Card: Queen of Swords
Section: Court Cards/Minor Arcana
Esoteric Title: The Queen of the Thrones of Air
Card Name: Queen of Swords
Astrological Attribution: 20° Virgo to 20° Libra (cardinal air)
Elemental Attributions: Water of Air
Planetary Attribution: Mercury
Qabalistic Attribution: Binah in Yetzirah
Dates: September 12 to October 12
The Queen of Swords sits high upon her throne of clouds. Her chest is bare and a blue flowing sarong-like cloth held with a gleaming blue belt covers the lower part of her body. In her right hand, she holds a sword pointed downward. In her left hand, she holds the severed head of a bearded man (the king, perhaps?). On her head sits a crystal crown upon which is adorned the head of a child or perhaps even a cherub. There are fifteen rays radiating from the ten tips of the crown. Between the clouds is a dark blue sky.
- Crystal Crown – crystal clear thoughts/ideas, clear perception, clarity of thought
- Swords – sharp mind, clear mind, cutting through illusions, liberation
- Child’s head – new thoughts/ideas, in with the new
- Severed man’s head – liberation of the mind, out with old, separation of the intellect from instincts, old/outmoded ways of thinking, casting away the masks we wear, removing deceptions, fantasies & illusions.
- Blue skies – clarity of thought
This queen is larger than life, emanating power and clarity. Lon Milo DuQuette points out in Understanding Aleister Crowley’s Thoth Tarot that this card represents Crowley’s sun sign so hence, its intimidating nature. She has the razor-sharp ability to get to the heart of a matter and sees with is – rather than what others wish her to see. This card represents leadership and empowerment – and the severed head in her hand may indicate a need to cut away all that holds you back and inhibits you. In this way, it demonstrates determination and strength of will. It also points to crystal-clear rational and intellectual thinking and is someone who is open to new ideas (as suggested by the child’s head on top of the crystal throne).
The disconnection of the head from the heart points to clear, objective thinking, as opposed to being ruled by the emotions. I’ve seen some people refer to the severed head as a mask (rather than an actual human head), thus representing the removal of the masks we wear – the things behind which we hide. However, this perceptive queen is difficult to fool.
Perceptive, keen observer, clear thinking, objectivity, a different perspective, a sharp mind, new ways of thinking, new ideas, sharp wit, strong will, independence, intelligence, self-reliance, critical, freedom, liberation of thought, analytical, dominating, someone intense, quick-thinking, no-nonsense, take-charge attitude, mental accomplishments, mental discipline, confident in action, emancipated, rational, freeing oneself from illusions, letting go of old ideas, ambition, thought dominates emotions, going it alone
Dangerous, sarcastic, cruel, sly, deceitful, intolerance, betrayal, narrow-mindedness, cynicism, bitterness, vindictiveness