by S. L. MacGregor Mathers, originally published 1888.
Birth, Commencement, Beginning, Origin, Source.
Persecution, Pursuits Voilence, Vexation, Cruelty, Tyranny.
by Arthur Edward Waite, originally published 1910.
A hand issuing from a cloud grasps a stout wand or club.
Creation, invention, enterprise, the powers which result in these; principle, beginning, source; birth, family, origin, and in a sense the virility which is behind them; the starting point of enterprises; according to another account, money, fortune, inheritance.
Fall, decadence, ruin, perdition, to perish also a certain clouded joy.
by A. E. Thierens, originally published 1930.
Birth, source, principle, beginning, origin, cause, reason, creation, invention. Some say also: family, but this is probably to be taken as ‘family-descent,’ or parentage or origin of the family, which is a different idea. Reversed: Fall, perdition, decadence, decline, ruin, etc.
Theory & Astrological Associations¶
The element of Air on the First house or ascendant has of course to do with birth and beginning, because it is the coming through of the message from above to the regions of the physical plane; the ascendant indeed is the synthesised appearance of the heavens at the beginning of … whatever it may be, and so this card signifies on one hand the inflow of light from above into the world of matter and fact, which can have several meanings. On the other hand, seen from the side of light itself, it is the ‘fall in matter’ and the decline of the higher, as well as the enlightening of the lower. The cards of the airy element have always and in every instance a double meaning and not only in the sense of right and reversed, but a meaning on two sides. And apparently this has been wrongly introduced as ‘right’ or ‘reversed’ in some cases. So the ace of wands will represent the effect of suddenness, of the incidental, even accidental, showing some appearances of the planet Uranus. It denotes something that is making its appearance all of a sudden; a sort of manifestation, creation such as the birth of a child. This, by the way, is generally considered to be a joy for the parents, etc., but may not be for the soul, which has to accept once more the limitations of life in a body of earth. And this is the two-sidedness of the significance.
Birth, beginning, innovation, creation initiative, impulse, origin, principle, source, cause reason, parentage, handing over of a message, news revelation, initiation. On the other hand come the meanings derived from fall, decline, descent, depreciation, profanation, etc. But it means that which will happen once only and which cannot be taken back.