No Way to Trump Death

by M-Gillies

The Ace of Spades is traditionally known as the card of death.

Traditionally known as the highest card in a deck of playing cards, the ace of spades in folklore and mythology has often been associated as the “death card”.

From Robert Louis Stevenson’s story The Suicide Club, in which members of a secret society who draw the Ace of Spades from a deck of cards during their meetings, submit to death; to being an icon of the theater of war, where infantry adorn the symbol on their helmets and uniforms – the Ace of Spades has a steep history of being linked to death.

With 52 cards in a deck, each card represents a week of the year while the thirteen cards stand for the thirteen lunar months. The significance of the four suits is symbolic to the four different season.

Meanwhile, red suits represent femininity; warm, positive and upward looking, while the black suits represent masculinity; cold, negative and regressive.

Based on the Neopagan Wheel of the Year, the Ace of Spades relates to the week of Yule, the beginning of winter (also known as a Time of the Wolf) or the time of famine because with winter came the rationing of supplies as the last of the meat was slaughtered and cured to eat for the months to come. Many followers of the Wheel of the Year would make offerings to the dead during Yule, while the elderly made their last wishes known in case their time came.

While the Ace of Spades represented the death of the old year and the start of a new one, the reason the card became known as the Trump card was that death comes to all of us in the end, and there is no escape – even for kings.

The symbol of the spade in Tarot cards is representative of the sword – a metaphor of war and is sometimes seen as a heart with a spike through it; a severed head on a pike; an evergreen yew; or a dead leaf – each one an allegory of death.

Read more:

Death Cards | Psychological Operations

The Fortune Teller’s Deck

25 Infantry Division | Ace of Spades Division

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