Sacred Circle,  Swords

Journey into: Ace of Swords

Written by: Emma Sunerton-Burl

Continuing her series, Emma Sunerton-Burl looks into the cards of The Sacred Circle Tarot, by Anna Franklin and Paul Mason, published by Llewellyn:

As I look at the card I see it divided into two horizontally; the top is brighter than the bottom. The handle of the sword being the divide. I hear a message:

“You can get a handle on your life and forge ahead into a brighter clearer place.” There are two boats in the foreground which seem ready and waiting to take you on a journey ahead – you just have to get into them and row along the stream left from the causeway.

I walk into the card.

I see that the light is like twilight or early morning. Things are grey yet perceptible. I see St Michaels Mount ahead of me, and the sword above which seems bright and calling to me. I find myself rising upwards to the sword.

“Oh sword do you have a message for me?” “Yes I do – indeed it is as you said. Now you are in brightness as you have decided to take the sword by the handle (I found myself doing this). Wherever you point it, it brightens the way so you can see clearly and discern the truth. This helps you make clearer decisions as you can see further ahead of you. Point it where you would like to go.”

I point it to the mount and see that the water is clear and I can make the journey over there safely if I wish to go that way. “Yes indeed.” He says, “You will need to let the sword stay here while you make the journey. This is so often is the case that you see ahead clearly, but you need to make the journey in darkness, trusting each small decision is backing the larger one you have in your mind. As you see the world from here and from this light remember the way the path goes, then when you are meeting the elements you can be reminded of the signposts you saw and you will know you are on track.”

“Thank you sword. I understand you well.”

“I am the sword of clarity and truth and speak of the world as it is – even though sometimes it is clouded from view. Go on your way, when you have looked and remember the scenery.”

“Thank you I will.” I reply.

I find myself walking alongside the rivulet leading into the causeway. I push one of the boats into the water and start to paddle towards the mount. It seems huge from here, and insurmountable, but I know I need to trust the way will be clear when I arrive. The water is calm and peaceful. The atmosphere is reverent and awe filled. I ask the boat its meaning:

“I am the vessel to take you where you want to go. I am available to everyone. When you start a new quest there is always a journey to be taken with the help of tools. I am the tools you have inside of you. I challenge you to use me to get where you want to go. Even though you feel the water may overwhelm you sometimes, it will not, I am exactly the right size for the time you make your journey, as your skills are exactly the right ones to carry you forward in your life when you have the inspiration to make your move. I move in the water, the emotional terrain, and I represent your emotional skills being strong enough now to help you navigate to places you would not have been able to get to when your emotional body needed more healing. I carry you on your emotions; you are effected by them, but not overwhelmed; your feelings and moods help carry you to your destination without being lost in them. You are now responsible for yourself, emotionally as well as in your mental decisions.”

“Wow, yes I see! Thank you.” I say.

“Oh water do you have something to add?” I ask.

“Well I am at low tide now – not raging or intruding on your life at this time. I represent a time in someone’s life where they begin anew but their decision is made by their thought and rationality. Emotions are not clamouring for attention but supporting the choices made and even allowing themselves to take back seat to allow certain actions to happen. It is like putting the emotional sides of a situation on hold because it is not urgent and dealing with the matter at hand in a rational thoughtful way; making a decision to go to college and not allowing fear to prevent you; deciding to change your job and not allowing the fear of the unknown to hold you back; knowing you can trust your skills to get a new job. These are the sorts of situations that I am strongest in. I may also indicate an inner decision has been made to go in a direction even though you can see the emotional turmoil you may have to face to do this. You clearly see the end result is worth it. I represent the emotions that have not gone permanently but will be back, however for now they are less insistent and logic prevails.”

“Thank you water – you show me some interesting ways to see this card.”

“I will carry you on your way effortlessly.” She says.

“Thank you.” I say.

I arrive at the bottom of the mount and there is a spike for tying the boat to and I see a narrow rocky path leading up towards the top of the mount. I follow this, it is a lovely little path. There are tiny flowers blooming along the way in crevasses and tiny patches of earth; it is stonecrop, with its succulent leaves and loving flowers. I feel emotionally supported and guided as I walk forward and upwards. I go gently upwards traversing the mound in a circle. I feel the spiral I am walking. I ask the path:

“What is your meaning?”

“I am the path of life. As we spiral round revisiting the same places but from new perspectives we learn each step of the way, and each footstep gets us closer to our goal – yet it is the journey that is important and those we meet along the way.”

“Thank you.” I say and can feel how this works in my life.

“And rocks, do you have a message for me?” I ask.

“Yes I am the strength and solidity within you – the very core of your being. I am what supports you and what has been made from the shaping of emotional situations over many many years. I am your beauty within, accessible at the right time in the right way,  always there to be seen, even if not always to be touched. Feel me; feel my strength and solidity.”

I touch the rock and can feel how unmovable it is and how deep down it extends. I also feel I can leave the path and climb upwards if I choose. I ask the rock if I may and will I remain safe to do so. “Yes you may – the time is right for leaping out bravely and feeling your movement with your strength holding you at all times. You can step out onto exposed places, knowing you have the skill and strength of years behind you; they will hold you; the lightness of your current being will enable you to move agilely.”

I climb upwards and feel wonderful on the rock. It feels easy and effortless and I feel at one with the whole of the mound. At the top I see a castle and go up to it.

“This is your castle – your sacred space. A place to retreat to to calm your mind.” The rocks say:

“I represent the place you go to in meditation where all your thoughts are stilled and you are just in peace and silence– the ultimate clarity and unison comes here. This is the place of pilgrimage of yourself. You come truly home and find your inner peace. Thoughts and emotions are no long troubling you. You are one with yourself first and then from this comes oneness with everything.” The castle says to me.

I walk inside the castle and feel its protective walls around me. I know I am safe here. I walk to the centre of the courtyard and sit down and close my eyes to feel the place of peace and no thoughts. After a little while I find myself flowing upwards like I am a sword. I realise here I am the discernment and clarity of the sword and can clearly cut off anything that is not for my highest good, without doubts in my mind. Everything is as it needs to be, I only need accept this and allow what ‘is’ to be. There is no judgement with this sword, only discernment on my own path; each path is different and the way forward unique.

“Yes indeed” the sword says. “I represent the clarity of knowing your own self clearly enough to not need to have an opinion on another’s. Comparison is only on what is right, for your heart at the moment, for your core.”

“Thank you sword, and all of you.” I say, “You have shown me something real. I understand that this card is about finding your own mental clarity and your way to trust your own skills in a practical way and that as this trust grows then negative thoughts diminish – in fact thoughts diminish a lot generally and more peace comes.”

“Reversed I would think you would be about refusing to trust your own decisions and thoughts about your life. Finding it hard to be responsible for yourself and take charge of your life on your own. Not trusting in your own inherent strength. Would that be right?” I ask.

“What do you think?” The sword smilingly answers.

“Yes it feels right to me. I feel actually that is what you have done here – not told me what you are all about, so much as shown me through my own journey, and that is the message here isn’t it.  – Take charge and trust your own thought processes when this card comes up.”

“Yes indeed. It is also a new way of thinking for someone as we are Ace, and the start of a new set of thoughts and beliefs forming the basis of the life ahead.”

“Thank you so much.” I say and turn to leave the card “It has been a fascinating journey.”


Emma welcomes any comments on this article or the visualisations you do following this method. Email her on

Emma works as an intuitive psychic tarot reader and runs one to one online training courses on reading with the Thoth tarot deck using a unique blend of intuition and psychological techniques. This has now been extended to working intuitively with RWS style decks too. She also mentors other professional and non-professional tarot readers. She offers visualisation MP3 downloads for intuition development, tarot readings F2F, telephone or distance, and healing – see her website for details: 

Emma has a Bsc in Psychology and is a trained counsellor, counselling supervisor and trainer. She integrates this experience in her Tarot work, and in her self-written training courses for personal development, Tarot, and Tarot mentoring.