Ace of Swords – Catherine Hay Thomson

clarity, breakthrough, new idea, concentration, vision, force, focus, truth

As with all the aces, the Ace of Swords indicates that one is about to experience a moment of breakthrough. With its sharp blade and representing the power of the intellect, this sword has the ability to cut through deception and find truth. In layman’s terms, this card represents that moment in which one can see the world from a new point of view, as a place that is filled with nothing but new possibilities. It is, therefore, the best time to work on your goals – as the aces all give green lights, and are signals of waiting opportunities and new beginnings.

The falcon, represented here in the After Tarot, is associated with agility, ascension, determination, aspiration, focus, grace, mental speed and power, prophecy, freedom, swiftness, purpose, movement, and healing.

As one of the first female investigative reporters Catherine Hay Thomson was certainly able to cut through deception and find the truth. As the first Australian investigative reporter her pen cut through more sharply than any blade.

Born in Glasgow but educated in Melbourne, Thomson was the principal of Queen’s College, Ballarat for some time. In 1881 she opened a boarding and day school for girls in Spring Street, Melbourne.

Thomson began writing investigative articles, being referred to in The Bulletin in 1886 as “the female ‘Vagabond’ of Melbourne”. Thomson worked as an undercover journalist, disguising herself as a man to visit brothels and taverns investigating corruption which was exposed in her newspaper articles. She investigated undercover as an attendant at the Kew Asylum, a psychiatric hospital in Melbourne. Starting out as an assistant nurse at Melbourne Hospital she found her way to the asylum and found overcrowding and maltreatment of patients.

Her work for women continued. Catherine founded the Austral Salon of Woman in January 1890 and the National Council of Women of Victoria. In 1899 she became editor of The Sun: An Australian Journal for the Home and Society, which she bought with Evelyn Gough. She also gave a series of lectures titled Women in Politics. In 1899, Thomson and Evelyn Gough became joint proprietors of The Sun: An Australian Journal for the Home and Society. After the magazine merged with Arena in 1903 Thomson became a literary agent.

Thomson founded the National Council of Women of Victoria in 1902.

A passionate crusader for the rights of women and children, Catherine Hay Thomson went undercover to investigate their treatment in public institutions and testified before a Royal Commission.