MASTER OF PASSIONATE THINKING
Knight is like a super charged rocket, moving swiftly
through the air, nothing can stand or fly in his way. He
is fully equipped to tackle any eventuality; move
forward with all the passion and reason you have in your
The Knight of Swords in
the sacred divine Tarot symbolizes the
Principle and Worldly Archetype of
and Intentionality. The
Knight of Swords is a visual
portraiture of a Knight in the air
flying over water. In
element of air is associated with the
and water is associated with
emotion. Combining the
elements of water and
air, metaphorically, is a
for passionate thinking. Here we have a picture of the
three swallows represent the
union of heart,
action all proceeding in the
same direction. They serve
as important reminders that one’s
intention must be aligned and
moving in the same
direction before a goal can be obtained.
Knight holds a dagger and a sword; each a symbol
for the receptive and dynamic thinking required
to execute a goal. In Oriental terms, the dagger
would be a metaphor for yin (feminine) energy
and the sword would be a symbol for yang
(masculine) energy. The yin/yang symbol in
Oriental philosophy is associated with the two
energies that are required to create balance and
Arrien (The Tarot Handbook)
Etched within the
four wings attached to the
Knight’s helmet are the words
west. Each direction is a
for the four levels of consciousness:
physical, which are combined as a
for unified consciousness. At the centre of the
four wings is a
six pointed star, a universal symbol
associated with illumination,
Knight of Swords is associated with the
air sign months
Gemini, or with
air sign people.
Since this is a Knight, this could represent an
man or older mastery of passionate thinking and
fluid thinking is represented by the Knight’s
gold armour. Gold, in alchemy, was associated
with malleability, fluidity, and spiritual
radiance. The horse, pictured with all of the
Knights, is a symbol of power and intuitive
understanding. Horses, cross-culturally, are
associated with intense desires and instincts."
Arrien (The Tarot Handbook)
Aquarius (January 21st
- February 21st),
Gemini (May 21st
– June 21st)
Libra (September 21st
– October 21st),
would be a great time to move in new directions with
clarity of purpose and
strong will. This is the
mind that contains no doubt.
Knight of Swords could be an
air sign person or
man who is an
Libra. This person
could be an outer mirror of your own
determination to move in new directions with
clarity. Or, in the air sign months, an
provide new opportunities that could take you in
directions, personally and
professionally, in the
sign months of
air sign months would be a good time to set
things in motion, especially if there is clarity
of purpose within all parts of your nature. The
heart or emotional nature (water) supports the
ideas, clarity and direction of the mind (air)."
Arrien (The Tarot Handbook)
Knight of Swords may also
represent an aspect of their
animus, the internal masculine or
dynamic energy that is
expressing itself with relentless determination,
The Animals Divine Tarot by
Lisa Hunt, the
symbol which represents the
Knight of Swords so
Kutkinnaku from the
Aspects that shine within this archetype are
conflict and possible
raven symbolizes a
darker aspect of our being. It is
shrewd and could be
invaluable when facing our
innermost conflicts. The
metamorphosis. The snow offers
quietude during a time of
disillusionment. Its properties can serve as a means of
insulating the earth and providing a
tree roots connect us with the
well as the aboveworld. The
flowing cape is
Despite the hibernating tendencies of the
our spirits can still
ignite warm and
Koryak people of Eastern Siberia believed in a
big raven spirit named Kutkinnaku. Kutkinnaku
was sent by the Supreme Being to help humans
conduct daily affairs. Kutkinnaku aided in
hunting, fishing, and was a participant in
various rituals such as spiritual ceremonies. He
also taught the Koryak how to utilize fire as a
means of warding off evil spirits. Kutkinnaku
had the ability to transform from human form
into raven form and was once sent by the Supreme
Being up to the sky to help stop unrelenting
To the Koryak people, all natural phenomena
were personified and were thought to be
inhabited by souls. The stars, moon, and other
elements of the cosmos were anthropomorphized.
The Koryak reverence for all living things was
echoed in their ceremonial rituals. Animal skins
were often donned as a means of being
transformed into the animal and shamans often
recited the name of Big Raven during shamanistic
Kutkinnaku’s participation in human affairs
is a reminder that we should remain proactive
and socially involved. If we witness or are
victim to injustice, it is important that we do
not turn an apathetic eye to events that could
have far-reaching implications. We may have to
fight and exert effort to preserve what is
right, but the conflicts that arise in life are
unavoidable. Instead of rejecting the challenges
that may be presented to us, it is important to
face them with competence, rationalism, and
- Lisa Hunt (Animals
Within the elegant
Shadowscapes Companion by Stephanie Pui-Mun Law and
Barbara Moore, The Knight of Swords is the brave hero
who rushes headlong into conflict to defend his beliefs.
He is blunt and comes directly to his point. Dissembling
is not something he is capable of. This can be seen as a
refreshing honesty and true loyalty or a lack of tact
not let emotion come between him and his purpose.
Emotion in his matters is extraneous, muddying what is
obvious, allowing room for doubt or fear. An emotionless
knight is fearless, invincible, and does not acknowledge
the possibility of defeat. He does not back down once he
has engaged, for he knows no other option but victory.
Knight is a domineering personality. He rides upon the
king of the birds, and together they are like a spear
through the heavens. He is a seeker, slicing through the
skies with his sword and his wings. A storm gathers in
his wake, born of the turbulence his winged army
creates, and he is lifted high above it all to pierce
through the chaos. The sword is a beacon to his
He calls out to the night’s abyss:
Lift me up, spirits of sky.
Grant me keen sight of Hawk,
Swiftness of Sparrow.
Grant me insight of Raven,
Brave heartbeat of Hummingbird.
Bear me up with grace on wings of Swan,
Guide me with visions of wisdom from Owl.
The Peacock of
Karttikeya is the being who represents the Knight of
Swords in the gorgeous Fantastical Creatures Tarot,
illustrated by Lisa Hunt and written by D.J. Conway.
the Hindu gods of war, Karttikeya is usually portrayed
with six heads and six pairs of arms and legs. His only
interests are fighting, war, revenge, and dark magick.
Karttikeya rides about the world on an enormous peacock
symbolic bird is also associated with the god Krishna,
who wears peacock feathers in his hair, and Sarasvati,
the goddess of knowledge and the arts.
peacock is connected with sun deities and its
feathers are thought to bring good luck. The
pool of water on the card represents the
complete gamut of human emotions from love to
hatred. When making a decision, one should
cautiously pause, as does the peacock Paravani,
in order to carefully evaluate the emotional
Conway (Fantastical Creatures Tarot)
It is important in
situations to think quickly and clearly in order to make
timely decisions, but avoid making mistakes by
misinterpreting information. Your forceful ideas may
annoy others so utmost care and attention is required.
This card can be used when faced with strong opposition,
bringing the disagreement out into the open to be
marvelous Haindl Tarot by Herman Haindl, the Knight of
Swords is symbolized by Osiris, the Son of Swords.
Osiris is a peaceful ruler; his crook and flail indicate
his power derives from his role as teacher of
agriculture. He is clothed in white, as the first mummy
and the lord of the afterworld. This could represent
someone gentle yet persuasive, an initiate into esoteric
mysteries who bears the mantle of kindness within their
heart. Looking at a more darker aspect, this could also
manifest as weakness and corruption on the part of the
the distinct and ancient Kleopatra Tarot, the Knight of
Swords is symbolized by Reshep; this is a man or a woman
who acts in an energetic manner, a dependent and person
who has a combative temperament.
Connolly Tarot the Knight of Swords can also represent a
courteous young man has good intentions but his attitude
can be overbearing, therefore steer clear of this young
man; he could upset your plans and create trouble.
Robin Wood Tarot shows the Knight of Swords as a
soldier, heroic and brave ready for the journey which
will teach about themselves and the world. This is a
triumph over an opposition where a practical solution to
a problem will be found. On the flip side if one is not
careful, this could symbolize unsuccessful or erratic
behavior, bad judgement and extravagance, where the
seeker makes an impulsive mistake.
wonderful text, Learning the Tarot by Joan Bunning, the
Knight of Swords is shown as a master of logic and
reason. He has keen intellect that grasps the fine
points of any subject. He speaks clearly, directly, and
always with authority. His judgements are sure and free
of emotion. Others rely on his lucid analyses of
problems and solutions.
negative side, this Knight is not a master of diplomacy.
He can be downright tactless and rude. When he thinks
you are wrong, you’ll know it. He’s convinced of his own
superiority and has little tolerance for stupidity. He
expects others to comply with his views. To him,
feelings are irrelevant and illogical.
readings, a Knight of Swords shows that his penetrating
style is involved in the situation as an aspect of you,
someone else, or the atmosphere in general. You need to
ask yourself, “Is this Knight’s energy helping or
style is evident, then balance is needed. Are you always
forcing your position on others? Do you get in trouble
for saying what you think? Is your partner too cold and
aloof? Do your colleagues tend to be critical rather
than supportive? It may be time for a change.
this Knight’s energy is missing, a dose of
clear-sightedness may be called for. Are you too
emotional? Let your head rule your heart next
time. Do you overvalue the opinions of others?
Trust your authority. Are you afraid to offend?
Speak your mind. Let the Knight of Swords
introduce you to his world of reason and
self-assurance. Allow his Awesome energy to
scatter your enemies!"
Bunning (Learning the Tarot)
Michael Tsarion in
his thesis on the Tarot gives a Qabalistic view on the
Knight of Swords. He points out that the Knight is
Chokmah in Yetzirah, Fire of Air. This is Will directing
Intellect, ruling the 8 and 9 of Swords, throned on the
9 of Swords. This can represent men aged thirty-six and
Tarot of the Sephiroth by Josephine Mori, Jill Stockwell
and Dan Staroff, the Knight of Swords appears as the
Prince of Swords. Pictured as a lithe, helmeted Prince
bearing a Sword and Scimitar, he represents progress in
communication, clarity and purposeful thought.
Wild Unknown Tarot by Kim Krans shows the Knight of
Swords as the Son of Swords. He is forceful and
dynamic creature, the Son of Swords is a man of
action, not of grace. He pushes forward toward
his goal with urgency and determination. To top
it off, he’s very well educated, making him a
force to be reckoned with. Usually he’s seeking
approval from the patient and just Father of
Swords, who casts quite a shadow onto his son.
Working with this stimulating and exhausting
young man can prove to be a challenge."
- Kim Krans (The
Wild Unknown Tarot)
The Tarot Nouveau
by Antonella Castelli, represents an able and courageous
man, with a passionate, irascible and insolent nature.
brilliant text The Thoth Tarot, from the Master Magician
himself, Aleister Crowley, the author states;
Knight of Swords represents the fiery part of Air; he is
the wind, the storm. He represents the violent power of
motion applied to an apparently manageable element. He
rules from the 21st degree of Taurus to the 20th
degree of Gemini. He is a warrior helmed, and for his
crest he bears a revolving wing. Mounted upon a maddened
steed, he drives down the Heavens, the Spirit of the
Tempest. In one hand is a sword, in the other a poniard.
He represents the idea of attack.
moral qualities of a person thus indicated are
activity and skill, subtlety and cleverness. He
is fierce, delicate and courageous, but
altogether the prey of his idea, which comes to
him as an inspiration without reflection."
Crowley (The Book of Thoth)
the vigour in all these qualities being absent, he is
incapable of decision or purpose. Any action that he
takes is easily brushed aside by opposition. Inadequate
violence spells futility.
“Chimaera bombinans in vacuo.”
the Yî King, the fiery part of Air is
represented by the 32nd hexagram, Hãng. This is
the first occasion on which it has been simple
to demonstrate the close technical parallelism
which identifies Chinese thought and experience
with that of the West. For the meaning is long
continuance: “perseverance in well-doing, or
continuously acting out the law of one’s being”,
as Legge puts it in his note on the hexagram;
and this seems incongruous with the Qabalistic
idea of violent energy applied to the least
stable of the elements. But the trigram of Air
also indicates wood; and the hexagram may have
suggested the irresistible flow of the sap, and
its effect in strengthening the tree. This
conjecture is supported by the warning in line
6: “The topmost line, divided shows its subject
exciting himself to long continuance. There will
Crowley (The Book of Thoth)
Allowing this, the
image of “the extended flame of mind”, as Zoroaster
calls it, may well be subjoined to the former
description. It is the True Will exploding the mind
spontaneously. The influence of Taurus makes for
steadiness, and that of the first decante of Gemini for
inspiration. So let us picture him, “integer vitae
scelerisque purus”, a light-shaft of the Ideal absorbing
the entire life in concentrated aspiration, passing from
earthy Taurus to exalted Gemini. Here, too, is shewn (as
in the Yî) the danger to the subject of this symbol; for
the first decan is the card called “Interference”; or,
in the old pack, “Shortened Force”.
Tarot of the Ascension by Michele Penco and Pierluca
Zizzi reminds that when the Knight comes up, one must
fight for a just cause. Be noble and never arrogant,
courageous and prepared, but never cowardly or
worldly thesis Understanding Aleister Crowley’s Thoth
Tarot by Lon Milo DuQuette, the Knight of Swords is also
known as The Lord of the Winds and Breezes, the King of
the Spirits of Air and King of the Sylphs and Sylphides.
Astrologically the Knight sits on 20° Taurus to 20°
Gemini (May 11th
to June 10th).
Rules Seven of Disks, Eight of Swords and Nine of
Swords. His crest is a Winged Hexagram. The symbols
associated with him are the winged brown horse, driving
clouds and drawn brown sword. His hair is dark brown and
his eyes are dark.
have done as you suggested to the Swords. Thank
you Mr Crowley. You were quite right."
- Harris to
Crowley, date uncertain
The author states;
Swords are the suit of air and, as we begin our
examination of these cards, I must point out a design
motif that appears repeatedly in all the cards of this
suit – wings. Lady Harris incorporates angular and
highly stylized wings everywhere! They may not always
look like wings, but that is what they are.
Beginning with the Knight of Swords, we see that what
appear at first to be four propeller blades spinning
atop his pointed helmet are actually four triangular
wings sprouting from his back. They are transparent and
veined, like those of a dragonfly. Perhaps there are
only two wings that are moving so fast they appear as
take a moment and look at the Queen, Prince, and
Princess of Swords, and locate the marvelous angular
wings on these figures. Now look at all the small cards
of the suit and see the backgrounds festooned with these
stylized wings – some balanced, almost pinwheel in form;
some twisted, broken, stretched, and distorted.
been suggested that these figures represent magical
sigils drawn from planetary kameas, or magical squares.
Knight of Swords is fire of air, suggestive of a violent
wind. The general divinatory meaning of the card can be
summed up in one word – attack. “The moral qualities of
person thus indicated,” Crowley warned, “are activity
and skill, subtlety and cleverness. He is fierce,
delicate and courageous but altogether the prey of his
idea, which comes to him as an inspiration without
Knights of Swords include
Pope John Paul II,
John F. Kennedy,
blues, yellows, and
white cirrus clouds dominate this
card, as they do the
Queen of Swords.
Tarot Made Easy by
Nancy Green, the
author specifies the Knight of Swords is akin to the
type of situation and energy that is
prevalent. When the Knight appears in a reading, a
long-term condition will
The focus is on renewed business activity, financial
security, or potential enterprises; rising from obscure
status to a more prominent or fruitful position; and
decisions concerning investments, partnerships and love
You have established a link with someone or something
and want the chain of events to continue.
Though you don’t see it coming, you will soon be swept
up in a powerful love affair that is going to change
your life dramatically.
You’ll be pleasantly surprised by some unexpected good
news about your career and positive changes in your home
or work environment. A new romantic interest could also
You can expect many social calls, business calls and
inquiries, as well as a commission or call for work.
You will be doing a lot of socializing, entertaining,
and coming and going, and that’s good because you won’t
want to hang around the house; you’ll want to be out
There will be several short trips or jaunts, one could
be with a sweetheart; or a lover who’s been away will
soon call or be at your door.
Something you planned to do involving papers will not be
completed at this time and you could take a tentative
step toward a legal action.
A very prosperous and influential period is at hand, and
someone could enter your life who could manage your
career, subsidize you, or move you into a much more
You will trust, then distrust, but progress will
continue and your relationship will go on.
Your emotional state will greatly improve through the
intervention of another.
You’ll be pleased about the possibility of a new
enterprise to embark on, and the appearance of those who
suddenly change your life both personally and
A message from someone you like and feel comfortable
with will brighten your day, and new information in a
personal relationship will arrive that will change your
perspective about that person, a positive change.
There will be emotional discussions between you and a
family member and you will be trying to sort things out.
You will hear news of severe illness or death befalling
Someone will be the unexpected catalyst to a brand-new
business venture or bring opportunity that could
increase your earnings substantially.
You will trust, then distrust, your future, but progress
will continue and you will be favorably aided in some
A new friend will change the course of your experience
or eliminate a problem or concern.
You will discuss a trip or journey with a caller, and a
suitor or potential lover will arrive.
You will be hoping a letter will arrive, and you will
soon receive a license or legal certificate.
You’ll be worried that others are not keeping their
agreements or commitments or that they’re unreliable,
irresponsible or inept.
Unresolved problems and disappointing or depressing
elements will dishearten you.
Your allegiance to an ‘era’ establishment or
untrustworthy partnerships will end.
A new reality is going to dawn for you, one of
simplicity, acceptance and grace; you will come to the
full realization that there is no need to contrive
solutions or assert any fixed ideas and will be willing
to let the Universe direct your course.
You will “inherit” an increase in finances and activity.
Someone is going to enter your life who’ll be willing to
promote you or move on your idea.
You’re going to be very successful in your career,
favorably aided by others, compensated for your work and
efforts, and increasing your assets and finances.
Luck will be with you in love, in money matters and in
gaining influence, support or prominence.
Someone is going to assist you or bring about changes in
your present condition or status, and you will be very
Mundane - This is a very good time for embarking on new
projects. Problems will be solved (mental, physical,
emotional, spiritual) and you’ll attract whatever you
need in the way of help or assistance.
Esoteric - Your ability to visualize what you want and
your deep desire to make it happen brings about not only
material rewards but inner transformations as well.
course of action:
Don’t give up, you will receive an answer or clear-cut
direction that will solve your problems and get you
right back on track.
frank and outspoken/tactless and rude
gets straight to the point/brusque manner
does not mince words/does not spare feelings of others
lets others know where they stand/can’t hold their
gives an honest answer/shows little discretion
with assurance/is domineering
commands attention/forces a position on others
acts with total certainty/expects immediate compliance
gives orders naturally/does not welcome dissent
has great influence/acts in a high-handed manner
has a keen, forceful intellect/prone to biting sarcasm
penetrates to the core/lacks sensitivity
expresses ideas succinctly/can be critical
sharp and alert/has a barbed wit
debates and argues well/derides stupidity
knows what he or she is talking about/believes they are
can expound on any topic/lacks tolerance of other
is sought as an expert/must have last word
has well-reasoned positions/arrogant
highly intelligent/can be dogmatic and close minded
analyzes information well/treats people like numbers
concentrates on what is correct/doesn’t temper justice
can set aside emotional factors/is cut off from emotions
makes sense out of confusion/is cold and aloof
- Live Each Moment Fully -
brilliant, complex, discriminating, proficient, precise,
a high-minded individual, concentrated, methodical, wise
ingenious, multi-talented, self-motivated, philosophical
electric, clever, indefatigable, bravery, curious,
logical, sporty, defence, perfectionist, honest,
objective, educated, capacity, original, scientific,
technical, deft, creative, vocal, clear, inspiring,
Beware the Traps -
critical , cold, arrogant, shallow, cynical,
preoccupied, calculating, ungrateful, secretive,
highly strung , manipulative, untrustworthy,
opinionated, judgmental, emotionless, conniving
overly cerebral, unforgiving, nervous,
interfering, opposition, wrath, inhuman, enmity
vane, cruel, destruction, resistance, war, ruin
- Choice is Wonderful -
careless, uninspired, procrastination,
dashed expectations, misdiagnosis, misguided
lack of concentration, incompetent allies,
mistaken witnesses, mediocrity, incorrect
scattered, extravagance, stagnancy,
impaired judgement, mental incompetence
untrustworthy friends, illness, failure,
servility, bad news, obstacles, faulty
waste, death, incapacity, dull, loss, ruin
- The reversal asks to
strengthen the positive and release the negative -
(Any path will always lead to both being fulfilled)
- Research sources -
Arcus Arcanum Tarot by
The Tarot Handbook by
The Book of Thoth by
Animals Divine Companion
by Lisa Hunt
by Lisa Hunt
Aleister Crowley &
Lady Frieda Harris
Radiant Rider-Waite Tarot by
Pamela Colman Smith
by Stephanie Pui-Mun Law
& Barbara Moore
Understanding Aleister Crowley’s Thoth Tarot
by Lon Milo DuQuette
Tarot of the Sephiroth
by Josephine Mori,
& Dan Staroff
Tarot of Ascension by
Robin Wood Tarot
by Robin Wood
& Michael Short
by Etta Stoico
& Silvana Alasia
Tarot Art Nouveau
by Antonella Castelli
The Wild Unknown Tarot
& Peter Paul
by Ciro Marchetti
Learning the Tarot
by Joan Bunning
Haindl Tarot by