The ace of swords is associated with "awakening". Ted Andrews -his books have inspired, instructed, and defacto mentored me for ages...buy and read them please!! www.dragonhawkpublishing.com - but like I was saying, Ted Andrews reads the ace of swords as "new rhythms of success" (Animal Wise Tarot).
The idea of material success connected to spiritual awakening isn't as uncommon as one might think, and not necessarily for the better, but it isn't entirely evil either. Like everything, the place where spirituality and material wealth meet has both good and bad aspects to it.
Growing up in the south, I always had a very negative impression of the idea. I grew up in the most right-wing, social conservative, republican, evangelical, fundamentalist, deep-dark-ruby-red counties you'll find on the map. In the 70s (and maybe since, I don't know) there was an undercurrent of thinking that if you were "right with god" and "living right", that material needs would somehow be magically met - a sort of get rich quick by being religious scheme. No surprise, it doesn't work that way, and the only people getting money were the overly-dramatic evangelists. Even as a kid, I could see that connection between the "spiritual" and "material" spawning a toxic whirlpool of judgementalism and lack of good judgement managing money. My reflex is to steer toward logic and work when it comes to earning a living and connect wealth-meets-spirituality with ideas like contentment, releasing unrealistic desires.
But over the years I've also learned that there IS another connection between personal and spiritual growth and material needs, other than the obvious learning to be content with the way things are.
Here again we see that acceptance is not acquiescence. Just because we accept the reality of what IS doesn't mean we can't act to try and change it. As it turns out, change is the cornerstone of that place where material success and spirituality meet.
Like Master Gracenin (www.dctaichi.com) always told us...'keep doing what you've been doing and you'll keep getting what you've been getting'. If things are going well, keep up the good work. If things aren't so good, they won't get any better until something changes.
Even if that something is us. Change is big, bad, scary thing for a lot of people, which makes BOTH spiritual growth and movement toward success (however you define it) an intimidating process.
Success, both materially and spiritually, often requires change...sometimes permanent change. Never mind bank accounts...think of weight loss. To have lasting success at that, you have to change your habits - permanently.
So Mr. Andrews interpretation of the ace of swords as changing rhythms of success is spot-on once again.