General Book of the Tarot, by A. E. Thierens, , at sacred-texts.com
TRADITION: The extreme or excessive, triumph, force. "It is a card of great force, in love as well as in hatred." (W.) Vehemence, fury, etc. Limits, extremity, frontier, confinement. Reversed: Conception, pregnancy, childbirth, fructification, production, enlarging, augmentation.
THEORY: This is the first step of the element of Earth, coming on the First house or ascendant. Of course this has to do with a beginning, a strong outpouring of force, an impulse, and a material one too. Positive activity on the material plane is typically masculine, and this is a very masculine card, perhaps the most of all. There is no negotiation possible with it. It is emphatically 'yes' or 'no.' One of the primary expressions of the masculine is fructification, and the male action is indicated by this card. For the same reason it means germ, seed. And its natural consequence is conception and childbirth, the ace indicating here also the ascendant. In everything this card means the actual beginning in material execution, which at the same time may cut short something else. It may mean decapitation, or any justiciary execution. It signifies of course a decision, the end of uncertainty or twilight. It is a fresh starting point in matter: 'alea jacta est.' And so it may as well mean a strong demand, an appeal. There is courage in it and firm initiative. It may cause pain and affliction, but annihilates doubt, the greatest torture.
CONCLUSION: Initiative, force, masculine activity,
seed, germ, commencement in matter, decision, starting point, emphasis; fructification. Execution, affliction, pain, but annihilation of doubt and uncertainty. Courage, firmness, integrity. May denote great passion or intense enmity. Fury, vehemence.