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The Llewellyn Journal
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Seasons of Tarot: Spring

This article was written by Barbara Moore
posted under Tarot

Even at the very first suggestion of warmth in the air, spring feels like the world is waking up and brings with it a feeling renewal and rebirth. Possibilities abound and seeds, both literal and metaphorical, are planted with high hopes. What cards in the tarot represent the energy of spring better than the Aces? Almost every tarot teacher and author expresses the same sense when they write about Aces. Take a look at a few:

  • Rachel Pollack, author of Rachel Pollack's Tarot Wisdom:
    Regarding the Rider Aces: “a gift of the spirit. In each card, a hand emerges from the cloud and hold out the emblem of the suit, as if we just need to reach out and take it.”

  • Joanna Powell Colbert, creator of the Gaian Tarot and http://www.gaiantarot.com/:
    “The energy of an Ace is similar to that of a New Moon — it is a birth or rebirth; a seed, or potential; a new opportunity or a new beginning, full of promise and hope.”

  • Ginny Hunt of http://78notes.blogspot.com/:
    “They're like the switch turned to the ON position and the volume cranked up. They're like the Enterprise on warp speed, and just like Scotty would protest, ‘She canny take much more, Captain!’ Aces have a rather short lifespan. They're bursts of power, in this case an onslaught of emotion, which doesn't last. So it's all about striking when the iron is hot with the Aces.”

  • Joan Bunning, author of Learning the Tarot and http://www.learntarot.com:
    “Aces are portals between the realms of the Major and Minor Arcanas. They allow powerful, but impersonalace_of_pentacles forces to come into your life. An Ace in a reading shows that its qualities are becoming available to you. If you take advantage of them, you will achieve greater happiness and success. An Ace is always interpreted as beneficial, positive and life-enhancing. “

    "An Ace can also represent a window of opportunity that is opening. The Ace tells you to pay attention so you don't miss it. Think of an Ace as a seed of possibility that will grow given your attention and care.”

All the Aces share some characteristics. They are all gifts or opportunities that hold the potential for something larger. They are all beneficial or positive, but require action on our part to realize their potential. They are all temporary or fleeting, meaning we must take advantage of them immediately, or the moment will pass.

Because the Aces, even in tarot decks with illustrated Minors, usually show the suit emblem, larger than life, rather than any sort of action, many people think of them, either consciously or unconsciously, as slightly different than the twos through tens. But we don’t often find that difference explored or articulated. That’s why I really like Bunning’s observation that “Aces are portals between the realms of the Major and Minor Arcanas.”

ace_of_swords These ideas about Aces inspired thoughts about working consciously with the energy and potential of these cards. When they show up in a reading, they are like waking up on Christmas morning or your birthday wondering what wonderful gifts are in store. At those times, we’ll certainly take advantage of them. But we don’t have to just wait for them to show up to make use of them. We can select them from the deck intentionally, using them as a focus and as a portal. Going through the deck and picking cards to place in spreads can be a very proactive way to manifest your will. The spreads below are just a few ways you can do that.


Opening the Portal


For this spread, you will take out the four Aces. In addition, you will go through the deck and select a Major Arcana card that represents the energy that you want to draw into your life. Then, you will shuffle the remaining cards and lay them out as shown:



  1. The Major Arcana you selected
  2. The Ace of Wands
  3. The Ace of Cups
  4. The Ace of Swords
  5. The Ace of Pentacles
  6. What you can do spiritually to bring this energy into your life
  7. What you can do emotionally or creatively to bring this energy into your life
  8. What you can do intellectually to bring this energy into your life
  9. What you can do physically to bring this energy into your life

A Door has Opened

This is a variation on the previous spread. Use this variation if a Major Arcana card keeps coming up in readings or has been on your mind a lot, but you’re not quite sure of the message or what it means for you. It is laid out the same as above, using the Major Arcana in question for the first position.

  1. The Major Arcana you selected
  2. The Ace of Wands
  3. The Ace of Cups
  4. The Ace of Swords
  5. The Ace of Pentacles
  6. How this card will find expression in your life spiritually
  7. How this card will find expression in your life emotionally
  8. How this card will find expression in your life intellectually
  9. How this cards will find expression in your life physically

Germinating a Seed

This spread is for guidance in taking advantage the energy of an Ace in your life. You can use it if an Ace showed up in a reading and you want to make sure you are well positioned to make the best use of it or if you simply want to manifest the energy of a particular Ace in your life. For this reading, select the Ace you want to use from your deck, shuffle the rest of the cards, and lay them out as follows:


  1. The Ace
  2. What emotions will help nurture this Ace?
  3. What thoughts or attitudes will benefit this Ace?
  4. What actions can you take to utilize this Ace?
  5. What do you need to eliminate so this Ace can grow?
  6. A clue or message that will help you use this Ace to the best advantage.




Barbara MooreBarbara Moore
In the early 1990s, at a party, someone put a tarot deck in Barbara's hands; she's held on tightly ever since. Tarot provides just enough structure so that we don't get lost as we explore the mysteries, plumb our dark corners, and locate our North...  Read more


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