The Gothic Tarot by Vargo – Knave Of Swords


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

We are in a cemetary, with three graves. On the grave at the center is a gargoyle. We can see the moon behind.

The gargoyle is watching us restlessly, observing us carefully, spying. The gargoyle seems to be the guardian of the cemetary and also a messenger, with its wings.


A messenger - he sits waiting for us.

Often, what we first see as evil, is simply because we do not understand what we see. Often an intellectual approach is taken as cold, distant, and therefore - malevolent.


There are only two swords in the whole suit (three in the deck) that do not have the red gem at the hilt. This is one of them. (The other two are the knight of swords who weilds a sword just like Justice's)

This one for a different reason than the other two, since it looks like the rest of the swords from the suit, just missing the red gleam.

This one is a dead sword on the tombstone of a dead warrior. A warrior not buried as a great hero, for he isn't really set aside like some of these people are in their separate tombs and whatnot. He is in a graveyard, along with those just wealthy enough to get a tombstone when they die (as opposed to the wooden cross of a peasant in Death).

The Knave himself, the gargoyle, perhaps was bringing a message to this warrior? And refuses to leave until he awakens to tell him.

Or perhaps instead he is the guardian of a dead man. He failed in the man's life, and refuses to fail in his death.

There are plenty of stories to tell about this card. Maybe this is what the warrior awakes as on the full moon, perhaps he died an unnatural death. We can't see the ground at the foot of the stone, but the others nearby seem disturbed.

All of the stories say to me that there was a wrongful death here. A warrior died when he was not meant to.


Knave of Swords

A full moon is the back drop for this gargoyle as he sits on tomb stone. The symbol on the stone is that of the sword. A few more stones sit nearby, and neither one of them are sitting straight so this graveyard is in disarray. This gargoyle is crouched on the back of this stone, both his front and back claws are gripped on the front of the headstone. The huge wings are back in a position of rest. Due to the brightness of the moon, very few details can me made about this creature as the shadows completely mask his visage, other than the glow of his eyes. He has a tail that can be seen wrapped around the front of this stone.

He looks as if he is just watching what is going on, trying to act like he is a built in part of the scenery. The glow in his eyes gives him away to me. The way he carries himself reminds me of a cat, just before he pounces. I don’t think I want to get too much closer than this as he may just do so. He is a ways away from who ever his master is, so he must have been sent out to scout the territory. He will probably report his findings back to the master, and now my nightly excursions will be known to him.


I must agree, there some felinity in the gargoyle. I must just add that he seems to have the patience of the hunter. It's the feeling that I get from the card.

The light of the moon doesn't seems to disturb him from his tast. Seems very focused.


The original work was actually the very first time I got to know about the artist Joseph Vargo. Before my boyfriend and I were an item I got this postcard from him (he wanted to ask me out but didn't want to write on the card - isn't that sweet?) I immediately liked it.
Some time later I went shopping and when I visited this tiny fantasy- gothic store I found a whole rack of postcards by Vargo. And then I found out that the man had made a whole tarot deck! So I bought a copy. And that's why this deck is very special to me.
Hmmm, I should get some more postcards.