We are all wanderers on this earth. Our hearts are full of wonder, and our souls are deep with dreams.

Friday, September 08, 2006

The Tarot Court: The Knight of Swords

I cannot, nor I will not hold me still; My tongue, though not my heart, shall have his will. - William Shakespeare, The Comedy of Errors (Adriana at IV, ii)

Ok, now we're talking. The Knight of Swords, one of the purest assholes you'll ever meet. You'll know you've had a run-in with him when you find a brand new orifice has just been deftly sliced open in your nether regions. Tongue-lasher extraordinaire, you probably don't want to tangle with him when he's all fired up. He won't spare your feelings, he's extremely direct and more often than not he's also quite right. He's not just blowing off steam, he cuts right to the heart of the matter with his keen insight and has just the right words that will lay bare the problem at hand. He may or may not cuss you out, he'll probably find and use other more suitable terms, and they will cut even deeper than if he just went off on you in some kind of emotional frenzy. But see, that's just it. It's NOT an emotional frenzy and hence not so easily dismissed. This is an intense, logical, rational ass-whooping.

Knights are of the element of fire. Fire elements are marked by passion and commitment, creativity, and yes, anger, too. The Knight of Swords suit element is air which represents the intellect, reason, and communication. Combined, he is "fire of air" and I think we know what happens when a fierce wind blows a fire through the brush. Fire thrives on air, on oxygen, and burns it as fuel. Thus, the Knight of Swords' intellect fuels his passions and provides the reason for his actions. As a Knight, his youthful bravado and idealism brings forth someone who is committed and quite sure of his own ideas and who clings to them with fierce devotion. He's an ace problem-solver who doesn't let emotions get in the way. When he's not shredding someone else's arguments, he's actually quite reserved and above petty exchanges. He's calm and thoughtful, and he is quite the witty conversationalist when you want someone with whom to exchange ideas. But true to his knightly nature, he's not liable to stick around long and can be quite unreliable. He's always off on another adventure or quest, so I wouldn't look for deep commitment with this one. Also, his lack of emotion can be a problem for those with whom he interacts, for when he is reversed or ill-dignified, this knight can be utterly cruel and even seem to take perverse delight in the emotional suffering of others. Unable to empathize with others feelings, he may display the qualities of a pathological narcissist, someone so full of himself that others function merely as pawns in his game, and if they don't agree with his assessment of things, they are cut off mercilessly.

As advice the Knight of Swords may be telling you to take the direct approach to a problem or situation. He would advise you not to mince words, don't let your feelings drive you. Rather, approach things logically, dispassionately, and with forceful aim and let the chips fall where they may. At times, this is precisely what is needed and will yield the results you want. At other times, and actually I have found this interpretation true more often, he may be warning you that you're acting too hastily, jumping to conclusions, and that you're ready to take someone's head off that may or may not deserve it. So think of the long term consequences of following through before you take this knight's lead.

The Druid Craft Tarot Text by Philip & Stephanie Carr-Gomm Copyright © 2004Illustrations by Will Worthington Copyright © 2004Eddison Saad Editions Copyright © 2004ISBN 1 85906 144 3
The Tarot of Durer Published by Lo Scarabeo December 2002


  1. "Knights are of the element of fire...." "The Knight of Swords suit element is air which represents the intellect, reason, and communication..." "Combined, he is "air of fire""

    One has to keep in mind which Courtly Order one is going to follow with regards to Tarot, either the Exoteric or Esoteric. In the Exoteric order it is King/Fire; Queen/Water; Knight/Air; Page/Earth. In the Esoteric order it is Knight/Fire; Queen/Water; Prince/King/Air; Princess/Page/Earth. The Exoteric order can be considered as the "modern" order, while the Esoteric order can be considered as the "mthyological" order. One has to be cognizant of which order is being used within any given Tarot deck, and work within the parameters of that order to achieve maximum effect from that particular deck. The majority of decks use the Exoteric ordering... So for most decks Knight Swords will be Air of Air (Exoteric order such as Rider,) and for the minority Knight Swords would be Fire of Air (Esoteric order such as Thoth.)

    1. Anonymous11:41 AM

      Thank you, this is the best explanation on this subject I've read yet!

  2. RchMi, you're keeping me from being dyslexic in these elemental associations and I thank you. For some reason, I switch them when *I* know what I mean, but of course it's confusing when I turn them around. Big ooops! I did mean to say "fire of air." Apparently, I use the esoteric elemental associations as I do associate the Kings with Air and Knights with Fire, but I inadvertantly keep switching the order when I "label" them. I'll have to pay closer attention. Thanks!

  3. Anonymous12:13 AM

    knight swords turns up a lot in my readings for myself more as someone (i.e., myself) who tends to overthink things and to verbalize all kinds of rationalizations


  4. That really fits, zach, thanks for posting that. There's a lot of energy to this knight's thought processes, so overthinking things could definitely be a characteristic here. Also, verbalizing rationalizations, lol, yep! I chalk it up to all that fire energy of the knight which produces a kind of "itchy feet" (in this knight's case, mouth) feeling. This knight, especially, finds it difficult NOT to verbalize what he is thinking.

  5. Yeah its really very nice article. its so informative. thanks for the information...


Please do not post links. Your comment will be deleted. Thank you.