Exciting Card History: Queens

We all like to play casino games and saw that the pictures in an English deck didn’t represent anyone specific, but that this was the case in French decks. Same thing applies to our four Queens, although there are rumours that the Queen of hearts represents Elizabeth of York. However we’ll stick to the French interpretation here.

Queen of Diamonds

Last time we spoke about legends and mythological figures, with the Queen of diamonds we’ve got our first biblical character: ‘Rachel’. Apparently, she was the favorite wife of the Patriarch Jacob. Favorite, because this Jacob was first married to Rachel’s sister Leah. As you see, the bible was more modern than you’d assume.

This becomes more clear if you read the book of Genesis, named after a seventies prog band. This guy Jacob worked seven years for a certain Laban (his uncle), and in return  he would be allowed to marry his daughter, Rachel (so this was actually his niece). But this Laban just substituted Rachel for his other daughter Leah (another niece), because Laban thought it was better that the older sister should marry first. So Jacob had to work another seven years after the marriage to marry Rachel in the end, something completely normal for those guys from Genesis.

Jacob got a bunch of children from both wives and then fled with them, away from Laban. I guess Jacob was just tired of all the working. So Laban sold England by the pound and went after them, but he died because Jacob cursed him. Rachel meanwhile gets a second son from Jacob, but dies while giving birth. You can still visit the tomb of the queen of diamonds just outside Bethlehem. So only play this card when you believe in those stories of progressive rock.

Queen of Clubs

The Queen of clubs is a very mysterious card because it just represents Argine, which is an anagram for Regina, the Latin translation for ‘Queen’. So Argine actually just represents Freddie Mercury, who was not only the singer of Queen, but was also known as the ‘queen of clubs’ in the British nightlife. So play this card when you’re not afraid of taking big risks.

Queen of Hearts

Just like the other red Queen of our cards deck, the Queen of hearts represents a biblical figure, ‘Judith’, from the biblical book with the same name.’Judith’ literally means ‘the woman from Judah’. The story about Judith is one of the rare biblical stories where  women are portrayed more mighty than men.

The story goes as follows: the town of Betulia was attacked by the legendary Holofernes, a strong military leader whose assignment was nothing less than conquering the world. His army tried to conquer Betulia by occupying the water source which was vital for the complete water supply of the town. So the citizens became dehydrated and became quite desperate. But then there’s the rich widow Judith who invades the army of Holofernes and tries to seduce him. She attempts to get him drunk and finally Holofernes falls asleep.

She took her chance and cut off Holofernes’ head. Afterwards, Judith returns to town and he citizens attack the besiegers, who are completely confused when they see Holofernes’  head against the city walls. The army pulls back and Judith’s plan proved to be successful. So play this card with guts, because this woman can kick some serious ass.

Queen of Spades

Our last Queen is without any doubt the strongest, the Queen of spades or ‘Athena’. Athena is one of the most important and well-known goddesses of Greek mythology. She’s the goddess of a lot of things, but most of all the goddess of the clear heaven and the pure air. Athena herself is considered as pure as this air itself, that’s why her virginity was never doubted.

But Athena is also known as goddess of wisdom and art. And like that still isn’t enough for a virgin, she’s also often called the goddess of war and peace. Personally I think it must be a tough job to combine these last two, but hey, she’s a goddess. To thank her for all this divinity, the Athenians built the Parthenon on top of the Acropolis in the city she gave her name to: Athens. So never doubt playing this card, nothing can go wrong with this strong woman in your hands.