The Gothic Tarot by Vargo – Nine Of Swords


There's a creature on the top of a building, on the edge of the side. It's about to fall on the nine swords right below, and it barely holds on by its feet. On its shoulder is a demonic chimera, adding weight to the creature and pushing it down. The chimera smiles maliciously while the creature is terrified.

The creature is terrified to fall, but the creature has wings and obviously could fly out of there. The swords are there but it is the pommels of the swords that are up, not the sharp ends, the creature can't be stabbed by falling. So the fear of the fall and of the stabbing are futile, not based on reality.


I look at the Nine, and see a demon perched upon a gargoyle – about to launch upon prey. The picture gives us a feeling of pending movement – and not for the better (all movement is coming from the left.


I see a demon who's come home to roost. That's the look of "I've found you," to me ... landed right on your back even. And perhaps, in divination, a time when one's own worst nightmares have found us again, attacking us right in our homes, or where we feel safe.

The posture of the gargoyle reminds me of vomitting, perhaps a symbol of the need to purge oneself of these persistently clinging demons. Shake them off; rid yourself of the demon on your back and in doing so, return from a state of "stone," where one's reactions may be fixed (and possibly despondant) to one of life again.

Umbrae said:
The picture gives us a feeling of pending movement – and not for the better (all movement is coming from the left.

Can you elaborate on "the movement coming from the left," and those connotations?


Nine of Swords

The nine swords are lined up in a row at the bottom of the card, and other than the symbolism they portray, seem to have no other impact on this card. Of the two gargoyles pictured here the winged griffin like one that is perched on the edge of the roof is inanimate. The other gargoyle is standing on the back of the statue, and he is active. He stares at the viewer with his glowing red eyes.

This beastie is another sentry, and he is currently on duty. He seems a bit more whimsical than some of the others we have seen in the cards. I am not sure if he is using this griffin as a decoy and trying to blend and seem like a part of the scene. There is also the possibility that he is doing the opposite and trying to look more threatening by being mounted on one of his brethren. In either case it makes it hard to determine the level of threat here, or even if there is one for sure. If it wasn’t for the glowing eyes, it would very much seem like they were both inanimate. What I do know is that I would have a hard time taking my eyes off from them until I knew for sure what I was dealing with.


frightened to face the new?

Looking at the card, I first thought that the swords were making a road. Maybe the red-eyed gargoyle tried to make the other one sleep on a nailed bed? Or the red-eyed gargoyle is trying the other gargoyle to takes his first flight? If so, I understand it seems frightened.

There is claws on the "hand" of the red-eyed gargoyle. It could be used to make a statement of "move or be dead". At least, the red-eyed gargoyle could use them quickly and effortlessly to get what he want.