The Gothic Tarot by Vargo – XVIII The Sun


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

A bad male angel, with bat wings, holds in his arms a female angel, with white wings, wearing a white dress. She seems to be weak and incapable of flying, he transport her. Behind is a solar eclipse, and the moon seems to go now and we can see bits of the sun coming back.

The sun here doesn't seem to be a good element. After all, the sun kills vampires; if this couple don't find a refuge, they will die. Or maybe this could explain why there is no day scene in the major arcana: there was an eclipse, and now the sun is coming back.


What is this about?

Something has happened, and we missed it. An event occurred while in the umbra of the eclipse – it was dark and we missed it.

I don’t know about good or bad here – she is allowing him to carry her, and she’s not upset at him.

But we are moving away from the umbrae, light has revealed the aftermath. He carries her away; she is wounded, but not mortally.


I often see the dark angel (yay!) as a hero, carrying his maiden to safety. He does not appear to me to be predatory or have evil intent; his motives are pure. Appearances cannot be assumed to be the ultimate definition of a person's character, sometimes the most unlikely people are heroes. To me, this card speaks of surpassing expectations, doing the right thing and feeling good about it, and the reversal speaks to me of being taken advantage of (people using your generous traits to get them where they want to go), or of judgement based upon appearance (quite an important issue for me).


In the Decameron deck, the Sun shows two "equals" that have given up their battle, shed their armor, and given themselves over to lovemaking instead.

This card reminds me of the same ... the grand equality that exists between us all. These two might have been equals, but for now, one relies upon the strength of the other.

Dark and light; the eclipse, and the dark male and light female seen here. Despite the obvious differences between us, we are the same.

Have these two given up a battle with each other as well? Or, has the battle already been fought, and the wounded is shown lovingly supported away? If we consider the child on the horse in the RWS, the image here might loosely suggest the innocent (female) is supported away by one stronger than herself.

Lastly, when this phase of an eclipse is seen, there is a minute or two of what's called "the diamond ring" effect. As the sun first moves into or away from it's position of totality, there is a cluster, a glimmer of light that creates the effect of a diamond upon a golden ring.

These two look like they are either seconds before, or seconds after the "diamond ring" of the eclipse.


Yin and Yang

In researching some of the symbolism of other sun cards, the common theme of Yin and Yang arose.

In Tao, a balance is necessary and nature will make adjustments until balance is again achieved.

We have what may appear to be a "good" female angel, and an "evil" male angel; although he appears to me, a vampire.

Traditionally, a solar eclipse is a powerful time for magic, especially on the dark side. So maybe we see balance in action. The strength of the angel has been sapped by the eclipse and was soon defeated. But the vampire still recognizes the need for balance. He is not honor less, and is merciful in his victory sparing her from destruction. Although where he is taking her I do not know. He does have to leave because the eclipse will not last forever, and it would be far better for him if he is not around when it is over.


only because he looks to be a vampire

Perhaps he used the oppurtunity given to him to bring a new (infant) vampire into being and is bearing her away to safety before the sunlight returns.


A beautiful suggestion silk selen!!! :D There is a tenderness beneath the image, I've always felt, that would support this interpretation as well....


"One who is filled with the Tao
is like a newborn child.
The infant is protected from
the stinging insects, wild beasts, and birds of prey.
Its bones are soft, its muscles are weak,
but its grip is firm and strong. "

I think this card represents the usual black/white dichotomy that has pervaded much of Western and Eastern Culture. The unification of good within bad and bad within good ~ one cannot exist without the other.

The vampire in this card carries the angel to safety. He spreads his wings in an effort to protect and shield her. He is dark she is light, he is strength, she is weakness, for now. He gains his strength from the darkness, the moonlight, just as she gains hers from the light, the sun. The eclipse however points to change, their positions will be reversed when the sun is in the position of strength and she will then have to carry him to safety. In some cultures the Moon is the maternal, the Sun the paternal.

According to Tao there is strength in weakness, knowing when to submit, knowing when to bend, that in itself is a strength. For now, her strength is in allowing him to help and protect her. His strength is physical and hers is spiritual.

I see love in this card, I think the vampire would be willing to sacrifice himself for her. It looks as though his feet are turning to bone from the faint rays of the sun but he will carry her to safety nevertheless. Some things transcend good and evil.

"When people see things as beautiful,
ugliness is created.
When people see things as good,
evil is created. "


No one has mentioned what first struck me -- that this might be the same couple seen in The Moon card, although admittedly the male's wings here are bat-like, in The Moon they appear to be feathered. Or maybe it's the same female, but a different male -- she's played her games and is worn out with flirting, so her final choice is carrying her off, victorious. Whereas in The Moon, the female was dominant, in The Sun it's the male who leads the way, which is appropriate to the two cards.

I do see tenderness here, and affection. I think the idea is that gothic creatures, like all beings, can be affectionate as well. And I really don't think they're vampiric; I think the eclipse is just a device to be able to show the sun -- hardly a gothic staple -- without resorting to a blazing radiance that wouldn't fit the gothic atmosphere at all.


I, too, see a tenderness here. the female angel's arms clasp around the vampire's shoulders, her head leans on his shoulder close to the vampire, who is holding her. So it is like she's in his arms because she wants to be in his arms and there is not a better place to be.

Him being a succubus is also possibility, cause he has those batlike wings. fascinating point, Whipsilk. I havent also related this card to The Moon before. if this is an eclipse, it'd make sense this moon is partially blocking this sun. the moon is present here.