How to Read Tarot - The Aces / My life with Magic



 

I've always been drawn to magic. Way before Harry Potter, I wanted so badly to train as a sorceress. I wanted magic to be real and for me to be special enough to wield its power. By the time I was 10, I had developed an elaborate altar covered in all sorts of candles, crystals, and trinkets from the earth. I sat in the local library for hours reading Greek mythology, chose my first Tarot deck from the local bookshop, hunted for magical jewelry and talismans in small shops, and kept multiple leather-bound witch's journals for spell work. I would meet with my friends to perform rituals and seances, channeling dead celebrities through Quijia boards and using pendulums to get answers to our silly questions. I manifested magical moments and encounters. My hands would swell from phantom pressure, prompting me to take control of my excessive energy. I loved ghost stories, a ceremonial connection with nature, wishing on stars, Renaissance Festivals, fortune tellers, fairy tales, and trying to draw down the Moon.


I'm not sure what inspired my love for magic. When someone experiences or claims to have the ability to channel Spirit, they usually come from a family lineage deeply invested in their religious beliefs or ancestral magic. I was exposed to neither. I struck out with ancestry, I didn't have a deceased grandmother whispering to me from beyond the grave or a living one teaching me to respect vibrations and superstitions. And no luck with the religious fervor, I was brought up in a nondenominational church known as the Unitarian Church where they preached equality and compassion in place of a relationship with any one God. I had hoped some local Wiccan priestess would see my potential and take me under her wing, but no such luck. What felt like a hindrance then turned out later to be a blessing…


Though I had no magical ancestry that I knew of, I was very fortunate to inherit my mother’s intelligence and my father’s artistry. They showed me you can succeed at whatever you feel called to do. I watched them both go from struggling to thriving. My mom taught Catholicism in Catholic schools, while my dad was becoming a local celebrity for his beautiful jazz vocals. They’re both workaholics, always pursuing higher-paying jobs, which gave our family a blessed life. We went from a tiny shotgun house in a rough neighborhood to an enormous three-story house in the most artistic and desirable section of my city. Thanks to their effort and love, I could enjoy summer camps, participate in dance competitions, and attend an after-school acting program for young students, which incidentally became my career path for the majority of my life. They were always in the audience applauding me, supportive of whatever I wished to explore.


But it was much different at home. My parents weren’t right for each other and their relationship would spill onto my siblings and me. My mom had a fast temper and little tolerance for anything she considered to be childish behavior. She rarely related to me, choosing to give her opinion of me instead. My dad’s idea of discipline was swift and severe, often resulting in a physical attack. Back then, he had a problem with women, treating my sister and I as less important than my brother and my mom as the source of his problems. My mom’s dad was an alcoholic who often abandoned her family, so she decided to stay in the marriage. In her mind, she was shielding us from the pain of losing a father. But, it didn’t matter, there were so many nights he would pick a ridiculous fight, slamming the door as he walked out, leaving us all wondering what we’d done wrong. For over a decade I endured a good deal of corporal punishment, explosive anger, and, despite my mom’s best efforts, abandonment.


I remained dedicated to magic until I was about 12 or 13. My family's problems started to boil over as puberty was setting in. Compounded by societal pressure and deep loneliness, I began to devalue magic in my life, choosing instead to focus on what others thought of me, particularly boys. I started experimenting with substances and let all my physical boundaries drop for momentary feelings of belonging. It would take decades to release myself from this cycle.


My parents divorced my Sophomore year of High School and everything psychologically broke after that. The downfall started with my dad’s decision to open a nightclub where he would perform live jazz for diners. Four years later and all of what my parents had achieved financially was gone. This added pressure finally pushed my mom to file for divorce. Her therapist was able to encourage her to face reality and be honest with us. She admitted to my dad’s continual infidelity throughout their 20-year marriage and that much of his moods were influenced by drug habits. I finally understood his behavior toward us, but this realization smashed everything within me and outside of me.


Almost immediately we sold our house to satisfy debt collectors. My mom filed for bankruptcy and looked for nearby homes to rent so our lives weren’t totally disrupted by their split. My dad packed his stuff and left, willingly diminishing his role in my life from emotionally distant God to the physically distant destroyer. I'm forever grateful to my mom for putting our physical needs before her emotions, but her outward pain and stress amplified our already strained relationship. I felt like I lost both parents overnight.


I escaped further into the adult world of sexuality and substances, shifting my need for magic to a need for approval. I stopped caring about my education or my future. I dropped out of high school and finished my GED in an alternative school. I cut anything magical out of my life, labeling it as silly childish fantasies. I needed to get out of my hometown, so I decided to attend a college about an hour and a half north. Little did I know magic would follow me. It was there that I would meet the women that formed what I consider to be my first coven.


We’ll venture further into my story next episode, but now we’ll go on to the Aces.




The Aces are the first card of each suit, resonating with the pure energy of their suit's element. The Ace is the seed that drops onto the soil, ready to grow. They're generally positive, but in the sense that they carry no baggage with them. When an Ace appears in a spread, it's telling us that something new is being offered to you. It could come from within or without. Incorporating Numerology, Ace's represents new events and opportunities. Aces are a part of grouping 1 of the Minor Arcana, which also carries the resonance of a new chapter or refreshed start.


The Ace of Wands is ruled but the element Fire which generates actions and pursuits. This is the ultimate "yes" card. This card represents new excitement, new ideas, eagerness to travel, knowing exactly what you want, joyful spontaneity, solid decisions and agreements, high energy, renewed sense of purpose, and being open to adventure.


During the pandemic, I experimented with Tarot readings on different social media outlets. I started performing single card readings live on Twitch and Instagram. I remember I pulled this card for someone watching. I told them they had or would soon say "yes" to a trip. They were so surprised. Indeed, they had suddenly decided a few days prior to purchase a ticket for a trip they'd wanted to take for some time. This affirmed the card's correspondence to saying “yes”, spontaneity, and travel.


I don't feel I see this card often enough in my personal readings. When I pull this card for myself, I’m usually itching to start a new project, like the look of my website or visualizing a future offering. I love when I'm in the mood to create, it feels like such a wonderful outlet. This card represents the courage to make your dreams a reality.


The Ace of Cups is ruled by the Element Water which receives love and fantasies. This is the card of open-hearted trust; trust in another or trust in oneself. This card can tell us there's a fresh energy in the heart center or an opening to your emotions and dreams. This card often heralds new or refreshed love, a sense of general well-being with oneself and one's life, expressing your artistic talents, and welcoming a new family addition such as a baby or an animal.


A few weeks ago I was hired to read Tarot for a Halloween event. A couple comes into the room and the woman suggests her boyfriend goes first. The Ace of Cups showed up in his "past" position. I told him he may have recently opened up to his artistic gifts, specifically painting. He was taken aback, he had in fact just begun painting again as a way to express himself. This affirmed the card's correspondence to art, open-heartedness, and trust.


This is another card I don't see enough of in my personal readings. Long droughts of this card tell me I’m not nourishing myself artistically or psychically. Hopefully, I’ll see it soon. I usually get this card when I'm feeling good about my life simply as it is. It also comes up when someone's winning my trust or when I meet someone and feel a special connection.


The Ace of Swords is ruled by the element Air which generates thoughts and strategies. This card usually brings a truth or an admission. Being a Sword, this revelation may progress into problems later, but for now, all you have is new information. This card often depicts a quick or sharp reply, a harsh reality, knowing your answer, "sorry not sorry" energy, and telling it like it is.


Sometimes I'll practice Tarot while watching TV shows. I'll pull a new card for each scene. I was watching the Showtime series, “Yellow Jackets," and pulled The Ace of Swords during a scene where Melanie Lynskey's character is informed of some new and troubling information about her friend. This affirmed the card's correspondence to new issues that may need to be resolved and harsh realities.


This is a card I don't mind seeing. Even though it's not the worst Sword in the suit, it's still a Sword and often shows up as an uncomfortable issue or encounter. I've pulled this card for myself when I've had to verbally shut something down or speak clearly and directly to someone. I've also seen it come up as a problem I need to solve.


The Ace of Pentacles is ruled by the element Earth which receives blessings. This card can signal the flow of money or needed resources in your direction. The Ace of Pentacles can represent a new way to make money, acquiring needed funds, a paid gig, a valuable gift, and a warm offering.


I often see this card show up when someone is receiving funds from somewhere else. In career readings, this is the capital they need to succeed. It’s also a signal to look around for money, there could be a job opening or potential for a higher-paying salary.


Yet, another card I don’t see enough of in my personal readings. Since I pull cards daily, when I do receive this card, it’s usually a meaningful gift more so than money. Someone may offer to pay for dinner or give me a lovely article of clothing they can’t wear anymore.


That’s all for the Aces. I hope to see you all next week for the 2’s in the Minor Arcana. See you then.


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