The aces are the essence of the suit; maybe a beginning, but also something whole in and of itself. They aren’t exactly a one. They are more like the source or the wellspring of the suit. Thus, they are often interpreted as a new opportunity in the area of their suit.
Today I got the Ace of Branches. Branches are passion, desire, drive, spark, creativity, and aliveness. I’ve been thinking about this card for a while and what’s really speaking to me is the desire aspect.
Wanting things is really vulnerable. Naming your desire is risky. It’s vulnerable, admitting to yourself that something is important to you. Wanting things means taking up space, taking a position. It might mean setting boundaries, or letting someone into your space.
Our desire is there whether we name it or not. We push it down and it emerges in places we didn’t expect, tangled up with other stuff, sometimes in destructive ways. We cut it off and it grows back.
So maybe we learn to name our desires—but naming our desires means facing our fears and, sometimes, confronting grief.
If you tell that babe you like them, it might turn out they don’t like you like that. Your inner critic might get mean and tell you it’s because you’re not good enough, you aren’t worth it, you aren’t smart enough or fun enough or cute enough—somehow, you aren’t enough. Or you are too much: too big, too loud, to opinionated, too needy, too broken, too emotional, or too much work. You find yourself in a big shame spiral, and you might treat yourself and other people badly in the fog of that.
Or they might like you like that after all! And they might be really great! And you might find the joy you feel comes with a side order of grief. Sometimes getting your heart’s desire hurts, because it brings you face to face with everything you settled for, because you didn’t think you were worthy of more, or maybe because you didn’t know there was more.
For me, creating space in which I can name desire requires more than just figuring out what I want. It means I need concrete skills to manage the results of naming my desires. It means I have to stay grounded in my own worth, rather than being dependent on external validation. It means I have to act according to my values, towards myself and towards others, even when I feel hurt or scared or disappointed or rejected. It means I have to manage shame. It means I have to care for my grief.
I’ve spent a lot of time running away from desire, or pushing it down or trying to cut it off. I’m trying to be different now. The Ace of Branches reminds me to keep trying, and to keep caring for myself so that I can make space for desire.