Mary El Tarot - The Aces

Bat Chicken

These four aces are the four elements, four directions, the four fixed signs of the zodiac and the four faces – the eagle (Scorpio), the lion (Leo), man (Aquarius) and the bull (Taurus). These faces appear twice in the Bible –once in the New Testament, once in the Old and hence they are either called the Four Evangelists or Cherubim, the second order of angels that support the Throne of God.

Encyclopaedia Mythica said:
Cherubim - Winged creatures who support the Throne of God, or act as guardian spirits. They appear in the Bible (the book of Ezekiel) as bearing the throne and chariot of God, and hence later conceived as a type of angels. They are also mentioned in Genesis 3:24 as guardians (or protectors) of the Garden of Eden. They were placed at the gates of the Garden to prevent humans from re-entering and thus gaining access to the Tree of Life. They also formed the mercy seat on the Ark of the covenant (Exodus 25:18-20).

In Jewish and Christian religion they are second in the order of angels, directly after the seraphim. They were usually depicted as angels with four wings and four faces (human, lion, bull and eagle).

The Mary El Aces are androgynous winged creatures, fearsome in appearance bearing the marks of their element and the power of their suit. Normally the Aces are depicted as the essences of their elements, but in the Mary El, the pure natural essences are depicted in the fours.



These are just about the best Aces I've ever seen. I like aces that show potential (a seed, a spark). These show both potential and the fulfillment of the suit, if that makes sense. These creatures are what happens when the element takes you over.


A brief impression

The phrase that came to my mind immediately when I first saw this card: "Fire in the belly"!

ETA: Oops, I just noticed I posted this in the wrong place...obviously should've been with Ace of Wands.


These are just about the best Aces I've ever seen. I like aces that show potential (a seed, a spark). These show both potential and the fulfillment of the suit, if that makes sense. These creatures are what happens when the element takes you over.

Ah, thank you Debra. This helps me make better sense of these.


I was going to post this under the Ace of Swords thread but thought maybe this was a better location for my comments. The quote is from that thread.

All the Aces are tortured in some way aren't they? Surely the Ace of Swords and of Wands. The Ace of Cups has a vacuous look, like it is overmedicated. The earth Ace at first seemed the most confortable to me, but that head made me feel like--what would it be like to be that minotaur, a horrible fate.

That's an excellent insight. I couldn't find the right word for it myself but I felt it, if that makes any sense. But I feel they're tortured because they hold all the potential of that suit and have no where to put it. It's raw and unfocused energy.

The Ace of Wands with all that energy and no action to burn it off.
The Ace of Swords with all those thoughts but unable to move on them or no one to communicate them to.
The Ace of Cups with all those emotions and no one to share them with.
The earthy, and sensual (? yes, to me, that's how it comes across), Ace of Disks bound by a man-made construct.


The Ace of Cups seems depressed. I remember one day going to class and one of the students was simply a black hole. When you looked at him, you could almost literally see the deadness in and around him. He had fallen into a familiar depression and got medications that helped.

The earthy, and sensual (? yes, to me, that's how it comes across), Ace of Disks bound by a man-made construct.

What a great point! I didn't think of the labyrinth :rolleyes:

It's consistent with the overall tenor of the deck. This deck seems to me to mostly love earth and fire.


Mary-el tarot - The Aces

The Aces: All are archangels. Androgynous. The Ace of Swords shows the Eagle. The Ace of Disks shows the Bull. The Ace of Wands is the Lion and the Ace of Cups is the human. Yet all appear to be transformed into archangels. Or maybe it is butterfly wings, representing a transformation, a beginning or flight. A flight of ideas, the beginning of take-off, the Aces.

Ace of Swords - Bound. Bound and ready for flight. Potential is there, but sorrow and sadness. Strength and daring. A test.

Ace of Wands - She's ripped apart. She throws her hands up in a defensive posture, looking for protection. Androgynous. Vulnerable. Resurrected. Transformed. Spirit. Flight. Earth-bound. The fire has been lit. The fire has been put out. The sleeping lion has been awakened.

Ace of Cups - Enfolding, protection. Archangel. Guidance. Wisdom. Forever. All-knowing.

Ace of Disks - Androgenous protector. Archangel. But standing in a doorway and may disappear at any moment. How reliable is this protector?


As mentioned before on all aces there are 4 androgynous figures with Lion, Eagle, Human and Bull head.

Arms - how person corresponds with the environment/world. How person analyzes/grabs/sees the surroundings:
Ace of Wands - Hands are burnt and bleeding. Burnt hands represents how person touches reality and life.. Its like holding hot potato. Cannot do one thing for too long. Person is unstable and has to do something else. Because of the confused feelings, person is unable to analyze the reality and nothing can satisfy her. Everything burns.
Ace of Swords - Arms are transformed into bird legs. Thats how person works with the environment. She doesnt use arms or hands to get to know the surroundings. She uses her eyes to see far and that analyzes everything in her brain. She creates an opinion about everything by observing and then she decides whether she is gonna use her energy to go for something.. When person decides it is good for her, she uses her claws to grab something and she onto it tightly.. Person is very determined... Does not use arms to get to know the reality. First uses brain and thoughts, and arms are only a way to get what person wants...
Ace of Cups - Arms are very long. Too long... very thin and fragile palms and fingers suggest fragile mind (palmistry) and thoughts oriented towards heavens, not towards earth... This person doesnt care about materia and earthy things but spirit and emotions... Person will be getting to know the world through her emotions and heart. Fragile hands are in the height of the heart meaning protection. Person will not accept everything into her heart, but when she does, she will keep it and guard it forever. Weak hands touch the world and reality very carefully. This person does not wanna get hurt and is scared of accidents... (unlike at Ace of Wands, person would rather get burnt than not try something)
Ace of Disks - These hands are really muscular and massive. This person gets to know the world through her hands and touch. She/he has to touch everything... If she/he cannot touch something, they do not believe it = a material person, believes only what he sees. The more they can touch, the better... lusting after earthy pleasures - money, status, sex, prestige. You can see such indulgence has deformed the hands and also the character of the person. Person forgot to see whats real inside but only believe about what is on the outside = shallow person.

Holes in the stomach - Stomach represent the center. Before we were born, the fetus was connected to mother via stomach, thats how we were getting all the nutritions, otherwise we would die. Source of life. What comes to my mind is Paolo Coelho's book "The Witch of Portobello". Stomach is where the digestion takes place, how we digest what we see around us... how we respond to it... also our primary insticts... Sometimes he know we should but there is this strong feeling in our guts that we shouldnt even though we dont know why...
All holes tell us what we are looking for in outter world but is actually already inside of us..
Ace of Wands - All the passion and fire that drives the person. Unreasonable desires, strong lust towards something we want we dont even know why. Its ultimate passion that keeps us going when there is no hope... We look to fulfill our dreams, to reach the goal we so long wanted, to hand the torch and set the world on fire. to conquer the world and therefore conquer us.... Person is looking to conquer everything, but has to realize its not on the outside, but inside.. person has to conquer him/herself and her feelings... thats what will set her free...
Ace of Swords - The sun. The ultimate knowledge.. The fly on the wings of thoughts towards the highest skies to find the sun - the purest light that will break the deepest darkness and reveal the deepest secrets... But the person has to realize the sun is inside of her/him... When you look for answers, always you within, there are no answers to your questions in the outer world. Know yourself and you will know all the secrets of life...
Ace of Cups - The ocean of love. The most beautiful treasures and prettiest fauna/flora is hidden deep in the ocean. All the way at the bottom. If we wanna get to these treasures, we have to be willing to dive into our emotions and not drown in them. But be careful, because on your way down, you will meet many dangerious animals and death... To get to know your heart, you will have to conquer your fears and deepest and darkers emotions... The person is looking in the outer world for love. Needy person who thinks she/he have to be in a relationship to be happy. She finds happiness in other person. Person has to realize no one can give them love, they can only find love in their own heart.
Ace of Disks - Labyrinth of Materia. A person thinks materia and earthy pleasures will make her happy. Lust for sex, flesh, money enslaves the body and mind instead of freeing them. These people feel they are in a maze. They never have enough. Once they try, they want more. The longer they didnt have any, the stronger the desire and fury. Only starving yourself for too long will bring the desired death. but not death of the body, but death of the ego - ego that separates us from everything heavenly and from our father. Person feels trapped but he forgot he built his own maze. The more he wants, the more his passions for earthy pleasures enslave him, limit him... He cannot enjoy life, go out to the nature and reconnect with himself, cuz he'd rather eat a fat sandwich and sit home in from of TV, watching reality shows. Reality shows of ego. They feed him emotionally, making him believe it is possible. Making 1 winner famous for 5 minutes and giving him money, millions worldwide are chained to their Tv thinking that maybe one day it will be them right there on the stage. Or on the runway. Or silver screen. They start to believe IN MATERIAL WORLD. they deny themselves, HOW PERFECT and HOW BEAUTIFUL CREATION OF GOD they are. They tell themselves they are NOT good enough or they are NOT perfect until they will be on that stage. So they start building their own maze of earthy dreams and pleasures. And when (not if) they will realize the dream is not happening, they will have to feed the ego - being promiscuous lusting for sex, being workaholic lusting for money, being bi-tch lusting for being a queen. They'd rather satisfy their body with guilty pleasures now rather than wait for enlightement and eternity. We live in an instant age. Everything has to be NOW. We'd rather eat dirt in the maze, rather than find the way out. We'd rather have a bad relationship or good sex rather than wait for love, we'd rather turn on the Tv and find stupid entertainment rather than go out and find the true beauty in the nature. We rose a new generation of people. Everytime their ego is not happy and there is a problem they dont wanna face, they stand in the middle of the night in front of the fridge thinking "I'd like to have something (now)." But true gold is not outside but inside us... Not everything shiny is good...

Elements - There are also 4 signs of elements by Aristoteles - either on figure's neck or head.
Ace of Wands - upright triangle represents element of fire, pure primary masculine energy - a father...
Ace of Cups - reversed triangle represents element of water, pure primary feminine energy - a mother
Ace of Swords - Element of air, secondary masculine energy created from fusion of water and fire - a son. upright triangle with horizontal line across it
Ace of Disks - Element of earth, secondary feminine energy from fusion of all three - a daughter, reversed triangle with horizontal line across it
Interaction of pure masculine and feminine energy - being in balance but not fused is one triangle over another creating David's star... you can see this in 3 of wands at the end of the snake's tail..

signs of elements:

Misuse of potential - all aces represent a huge drive/desire and potential in life. However, such energy is at most of the time uncontrollable and hard to manage. What happens when person instead of using her potential starts to fight with it? We can see by the poses of the figures
Ace of Wands - Raw Feelings overload creates violence. Person doesnt know where to turn. Everything burns (burnt hands) and person starts to blame herself for these "false desires" starting to be self-destructive, scratched legs, bleeding fingers and wings.. Person roars and screams, expressing her anger in a bad way, breaking everything, not being able to listen to anyone, just wants these feelings to stop... however, by listening to these feelings, she only fuels them even more.. (Person has to calm down and stop fueling feelings)
Ace of Swords - Person is trapped. Interesting things is that only her claws are trapped, not her wings... The person is able to analyze the situation with the wings of thoughts and fly high to find the knowledge in the sky. However, person is unable to grab what they want. A thinker, not a doer... Someone who is smart but cannot put it into a use... A curse. Your gift turned into your worst enemy. See your potential but no way towards it. (Person has to realize there is always plan B, if plan A is not possible)
Ace of Cups - Person is protective, the wings are covering the person protecting her from the outside world. They create an egg. When you have chicken in the egg, you cannot break the shell. The chicken has to do it from the inside. Find the power and strength within to set himself free.. NO ONE else can set him free. NO ONE else can give him love. Love is inside and once he finds it and learns to trust outer world, he will break the shell and will meet the one - because once you find the love inside of yourself, you will find love everywhere. Because outer world is the reflection of your inner world.
Serpent also means that when person allowed someone into their heart, they fully trusted that person. Once that person made mistake (everybody does, were only human), the person feels betrayed, they felt they were growing a snake on their chest the whole time and they will cover and isolate themselves. Delve into their inner world hurt - creating their own reality, living in their own bubble of false safety "where no one can hurt them". (Step out of ur bubble and ur fears, be willing to love fully and realize love is all around but mostly inside you. No one can hurt you anymore)
Ace of Disks - Ever met those material people, they walk down the street like a zombie, too busy thinking about their wealth and wishes that they ignore everything around? They got so many securities they are too busy worrying about them? Staring at the ground looking for answers? They are too busy thinking about themselves they act without any manners or tact? They act like complete cows? Or bullies to scare you off and protect their wealth? Their "happiness?" Thats the stupid bull in the picture. walking mindlessly in the maze of earthy things not realizing there is an exit... (money is not everything, think about others as well)


I noticed Marie's signature is different on all 4 aces (includes a square). I thought it may have something to do with the androgyny of the characters, but I also found the same signature on the 2 of Discs. Anyone know what that's about?

By the way, JadoreHauteCouture, that's a really great post. All your posts on this deck are very insightful, but I especially like this one.


By the way, JadoreHauteCouture, that's a really great post. All your posts on this deck are very insightful, but I especially like this one.

thank you for very kind words :) :love:

Update on Ace of Cups:
The Angel represents a woman who is forgetting how to love... Oval, egg-shaped picture also refers to female principle (earth = woman, ovaries = fertility)...
Nowadays, it is very hard to stay a woman... women have too many roles and expectations in present world. have to be workers, mothers, wives, housewives... This card is about staying in your center and even though having multiple roles, knowing who you are and what you want inside... If woman forgets about what she wants anymore, she starts to do her roles as a slave in a routine... she goes to work, she takes care of husband and children, she tries to stay pretty on the outside, but inside she is becoming drained out and literally starved like in the picture... It is about a woman who is on the outside perfect mother, worker, family keeper, good-looking... but inside, she forgot how to be herself due to different roles and is slowly drained out and dying... the important thing here is that she believes she needs to sacrifice herself (her needs and wants, the center of the stomach with hole in it)... to make others happy... but when shes not happy inside, she can make a perfect slave, yet she will forget how to shine love and positivy and her life will turn into grey mist... this card is about realizing that sacrificing for others wont make them happy, you will exhaust yourself and be unfullfiled over time, and you will start to see others that youre serving as parasites living off you (snake on woman's chest)... thats the case of those perfect mothers and wives that provide excellent service, but are constantly moody, unhappy and irritated... children and husband dont need a slave, they need a wife and a mother... a husband would rather have loving wife with no warm dinner, than inside-dead wife with flawless household...