A Piece of My Mind: Regina di Spades

By Jeanne Fiorini

Regina di Spades, that’s it. Written in that particular script. If I ever change my name, that’s what I’d like to be called: Regina di Spades.

The Queen of Swords (Regina di Spades in English) is one of those Tarot cards that speaks loudly to me. I am self employed and currently live by myself.  Long periods of time can pass without there being a romantic relationship in my life.  As you may have read in another newsletter, my astrology chart shows four planets in Libra, which has connections with the King of Swords and the Justice card. (And while the Queen of Swords can be associated with Aquarius, this King’s sharp mind and this Queen’s sharp tongue often go hand in hand.) For Christmas last year, I received a three-piece manual saw kit, a twelve-piece knife set, and an office-sized paper cutter.  Perhaps “The Big U” was trying to tell me something?

In more ways than I would have consciously wished, the lessons of self-reliance have been honed through life experience. The good news is that the opinions of other people are less important than I ever would have thought possible. But while there is power in speaking with clarity, expressing autonomy, and fostering self-reliance, a Queen of Swords is not always the most popular girl on the block. Oh yes, the truth can hurt.

Nevertheless, most women I know need the courage and independent spirit of the Queen of Swords. We learn very early and too well the value of playing well with others and often never effectively integrate the ability to set boundaries, or more importantly, to feel good all on our own. If we do eventually find our way to the strength in this Queen, people around us who’ve become accustomed to the more demure version of friend/wife/mother/daughter/partner are likely to become unsettled, confused, or just plain angry.  

To which Regina would reply, “Oh well.”

In doing the research to find a particular online version of Regina di Spades, I ran across some interesting versions of the card that I’d like to share. Despite the various approaches and worldviews here, the consistency of the representation of this particular Queen speaks to her deliberate autonomy and a clear-headed approach to life.

Crowley Thoth

Let’s start with the Crowley version of ReginaCrowleyQS

Languid and serene, she lounges on her stratospheric throne, a brandished sword relaxed in her right hand and the mask of an outworn illusion in her left.  We get the sense she’s just lopped off someone’s head and is now bored. 

Phoenix Tarot

Here’s Regina di Spades, called just that, from the Phoenix Tarot.   


Tomboyish, armored, and ready to jump out her chair if someone would just, please, look at her the wrong way.  She reminds me of Trinity in the Matrix movies.     

Ator Tarot


This one cracks me up: Queen of Swords from the Ator Tarot deck … for those Tarot enthusiasts with a sense of humor.  Would A.E. Waite be turning over in his grave or laughing his butt off?  You be the judge. 

Hollywood Tarot

A fabulous Regina from a non-traditional venue is Hollywood Tarot’s Katherine Hepburn as the Queen of Swords.  HepburnQS-2

The subtitle under this image says, “Don’t even think about lying to her.”  She’s a good pick for a Queen of Swords, that’s for sure.  Who is more her own woman, a genuine Queen, than Katherine Hepburn?  True icons never die.

Secret Tarot


Regina di Spades from the Secret Tarot is the one that started this whole line of thought.  Her spidery shape and pallid face, the regal, tomblike room in which she stands (it’s unusual that she stands rather than sits), that off-center floating crown and her hugely long sword.  She’s waif-like but you know she’s lethal.  She’s ghostly and sexy at the same time.  She could be kind and generous, but you wouldn’t want to piss her off.  She’s scary and creepy, yet somehow very appealing.

While these Queens are powerful and self-determining, we can also see a dark side to the Queen of Swords in each image shown here.  They can be brutally direct and ruthlessly cutting with their words. They’ll dismiss you in a moment if you’re deemed unworthy of their valuable time. We cannot imagine one among them asking for any help whatsoever, unless it involves bringing them a cocktail or taking out the garbage. 

Connected to the aforementioned idea of alienation, many a Regina  has suffered loneliness so as to not break the spell of apparent independence.  Too bad, because many people would be happy to think that they had something useful to offer such a regal persona.

Regardless of the potential pitfalls, don’t be afraid to show your Regina-self, if and when you need her and if it pleases you.  And please you it must, or there is no point.  Just make sure she doesn’t become the only coat you pull from your closet, because she will burn bridges and leave relationships a wasteland when over-worn.  

But when you need to speak your truth and all else be damned, she’s your best friend.

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Tarot Reflections is published by the American Tarot Association - Copyright (C) 2009
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