I pull a Tarot card for the day, drawing from a deck called Navigators of the Mystic Sea. I have drawn the Queen of Swords, In this deck, she is tagged with the word "Subversion". Instead of thinking about what she may represent for me today, I decide that I'll enter her perspective and try to grasp what part of me may be like the Queen of Swords, and what strengths and challenges come with that.
I am seated in a high black throne on the edge of a chasm. My robes are gold and purple, and I wear a gold helmet with a long back-plate that protects my neck. A huge solitary raven perches on the top of my throne, above my head. Though I am seated, my right arm, brandishing a sword, is vigorously outstretched, pointing to the far side of the abyss, as if am ordering an army to attempt the dangerous crossing – or warning off an unseen force on the other side. In my left palm, I am holding what may be an orb but could also be a pocket watch.
Where my robes flow over the armrest of the throne, they burst into other colors – blue and lavender, teal and pink and gold again. The same colors stream like ribbons through the sky above the high orange peaks in the background, and – joining my streaming robes – along the edge of the abyss.
In the distance, a strange brown dog (if it is a dog) is leaping over the chasm, from the far side towards my side. When I inspect his jump, I see that the far side of the abyss is higher than my side.
I remember that, in other images, I am represented as holding a severed head, and that I have been called the Mask Cutter. My sharp sword gives me the power to strip away illusion and pretension. But I know that the sharpness of my intellect can suppress my essential feminine gifts and that, misused, my sword can cut down the brightest hopes and ambitions. I cut deep.
A solitary raven is not to be trusted. The raven you can rely on is one of a pair. The head is not to be trusted without the heart.
I have come to the very edge. I may order others to take the jump, but do not take it myself. Yet I am barefoot, which gives me the ability to touch and feel the earth if I am willing to listen to my body.
I am beautiful but cold and aloof and unforgiving. I place myself above others. The dog, jumping to my side, could help to soften me.
There is a story to be written about me, and why I sit, with sword unsheathed at this high and wild and lonely border. My throne is also my prison, from which I can be released only with the help of the dog and the second raven, the one who does not appear on the card. There is a clue in the arrangement of the scene. I sit on the left side of the chasm, and on the left side of the brain.
Note: I first posted this piece a few years ago. I am posting again because of a friend's question about the significance of the Queen of Swords. Entering the perspective of this court card is as an example of how we can learn to meditate or journey with tarot. I am leading a "Tarot for Dreamers" weekend workshop involving this and other practices for active dreamers who are interested in tarot at magical Mosswood Hollow on May 9-10.