For many viewers of HBO’s medieval powerhouse Game of Thrones Sansa Stark has been a victim for many seasons. When we first saw her lose her beloved dire wolf, Lady, after Arya’s rebellion against Joffrey in season 1; I knew intuitively that they were going to tear this girl apart limb from limb and I dreaded seeing yet another human sacrifice. As one who despised Vanessa’s sacrifice in order to “go to God” in the finale of Showtime’s Penny Dreadful; I watched the latest Game of Thrones episode where thankfully Sansa came into her own, with a mixture of dread and triumph although they may kill Sansa yet. She has grown very nicely into the Red Wolf. In the days following the broadcast I have come to identify with Sansa more and more because frankly we’ve been down the same road. I too have been orphaned, abused and twisted the subtle ways that life and pain can twist you in order to give you the sinister coping skills to survive. Nevertheless, I assure you my enemies often refer to me as a gorgeous monster.
For many in the blogosphere Sansa embodied the classic Princess Archetype at the beginning of the show. But season after season, through Joffrey, Little Finger, Tyrion and finally Ramsay; we’ve seen her be humiliated, lied to, used and abused to the extent that no Princess should ever have to suffer. And yet through it all she has survived and become for me what I interpret intuitively as the archetype for the tarot card the Queen of Swords.
In most interpretations of the court card the Queen of Swords represents the mature intellect devoid of emotion. Surely, Sansa embodies this now. She is not above fooling her half-brother Jon Snow for his own good. And we can almost stand sinfully in her skin as she releases the hounds to eat her loathsome ex, Ramsey Bolton. Both moves were brilliant and perfectly timed. Years of abuse have taught her how to separate thought, feeling and emotion in order for her to survive to womanhood. And she has become a bit of a monster in her own right albeit a beautiful one at that. One has to wonder what Cersei suffered as a girl to become as twisted as she is today. And we know that Dani, the other queenly survivor, was literally a slave until she was married and then painfully widowed. And yet all three woman have power in this violently misogynistic world, but only because they were born into nobility. A common peasant girl would never have survived such treatment and many of the whores in this world die young. We’ve seen them drop like flies.
The Queen of Swords in many readings refers to a woman who has survived such trials and tribulations and come out not only whole, but a heroine in the most difficult situations. Traditionally the Queen of Swords is a widow, but in most cases she is a woman who survived the loss of her family, a loved one or perhaps even her soul mate. Australian born singer Sia comes to mind. It is hard to imagine that the resplendent angel of oddity singing underneath the stars at Coachella this year had ever lost the love of her life. But there she was serenading a packed audience underneath the desert sky literally transforming them with sound. In some cases the Queen of Swords is a veteran of drug addiction who constantly battles her inner demons with such intent that her own knowledge of self is as sharp as a sword tip. There are those women who have risen to the heights of their careers at a young age because they are driven to succeed in order to escape the horrors of the powerlessness of incest and sexual molestation. And those women, who for whatever reason have survived enough failed relationships to reach the other side of menopause with more than enough gumption to abandon the notions of being wives have become advocates, PHDs, best-selling authors and crazy cat ladies with the secrets of magick hidden in the creases of their smiles.
These are the Queens of Swords that I know and love oh so well. Behind the closed door of my reading room we glimpse into the vaults of the Akashic records or spy on converging time lines intent on figuring out ways to conquer in business and in the bedroom. So, I assure you that there are times when we take delight in sharpening our swords against a cruel world because we’ve grown accustomed to winning against the odds. Say what you will about this particular Queen. Victory is hers.
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