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Thursday, August 20, 2015

Sherlock Holmes Card of the Day: 10 of Observation

The Sherlock Holmes Card of the Day is:
10 of Swords

In The Sherlock Holmes Tarot by John Matthews and Wil Kinghan (Sterling Ethos), the suit of Observation (represented by an eye) is comparable to the suit of Swords. The quotation chosen to represent the entire suit of Observation is from The Red-Headed League: “This is a time for observation, not for talk.”

The Ten of Observation is taken from Arthur Conan Doyle’s book The Adventure of the Empty House, in which Sherlock Holmes “returns from the dead” after three years, astonishing now-widower Dr. John Watson. On this card, Holmes and Watson are about to break into the building where Colonel Sebastian Moran – Moriarty’s second in command – lies in wait. This encounter nearly costs Dr. Watson his life, and the villain escapes after being captured.

The Holmesian Wisdom for this card is “Well, there’s nothing for it now but a direct frontal assault. Are you armed?” This quote is from The Disappearance of Lady Frances Carfax.

Keys for this card, upright, are: “the need for daring and resolution, life-and-death decisions, the final solution dictaqted by ruthless logic, affliction, total oppression, acknowledgement of old debts.” Reversed, the card can suggest “favours claimed, benefits, profit, recovery, authority.”

The book that accompanies this deck also provides interpretations for each card under the headings “The Game” and “The Fog.” The former elaborates on the upright keys, while the latter expands on reversed meanings. An example from “The Game” for the Ten of Observation: “A life-or-death decision may leave you frozen. Troubles reach their height . . . Facing fears with resolution and acknowledging the power of past events.” An example from “The Fog”: “Troubles are over at last. . . Setting the record straight improves the situation.”


  1. Modern Sherlocks are more interesting, they'd never go through the front door :)


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