Starting a new job, school, relationship, eating plan or exercise program? What about needing a blank slate--a life do-over or reboot? And then there's New Year Resolutions and/or Intentions!
Fortunately, Tarot can help us usher in this new, exciting phase of our life--especially The Fool, Death, The World and all four Aces. You can use this energy intentionally and consciously (my favorite way to use Tarot), pulling them out of your favorite deck and then focusing on card imagery and their energy/meanings via prominent placement or ritual.
The Fool - OK, this is THE herald of new beginnings. Naive, carefree, without assumptions or expectations--he's just ready to hike rocky mountaintops, sled down a snowy hill...or ready to start his life is as good cup of joe! When this card comes up in a reading, you won't feel the weight or baggage of the past. It will be almost as if your memory has been wiped (almost) clean--or that you were just born, no preconceived notions to limit or stop you. If your Fool is carrying a hobo pouch, you can be sure it's only filled with joy...and maybe a pencil with blank notecards to record his new adventure.
Death - When something passes, it stands to reason that something may take its place some day--or changing into something else (First Law of Thermodynamics: Energy cannot be created nor destroyed. It only transforms or transfers). Snowpeople melt and nourish the ground or evaporate to return again some day. Businesses close--only for the owner to find a new vocation or job (or retirement!). The old business may be bought by a new owner for another incarnation--or its building might serve a different function. Death is inevitable for all carbon-based entities (like us!). At least, our physical form passes away. (It's up to theologians and philosophers to discuss what happens when we die, but the book Journey of Souls by Dr. Michael Newton provides compelling evidence for an afterlife--and life between lives).
When the Death card pops up in a reading, inevitable change is afoot. Resistance is futile. In fact, it's inadvisable since it's one root of suffering, in my humble opinion. You're being invited to transition, to surrender to a passing away, to walk through a door labeled "No Turning Back". Oh, you can try to escape it. But like the merchant in Baghdad, you'll still meet your appointment with impermanence...
The World - This card often features a circle or mandorla quite prominently within its image. The circle evokes a sense of containment, wholeness, totality, integration and completion (to come "full circle", springs to mind). The mandorla, the pointed oval motif often seen in architecture and the vesica piscis, often appearing in sacred art, is reminiscent of the female vulva--the place where a little life exits the body and enters a brand new world. It's a garden in full bloom, a degree from an intuition, a birth, the film credits at the end of a movie, The End at the close of a book--even enlightenment (if there truly is such a thing on this dualistic planet).
If world peace would ever be achieved, this would be the card! In some versions of The World, a hermaphroditic dancer--symbolizing both ecstatic joy and the integration of masculine/feminine energies--features prominently. Maybe even the soul after death, triumphing at yet another life well-lived (with pats on the back all around from angels and spiritual guides) would feel the exultation of The World.
A word about the Aces: They are offerings of new beginnings--not a guarantee nor proof. It's up to you if you plant it, grab it, wield it or drink from it.
Ace of Coins - You are being offered a chance to invest in the material realm. Time, money, resources, health, job, food, clothes, house, environment, property, seed--any new opportunity within the physical, tangible realm falls under the Ace of Coins (aka Pentacles, Earth, Disks, Crystals or Rainbows). But again, it's just a chance. A lot can happen between the Ace and the Two: Indecision, lack of action, opportunity going to someone else, fear of accepting the offer, laziness, indifference, bypassing the chance to buy lottery ticket (or worse, forgetting to scratch off and redeem a winning one!)--snooze and you lose. The portal only stays open for a short time before it closes unexpectedly. (By the way, when I look at RWS versions of this card, I'm reminded of a basketball hoop for some reason. Don't drop the ball! may be the message in this case). You don't plant the seed, don't expect to see any ROI.
Ace of Wands - If a person offers you a match to start a fire for roasting marshmallows...there's no guarantee you'll see flames. The match holder may change his mind. He may drop it amid fallen foliage. You strike it...but wind blows the damn thing out (the holder may not have anymore). Ya just never know. The Wands suit (aka Batons, Fire, Staves, Sticks) governs energy, action, ambition, enthusiasm, courage, gumption, career (as opposed to actual job), as well as many issues related to the "self" (as in, "self starter", “self esteem”, "self propelled", "self possessed", etc.). When the Ace of Wands shows up, you're invited to reinvent yourself--to "grab the baton" and begin the race of becoming a fulfilled, courageous, self-defined, passionate creature. I also consider this the big "thumbs up" card in the Tarot (i.e. a resounding yes! or go for it!). Reversed? Negatory. Nope. Hell no.
Ace of Swords - Aha! What a brilliant idea! Are you content to just "sit with it"? Ponder it? Play with it? You can, you know. Who says that we need to be production fiends, right? Or share our lofty ideals or dazzling musings. Nope, our thoughts can remain just ours if we desire. But what if we want to "make something of it"? Say, communicate it via written or spoken word? Like the other Aces there's both opportunity and risk involved here: wield the sharp Ace of Swords--and risk bursting balloons or bubbles. The Swords suit covers the intellectual realm, as well as words, beliefs, assumptions, thoughts, decisions, analysis, facts, data, logic and judgement. The Ace of Swords (aka Athames, Blades, Air or Wind) also cuts through BS; its clarity and precision is beloved and embraced by truth-seekers...but feared by poseurs, charlatans and liars. It's a force to be reckoned with, as are all the Swords cards. Of all the Aces, this is the one most passed over for the sake of maintaining the status quo, avoiding scrutiny and averting disruption.
Ace of Cups - With this card, we're being offered warm, fuzzy feelings: love, peace, compassion, harmony, forgiveness A new chance for romance is possible; the conditions are certainly favorable when the Ace of Cups pops up. The Cups suit (aka Chalices, Water or Vessels) governs matters of the heart, as well as succor, healing and spiritual communion/connection (after all, the corresponding ancient TdM suit relates to the clergy). Moods, emotions, feelings, dreams, aesthetics and preferences also indicated by the Cups suit. Thus, when the Ace of Cups shows up in a reading, there's an invitation to forgive, to remedy, to kiss the boo boos--as well as feel deeply, widely and strongly.
A note on inspiration: you may be thinking "Which Ace deals with inspiration? Isn't that the 'breath' of something new?" I'm glad you asked this! Early in my Tarot career, I pondered long and hard on this very topic. Personally, I feel all the Aces provide inspiration. Ace of Coins: If someone gives you a $50 gift card, you're suddenly inspired to buy something (unless your a 4 of Coins miser!). For a creative, this could mean paints, canvas, pens, paper, classes for further study and so on. With the Ace of Wands, you're inspired with a rush of energy to start a project or accept an opportunity to collaborate. A sense of passion and vitality infuses your being.
With the Ace of Swords, you're inspired by a singular idea--some notion or observation that could revolutionize the world, shake up the sleepy, solve a problem or communicate a complex concept with clarity and simplicity (alliteration unintentional!). And the Ace of Cups? That dreamy, flowing, kaleidoscopic inspiration that feels like you're tripping on acid (just guessing...honestly). It's warm, watery, luxurious.
Welp, I hope you found this post on Tarot cards about beginnings to be illuminating and helpful! Feel free to share your thoughts below in the comment section. I'd love to hear from you.
Want even more information on the cards that often signify new starts? Check out my video below!