Bohemian Gothic Study Group - 2 of Swords


I wanted to start a thread on this card because it is such an interesting counterpart to a card (though not the counterpart card!) in the Victorian Romantic deck.

The 2 of Swords shows a young woman, apparently in her nightie, arms crossed over her chest, blindfolded. She walks along the edge of a balcony among spires. She is all alone. There are no lights burning in any of the windows behind her. This is notable. In this deck, it seems like there's always a light burning somewhere else.

She really looks to me like she is sleepwalking. I sense that she is in terrible peril. You can't even see the ground in this card. Is she related to the damsel in the 9 of Swords who sits upright, driven by her nightmares?

The most positive sign in this card that I can see is that, although the sky is cloudy at eye level for this gal (if she were to take off her blindfold and just LOOK), the sky is clear and the sky is shining above her.

Now, all of you who have the VR and the BG both, take out your Victorian Romantic 9 of Swords. Interesting contrast, isn't it?

:heart: M_M~

Dancing Bear

I get the feelign of despair here and she is crossing her heart here ,as if Not to hope to die..
in the window behind her, is that if figure? or is it my eyes, coz if it is a figure, is he waiting and hopeing for her demise? watching intently, for that moment she trips up and loses her balance?

Is she forced out onto that rooftop , or was it choice?
she looks very peaceful in her expression, is it that quiet confidence, or resignation to her fate..

I see the little star in the night sky, not an overly bright star but none the less, it is still there., could that be a glimmer of hope, that she will make off the roof safely?

edited to say: A thought occured to me , who did put that blindfold on her? was it her own doing?


Your eyesight is better than mine, DB, I didn't think there was anyone behind her looking out any of the windows.


When I look at this card the first thing that hits me is that her hands are free and she could remove the blindfold but she isn't. To me it seems she is playing a very dangerous version of the game "truth or dare". Like someone dared her to walk around the castle with a blindfold on and her arms crossed so she could not touch anything to feel her way around. She is blinded, but wantingly. She did this of her own free will and could pay a very dangerous price. One wrong step. Was a door left open or did someone guide her through it? Does she think she is on the garden terrace when in reality she is high up on the castle walls? What will she feel like when she does finally decide to take of the blindfold and open her eyes to reality? Or will it be too late? Does she care she is taking a risk or does she not even know it. I don't think she realizes the risk involved. Nice card!


I agree with HearthCricket. She could easily take the blindfold off but she doesn't. I think that perhaps the blindfold is there for a reason. Perhaps she needs to close her eyes so she does not see how high up she is and what the real dangers are. If I were that high up, I would not want to know it.

Sometimes when we don't know the dangers around us we are safer because what causes us to make the wrong choices are our fears. If she does not know she is high up on a tower and walking on a roof she will probably walk steadier than if she could see where she was going.

I just read the book and it also makes some very interesting points. Perhaps by wearing the blindfold she is choosing to ignore the things happening around her. So, I can see how the opposite of what I said above can be the case. Sometimes we put on blinders and ignore our problems hoping they will go away but they don't. Eventually this blindfolded woman will make a wrong move and fall to her death if she doesn't take off her blinders and face her situation.

Also the book points out the huge towers all around her and how they may represent the events in our life that overwhelm us. The book refers to the towers as the barriers we put up to block away the world.

THis is a very interesting card. It has such simple imagery yet can be interpreted in so many ways! What will it say to you when it comes up in your reading???

6 Haunted Days

And yet sometimes we need that blindfold to kind of put distance between us and a very emotional or trying/stressful time.....until we're ready to deal with it better.

Purposely closing yourself as events are overwhelming and too much stimuli. Or I can see it as using only the intuition to make choice or decision.


When you have to continue on through a life that's gone beserk, you have to wear a blindfold and try not to see the horror, hang onto yourself because you're all you've got, and just keep moving forward. Especially when you're young. This card makes that kind of sense to me.


Wanted to add that my counsellor years ago told me that we block from our minds how awful a situation truly is because if we were to allow ourselves to admit how awful it is, we couldn't handle it. In order to survive, we automatically tell ourselves subconsciously "it's not that bad".


HearthCricket said:
When I look at this card the first thing that hits me is that her hands are free and she could remove the blindfold but she isn't.
I agree that it feels as if she's put the blindfold on herself and is trusting her other senses to guide her. These include instincts, psychic abilities, maybe even guides from the other world, whoever haunts this place. What is interesting to me, in lieu of the usual 2/swords meaning, is that behind her is a gable that connects two pinnacles. The pinnacles here stand for the swords rising up high and sharp into the sky. That dominant, horizontal gable signals to me the usual meaning of compromise or temporary uniting of these two swords.

She stands between them, confident in where she is going (or being led by the spirits?) even though she wears a blindfold. I think it's very true that this card, traditionally or otherwise, often deals with someone who, on the one hand, is blindfolded to indicate fairness, but, on the other hand, signifies someone who refuses to see that the peace and compromise they've achieved is temporary.

The girl does not look frightened or hesitant to me. The crossed arms, even the nightgown, indicates a sort of innocent confidence. She says, "I will put on the blindfold, and even keep my hands from helping me along the way. I will trust only to my powers/ghostly guide." I almost feel like she's walking some sort of maze, among those towers, and that sight or touch will trick her, so she can't rely on either.

She has put her whole trust in her instincts/psychic abilities/ghostly guide, and she is sure that she is walking the right path. That speaks to me very clearly of exactly how the 2/swords should be read. The person was right in their solution to the problem, to trust their inner judgement in achieving it, but they have such innocent faith in that solution, that they are blinded to the fact that is only a temporary solution.

I find this deck pretty amazing in the fact that dark as it is, it tends to ring very true to the card meanings. I also find that I have to look at these cards under bright lights to really get all the details, and examine them well to learn all their secrets. Like what I realized when I really examined the Empress card--

swimming in tarot

My friend, looking over my shoulder as I examined this card with a magnifying glass, said "let's put it on the scanner and see what we can see". So we did! The balustrade around the steeples of the Church of Our Lady before Tyn (Prague) looks good and sound. I wouldn't be too worried about this woman falling to her doom. It is also just fretwork in the window behind her on the left, not somebody lurking. But...

...taking a closer look at her garment which, even without technological assistance, looks weird and graceless around the neck, like a hospital gown, something strange shows up. Whatever she has on, it's on backward. The high neckline is for the back of the neck, not the front. The concave seam and straight drop are to follow the line of the spine, not the bust. The mis-aligned pattern on either side of the seam would never be seen at the front, either! Those are sleeves dangling down the sides, elbows pointed towards us. The sleeves are either semi-detached, and she doesn't have her arms through them, just the arm-holes, or else she's not wearing the garment at all, but is clutching it to her.

Is this one of those "nightmares" where you're naked in a weird place? Or has she got her clothing reversed as was once done on All Hallows' Eve, so that the evil spirits that filled the air that night wouldn't recognize you? I had understood that clothing was worn inside out on All Hallows' Eve. Possibly this is the satiny lining of something that's been pulled inside out. It's also blue, a colour traditionally used to repel evil. (Think of blue for boys, blue window and door trim in Greece, and blue Evil Eyes.) The LWB speaks of putting up barriers around yourself and defending yourself against threat or attack, or becoming withdrawn and paranoid. Well, she is withdrawn, all right, way up above town among the steeples, in a physically hard to reach place; and at a church, a holy place of refuge. She seems to be prepared against supernatural attack. But she seems pretty calm. Perhaps she feels she has her bases covered. But why the blindfold? Does she not want to see it, if attack comes in spite of her precautions? Or is she trusting the patron of the church to protect her? She can't stay up on the parapet forever.