Bohemian Gothic Tarot: Nine of Swords: Nightmares and Visions

Posted: April 18, 2015 in art, books, horror, music, quotes, tarot
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,


“Even if she be not harmed, her heart may fail her in so much and so many horrors; and hereafter she may suffer–both in waking, from her nerves, and in sleep, from her dreams.” ― Bram Stoker, Dracula

“Thus fortified I might take my rest in peace. But dreams come through stone walls, light up dark rooms, or darken light ones, and their persons make their exists and their entrances as they please, and laugh at locksmiths.” ― Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu, Carmilla

As I continue my study of The Bohemian Gothic Tarot deck, it occured to me that it would make sense to discuss the cards in some chronological order.  However, since I’m not at all a linear thinker, that idea was quickly eschewed in favor of a more  instinctive bent. Hence, I’ll just be writing about whichever card strikes my fancy. And on this new moon, it is:

Nine of  Swords

keyowrds: Nightmares. Visions.  Terrors of the mind.   Delusions. Phobias and hysteria.   Fear of going mad.

bohemian gothic tarot nine of swords

Brings to my mind the works of Poe and Jackson. The artistic horrors of Bava and Argento.

Reflections on the card: While certainly most would consider this a negative card (and in many aspects it is), it also invokes in me a singular excitement. No doubt  because dreams and nightmares often fuel my own stories.

“I delight in what I fear,” Shirley Jackson once said.  Her Eleanor vance could have posed for this card.

We all have fears.  They can control us, or we can turn them into our own works of art.

Alexander Scriabin’s Black Mass (Piano Sonata no. 9)

  1. allystoyel says:

    This is fantastic! So interesting. I particularly liked the renaissance painting up the top which I first saw when discussing sleep paralysis with someone, where you often feel a pressure on your chest like something is sitting on you while suffering from it, just like the demon in the image. This ties in with your whole theme of night terrors etc. it’s happened to me only once but was absolutely terrifying and I hallucinated an intruder in the room!

  2. Hi Ally,

    Thanks so much for stopping by! That painting by Fuseli is one of my favorites. I’ve often had sleep paralysis since I was a child. (long before I knew the term). It’s a frightening feeling, but if you learn not to panic, can be very useful for lucid dreaming and OBE.

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