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Queen of Swords
by jmd

Card Meaning
Artistic Media
Artist's Bio


Basically, I wanted for this card, following the Knight of Swords, to reflect another Arthurian image, without any overt semblance of the epic sagas.

I decided on an image of Queen Guinevere, and began the arduous task of extracting her from a far more beautifully wholesome painting. She stands, facing her active (right) side, but her head is slightly bent... one senses, however, that her eyes are meeting straight-on whomever or whatever her glance is encompassing.

In this card, unlike the previous, the scimitar is in the passive repose, point down, having completed its task.

A little by 'accident', the volcanic image, with its red lava flow unretouched by my work, gives the impression of blood dropping from the fiery blade of the sword - placed to her left, protecting her from unseen quarters following her judgement.


In a number of traditional decks, the Queen of Swords gives the impression of early pregnancy - though the pregnancy need not be taken literally. Her very stance, in the way she has imposed herself in this image, imbues serenity and compassion. Yet, the explosive quality of the volcano is there - and sorry be whomever is not mindful of her fiery nature, erupting at intervals one would certainly like to be able to predict, however imprecisely.

As Queen, she has both responsibility for others, but also has immense resources to draw from.

As a Sword card (which I tend to connect to the element of Fire - see my notes on the Knight of Swords), she may also hold a spiritual repose, poised for action.

Card Meaning

As I mentioned for the previous card, I often use the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator with the court cards. For the Queen of Swords, if using this method, I may see an Introverted iNtuitive Feeling Judging type, or at least someone who has these - or needs to apply - these characteristics.

As Introvert, now is not the time to look outwards, but to reflect, and come to a decision (Judging) looking at both the possibilities inherent in the situation (iNtuitive) and the likely paths developments may make; paying due respect for Feelings, but even more importantly allowing oneself to actually come to the decision using these.

Artistic Media

Having been inspired by both the Tarot of Prague and especially the Golden Tarot (v.1) - two recent decks using an electronic collage technique, I thought I would make an attempt along the same line. Efforts flowed easily for both this card and the Knight completed the previous day. Having beforehand determined to look for images on the .net of a scimitar (which I now already had and had used for the Knight), Queen Gwenevere, a volcano - and whatever else serendipitously found - the image took shape using Apple's AppleWorks 6 Painting and Drawing programmes.

Artist's Bio

Jmd has been exposed to the Tarot since birth, but only began serious investigation of this and other esoteric arts and sciences since his early twenties. Since 1982, he has also held various ritualistic positions in a number of esoteric orders located in Melbourne, Australia. In addition to previously teaching philosophy at University, he has also taught Tarot, Astrology, and Kabbalah courses at various other adult educational institutions. Jmd now teaches in a Steiner (Waldorf) high school and teacher-training institute.

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