Tarot Card of the Week, December 10-16, 2012: Knight of Swords

by Beth on December 10, 2012

The bravest are surely those who have the clearest vision of what is before them, glory and danger alike, and yet notwithstanding, go out to meet it.
~ Thucydides (460-395 B.C.E.)

Fasten your seatbelts! For only the third time ever, following hot on the heels of the Page and in this week of the New Sagittarius Moon and the Geminids meteor showers, the wildest rider of the court cards charges in. Make way for the Knight of Swords!

As you may know, the Swords suit corresponds to the element of Air, and is therefore associated with communication, intellect and ideas, as well as the power of thought itself. And the Knights of the Tarot are the action heroes — questing, confronting, seeking, journeying.

The Knight of Swords charges headlong into the storm, his weapon drawn and ready for battle. Fierce, aggressive, and convinced he is right, he is clearly ready for the fight.

He will not take no for an answer. Although his horse seems to look back at him with trepidation, he is at a dead run. No wonder, for we can clearly see the long, sharp spike that is the knight’s spur.

Tarot scholar and artist Robert Place offers additional insight regarding the Knight of Swords, noting, “He is like a personification of the wind, and he expresses better than any of [Pamela Colman] Smith’s knights the Golden Dawn’s theme for the knights, the ‘power of action.’”

Also of interest is the speculation that this knight is actually Pamela Colman Smith’s friend and patron, Ellen Terry, the famous Shakespearian actress. Look closely and you will discover it may be a woman’s face inside that armor.

Whether male or female, this knight charges forth with absolute commitment. This is someone who is completely focused on destroying the foe; take no prisoners, all or nothing.

Like him, as long as we have considered carefully before the charge, and we are seeing clearly the truth of things, this is the ultimate in bravery.

But we must beware his tendency to rush to judgment. His argumentative nature is not always the best way to deal with problems and conflicts.

And his dazzling intellect can make him believe he is infallible and superior to others, so he may not heed more tempered opinions. Being extremely smart does not automatically make us wise.

Be careful of pouring on too much aggression in conflicts. Is there a way that such situations could be better resolved by taking a breather and toning down the drama?

The urge to respond with a smart comeback, a nasty remark, or verbal dressing down may be powerful, but the intensity of this knight unleashed wrongly could cause permanent harm.

And astrologer Elisabeth Grace warns that this week’s Balsamic and New Moon phases, plus a square between fuzzy Neptune and mental Mercury “suggest an idealized or confused mindset, communication exchange, or travel adventure… Think twice before signing on the dotted line today [and Tuesday], as things may not be as they seem…”

That said, though, there are times when diplomacy and compromise break down, and all-out confrontation is the only way forward. If we are certain we’re engaging “might for right,” it’s time to put the pedal to the metal and give it all we’ve got.

So, this week, there may be battles ahead. Be alert!  A sudden message may wreak havoc with our plans or routine. Or we may face situations where we are called on to argue in defense of an idea or cause.

Armed with the facts, the time has come to discard doubts, concessions, and second guessing.  Don’t be timid — you have trained long and hard for this battle.

You know who your foe is, and proactive measures are necessary.  Keep a cool head, even if you must fight for what you know is right.  Be your most brilliant and brave.

Never mind the danger or the glory. We are riding into the winds of change.

Maria December 11, 2012 at 12:23 pm

Oy. I don’t think anyone enjoys peace and harmony more than I do, or more often finds herself in adversarial situations despite her best efforts to keep the peace. Thanks for the heads-up, Beth!

Madeline December 15, 2012 at 9:54 am

Alas, a terrible expression of this energy yesterday. Perhaps the peace which will come from this is gun control. Certainly , a renewal of Faith will be the difficult task, and in times of tragedy,communities often do this hard work together.. countries, too..

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