The Gothic Tarot by Vargo – Five Of Wands


Vargo's cards were based on earlier works, you can see some of them on his website. This card is called Shadows, and somewhere else Dark Realms.

There are five creatures looking dangerous and ready to attack, each of them holding a wand. There are five ravens as well. They have blocked your path and don't want you to go further.


Here – I see danger.

Now in a normal 5 of Wands I don’t see danger – the folks involved seem to know what they are doing. Danger comes from outsiders (the sitter) blithely wandering into a situation unprepared and ‘smack’ goes reality.

Here – danger is obvious. Do not enter the guardians tell us…

For me…this is the most malicious looking card in the deck.


"If you attempt to proceed, ignoring the warnings at hand, you must be prepared to fight."

But geez ... do you *reallY* REALLY want to proceed?!? Against that? And Them?

Four of the five ravens are cawing. Their beak position is not one in which they "click" or "croak," but an open beak needed to create their full out CAW-CAW.

Four ravens cawing like that would make one HELL of a racket. The cacophony of four simulatenous voices, screeching, would be almost painful to be this close to.

You're being warned ... the alarm bells are ringing and ringing. Best pay attention this time.


ghostly fraternity??

Looks almost like some ghastly initiation ceremony for some undead secret society. It looks to me like these guys here know plenty about what's going on, and they are going to let whoever they stand in front of know all about it too, like it or not.


The Skeletons have evil grins on their faces, cunning, devious.
They are playing, being annoying. The very first thing that popped into my mind with this card was, look at them playing the fool, being silly but that is the deviousness because in doing that they have blocked in the faceless robed man in the middle. Trapped him so it seems. The ravens are indeed cawing and making alot of noise.

Does this card indicate goals or ambitions have hit a stumbling block, obstacles? The robed man doesnt appear to be making a move, he has withdrawn into the shadows, he needs to listen to the alarm bells and make a move.

There was another way I did intially see this card with relations to work. The robed man was quiet, shy, the type of person happy to stay in the shadows (unseen, unheard) whilst these skeletons (who appear to be laughing, smiling) are getting the limelight, moving their way up the ladder, grabbing the riches, getting the promotions, but at what cost. The robed man bides his time and waits..............

Will have to contemplate on this card a little more.

I dont know about you guys, but I find going with my first instincts often do not go with the flow of the LWB. And after I have reflected on the card, wrote down my thoughts then looked at the LWB I am sometimes way off base. All part of learning I guess.


Five of Wands

Five ravens, five wands, six spirits…..hmmmmm. The back ground looks as if it is a fog that is lit from behind with a blue tinted light, but the root like tendrils that seep in from above very much gives it a dream like quality. Spectral beings rise from the inky depths, the same tendril effect ties them to the blackness pooled below. Each of the five wands is held by a spectral creature; each presenting a unique challenge. There is a sixth specter that hold no staff. The central figure is cowled and seems to be the most formidable of the lot. There are three of them whose limbs resemble those of a tree; the ravens perch themselves there. One is on the far left wand, and they are calling out.

I feel as if I am in another world in this card. Not quite a dream and not quite reality. I was walking though the woods, trying to gather my thoughts when I happened across this grizzled old tree. I have seen it here before, but for some reason this time it called out to me, beckoned me to draw near. As I approached the ground seemed to open up and try to swallow me. I reached out and grabbed the edge of the hole and held on but the roots came up, wrapped my legs and pulled. The strain in my arms became almost painful, then a branch from the old tree reached down and shoved the top of my head. I tumbled a little ways and came to a stop. Covered in dirt and old dead leaves, I stood up in a rather large cave like room. Spitting the earth from my mouth and dusting the dirt and leaves from my clothes and hair, something caught my attention. An unnatural glow, starting off as though a firefly, grew and cast a bluish light all around. The floor of the cave did not acknowledge the presence of this glow, and remained an inky dark pool. Shapes began to rise from the darkness, they materialized dancing macabre. Each held a staff in their hand and all was eerie and quiet, then the ravens arrived. Calling out, like spectators at a fight, the din of their noise grew to level far greater than should have been. I looked around for something to defend myself with, but all that was there was the dirt, leaves and a few sticks. Finding nothing, I looked back at the spectral scene. The spirits parted and a black robed figure walked in as if from a tunnel. The dark cowled form reached out and took the staff from one of the other ghosts, and stood in center of the gathering. I futilely glanced around one last time for some sort of weapon…….


Seems the undead gang had striked again! The central and dark and hooded character seems to be the leader. The others follow, rejoycing in futur missdeed. The ravens joins them. The ravens knows that they may have a chance to have food. The characters are menacing, intimidating.

It will be bloody...


This card captivated me today. I'm reaquainting myself with the deck as I wait anxiously for the compendium to arrive. Can it possibly say anything better than what you all have said above? I'm eager to find out.

The foggy mist in the card almost seems to have a breezy feel to it to it as the skeletons move and sway. Are they "rooted" to the earth with their tree like "tendrils" or are they free to fly with the ravens if they so desire?

This is definitely not the traditional 5 of wands with it's playful match of skill, but a foreboding, ominous, turn back now type of card that perhaps you really can't win?