Welcome to the Tarot Blog Hop!
An international group of tarotists are all writing on the same topic and then linking to each other so that the reader can hop from one blog to the next, seeing all the permutations and facets that the topic inspired in different writers.
Arwen Lynch Poe of Tarot by Arwen wrangled us this time, asking the question “How can I best foster the energy of the Aces in my life?” I felt the topic seemed to call for a practice, and after writing and rejecting an essay on this topic, I found the following ritual that I had developed for Tarot Geeks in January 2009. I updated the original and made clarifications where needed, then renamed it “From Aces to Action Tarot Ritual.” Are you ready to get started on a goal? Use “From Aces to Action” to connect with the seeds of the tarot suits and put their energy to work for you.
From Aces to Action Tarot Ritual
This is a great new moon ritual because it harnesses the energy of the Aces, which are seeds or roots from which your intention can grow.
The preparation can be done at the same time as you do the ritual, or can be done ahead of time and the ritual itself done at an appropriate time. The process is interesting because part of the tarot reading is done as preparation (this section needs more thought), and part is done during the ritual itself (this section needs more magic). When you write up the results of the ritual afterward, it would be interesting to take note of how the portion of the tarot reading that unfolded in sacred space compared to what was planned ahead.
First, consider what you would like to achieve or change in your life. This can be as specific as you need it to be, but a more general statement works as well. Examples: find love, get a job, increase my connection to Spirit, improve my health, etc.
I want: __________________________________________________________________ (Your practical goal)
ESTABLISHING THE SYMBOLS FOR THE RITUAL
Remove from the deck the four Aces.
Also select the following five cards:
Keeping your goal in mind, look through the deck and, noting the imagery of the cards, intentionally choose four cards to represent the following four qualities (Midnight card can be drawn randomly). Make a note of what each represents, as we will use this later in the ritual. For example, if your goal is to improve your health and you would like to begin an exercise routine, you might choose the Knight of Wands or another active and motivated card, and use the statement, “This will begin: A daily walk.”
Card 1. Dawn – to represent what you want to begin; what new thing related to your goal you want to introduce (select card intentionally or analytically)
This will begin: __________________________ (Dawn statement)
Card 2. Noon – to represent what is already strong; what part of your goal you have already achieved (select card intentionally or analytically)
This is strong: __________________________ (Noon statement)
Card 3. Sunset – to represent what is leaving; what obstacle to your goal you would like to remove (select card intentionally or analytically)
This is leaving: __________________________ (Sunset statement)
Card 4. Midnight – to represent what is not currently active in your life; what quality that might normally help you in achieving this goal but which you find is missing or absent (this card can be drawn randomly)
This is absent: __________________________ (Midnight statement)
Then select a fifth card in the following manner:
Examine these four cards closely, and note the most relevant visual detail in each illustration. One detail or symbol (for instance, an animal, a plant, a tool, a structure, a shape, a color) in each card illustration should stick out as being most descriptive of the corresponding quality (what is beginning, what is strong, what is leaving, what is absent). Continuing with the Knight of Wands example, you might note the rearing horse (visual detail) and call it motivation (meaning). Note the visual details and what they mean to you here:
1. What is Beginning, from Card 1
Meaning: __________________________ (Unity symbol 1)
2. What is Strong, from Card 2
Meaning: __________________________ (Unity symbol 2)
3. What is Leaving, from Card 3
Meaning: __________________________ (Unity symbol 3)
4. What is Absent, from Card 4
Meaning: __________________________ (Unity symbol 4)
Card 5. Unity – Next, look through your deck and find a single card that has or in your mind references each of these four visual cues. This is your Unity card. Meditate on this card to understand what Spirit is guiding you to use this ritual to achieve. This is the statement of your spiritual intention. Note it here (you will use it later on):
Spirit guides me to: __________________________________________________________________ (Your spiritual goal)
SETTING THE ALTAR
Cover a small table with an appropriately colored cloth to serve as your altar. If you’d like, you can light incense and candles, and/or decorate the altar with relevant symbols or meaningful items (or set up the altar however you usually would set it).
At the eastern edge of the table, place the Ace of Swords.
At the southern edge of the table, place the Ace of Wands.
At the western edge of the table, place the Ace of Cups.
At the northern edge of the table, place the Ace of Pentacles.
Place the Dawn card by the Ace of Swords.
Place the Noon card by the Ace of Wands.
Place the Sunset card by the Ace of Cups.
Place the Midnight card by the Ace of Pentacles.
Place the Unity card face up on top of the deck at the center of the table.
You might like to print this ritual out. Read through it carefully, fill in the blanks, and adjust any of the wording to make the most sense or work best grammatically.
STATEMENT OF INTENTION
Start by standing at the west side of the altar facing east. State your practical goal for this ritual:
- I want: __________________________________________________________________ (Your practical goal, from above)
Taking the Unity card, hold it and meditate on it briefly. Say:
- Spirit guides me to: __________________________________________________________________ (Your spiritual goal, from above)
Replace the card on top of the deck at the center of the altar.
Go to the eastern side of the altar, pick up the Ace of Swords, then turn and face east. Hold it up and say:
- I purify this circle and all it contains with air.
Walk in a clockwise circle once around the altar, meditating on the Ace of Swords and imagining the presence of the element air purifying everything in the circle. When you return to the east, hold the card up and say,
- To the east, air.
Replace the card on the altar, then walk to the southern edge and pick up the Ace of Wands, then turn and face south. Hold it up and say:
- I purify this circle and all it contains with fire.
Walk in a clockwise circle once around the altar, meditating on the Ace of Wands and imagining the presence of the element fire purifying everything in the circle. When you return to the south, hold the card up and say,
- To the south, fire.
Replace the card on the altar, then walk to the western edge and pick up the Ace of Cups, then turn and face west. Hold it up and say:
- I purify this circle and all it contains with water.
Walk in a clockwise circle once around the altar, meditating on the Ace of Cups and imagining the presence of the element water purifying everything in the circle. When you return to the west, hold the card up and say,
- To the west, water.
Replace the card on the altar, then walk to the northern edge and pick up the Ace of Pentacles, then turn and face north. Hold it up and say:
- I purify this circle and all it contains with earth.
Walk in a clockwise circle once around the altar, meditating on the Ace of Pentacles and imagining the presence of the element earth purifying everything in the circle. When you return to the north, hold the card up and say,
- To the north, earth.
Replace the card on the altar, then walk clockwise around the altar back to the west side of the altar and face east.
CALLING THE QUARTERS
Face East and say:
- From Unity, I take _____________________ (Unity symbol 1)
- With the Dawn, begins _____________________ (Dawn statement)
Face South and say:
- From Unity, I take _____________________ (Unity symbol 2)
- At noon, _____________________ is strong (Noon statement)
Face West and say:
- From Unity, I take _____________________ (Unity symbol 3)
- With the setting sun, _____________________ fades away (Sunset statement)
Face North and say:
- From Unity, I take _____________________ (Unity symbol 4)
- In the dark of midnight, _____________________ awaits its proper time (Midnight statement)
INVOCATION OF THE ACES
To invoke the qualities of the Aces, we will use an adaptation of the path text for Kether, the first sphere on the qabalistic Tree of Life, as found in the Sepher Yetzirah. However, if qabalah is not your thing, feel free to write your own invocation!
- You are the first concretion of the limitless light, the first emanation from nothingness into being. We call you the Admirable or Hidden Intelligence, for you are the Light giving the power of comprehension of that First Principle which has no beginning; and you are the Primal Glory, for no created being can attain to your essence.
- From the nebulous clouds of the unmanifest, Seeds of Spirit come forth!
CARD 6 – ENDURANCE and CARD 7 – SACRIFICE
Take the deck and place the Unity card on top. Say:
- Here is the umbilical point through which the energies of eternity break (rap) into time.
Rap the deck sharply with your knuckles on the word “break.”
Return the Unity card to its place on the altar, then cut the deck.
Take the top card and place it to the right of the Unity card, saying:
- Here is that which must endure for this to be achieved.
Take the bottom card and place it to the left of the Unity card, saying:
- Here is that which must be sacrificed for this to succeed.
CARD 8 – FUTURE ACTION
Meditate briefly on the card of sacrifice and the card of endurance. Look through the remaining cards of the deck and choose one that in your mind represents both how to make the sacrifice and how to achieve the stability of endurance. As with the Unity card, this Action card can be found by locating a single card that shares visual details from cards 6 and 7.
Make a statement that summarizes what action you will take to help you achieve the intent of this ritual:
I will: __________________________________________________________________ (Your action)
- The Aces are beyond beginning, nor can their pure essence be fully realized.
- However, we know that taking action in the material plane causes an influence to emanate from the highest level.
- Here is the action that I will take, the action that will germinate the seed energy of the Aces and will call down the energy of the Primal Glory to guide me toward my practical and spiritual goals:
- I will: __________________________________________________________________ (Your action)
If possible to do without leaving the circle, immediately take the action stated above, or spend some time in contemplation of this action and how you can fit it into your life. It might behoove you to have your daytimer on hand so you can plan a time or times to incorporate this action into your schedule.
When you feel complete with this process, continue with the banishing and opening.
To release the invoked energies from the four quarters, say the following. The corresponding Ace and other card (Dawn, Noon, etc.) can be returned to the deck with each statement to formally close down the energy.
- In the east, I return __________________________________________ (Unity symbol 1) to Unity.
- In the south, I return _________________________________________ (Unity symbol 2) to Unity.
- In the west, I return __________________________________________ (Unity symbol 3) to Unity.
- In the north, I return __________________________________________ (Unity symbol 4) to Unity.
To end the ritual and open the circle, say:
- The circle is open, but unbroken. Merry meet and merry part and merry meet again. Blessed be.
Now go and take your prescribed action and achieve your goals!
Joy Vernon is widely recognized by tarot professionals as an expert tarot teacher and respected community leader. With over twenty years’ experience teaching energetic and esoteric modalities, Joy brings expertise and practiced familiarity to her specialty of esoteric tarot, which layers astrological and qabalistic symbolism onto the traditional tarot structure. Under her leadership, the Denver Tarot Meetup has grown into the most active and one of the largest tarot-specific meetups in the world. Joy works as a reader and teacher at Isis Books. To learn more, please visit JoyVernon.com.
© 2017 by Joy Vernon. All rights reserved.