The Gothic Tarot by Vargo – Ace, Two and Three Of Swords


Due to their basics design, the aces, twos and threes are treated in the same thread. See The Gothic Tarot by Vargo Study Group for more informations.

Ace Of Swords:
The Ace is very simple, it is a sword, with a red gem, the pointy end down. The sword is surrounded by red, personaly I would say blood, but you might have a different opinion on that.

Blood is the essence of life, the food of the vampires. Power is gained from it.

Two Of Swords:
There's an engraved skeleton with a crown and bat wings. There is a design right below it with four spirals. On top of the spirals are two swords, each with a red gem, crossing each other, making a x.

The swords have a similar position than in the Rider-Waite deck, except that here no one is holding the swords. By not seeing anyone, we can imagine a possible dual between two persons, when the opposants are still judging each other. The tension between them.

Three Of Swords:
There's a red heart here that has been stabbed by three swords, each with a red gem. There are four spirals on the heart, each at the entry or the exit of the swords in the heart. There is also a bat on the center of the heart.

This card too is very similar to the Rider-Waite deck. We can easily imagine the pain with this image, and the strong feeling of betrayal.


The Ace: Most decks show the single sword pointed upwards. This one is point down. I like it.

To draw a ‘line in the sand’ you turn the point down. To plant your sword in the ground you point it down. To vanquish an enemy…to slash your palm and bond blood with another…

It signifies ‘we are not at war…but’. It signifies an end to politics and an ultimatum for a solution. It’s a card that says, “Low crap tolerance.”

It is not a broadsword, but more like a thin short sword – a bodkin used for close in piercing thrusts

Two: A stele relief of two crossed broadswords capped by a (crowned) skull. It is a picture of balance.

Three: Three broadswords pierce a symbolic heart. The patterns engraved within tell us it’s symbolic as opposed to real. Because the heart is an allegory as opposed to the RWS, it seems to imply more of a situation that resulted because of choice rather than circumstance (a heart is not engraved by itself). Hence, you’ve set yourself on a dangerous course and will/are suffering because of it.

All opinions are of the author’s and are subject to change.


Ace of Swords

The Ace of Swords is very similar to many other decks depictions of the aces. There is one MAJOR difference, as well as a few minor ones.

The major difference is that the sword is pointed down. In the majority of the other decks that I am familiar with, the sword is pointed up. This leads me to one of the minor differences. In most other decks, the sword is presented by a hand. In addition there is the usual crown, vines, and yods. When presenting a sword (as in present arms in military speak) it is correct to hold it either in front of you, pointing straight up (double edge), or held up the length of your arm with it leaning against the crook at your shoulder (single edge).

Vargo has depicted this sword pointing straight down, with no obvious method of holding it in place. It is surrounded with a red Fleur-de-Lis on each side that are nearly identical. The blade is double edged as most packs depict. This is to signify the duality of the human intellect. There is a red gem mounted on the crosspiece. This is the same sword that is depicted in all the sword cards in this pack.

I believe that in this depiction the sword is mounted on a wall or a display plaque. Being displayed in this manner to me shows pride, defiance, and suggests power. It is in an active position, not to the side like a show piece or presented up in a show of respect.


Ace of Swords

Only being familiar with one other deck The Ancient Egyptian tarot cards by Clive Barrett, where in fact the sword is facing up, it is obvious then by reading other posts here that most other cards have the sword facing up.

The double bladed sword is bold and sharp. THoughts immediately coming to mind is "dont mess with me"
It could represent the mind set of someone being "sharp witted"
strong and powerful.

The lush velvety swirls of colour surrounding to me indicate love, a new love perhaps? Although this seems to be quite an obvious observation at first glance.


2 of Swords

The image of the grinning skull and his white eyes. I have always associated the whites of the eyes in this deck as a sign of blindness. And the bat wings look deliberately detached from where his ears would be. He smiles, evil grin.
As for what is around his forehead. It does appear at first glance that its just a crown but it is also a mask. Have a closer look around his eyes and top part of his cheekbone. I feel this crown thing is part of his mask.

When I look at the elaborate swirls carved on the wall it reminds me of the 4 elements, n/s/e/w join the points of the cross and I see a pentagram easily.

I see some obvious statements here, blind/ears cut off/mask.
Hiding behind the mask, doesnt want to hear or see what is in front of him, which are the two swords equally stubborn, neither willing to budge from this obvious conflict that has come to a head.

But does this refer to the person I am reading this for? Could the skull be someone to be cautious of, rather than the person? If that makes sense?

I really love the many different aspects of this card.


II of Swords

Two swords are crossed, forming a barrier....looking beyond the swords I see an interesting pattern that is etched in the stone. There are four swirling, spirals that look like vines; between them, there are three stems with buds on the me they symbolize growth and stability (the number four), which are important goals for me right now.

Hovering above the points of the swords, a grinning skull beckons me to come closer...or is he taunting me because he sees my reluctance to touch the swords??? For the moment I am stuck, trying to figure out my options: the base or hilt of each sword looks like a cross, with a glowing red jewel in the center. Perhaps this indicates the need for both courage and faith if I have any hope of removing the barrier. I stand motionless... almost hypnotized by that grinning face....his eyes are empty, his motive for drawing me closer remains unclear.
I need to make a decision soon.....

:) Luna

(originally posted under Vargo's Gothic Daily Card)


Three of Swords

A stylized heart with three swords piercing it. There is a very gothic design etched within the heart. A bat is the center of the engraving, surrounded by swirling patterns that are symmetric. The swirls are placed in such a manner that it seems a pattern for the sword placement. The effect makes it seem like they wrap themselves around the piercing blades in willful agony. The swords are all the same design as all the other depictions in this deck.

This is the most unique sword plaque I have seen. The swords are real and mounted within the design of the plaque itself. They look as if they can be removed, but when I pulled on one it gave slightly but it was held fast. Almost as if the muscle of the heart were holding tight preventing its removal. Placed in a prominent position above the mantle it is obvious that this display holds special significance to the lords of this castle. To me it is almost like a constant reminder of the actions and events that brought this bloodline to this state of undeath that they currently subsist. It seems a symbol of a betrayal so terrible and agonizing that they chose an eternity of lifeless existence, rather than living with the perfidy of their sovereign. The hatred must run very deep.


Two of Swords

There are two swords that are mounted on the wall. They are crossed and the pommels are pointed down. They look as though they can be removed from their position. Behind them is a symmetrical design that based on the fleur-de-lis. Above the design is a crowned skull. On either sides of the skull are leathery wings, and below the jaw bone is a diamond shaped pendent looking piece, similar to the broach worn by the vampires in this clan. The broach slightly overlaps the top portion of the design on the wall.

These are dueling swords. They are used to help hone the fighting skills of those in the castle. The edges are not as sharp as could be, but that does not make them less dangerous, especially if thrusting attacks are made. They are also brought off the wall to help settle differences; good old trial by combat. Even vampires believe in justice. That is what the skull on the wall represents. It symbolizes the judge, for the trial, duel, or even just a practice session; even then there has always got to be a winner and a loser. Decision making by might has been around and used for a very long time………..


The Ace of swords : Seeing the card, I first think of a display of power or a psychological edge in something. The background of the aces makes me think of a red smoke (don't know if red smore exist...)

2 of swords : Makes me think of a family effigy. Makes me think of traditions. Could be the two swords presented to opponents before they duel... The skull seems to be smiling. Maybe he rejoice in conflict...

3 of swords : My first reaction : ouch, must be painful! The engraving on the heart seems to add to the turmoil of emotions evoqued by this card. For the little bat, I haven't much clues to what she can signifie. The only thing I can think of is the vampire bat that suck blood in South America. Maybe it's signifie the sucking out (or the bleeding) of emotion?