Friday, September 08, 2006

The Tarot Court: The Knight of Cups

"... no knight can be brave unless he is in love, love gives the knight his courage." -Lecoy de la Marche, A. La Charre francaise au moyen age


 


This is one of my favorite art prints. Oh my God, can't you just feel forbidden love's agony? It's called "Meeting on the Turret Stairs" by Pre-Raphaelite artist Fredrick Burton. I'm a sucker for this kind of tragic, uber-romantic codswallop. Sigh. This type of "love" was in fact made an institution in the middle ages: courtly love. A knight would focus his amorous attentions on an unavailable noble lady and seek to win her favor. The affair was often unconsummated, for adultery was viewed with such seriousness that a man could be executed for it. But humans being what we are, I'm sure that little legality didn't stop many. Marriages were often loveless, as they were political and arranged for land and negotiation rather than love. So the emotional outlets were through the practice of courtly love, and, well...emotions are not so easily restrained.
When this knight appears in a reading, he often heralds an ardent romantic admirer. More often than not, this court card usually does represent an actual person who is trying to "court" you in some way and his way of approach is through your emotions. It's a soft sell, but an efficient one, especially if you tend towards the cups inclinations as well. As advice, he often prompts you to consider feelings in the matter, especially your own, but of others as well. He asks you to consider doing what it is you love, what really speaks to your emotional side, and to understand that when you love what you do, you naturally do it well. He also gives a nudge to those who have been admiring someone they fancy from afar and with a knowing wink he says, "Go for it."

Conversely, he could likewise be telling you that you may be apt to lose interest in something or someone too quickly, and to check how deep your emotions in this matter truly go. Because if you are simply caught up in the moment and not truly committed, it won't last. Are you making promises based on something fleeting? Don't. Is your head in the romantic clouds? Come back to earth, please. While being "in love with love" is a wonderful feeling, it can leave the soul unsatisfied when the wanderlust has worn off.

Old English Tarot By Maggie Kneen Published by US Games 1997
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