Wednesday, June 21, 2017

The Ace of Swords

Tarot Deck Unknown (unfortunately)
Original writing by Kathryn Ravenwood

I recently was in Scotland for two weeks, answering a call I have been hearing for almost twenty years. Scotland was magical.  I was able to finally see places I have wanted to experience – Rosslyn Chapel, The Standing Stones of Callanesh, and the Isle of Iona. Many places along the road brought unexpected connections to the ancient mysteries. The weather was generally great, the green country gorgeous with lots of waterfalls and rivers; each place we visited had a sense of history and its own unique beauty. I loved it. Rosslyn was perhaps the most special to me but one never knows what will happen on these trips.

My dad once told me we had some Scottish heritage somewhere along the line – my family name is Wilson – and so I was not surprised to have this beautiful land feel very much like home to me and that I had returned home after being too, too long away. However, I was unprepared for a major experience at Dunvegan Castle on the Isle of Skye. 

I was happily on the self guided tour of the castle and came toward the exit point.  A few ancient stone steps led to a lower level. As I walked down and my eyes accustomed to dimmer light, my body started to shake, my heart chakra suddenly opened wide, and I started to cry. There, in front of me in a glass case, was a huge sword – a very large Claymore of obvious fortitude.  I fell to my knees, hand over my heart, as if I was pledging my allegiance to that mighty sword, which is the Great Clan Sword of Dunvegan. I knew that sword; I either fought with it or by it in some other life as a warrior. The experience was so powerful and it is still right with me.

After I was finally able to tear myself away from the Claymore, I knew it had opened something within me. Certainly swords can cut through just about anything (especially one that size!) and I definitely felt different. It was like an initiation or an awakening. I promised myself when I got home I would not fall back into the old routines and habits. I would focus on what was really important, what I needed to do.

Swords are not a new connection for me. When I was eight or ten years old I discovered my grandfather’s (on my dad’s side) ritual sword from the Knights of Columbus in the basement.  It was as wrapped in cloth and stored in a leather sheath. I opened it to find symbols of the Templers and other strange engravings looking out at me. I was stunned. I did not know what it was nor did I ask for fear it would be taken from me so I hid it under the stairs and would go down there to hold it. Even though it was a ritual piece and even though my grandfather had fallen out of favor in the family, I felt so bonded to that sword.  Unable to part with it, I just took it with me when I left home.

The Tarot continues my Sword connection.  The suit of Swords represent our minds and thoughts, the Ace bringing clarity, inspiration, that moment where we mentally draw that line in the sand and take a stand, prepared and ready to defend our principals. It is the big “Aha moment,” the time when the brain fog clears and we know exactly what to do. It is the moment when truth is revealed. Just as physical swords demand attention and training to learn to wield them in good intention and strength, the Tarot Swords teach us that our minds are meant for truth and discovering that truth is one of our paths to mastery.

The Ace of Swords in the photo above is graced by a butterfly reminding us when we hold on to truth and allow it to cut through any illusion, we can be instantly transformed.  This could be a small or very grand change but it happens more than we might recognize. Our minds are easily cluttered, carry old stories and patterns that no longer support our growth, and can be a very negative weapon to ourselves and others. The Ace of Swords is the place of the clear mind, focused and aligned with truth.

May you experience beautiful transformations that lift you into light and beauty.


…Kathryn Ravenwood 06.21.17