The Gothic Tarot by Vargo - Nine Of Cups


cjtarot has also written interesting stuffs on this card, and other cards as well, in a thread on The Gothic Tarot and he/she accepted graciously to be quoted here.

cjtarot said:
I want to respond to the quote about the Lovers, the High Priest and the Empress standing in the same arch...

The Empress, guards her home...the relm of beond. (note the Emperor is inside with all the babe's doing NOTHING)

The Hight PRiest guards the knowledge in the Relm of beond

The Lovers..It is your choice (or is it) to enter into the Relm..note the lovers almost look farther into the arch..

Also look at the High Priestess and the 9 of cups...
The HP..guarding the unknow of our sub consious - or the door to the afterlife.

The 9 of cups.. Cups are emotion, our life flow if you will..the 9 is showing the final preperation before we are fufilled, before the final journey into the ultimate unknow..(Note the 10 of cups is within that arch..the claiming or the dark angel leading you away)


The setting of the card is the same as The High Priestess, so I won't repeat myself here. Instead of the High Priestess, we have a sarcaphaegus under the arch.

This card, unlike most of the deck, still puzzles me. This is the wish card, is death a wish? This is a mommy, embalmed and all in this sarcaphaegus. The Egyptians used to make the brain come out through the nose, and internal organs, and put them into jars next to the sarcaphaegus, then put into some vault like that. Is it that physical death is necessary in order to be reborn as a vampire? Therefore, for the living people who want to become a vampire, death is their wish?


I love this card.

When I was getting my Tattoo, the guy in the next ‘booth’ had a framed copy of this. Plus I’ve been to Egypt a couple of times, so there are many elements here that resonate with me.

There are a couple assumptions I want to crush. We look at the picture and assume that the sarcophagas represents the death, the moving away…but what if in this case the death is moving towards…

What if WE (or the point of view of the observer) exists in the goal position…then this is not a death – or a parting…but an arrival.

I remember the Temple at Kalabsha stands on what is now an island in Aswaan. It’s difficult to access, and off the beaten path. It was not moved for the dam (as was Philae), so there are not the disassembled pieces laying about. I have pictures of my wife approaching me down a hall of arches that was very similar to this…Every inch of the Temples carved, Huge Gods watch your every move…

Now I have never seen this as a wish card. Never hear the expression until I came to this forum. To me, it’s about sensual over spiritual. This is success and pleasure.

Does this card show a ‘little death’ of pleasure? The completeness of the body conscious (as the soul is yet to be weighed)? This is about SELF fulfillment.

To me it also reminds me of five and a half hours in the Tattoo chair, and the completion of the reasons for the tattoo…


And having this particular sort of sarcophoga was a great honor, and many were made long before a Pharoh's death. Many were made when they were a young king so that, well one reason of many, the face most closely resembled them in their youth.


Death for the ancient Egyptians was just another journey. Like life, it had its ups and downs, except that it happened on a different level of being. To prepare themselves for the journey that all of them would eventually take, they spent fortunes upon fortunes. They built "stairways to heaven" otherwise known as the pyramids. They developed elaborate death rituals. They made sure the dead, specifically the Pharaoh, was in a marvelously impractical casket called a sarcophagus. They put in his tomb all the luxuries he could ever need or want in that other realm of being called death--jewellry, food, you name it; I heard they would even put porno stuff in there. To top it all off, they wrote some special and supposedly magical images on the walls, like curses, to protect their dead.

The picture in the 9 of cups is the kind of condition every ancient Egyptian would want when they die.

That's how I see this card as a "wish fulfillment".


Thanks to you too for helping me understanding the Nine of Cups, this card has kept me puzzled for long, but you have reminded me how much the afterlife was important to the Egyptians, and how much they were all looking forward to that moment. :)


The sarcophagus to me is of the traditional depcition of king tut.
His tomb so far is the only tomb to have been found in tact with vast riches. Therefore I see this card as respresenting that, gold, riches, success, happiness. The gods are watching over him as you can see horus and anubis carved into the temple pillars.

Yes the obvious thoughts come to mind about life after death with the beliefs of the ancient egyptians. But w hat about the structure. Inbetween the gap of the top of the chamber ledge and the roof beam of the temple are 9 goblets. They appear to be helping suporrt the beam/roof along with the pillars. Again this card is very structured. A pillar of strength.

I love this card because of my love of all things Egyptian and also because I see this as a happy, successful, card.

Just my thoughts.


Nine of Cups

Here we have the exact same temple entry that was depicted in the High Priestess card, the only difference is that there is a sarcophagus standing in the archway. In addition there are nine chalices lied up between the archway and the ceiling main. In the ancient Egyptian society, death was more important than life in many ways. They believed in life in the afterworld and that when you died, you could take it with you, so to speak. So a big focus in life was in preparing for death. Both spiritual and physical preparations were made to provide for ones self and loved ones in death. That is one of the reasons why one of the first things a new Pharaoh would do was start having his tomb created, especially if it was to be a pyramid. The sarcophagus was usually a very intricate and valuable piece of art. Covered in prayers and spells scribed from the Book of the Dead, a well designed sarcophagus was not only a beautiful artifact but it had more options on it than a Cadillac Escalade. So a living Egyptian who had successfully completed his preparations for death BEFORE dying was one who could certainly sleep well at night and live happier knowing their forever after had been well provided for.

The High Priestess is one of the oldest and most exotic members of the clan. Very mystical and powerful, she is originally from the southern kingdoms. She was discovered by the original clan when they were on an expedition seeking for the fabled Egyptian mystical cults. She was seeking everlasting life, something the clan could definitely offer, so a deal was made. Although she is not unhappy with her decision there has always been a part of her that could not quite let go of her formal life and beliefs……..


I like very much the hieroglyphs on the columns, the arch and sarcophagus. To have done this, the person seems to have a very good life.