Queen of Blades
Planetary: Saturn (Above) / Venus (Below)
Diamond Path: Binah, Understanding (Above) / Netzach, Victory (Below)
Geomantic Figure: Albus
Tetragram: Water (Above) / Air (Below)
Keywords: Terror, Battle, Gracefulness, Strife, Trickery, Undoing, Protection, Land Wealth, Military Leaders, Poison, Fate, Attack, Hostility, Fear, Confusion, Death Omen, Suicide, Rivers, Lakes and Freshwater, Battle Magick, Necromancy
Keywords (Ill-Dignified): Cruel, Flaky, Bearing False Witness, Narrow-minded,
Historical: This Queen is associated with the old Queen Pallas Athena, of Greece. Born from the thoughts of the sky father, Zeus, it is a fitting model for the Queen of Swords. She is a strong, active military woman, fighting for justice and humanity. She was also considered Goddess of Truth and was a prophetess. She protected cities, supported mathematics, arts, crafts and law and so can be seen as a force for technology and civilization, man’s higher callings. Serpent symbology is strongly associated with her, as is the head of a putti, or man, on her armor, probably symbolizing her strong association with mankind itself. Her Egyptian counterpart is Neith.
Her animal form in prehistory was of the bird and the serpent, especially sea eagles and owls. More important to the card itself, her name is etymologically rooted in aether, air, earth and moon.
In France, on the old packs, the card is called Reyne De L’epee. Sometimes, she will be called the Queen of Daggers and the old Queen of Spades.
The Pierpont Morgan-Bergamo Visconti-Sforza pack shows a beautiful queen, with large eyes and blushed cheeks, in a gown, holding a longsword, casually, over her right shoulder and arm, which is encased in a heavily armored plate gauntlet. The Sforza lions’ face is present, over her pauldrons. She holds her armored left hand up in a sign of blessing or benediction, and the mount of Venus is graced with a tiny triangle. A sinuous red silk scarf that resembles a serpent, is tied about her right arm. This is much like the Kabbalistic practice of tying a red thread, for blessing. There is a single green tree in the background. A border of pinstripes and florets are on the edge of her white gown. Her halo of golden hair adds to her loveliness. This is the Kingmaker.
Golden Dawn: Called The Queen of Swords, Queen of the Thrones of Air, the Queen of Swords card corresponds to the zodiacals Virgo and Libra and places at Sephira #3 (Binah,) in the Golden Dawn system.
In the Golden Dawn, the Queen of Swords is carrying a severed head, like the biblical figure Judith, but this is strange, considering Judith is historically associated with the suite of Hearts, not Spades. A cherub’s face is also present, probably a degradation of the Visconti-Sforza lion, from the Queen of Cups (Hearts.) Clouds will be everywhere on a Golden Dawn Queen of Swords card, and she will be carrying a sword, pointed in any direction.
Godfrey Dowson has her carrying a severed head also, but also, adds the appearance of snakes in her hair, perhaps a nod to the Greek attribution of the older decks.
Thoth: Aleister Crowley makes no mention of Athena, in the description found in his The Tarot of the Egyptians, but, he infers it. He of course makes a point of putting her down more than he praises her, excusing his drivel by saying beforehand “if she is ill-dignified” but make no mistake – just read the descriptions to the princes and you’ll see what team he is batting for, but he at least explains the head – she is the liberator of the mind.
Mutational Alchemy Interpretation: Air of Water, the Queen of Blades, descends from Jupiter, or Chesed (Merciful Benevolence,) to Earth, or Malkuth (Kingdom). One can see immediately from this, she is a bringer of wealth and prosperity. She will do this in a sinister way, and use masculine means of doing it, whether through war, or through intricate plotting.
Her tetragram tells of a son, following the mother, supported by the feminine and benefitting from her influence, in Earth in the Above and Air in the below. There will be oppression and control of the low, small minded people. Her geomantic character resembles a chalice, with a wide base, like the Queen of Staves’ thinner, stemmed grail.
Her power is one of surprise, and control of time itself. This is the meaning of the wheel of the Twin Serpents, below her leap of misdirection and diversion. The hexagrams follow a stringent light-dark cycle on the Twin Serpents, and they can be used to calculate astrological signs in other solar systems, even ones with twin stars.
The Scene: Water of Air, mistress of weather, The Irish Morrigan, like Venus, rules Victory in War. It would be appropriate to call her the King Maker and the King Slayer. She wields tremendous authority over the fates of battles, and like the Dakinis of Asia, appears as a carrion bird. The root of her name essentially means “The Terror Queen,” “The Phantom Queen,” or “The Nightmare Queen.” She is a triune goddess, represented by three parts, Badb, the War Crow, Macha, the Queen of Horses and Plains, and Anand, or Nemain, Vengeance.
The raven-headed hippogryph in the background, symbolizes this trio, while she herself is shown descending swiftly to deliver death from above, an homage to her path from Binah, to Malkuth. The position on the Hidden Diamond paths is important, as she never descends into Yesod, Foundation, nor Malkuth, as with the other queens. Her power lies in the machinations of men, intellect, cunning, inspiration and military strategy. They are her special abilities that give her the power to fortify or overthrow dynasties. The powers of terror and confusion, are ones which she wields with a master’s touch. Having her on your side, ensures victory, against the unworthy.
In the mythology, she would hover over the battlefield, deciding who the Victor would be. She could summon the dead back to life and was granted the honor after the battle, of gathering the heads of the fallen as her “acorn crop.” In the form of a washer woman, she would appear at a river, ominously washing clothes of the soldiers who were about to go to battle and die, thus, predicting, or deciding their fate. Morrigan offers one god, Cuchulainn, her love, and he refuses, ignorant that she is in fact offering him what he wants. She becomes his doom, in his effort to secure victory. The moral of this tale is that the King and the Land are one, and the Morrigan represents the land itself. In refusing her, he was refusing to be King. She is closely tied to rivers, like the washerwomen who she disguises herself as. The Airy Water, of the Queen of Blades is best represented by river rapids, which can be treacherous and deceptive, just like the Morrigan.
Geomantic: Called Albus (Latin, for *White*,) in its medieval interpretation, the correct Elemental association should define it as a (Mature) Feminine/Analytical character, corresponding to the qabbalistic Yetzirah (Formation,) in the Four Celestial (or Elemental,) Worlds.
Jungian Type: Rationals Class / INTP (Architect) Type
Freedom to pursue knowledge is of great importance to the INTP, and they do not place limitations on themselves. They are loners by nature, frowning upon social hierarchy and they do not like to be lead, or ordered around. They dislike those who hold strictly to traditions, for the sake of social norms. Masters of theory and systems analysis, they refrain from letting emotion interfere with their theories. Even though this makes them seem reserved, they are quite capable of wit and humor, given that their analytical minds have a firm grasp of knowledge.