Better living with the Tarot Aces
The Tarot Aces are found at the start of the four suits and so they are about new beginnings, seeds, and opportunities. They are also seen as the epitome and ideal essence of their suits. (Consider how the Aces are considered the high card in their suits in many card games.)
In their role as the best and brightest of their suits, and considering the fact that the four suits encompass all four corners of our lives, the Aces can give us some valuable pointers as to how we can live happier and more fulfilled lives.
Ace of Pentacles: Be grateful and generous.
We typically want to see the promise of abundance in this ace (yes, it can indicate that), but a higher meaning of this card is gratitude. The good news is that besides its essential result of creating a happier life, gratitude is also the foundation of abundance, as we see in this quote:
“It is when you become grateful for what you have that you become an abundant person.” — Marianne Williamson
In addition, the abundance of our lives is not measured by how much we have but by how much we give to others, i.e., by how generous we are. In fact, generosity brings as much joy into our lives as it does the lives of those to whom we give something. Thus, it too creates a happier, more fulfilled life.
Here are a couple of suggestions for how we can incorporate these messages into our daily lives:
Perform at least one act of random generosity every day. If you can make it anonymous, all the better.
Keep a daily Gratitude Journal. Every morning write down three things for which you are grateful and every night before bed, write down three things that happened during the day that you appreciated. If that seems too much to do, you can start with something as simple as a commitment to say a silent “Thank you” whenever something good happens.
Ace of Swords: Be aware, here and now.
Where we focus our awareness defines our lives. So, for example, our lives seem better when we focus on what is good in them. This is not to say we should blithely turn a blind eye to our problems. It just means we should not dwell upon them inordinately.
Spiritual teachers throughout the ages have revealed this message, which we might summarize this way:
Spiritual enlightenment arises out of the state of awareness that comes from living in the present moment as we focus our attention on the here and now.
Our awareness also creates our lives since our thoughts are like seeds that sprout and grow into the circumstances of our lives. This truth has been revealed by sages ranging from the Buddha (more than 2000 years ago) to Ram Dass.
“All that we are is the result of what we have thought. The mind is everything. What we think we become.” — The Buddha
“[At] every moment you are a full statement of your being. And you’re sending out vibrations that are affecting everything around you, which in turn is affecting everything that comes back.” — Ram Dass
Meditation helps us cultivate our awareness in the here-and-now, so a daily meditation practice is a way to incorporate the wisdom of this card into our daily lives.
Ace of Cups: Cultivate more love in your life.
In The Brothers Karamazov, Dostoyevsky said that Hell is the suffering of being unable to love. We might also say that heaven, in turn, is the bliss of loving everyone. Of course, universal love is quite a challenge, but we can take it one step at a time. Surely there is one person you love, so you can start by holding loving thoughts about him or her. Also, say or do something to express that love. Then find someone else you can love, and repeat this.
And how about everyone else? We often get mad at someone for one reason or another, and sometimes we feel a need to take action against them. Okay. But even then, we should try to keep in mind these words of wisdom from Kabir, a Fifteenth Century mystic poet:
Do what you do with another human being, but never put them out of your heart.
And if you need help with that, consider this quote from Plato:
Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.
Finally, here is another way to cultivate universal, unconditional love: Every time you encounter someone—whether it’s a loved one, a friend, a casual acquaintance, a stranger, or even an enemy—try to make the first thing you think be a silent, “I love you.” If you can cultivate that simple habit, you will find within yourself a growing capacity for love, and consequently an increasing bit of heaven in your life.
Here are some suggestions of things we can do every day to bring more love into our lives:
As noted above, secretly say, “I love you” to everyone you encounter.
Do (at least) one thing to express your love for someone.
Feel love. Here’s what I mean by this: Studies at the Institute of HeartMath have shown that merely focusing our attention on a loving memory and its associated positive feelings a few times a day promotes good health. So spend a few moments now and then with a memory of a loving experience.
Ace of Wands: Be passionate about life.
“We are here to live out loud.” — Balzac
Many people erroneously think that being spiritual means retreating from an enjoyment of life, but that is far from the truth. We should passionately experience life, for why else are we here? Of course, this does not mean that it’s okay to be irresponsible and reckless in life. We should also (passionately) strive to be the best person we can be.
So how can you become more passionate about life? First, it is vital to find purpose in your life, so consider questions like these:
What are you passionate about?
What excites you about living?
What do you enjoy doing?
What brings fulfillment into your life?
Then follow the lead that your answers to these questions provide. Don’t, however, think of this as the daunting prospect of a career change. (Not that you should discount that possibility.) The answer doesn’t have to be a new vocation; it can be something like a hobby or volunteer work. In fact, volunteer work is a great idea because it takes us into the sacred practice of service. Also, as Mark Twain said, “The best way to cheer yourself up is to try to cheer somebody else up.”
So be willing to take a risk sometimes. As Leo Buscaglia once said, “The greatest hazard in life is to risk nothing.” And don’t worry so much about what other people think of you. Go ahead and be a “wild and crazy guy” now and then. In short, don’t just drift through life; live out loud.
Here are some ways to bring more fun into our lives, which increases our passion for life:
Let yourself do one crazy thing every day.
Play a game and be sure to dive into it wholeheartedly. You may not be able to do this daily, but do it often. Note that it is best to do this socially. Solitary games on your computer may not provide as much of an opportunity to be passionate. Also, it’s important to play games with a sense of excitement and enjoyment but without a feeling of attachment to the results. Be happy when you win, and when you lose, let that be okay too—it’s the fun of the game that counts.
Here’s another practice that you might not be able to do every day, but do it as often as you can:
Think of something you love to do but don’t get around to doing nearly often enough. Then make plans to do it soon.
Yes, there’s more to living well than these simple bits of advice from the four Aces, but although they may be simple, they are vitally important. If we can heed them, we can improve our lives and make them happier and more fulfilled. So be generous and grateful, be conscious and aware of every moment, be loving and compassionate, and live out loud, full of passion.
Note: Much of the material for this blog post was inspired by and taken from my book, The Soul’s Journey.