? Or is it something that will need attention once he has wielded his sword and dealt with the obstacle in front of him?
We cannot see any boat or other vessel. Therefore we are not sure if a journey is indicated. Other cards in the reading may shed more light on the significance of this stretch of choppy water.
The lamb is so out of character with the energy of the card, so therefore must be given a lot of significance. It could indicate that you need to just calm things down a little and think things through with more objectivity before wading in with decisive actions. If you feel you are depicted as the lamb in this card, could it indicate you are prepared to take a back seat and let somebody else take the decisive action? Or is it an acknowledgement that your strengths and approach may come into play once the path has been cleared for you?


June 3rd 2014, Day 1

I am not sure what is the best way to organize my study of the Deirdre deck but I shall begin by adding my two cents to the original posts.

My deck arrived today and even if I shortly owned it previously, the second round with Deirdre feels and promises to be very different. I am such a different person!

Ace of Swords shows Alexander the Great cutting the crap, suppressing the problem. He has obviously already evaluated the situation and decided what is the right measure to take. It's a radical one, it cannot be undone yet he does not look hesitating. One must trust their decision and stand by one's values, whatever the consequences are. This Ace shows me courage and initiative, trust in one's instinct.

It is one of the cards I completely fell for when I started to watch scans online, I mean the second time around. I really cannot say what was wrong with me the first time, many years ago. I guess I was just so shallow!

ar Leithligh

Ace of Swords

I too love the Ace of Swords. For me it signifies a breakthrough. The rope and the knot certainly present a problem but it is not insurmountable. Many had tried and failed to undo the knot, Alexander simply used his sword to cut it - clever don't you think? Therefore, this card represents a person who has great strength, great determination, mental ability and clarity - just the tools needed to get to the heart of a situation. The stormy sea indicates an inner struggle between order and chaos - look to the other cards in the spread to see what this could be and how the situation might be resolved.

Swords people have powers of discernment and can be intensely perceptive, they use language as a tool to seduce, beguile and, sometimes, as a weapon. The lamb is a gentle reminder that humility is not a weakness and when employed at the right time, in the appropriate circumstances, can actually win an argument.

Hope this helps.