The Gothic Tarot by Vargo – Queen Of Swords


The Queen is at the top of a building, on the right, wearing a black dress and holding a sword in her left hand. On her left stands a gargoyle, vigilant, looking below.

She is entirely in black (dress, hair, lips), looking severe with her pale skin. The gargoyle is air. It's like if they've seen something or someone below, if it's an ennemy, they both seem to be ready to attack, or better, if it's a prey, they're both seem to be ready to strike it. She looks hungry and sure of herself.


To me, this card is a dichotomy. She looks like she could take your head off with a swipe of the sword – but she won’t. She’ll send the gargoyle to do her dirty work so there’s no blood on her hands – that others may see. She exhibits the authority of command over the gargoyle.

Yet – she seems to tell us that what others think of us is meaningless in the larger scheme of the universe.


The building seems to be her castle, for which she has fought. It represents her hopes and dreams and memories, a place of solace, and she is looking out in case someone or something tries to take even this away from her. I often think of a story that I created when I first saw a Queen of Swords; her husband the king is the General and has led his army to war, her children the Knight and Knave are in the ranks, and risking their lives, and she is in charge of the castle, which is also under attack, so she wields a sword just like a man (it was a medieval deck). Yet as well as having to fight evil like her men, she is burdened with the pain of their absence and probable immenent death. She is a woman of dignity and honour, as well as deep passion and grief - she is the Queen of Sorrows because of the depth of her feelings, and has put up barriers to enable herself to carry on with what has to be done.


That is a touching story, Dark Angel, I love it.


Thanks! Sorry my contributions to the study group are a bit erratic - trust me when I say that 2nd year medicine is HARD! lol.


I agree with Wolfy, this Queen looks hungry to me. Her familiar is even more so ... or perhaps less able to control his displeasure over an empty stomach than she is.

The images that come to me while looking at this card are : She's quite capable, powerful, but manipulative as well. Controlling. She may be a person who can control others by just her mere presence. Still, she gets what she wants in the end.

Eek ... and I just heard that sword scraping along the stone in my internal ear, and it gave me the shivers. If you hear her coming, you best take care. You could be at the end of her sword and not even know how you got there (or pinned beneath the slavering jaws of her beast ... yipes).


Vargo's cards were based on earlier works, you can see some of them on his website. This card is called Unleashed.


She is calling back her minion with her right hand. He seems displeased at not being "unleashed" completely.

This card makes me look again back at Strength and the IV of Pents. They could all be on different parts of the same building. Strength in the morning, the IV in the dead of night, and this queen in the very late evening.

Or maybe that isn't really duskiness, perhaps the villagers have come to burn down the vamipre/witch's keep and she is biding her time before striking back.

Where as I saw Strength as a very airy card, and IV of Pents a very earthy one, this one seems to be smouldering fire.



Image of a vampiress dressed all in black, long black flowing hair, black lips and extremely pale/stark white. Stands on top of a high ledge, behind a gargoyle. The gargoyle is right on the edge of the ledge peering over. His mouth is wide open, could be growling. Appears annoyed or stirred up about something happening below him. His wings are flapping/extended. His stance is that of a gargoyle ready to pounce.

And yet she stands back, behind him, holding a sword in her right hand while her other arm is slightly extended from her side, hand slightly pointing towards the gargoyle. Her hand looks like she controls the gargoyle to keep him in his place.

IS it just me or does anyone else notice her eyes?

Her eyes(eyeballs) to me, appear to be looking away from the gargoyle to her right with her head and posture facing you.

The sword is pointing sharp point down.

There is some action that the gargoyle is getting restless, annoyed about. To me it looks like he wants in on the action. But she hasn’t given her permission yet and he won’t leave until she does.

She doesn’t want in on the action, she is happy to stay out of it. And yet she holds the sword. I get the feeling she will not hesitate to use it if she really has to, but this is not her preferred style.


Queen of Swords

Standing on a roof ledge is winged feline gargoyle and his vampire mistress. She is very simply but elegantly dressed in a flowing black gown. The breeze catches both her hair and the dress. She grasps a sword in her left hand; the blade is pointed down. Her body language and the way she holds the blade show that she knows how to use the weapon quite proficiently. She seems to be approaching the ledge, maybe to assess the situation from above. Her gargoyle servant is already peering down, and it is not happy with what it is seeing. All she needs to do is say the word…..

Dost thou foolish mortal, believe that because I am a woman you can somehow defeat me? Your ignorance is complete, and your boldness shall be your doom; for I am as mighty as any vampire before me; Lord or Lady. Now I shall smite you and drain you ‘til your mortal soul departs. Your carcass I will hang from this rampart, so that all may see and know their humanity. Your soldiers I will kill, and enslave them to my undead army where they will serve ME forever. Then all of your families will be without their men, and your children will weep tears of sadness. I shall continue on without even the slightest bit of gratification, except to know that yet another self righteous human has earned deaths reward.