A stream flows through a verdant green meadow, and a castle on a hill sits on the horizon. Out of the clouds in the sky above, a right hand, glowing in a halo of white light, extends a wooden wand. The branch sports eighteen leaves, ten of which are still affixed to the wand and eight of which have become separated from it.
The “hand,” of course, is the right hand of God, and it offers the Divine spark of creativity, the “first intellect” that allowed man to master the element of fire, and which has illuminated all of his creative works ever since. The symbolic significance of the wand is impossible to miss here, and it’s likely why Aleister Crowley likened this card to the power of “solar phallic fire.” We can see its awesome power in bloom in the lush green meadows and hills, nourished as they are by the active creative power of the fire/sun and the passive gestative power of the water/river. The eight leaves falling from the “branch” are actually eight yods, the first letter of the name of God and another symbol of the active/masculine activating principle. The number eight is related to Hod, the eighth Sephira on the Tree of Life and, as we recall, the station on the Tree where human intellect first begins to take form; this is Prometheus Descended with the gift of light, that we would be liberated from darkness and illusion forever. The ten leaves remaining on the branch signify the ten Sephiroth on the kabbalistic Tree, indicating that this transfer of energy hasn’t weakened the structural integrity of the Tree—in fact. it has strengthened it; for now, with the gift of fire, we emerge from darkness into a clearer state of self-awareness—and with that, a greater awareness of the cosmic spiritual forces that guide us in our daily walk.
In a reading, this card signifies a new adventure, the beginning of a creative enterprise, a successful start-up, a new state of self-awareness, the anecdotal “spark” of inspiration, and the cartoon “lightning bulb” that lights up over our head when some ingenious thought occurs to us; but also rigid and dogmatic thinking. lack of self awareness, narrow-mindedness, bad advice heeded, or creativity frustrated—that legendary “writer’s block” that we all experience at some time in our lives. Aces are generally favorable cards since they herald the arrival of the new—and by extension, the departure of the old. So long as we maintain a positive outlook, chances are good that the news will bode in our favor.