Welcome, my magical co-conspirators! I’m Veronica Varlow, a real-life Love Witch and international burlesque performer based in New York City. I am honored to be conjuring up a new regular column here at Faerie Magazine, “Life of a Love Witch.” If you peeked through the pages of autumn’s Practical Magic issue, you saw my mystical mountain art dwelling, Magic House, met my powerful fire sister Sage, and heard all about my beloved Grandma Helen as we played in the realm of mirror magic.
When I heard that this issue was medieval-themed, the first thought that flashed into my mind was the lesson my Grandma Helen taught me about the ace of swords in the realm of tarot. I do Tarot Tuesdays on Instagram each week, and I love checking in with my old friends the cards to see what they have to tell us. If you are reading this right now, this message is meant for you.
The card is simple but carries a powerful message. In the traditional deck, the image is of a sword coming out of a cloud. A laurel victory leaf crown sits on top of the sword. Even if you aren’t a third-generation reader, your intuition will be correct that this card is all about owning your own victories.
But it goes deeper than that. The ace cards in tarot (there are four in the seventy-eight card deck) are all about new beginnings.
When I was small and my grandma was telling me stories about the cards, she likened the ace of swords to the story of Arthur and the sword in the stone. In the legendary medieval story, Arthur is a boy when word gets around about this mysterious sword; it was said that whoever could remove it from the stone would be the future king. As you can imagine, people came from neighboring towns and from far-off lands to try to pull the sword from the stone. Arthur, thinking himself just a boy, stood around and watched as many people tried and failed. Finally, he was alone one night and saw the gleam of the sword as if it were calling to him. He followed his intuition and pulled the sword from the stone—and found himself holding it up in the air.
He was the future king.
We are all unsuspecting future kings and queens of the domain that we wish to manifest and draw to us. This is my message to you this quarter: May you rise up to your power and greatness. May you allow yourself to grow, to learn, to take chances, to adventure, to stand in your own power. May this bring about a new beginning for you of confidence, self-love, and self-esteem, and know that you have got this.
Just like Arthur, how often do we doubt that we are good enough to be the one to make a change?
How often do we hesitate for a moment, thinking that someone else out there deserves it more or has a bigger voice than we do?
How often do we play small because our minds won’t let us grow or see beyond the boundaries we create for ourselves? The story of Arthur is one of the every-person. It is the story of someone who dared to take a risk and succeeded, who believed in himself enough that he was willing to entertain the idea of standing in his power.
In the unsettled world of today, much like in medieval times, we need more everyday people to rise up. We need more diverse voices and stories to help guide us as we try to make our world more whole again. This means that people like you and me, people who maybe wouldn’t have had a voice just a few decades ago, now have the freedom to speak up and stand up.
It is up to all of us. We need to take the urging of the story of the sword in the stone and the ace of swords and own our own victories.
It’s time to take the lead, take action, and also help others see their power as well, so we can grow and rise together. The sword is there, shining brightly, calling to you.