|Tarot of the Hidden Realm, Llewellyn 2013|
Each of the Ace cards in this deck feature an animal:
Ace of Wands = Fox
Ace of Cups = Otter
Ace of Swords = Heron
Ace of Pentacles =Hedgehog
The element of Swords is Air, about which Moore writes, 'Air, as we know, can be motionless, invisible stuff that we need to live. It can also be a tornado that destroys, leaving a bizarre, surreal world in its wake. In tarot, Air represents our thoughts and logic, a word that comes from the Greek "logos" which means words, reason, order, and knowledge. Like air itself, our thoughts and words are invisible and yet so powerful. With them we can heal, create, or destroy' (Tarot of the Hidden Realm companion book, page 14).
Representing Ace of Swords, or Fire of Air, is a heron. The website Spirit Animals dot Com suggests that the heron represents 'self-reliance, tactfulness, careful forethought, vigilance, delicacy, innate wisdom, boundaries, and dignity.' These characteristics sound Swordsy. The Druid Animal Oracle mentions the heron in its discussion of the Crane card: 'The crane, or heron, is one of the four most frequently mentioned birds of the ancient Irish and British tradition -- the others being raven, swan and eagle.' According to this source, the heron represents secret knowledge, patience and longevity, not qualities associated with the suit of Swords, generally, but the book goes on to explain, 'The crane conveys the capacity to be focused and to be able to concentrate without distraction,' and this certainly is associated with Swords.
The element of Swords, then, is Air, which represents thoughts, words, logic, the rational mind. The elemental affinity of Ace is Fire, which corresponds with vitality, passion, and drive. The Ace of Swords, then, is Fire of Air, enthusiastic energy in thought. This could take the form of a passion for what is right, challenging ideologies, a confrontational skepticism, advocating for an idea or concept. The Ace of Swords suggests the awakening of this energy, awakening to truth, the gift of discernment.
I wonder where I will be called upon to use this energy today.