A lush garden on a bright spring day. Lilies grow in a field, and a hedge of roses rises to form a natural trellis over a footpath. From the clouds in the sky, a right hand emerges, bathed in a halo of white light, and holding a bright gold coin inscribed with a pentagram.
“Consider the lilies of the field; they toil not, neither do they spin. And yet I say unto you, that even Solomon in his glory was not arrayed like one of these.” Those words, spoken two thousand years ago, remind us that God can provide us with everything we need, therefore we should worry not over material matters—what we should wear or what we should eat. In a way, it means we need to liberate our minds from the entire concept of “should”—the idea that there is some morally predetermined course of action for every mundane activity to which we must adhere for fear of retribution. “I’d love to have a cheeseburger, but I really should stay with the salad bar.” From a standpoint of physical health, the sentiment is obviously a smart one. But when we think in this manner—depriving ourselves instead of rewarding ourselves—we turn a blessing into a burden, sacrificing our own happiness in the process. Some people live their entire lives in this self-abnegating manner, depriving themselves of pleasures large and small because of the message that someone, somewhere, constantly whispers inside their head: That they don’t deserve to be happy, and they must atone for this “un-worthiness” by offering sacrifice without end. This may be a staple tenet of many religious denominations, but nothing could be further from the truth; for if we were not worthy of God’s undying love, none of us would even be here. In short, life should be lived in a spirit of joy, not a spirit of obligation.
Of course, we know that ego can cause us to inflict pain on ourselves as well as upon others, and freeing ourselves from its invasiveness is a key to unlocking the door that leads to God-consciousness. That portal is open to us now if we are willing to step inside it; it is represented here by the lilies and roses—symbols of death and rebirth—and the path that passes under the trellis of roses, from whence we emerge on the “other side” reborn in the image of the Divine. The flaming sword has been lifted; Eden beckons. Our eyes have been opened and we can now see the way home.
Meanings of this card in reading can include: Gifts and treasure of all kinds, abundance and plenty, great good fortune, a material offering, revelation and ecstasy, and the born-again experience; Waite calls this “the most favorable of all cards,” so its meaning is only slightly diminished if reversed unless situated near cards that portend trouble. Aces are always momentous cards, for they herald the beginning of a new chapter in our lives, and after our Dark Night of the Soul in Swords, we can dedicate ourselves anew to our journey of self-discovery.