side-by-side: queen of swords

March was a very busy month, so it’s fitting that the first side-by-side I’ve gotten to catch up with had to be March. My boyfriend and I made a swift decision to jump on a new lease so a lot of things had to go into action really quickly.

(Quick editor’s note — I did buy a new RSW travel deck, the Centennial edition in the tin, but because it’s really the same as my main RSW deck, just with lighter colors and a little smaller, I’m not including it in the side-by-sides.)

The Queen of Swords sticks to me as the “Queen of No Bullshit” — she cuts to the point, and maybe her words are a little sharper than you’d hoped to hear from her, but you also know that she will tell you the truth even if it stings. She also sees and thinks clearly — in the RSW, the sword is out in front of her, not through her head or her heart, so she has enough separation from it to see it clearly.

The Wanderer’s Tarot has different terms for the Court Cards — the Wanderer is the Knight, the Philosopher is the Page, the Prophet is the King, while the Goddess is the Queen. Knives are Swords in the Wanderer’s Tarot, so the Goddess of Knives stands in this place. Attention is particularly called to the sight of the Goddess — with her one eye, she is focused clearly, as if she could see right through you. (Queen of No Bullshit!)

The Lioness Oracle’s Queen of Swords is a beautiful powerful large cat — I’m assuming a leopard. There’s a lot to say about the power of leopard print, especially for women, and those who wear it harnessing some of that wildness. But at the same time, it feels peaceful — for now. There’s definitely sharpness in leopard as well as the soft luxury of it.

Mucha Tarot continues to puzzle me a bit in terms of the decisions made in the art direction. The sword is held across the Queen in a bit of a defensive position; she is holding it pointed down in front of her, and looking up and away from it, as if lost in thought. She does have the red hair of the RSW, and you can see the birds in the sky reflecting the air element of Swords. She seems a lot more dreamy and defensive than sharp and cutting.

Because the Ophidia Rosa tarot doesn’t have “true” suits, and doesn’t actually tell you what flower is on each card, I can’t say what kind of flower this is. But I can see the spiny heart of it, as well as the coiled, collected snake pondering the blossom.

Like the Wanderer’s Tarot, the Wild Unknown has renamed its court cards to represent family members — the Daughter, Son, Mother, and Father. Meanwhile, each family is also an animal — owls, swans, snakes, and deer. The choice of owls for Swords is particularly fitting because of owls’ traditional association with wisdom and learning; they’re also not known for being super-friendly. The Mother of Swords is not somebody to mess with.

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