SPADE although the word spade today is mostly used as a synonym for a shovel,the suit in playing cards is more likely derived from the greek word for SWORD (spatke). as a suit in a deck of playing cards spades are assoiated with fighting,destiny,and death.in the tarot deck they are actually the pictorial sign for sword
im 17 years old and getting a spade tattoo, in world war 2, soldiers had the spade painted on there helmet as a symbol of good luck, seemed to work for us because we defeated the germans, hope it works for me and i would like to honour troops that gave their lives.
Posted by danger from IP: 126.96.36.199 on 11/22/07
just a comment about the post saying that the spade was used as a symbol of good luck in WWII. I also have a spade tattoo, but just so you have the knowledge im going to correct your information. the spade was originally used in vietnam because of a rumor that the vietnames were superstition about the ace of spades card and would run the other way when they saw it. the U.S. Govt. spend huge money to send crates and boxes of the card to troops. In reality the vietnames were not afraid of the ace of spades, it was later said that they didnt even recognize the card besides the fact of knowing it was a symbol that the american troops were using. so more or less the spade was used as a moral booster for american troops, it was an effective way to pump up young soldiers and get them ready for battle. The card also has a morbid history as well, many american soldiers would place the card on the faces of massacred villagers and vietnames soldiers. All this information can be looked up in greater detail on "The History Channel" website.
Posted by viperman from IP: 188.8.131.52 on 12/31/07 Charlotte, Michigan
Danger, you are correct! Give the man a cigar! I work for the U.S. government and I asked a group of vietnam vets and they, indeed, confirmed for every VC they killed, they would put a spade on their person. Yes, morbid indeed, but that's an undeclared conflict for ya!
To Recon Marines, the symbol of the spade is used as a kill count. After your first combat tour, you get to Recon Jack tattooed somewhere on your body. After each kill, you get a small spade. Changes in the color of the spades represent different missions or tours.
Posted by Tatted up from IP: 184.108.40.206 on 10/16/09 port huron mi
you people are so dramitic but rite about the wwII.. but so if you got a spade tatooed on you for goodluck that dont mean you should kill yourself i think some one has low self esteem about the spade i have ten different spades on me
Posted by Shortyy from IP: 220.127.116.11 on 12/05/09 Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
I have a tat of the spade - not the playing card, just the spade. when i got it it was because to me, it was a symbol of a part of myself that never died. I simply loved it since i was a toddler because it was the most beautiful card, it looked like an upside down love heart (my fav shape was and is a heart) and the A is the first initial of my first name. That was the innocence behind my choice of which one was my favourite at that time, and now it includes whole other depths to it which include the ace of spades history and meanings and link back to myself.
Having actually researched the meaning of the spade, and the Ace of Spades, everybody talking about WWII is correct. It's also the card worth the most in MOST card games, but not all.
Other meanings behind it are Honour, Loyalty, etc.
Posted by Ruckus from IP: 18.104.22.168 on 01/29/10 South Carolina
what you all are sayin may be right but according to http://wiki.answers.com/Q/What_does_a_spade_symbol_stand_for the symbols meaning is: 1) When the Apex or point of the Spade points up in the reading it means a conclusion, an ending. Considered the Death Card, meaning the death of circumstances, not people, 90% of the time. Remember, with death, there is always a new beginning. Death in reading cards is a door offering a new beginning. 2) Apex pointing down: The card is telling you about someone or something at a distance, not in this location, usually quite far away.
I am not sure if it has a different meaning where you have it, but the ace of spade in chinese means death, but not really death itself it was brought in world war for the chinese on the american helmets making it seem to them as death was coming, but what they did not know was that the spade to them meant any kind of death, real death, death of a belief, death of something it didn't just mean death death. So I guess that is the best answer I can give you