The Gothic Tarot by Vargo - Nine Of Pentacles


In some sort of cavern, made of brambles, is a woman, dressed in white. She's looking sadly at a tombstone covered by brambles, and she caresses it with her right hand. A Raven stands on it, cawing. Nine pentacles are above them.

The cave looks like a sanctuary, a shrine, with the pentacles protecting the entry, where the woman spends her time, remembering her beloved, and missing this person. It's possible that she has made it happened, for the brambles, to cover from all side this grave, to ensure her intimacy. The raven seems to know the deceased person as well, but is powerless to bring back the person to life.


I like how this card is kind of an alternate reality version of the RWS card! Instead of a garden she's in a cave, a raven rather than a hawk, tombstones instead of bushes!


This is a difficult card for me...

Although I like mj07's take on it very much, I can see the references you draw attention to myself.

Brambles, they look like gnarled tree roots to me. Brambling vines on the tombstone, yes. It looks as if the tombstone itself, the last tactile thing this spirit may encounter of this person, is also being claimed.

Nines speak of cycles coming to fruition. What if she must let go of even this last evidence of a previous life due to the slow decay of time and nature?

And, what if this is her own grave? The words are unseen, obscurred.

The raven seems kind to me. He looks as if he is trying to hold her hand.


The pained look in her eyes implies that this may be her own grave or one of a loved one, and the pain more because the memory is falling into oblivion, rather than the actual death.

Being completely forgotten is some people's greatest fear, more so than actual death.


interesting views

I too, view the vines similar to tree roots, either way they are out of control and will soon have her trapped in this place if she doesnt leave soon. Even the raven appears to be ready to take flight. She does appear to be clinging to the very last bit of memory, of a loved one and yes perhaps even herself. The image of the woman is in a ghostly appearance. So perhaps she mourns the death of who she use to be? Given pentacles relate to health, money and materialistic things, I saw the vines to be symbolic of materialist things. Does she over indulge in the materialistic things to the point of cluttering/hording, to fill a void even though it appears it still does not make her happy. She clutches to her shawl that is wrapped around her.....deep down the materialistic things do not fill that need, she is still left cold?

Just another view point. I dealt this card for a practice 4 card spread reading for someone else.....When I told her how I had seen this card (as above) she was suprised at the accuracy of how it related to her.

Goddess blessings


Mmmmm I love this image…

All good stories begin near, or have a portion that occurs, in the deep dark forest. And here we are…

Deep – dark – surrounded by leafless vines that cover all in their way (kind of like Mirkwood).

She’s pensive, and regards not the tombstone (Her’s? A lover’s? Does it matter?), but the Raven who sits atop it.

Their intercourse is the subject of our vista.

Neither submits; both experience the “perfection of the relationship.”


Nine of Pentacles

The scene takes place in a hollow that seems to be completely surrounded by huge vines. I assume there are big trees that just quite can’t be seen in the darkness. There is a single tombstone centered within this hollow; vines are crawling up it nearly covering the thing. A raven sits atop the stone; its wings unfurled as if it was just landing. A fog covers the ground around the stone, but it does not seem to extend out of the hollow. The specter of a woman stands next to the stone. She is more eloquently dressed than many found in these cards. She reaches out her left hand to touch the stone; the gesture seems to be that of familiarity not curiosity. Her right hand modestly holds her spectral cloak together in front of her. The look upon her face seems peaceful but somewhat sad. Nine pentacles arch along the top of the hollow like a trellis. They do not seem to be mounted to anything.

This hollow contains this one single grave. It has formed naturally; the vines growing so strong and thick, to both protect and honor her remains. She was a most beloved and wonderful queen. Beautiful and caring she was loved by noble and peasant alike. She was also loved very much by her husband and king. Over time the pressures of running the kingdom and protecting both his interests, the interests of his family holdings, and the interests of the kingdom kept them apart more often than not. Although she kept busy and took care of those in her charge, life just wasn’t as full of the love it once was. Without her man by her side to hold and talk to she became very lonely. One day she got the fever. A dispatch was sent to the king and he dropped everything and jumped on a horse and madly dashed towards home. He rode nonstop for three days; no less than five horses dropped dead beneath him in mid-stride. The news of her passing reached him as he entered the castle gates. He knelt by her side for hours, holding her cold hand to his face; uttering no sound and making no movement. When he finally came forth from the room, he was carrying her in his arms. He took her out through the garden entrance, and forbade anyone to follow him or enter the garden. When he returned he was dirty and ragged. The hollow emptiness in his eyes that were so full of life was haunting. He used to come to visit her in their favorite corner of the garden, but she has not seen him here for a very, very long time. He still sees her occasionally. He watches from afar, as he cannot bear to reveal to her what kind of monster he has become……..


The raven have his wings ready to take flight. Maybe it's the last briefing and/or moments of tranquility between the two before a travel to the unknown.


i just did one of my first readings with this deck an pulled this card. i got a very "you cant take it with you" feel for this one.

just my 2 cents.....