(i) Knight Of Swords Thoth Tarot Card Video
Knight of Swords : Below is a YouTube presentation of this card.
(ii) Thoth Knight of Swords
The Knight of Swords flies high through the air above Cirrus Clouds holding 2 swords one short one long. He has wings on his back and there are 3 swallows following in his direction. This is him at his best and he is not always soaring intellectually, he can get lost in the dark clouds of the mind also.
(iii) Rider Waite Knight of Swords
(iv) Sub Elements of the Knight of Swords
Fire of Air = this is akin to a wind storm, i.e. hurricanes and storms, forces of passion originating in the mind.
Elemental Dignity Rules
- Fire and Air are friendly and active
- Water and Earth are friendly and passive
- Fire and Water are enemies, they weaken each other
- Air and Earth are enemies, they weaken each other
- Fire and Earth strengthen each other but are neutral
- Water and Air strengthen each other but are neutral
From the above we can see that the Knight of Swords, being Fire of Air has elements which are friendly and active. He does not have the elemental contradictions inherent in the Knight of Cups. However, trouble is not far from the element of air in tarot !
(v) Tetragrammaton and The Knight of Swords
The Knights represent the powers of the letter Yodh in the Name. They are the most sublime, original, active part of the Energy of the Element; for this reason they are represented on horseback and clad in complete armour. Their action is swift and violent, but transient. In the element of air, their action is like wind. When the impulse of Yod expresses itself through the intellectual realm of air we see a great intellect with powers of discrimination which can also be commanding. It can also express as cruelty and callousness.
(vi) Knight of Swords & The Tree of Life
The Knight of Swords corresponds to Chockmah in Yetrirah. (shown as ‘Kings’ in the above diagram) which stands for visibility, raw force and change.
One thing to note is that air, representing the world of Yetzirah is far away from the first world Atziluth and so there is less chance that this application of the WILL of Yesod will be applied to the highest good and hence there is corruption of purpose.
Neptune also rules this Sephiroth and this bestows the quality of a strong intuition , a capacity for spirituality but also confusion and unreliability.
(vii) Astrology of the Knight of Swords
This knight rules the decan from 21st degree of Taurus to 20th degree of Gemini – so we have the energy of the mind in Gemini with the influence of the stability and determination of Taurus.The influence of Taurus is less as it makes up only a third of his rulership, and being the last decan of Taurus it is the most unpredictable.
In Greek and Roman mythology, Castor and Pollux or Polydeuces were twin brothers(GEMINI), together known as the Dioskouri.
They are often portrayed on horseback with winged helmets carrying spears:
When Castor was killed, Pollux asked Zeus to let him share his own immortality with his twin to keep them together, and they were transformed into the constellation Gemini. The name Dioscuri was given to the combined Castor & Pollux together.
(viii) Symbology of The Knight of Swords
Knight on Horse = going for his goals without distraction
Wings = bear the names of the 4 directions of the compass ( barely visible). He is travelling SE.
Significance of S.E = attributed to the Lesser Banishing Ritual of the pentagram of the Golden Dawn
As part of the ritual the Qabalistic Cross is outlined with the 4 compass points:
North = Earth
South = Fire
East = Air
West = Water
So the Knight of Swords travelling SE = Fire + Air = his sub elements.
Sword = symbol for air & penetrating nature of the intellect to see through things.
Dual Blades = symbols for Gemini
Swallows = attributed to Mercury ruler of Gemini and communication
Long Sword = the long sword has a symbol for air on the hilt representing Gemini
Poniard = small dagger handle bears the symbol of the sun = Fire.
So both swords represent Fire and Air, the sub elements of the Knight of Swords
(ix) Minor Arcana Cards Ruled by Knight of Swords
The 3 minor arcana cards that make him up are :
Interference (8 of Swords) + Cruelty (9 of Swords) + Failure (7 of Disks)
FAILURE ( 7 of Disks) : This card is ruled by Saturn as is his shadow aspect. The qualities of the 7 of disks is a slowness and inertia which is quite unlike the usual attributes of the Knight. It is deeper than just a counterbalancing of his usual forthrightness, it represents his deep fears and unresolved issues and results in him withdrawing into himself.
(x) I Ching : Hexagram 32 & The Knight of Swords
Fiery(Thunder) part of air (wind)
32nd Hexagram HENG meaning Continuing or Enduring. Like the life cycle of the plant there is an enduring nature about the creation.
Wind gives direction to the Thunder and so our direction should be consistent and principled (Virtuous , 3 of Wands) otherwise ill disciplined movements lead us away from our goal.
Crowley states : “Ill dignified, the vigour of all these qualities being absent, he is incapable of decision or purpose” p160 ( representing FAILURE or the 7 of Disks).
In a divinatory sense its telling us that this person needs more endurance and stability and a virtuous direction for their actions, otherwise actions can be damaging, misdirected or they will have periods of inertia
(xi) Divinatory Meanings of the Knight of Swords
Nevertheless a restless period where you are transitioning and trying to get to somewhere else either in your everyday life, or physically in terms of travel.
A time for listening to your head rather than your heart. Someone more comfortable in their head than expressing their feelings.
A time where you need to be mentally sharp and decisive.
In a career situation there is much competition in the workplace. You might want to break free of these restrictions and go for something which gives you more freedom. The Knight indicates restlessness in all aspects of life
In a relationship the Knight of Swords can represent the ‘love/hate’ relationship where you keep breaking up and getting back together. You love each other deeply, however you bring out the warrior in each other, which can be draining in the long run.
(xii) Celtic Cross Interpretation of the Knight of Swords
1 : Heart of the Situation = The need to blow the cobwebs away clear our head, to see right the way to the heart of things, and not be distracted by the clutter of life. Here we can ‘cut to the chase’ so to speak, avoiding any of the tempting, but wasteful actions.
2 : Possible obstacle = our actions in the past have been wasteful and we have not stuck to our intended plan. Indecisive actions.
3 : Subconscious Influence = perhaps our actions in the past have hurt people without us wanting to acknowledge this.
4 : Recent Past = lots of energy, movement trying to achieve things and having to battle to achieve your goals.
5 : Hopes and goals = to be able to rise above the clouds of confusion like the night and have the confidence to go for your goals. Implies a lack of confidence in achieving them or someone standing in your way who is very domineering
6 : Short Term Future : working quickly through the situation in hand. A time where you need to be mentally sharp and decisive
7 : Our Self Image : able to use your mind to good use. Often restless to move on to something new to challenge us mentally.
8 : External Influences = someone who is cruel/ petty / controlling at worst. Able to complement you with their analytical mind and lateral thinking at best
9 : Guidance & Warning = make sure your goals are virtuous as you will have a tendency to be wasteful in your actions, or even cruel / violent in extreme circumstances.
10 : Overall Outcome = You are move forward quickly towards your goal and you will be making progress in the situation you are asking about. If someone has been unfair to you you will be able to overcome these obstacles, rise above them (like the Knight in the photo) and get what you want. Take action and speak your truth but make sure that your actions are virtuous .
(xiii) Recommended Video Links