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Bohemian Gothic--Nine Swords

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Thirteen  Thirteen is offline
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Join Date: 17 Sep 2001
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Bohemian Gothic--Nine Swords


A young lady sits up in her bed, hands clasped in prayer, as she is haunted by visions (?) of a howling, restless spirit and a dark, pinnacled castle. This card is one of those that epitomizes "gothic" tales element of this deck. In those old ghost stories and movies, there is always the innocent young girl who is having terrible, haunting visions. The "Cassandra" of the story who warns others that something is not right.

"Go back to sleep," others in the story always tell her. "It's just a nightmare." But we reading the story know it's no such thing. Perhaps those who try to soothe her know the truth, or perhaps they're skeptics. Either way, she is the only one who knows that the shrieking, skeletal figure she sees flying out (or around? above?) isn't just a bad dream. The castle, as well, exists, and as the lights within show, no one there is getting any sleep either.

This is a nicely done homage, as well, to the RW image of the woman, rudely awaked, with 8/Swords above her. The card meaning usually warns that there is some reality to the dreams, something worth worrying about or fearing--though they may not be as dire as they seem. This girl, in her frilly nightgown, resting under a quilt embroidered with suns, hands clasped in prayer, may be very much the innocent, or perhaps she is being haunted because of some guilt or misdeed that she did, or some ancestor of hers did. Either way, she's been chosen to have these troubling visions/dreams. And, like the spirit and the castle, she's not going to be able to rest any time soon.
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Join Date: 01 Oct 2007
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A Little Tidbit About The Image


I really love this card.

I thought I would add a little tidbit about the source of the image based on the companion book. Page 160 of that book shows the original image from which the card was created. The young girl is the same, but she has a plain coverlet. On the wainscoting above there is a battle scene in a cloud (i.e. it's not a painting on the wall), and written underneath it is the statement "God, protect Papa" (in Polish)(and a continuation in letters that my eyesight is not good enough to read in this light).

This image is particularly pleasing to me as a descendant of a Polish lancer officer who fought on the wrong side of a revolution. One of my female ancestors might have offered just such a prayer (although I think Great-grandfather was young and single when he was losing his war).

The card itself shows, consistent with the meaning of the Nine of Swords, nightmares of a more dramatic and less realistic sort, but I like knowing that she has a true nightmare--the reality of war--lurking "underneath" the image the artist chooses to reveal to us.

M_M
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Thirteen's Avatar
Thirteen  Thirteen is offline
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Wow! Thanks so much for the added info. The great thing about this deck is that the more you know, the more the meanings expand and deepen.
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