(i) Video for the Prince of Swords
Prince of Swords: The YouTube video for this card can be accessed by clicking on the photo below :
(ii) Thoth Prince of Swords
The Thoth Prince of Swords has a sword in one hand and a sickle in the other and sits rather awkwardly in his chariot being pulled by children, which look similar to the Prince himself. All of the characters in the picture have wings representing the element of air. In this card Man represents the Kerub of air or Aquarius, whereas in previous cards, The Lion represented Leo in the Prince of Wands, and the Eagle in the Prince of Cups.
(iii) Prince of Swords : Sub Elements
The Prince of Swords represents the Airy part of Air so we do not have elemental conflict but we do have an imbalance of sorts with an excess of air or intellect without any grounding.
(iv) Tetragrammaton and the Prince of Swords
The Princes represent the Vau part of the tetragrammaton and are the product of the union of Yodh and He Primal or the Knight and Queen respectively. They are therefore shown to be a hybrid of the two, having both the stability of the Queen through the fixed chariot, and the activity and movement of the knight through the forces moving the chariot. His actions are therefore more enduring than the Knight but less so than the Queen.
(v) Prince of Swords & The Tree of Life
The Princes are found in the sixth sephiroth, Tiphareth in the middle of the Tree of Life which represents harmony and balance after we have had the experiences of the opposite forces of the Pillar of Severity and the Pillar of Mercy. Tiphareth is Kether but on a lower vibration and Yesod but on a higher vibration. It is the child emanating from Kether above, but from the lower planes it is like the ruler of the skies. This sephiroth is also associated with ‘beauty’.
(vi) Astrology of the Prince of Swords
The Prince of Swords rules from 21 degrees Capricorn to 20 degrees Aquarius. He is 1/3rd Capricorn and 2/3rds Aquarius. He is shown on the decan wheel below :
(vii) Symbology of the Prince of Swords
Background = chaotic and represents his mind which has lots of activity but no definite plan.
Wings = represent the quality of air as mentioned above. They have bubbles of air inside representing Air of Air.
Winged Fairies (children) = are going irresponsibly in random directions, there are not pulling together and so their efforts are wasted. The chariot is therefore easy to move but difficult to progress in any definite direction except by accident. This is a perfect example of the mind. A part of us is out of control at the moment.
Sword in right hand = the creator of ideas, the sword cuts through the air forming thoughts in the process, shaping the air into thoughts.
Sickle in left hand = linked to Saturn which rules the Death Card of the Major Arcana. What he creates he destroys. This is the process of thought. Its like someone who creates a masterpiece then destroys it only to produce something even better.
When this process works well, it creates very intelligent people as Crowley is quick to point out, but in the Prince of Swords this process is not grounded in anything practical and so what he creates rarely comes to anything fruitful.
“He is a mass of fine ideal, unrelated to practical effort”
Child’s Head Crest = A secret crown in the cards nature and this links to Tiphareth.
Geometrical Figure within a green disk = figure has 8 sides which relates to the eighth sephira HOD, ruled by Mercury and representing the intellect.
(viii) Minor Arcana Cards Ruled by Prince of Swords
The three minor arcana cards ruled by the Prince of Swords are the Four of Disks, Five of Swords & Six of Swords
1. Four of Disks
The Prince likes his freedom and the 4 of disks contains this.This is about knowing your boundaries and working for a stable material life, which is not really in his nature. It also implies knowing where boundaries lie, but the airy nature of the Prince just goes through any set boundaries. This is his weaker side (representing the last decan of Capricorn) and so his energies are weak in this card.
2. Five of Swords
This card normally represents defeat that we have experienced in the world. Applied to the Prince of Swords it often represents self defeat. Just as the swords turn in on themselves as if to self wound, the undisciplined mind of the Prince can often self sabotage and hence the chariot does not move in a creative way ( compare to the green under the chariot of the Prince of Wands).
3. Six of Swords
Aquarius ruled by Mercury gives rise to the intelligent side of the Prince of Swords. When his mind is working well he is highly creative, artistic, philosophical and able to analyse situations, especially abstract ideas. This quality is highlighted by Crowley in his description of this card. The diagram comes from French Sword Fighting as illustrated in the diagram below and the Six links the Prince with Tiphareth, like his Head Crest and gives him his positive qualities and potential for greatness that counterbalance his destructive nature.
The circle, Square & Background Lady Harris explains the pattern in the background, along with the circle and square, in the little instruction booklet with the Thoth Deck:
“The swords are lying on a fencers diagram (14th Century ) which was worked out scientifically to show the positions in which a fencer can stand and be invulnerable”
Full details of this can be found in the article on the Six of Swords by clicking here
(ix) I Ching & The Prince of Swords
The Prince of Swords is represented by the 57th hexagram SUN as shown by the diagrams below. The hexagram is called PENETRATING INFLUENCE , with identical trigrams above and below representing the double air nature of the Prince. Its means when we are faced with a situation, it can only be influenced by gradual efforts in a consistent direction (what the Prince of Swords finds difficult).. To influence directly you must apply clearly defined goals over a period of time.
To influence a group you must be able to understand the spirit of the community which may take time but has a lasting effect.Similarly, only a gradual influence can improve your personal relationships which requires time and patience, rather than emphatic gestures and declarations.
This is trying to counterbalance the mind of the Prince of Swords which is very dispersed. The I Ching is trying to focus his thoughts over a period of time. The actions of the Prince can be reckless.
The wind is an invisible influence and can shape mountains over time but its action results from persistence over time. The I Ching applies this to the action of the mind to make it efficient in reaching a goal and not dispersed as in the card.
(x) Divinatory Meanings of the Prince of Swords
Prince of Swords Upright
1. A well-educated person with a highly developed intellect. Someone of loves thinking, questioning and philosophising.
2. Really good at creating ideas quickly but moves on from them without developing them. His intellect can prove draining to many who do not respond to conversations of intellectualism at the speed with which he communicates.
3. Independent, private, difficult to get to know, may lack emotion, warmth and empathy.
4. Can indicate the need to slow down and analyse our thoughts more often to see if we can gain something practical from them
Prince of Swords Reversed
- Not able to use your natural creativity the way you would like.
2. Playing over negative events in your mind from the past and not being able to move forward. Trying to move forward but our thoughts are too scattered at the moment.
(xi) Celtic Cross Interpretation of the Prince of Swords
2 : Possible obstacle = mind is stuck in the past, self talk is negative
3 : Unconscious Influences = lack of confidence from past hurts
4 : Recent Past = goals have not worked out
5 : Hopes and goals = to be clearer about the future and be able to follow your goals
6 : Short Term Future = mix of ideas and we need to tease out what is important and make a plan
7 : Our Self Image = intelligent, sometimes stuck in past disappointments but always retain an optimism about the future.
8 : Environment = with someone who is very intellectual, but lacks empathy and warmth
9 : Guidance & Warning = need to be in touch with your heart as well as your head. Learn patience when moving towards a life goal
10 : Overall Outcome = you may be left confused as to your life direction with many good ideas but little achieved. Need to draw some other cards or the ‘deep card’ to get more information on a way forward.
(xii) Prince of Swords : Recommended Links
3. Angel Paths