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Queer Tarot: Swords

Minor Arcana, pt 2

By Mx. Stevie (or Stephen) ColePublished about a year ago 5 min read

Welcome back queerly beloveds to the third-from-last in my series giving LGBTQIA+ perspectives on the Tarot cards. Let me bring you up to speed if you're new here!

The Tarot is a set of spiritual symbols on a deck of playing cards for fortune telling and meditation. To catch up on the Major Arcana, the first sequence of Tarot cards that tells a picture-story called "The Fool's Journey", click Here.

How the history of the Tarot is super queer - short version:

The designs were drawn by a biracial, bisexual artist, Pamela "Pixie" Colman Smith. She was working from a book by occultist A.E. Waite. He was working from books by Qabalist philosopher Eliphas Levi, who created the androgynous icon image Baphomet - half human, half animal; the animal side half bat, half goat; the human side half male/masculine, half female/feminine, with erect phallus and lactating breasts. Levi himself was influenced and inspired by ritualist Simon Ganneau, who used the name Mapah (Mama+Papa) as priest/ess of their spiritualist magical system Evadaism (Eve+Adam). Ganneau, finally, was influenced and inspired by proto-socialist, proto-feminist Saint-Simonian school of thought, who taught the need for a Female Messiah to rebalance the church back from the patriarchal political power it became. Now the Baphomet icon image is being used by The Temple Of Satan in the USA in their fight for LGBTQIA+ rights, equality and freedom; and a lot of Tarot readers and seekers are working from the book Seventy-Eight Degrees of Wisdom by transgender woman Rachel Pollack.

So you can understand how queer readers and seekers would have some unique insights to give - and here they are in this series of blogs!

The second part of the deck, the Minor Arcana, is four suits, like you might be expecting in a deck of cards - the Tarot's suits are Wands, Cups, Swords, Pentacles. These are images of the four Elements Fire, Water, Air, Earth - the essence of the four sides of ourselves - Mind, Heart, Soul, Body.


Swords are the Air-element suit, and it's thought of as a masculine energy (I don't think I need to explain the Sword's meaning for that!). It's the suit of the mind, the ideas, the inner monologue - so if you're someone who carries masculine intelligence inside yourself regardless of your outer form, this is the suit for you.

The Ace shows a hand confidently holding a strong straight sword: Take firm hold of your own ideas about yourself. Clearly and proudly express who you are!

The 2, a feminine figure holds two swords apart like compasses or clock hands, over water: You can hold fluid ideas about yourself and still firmly be yourself.

The 3, crisscrossing points pierce a heart, but it doesn't bleed: Others' outside ideas about you will pierce you, but not reshape your core.

The 4, a quiet crypt holds a noble who has lad their sword aside: Sometimes it's time to stop feeling like you have to explain yourself and peacefully be you, leaving those who don't accept you, outside.

The 5, a fight is over, the winner taking the losers' blades: This is the card of reclaimed slurs, and knowing that if people are threatened by the idea of you being yourself, you're winning.

The 6, a boat is floating into the distance, swords pointing the way: Navigate by your own inner self image, self identity, not by any outer definitions the world tries to direct you with.

The 7, a sneak thief makes off with his enemies' blades: The real fear at the root of homophobia and transphobia is that we're "destroying" or "replacing" the definitions of things like fidelity and family they identify themselves with, making them admit instead that we're as normal and natural as they are, our relationships just as real.

The 8, a bound and blindfolded woman stands flanked by swords on both sides, but with a clear way ahead: Firstly, no matter how those against us try to force us into their way, they can't stop us being who we are and walking it with Pride - and secondly, if bindings and blindfolds are your thing, don't let your fear of what other people might think, hold you back!

The 9, a sleeper wakes from a sword-laden nightmare: Coming out is like waking up from a dream - sometimes it means more fear and frustration than we used to have to live with, because the world might see us as abnormal and unnatural; but we don't have to let their fears affect us.

The 10, a figure lies bleeding out from multiple blades: Cutting yourself off from those who have stabbed you in the back, or shown you they will. The LGBTQIA+ community live in the heads of homophobes and transphobes rent-free, there's no need to give them any space in yours. Even if it means losing the ones you loved before they treated you that way.

And so, on to the Court Cards - what the Tarot has in place of the traditional Jack, Queen, King - the coming into our lives of the energy of the suit. The people around us or within us who embody it. The Page, the inner child; the Knight, the ideal self; The King & Queen, the masculine and feminine - one will be your inner, the other your outer, depending on who you are! The Swords is the suit of the Air element, and the Air element is the symbol of your inner mental self, your self image, your self identity. You wield male/masculine intelligence as a tool within yourself in some degree regardless of what outer form it's held in or how dominant or defining a part of your gender persona it is.


If you'd like a personal Tarot reading from me online, looking at things from these kinds of perspectives, you can reach me by clicking Here - and if you'd like to join my LGBTQIA+ Tarot group on bookface, you can do that by clicking Here.


About the Creator

Mx. Stevie (or Stephen) Cole




Tarot reader

Attracted to magic both practical & impractical

Writer of short stories and philosophical musings

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Comments (3)

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  • Sandra Tena Cole4 months ago

    One of the best in the series ❣️

  • Canuck Scriber8 months ago

    Again, a well written, in depth description of the cards, unique perspective also.

  • Alex H Mittelman 9 months ago

    Good writing! Congratulations! An amazing talent!

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