How to Read the Aces of the Tarot: Breakthroughs & Beginnings
Learning Tarot and find yourself unsure where to begin? Just pulled an Ace in a reading? Confused as to how to distinguish the Aces from each other?
As a card that often represents a breakthrough, consider this a fitting read! Let’s put any confusion to rest in unpacking what Aces are, what they might mean in a reading, and how they are both similar and different at times.
What is an Ace in the Tarot?
An Ace represents a new beginning and the birth of a fresh path, hence why they are the opening act for each suit! Each Ace is riddled with opportunity and potential, but keep in mind - it really is just potential, and it’s up to you to do the work (and swipe the opportunity).
Aces are signals of manifestation time, open doors, and are beautiful, yet sometimes intimidating, cards to receive. Often depicted as a hand holding up an object representing each suit with puffs of smoke or air indicating movement, the Aces are truly meant to be a strong beginning for each suit, and can often be easily remembered simply by looking at the boldness of the artwork and symbolism.
In numerology, a 1 as a Life Path number is a leader and pioneer - they are bursting with energy and have a central goal of moulding their passion and will into tangible results. Much like Life Path 1’s, Aces, also vibrating on the same numerical frequency as Life Path 1’s, also present the challenge of extending the energy and opportunity, but ask you to take the steps on your own to make something of them.
The Aces Through the Suits:
For Aces, in particular, it is easy to mix and match a random suit with the concept of the Ace and understand what it could mean, so long as you understand what an Ace is and what each suit is. Pair the concept of a breakthrough or beginning of a path with the primary concepts of each suit, and you likely understand the Aces!
For example, a Pentacle card often discusses finance, work, career, and financial opportunities. If you find the Ace of Pentacles in a reading, you can assume that this brings forth the idea of a new job opportunity, or the beginning of a career path, or perhaps even a shift in the way that one perceives money.
Still confused? Let’s discuss each of the Aces below in more detail!
As the suit of Cups encapsulates themes like love, emotion, relationships, intuition, and spirituality, the Ace of Cups could represent the beginning of a new relationship, a spiritual awakening, or a period of emotional breakthroughs and happiness. In the beginning of this new cycle, there lie opportunities for emotional and spiritual growth, and the challenge of still keeping your cool among all of the excitement and high stakes emotional energy.
A suit of ambition, momentum, excitement, and energy, the suit of Wands is literally associated with fire - and what better way to capture the entrepreneurial and trailblazer spirit of Wands than with an Ace? The Ace of Wands can be applied to most areas of life and aren’t exactly limited to relationships or career or anything at all - it can be representing a force of energy and breakthrough everywhere, or it can be describing the newfound optimistic attitude you might have as you begin a new path.
The suit of Swords holds command over themes like truth, thought, mental clarity, and decisive and swift action. The Ace of Swords can often be a signal that the time for taking action is now, or that you are meant to be the driving force behind any change occurring in your life. It asks of you to maintain clear thought and know that you hold all of the answers you need - you can cut through the clouds of confusion with a movement of your sword, and voilà! A breakthrough has been born.
The suit of Pentacles occupies the energy of Earth, of being grounded, secure, and abundant in tangible ways like finances and home. As noted before, the Ace of Pentacles can represent various job opportunities, financial breakthroughs, or a fresh start when it comes to money and cash flow.
Each Ace may represent a breakthrough or a beginning in some sense, but it can vary as to where you might see the breakthrough or beginning depending on the suit you see. However, unlike other cards of the Tarot, the similarities of each Ace is a little more obvious - they are each meant to both open up each suit, as well as the corresponding area of life the suit might represent.
Kicking off with remembering the Aces when you are beginning to learn and read the Tarot can be a great place to start - as, of course, an Ace not only rules over, but encourages a start of any kind!
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