Tarot Card of the Week, March 11-17, 2013: Knight of Swords

by Beth on March 11, 2013

The Knight of SwordsThere is an almost universal quest for easy answers and half-baked solutions. Nothing pains some people more than having to think.
~ Dr. Martin Luther King

Flying like wind in the dark of this New Pisces Moon, riding the prelude to the turning of the seasons, the Knight of Swords bursts onto the scene.

As you probably know, the Swords suit corresponds to the element of Air, and is therefore associated with information, intellect, and ideas, as well as the power of thought itself. And the court cards are most likely to be actual people, either aspects of ourselves, or someone we know.

The Knights are the action heroes of the Tarot — questing, seeking, and stirring up change.

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

He will not take “no” for an answer, for 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 of the knight’s spur.

Author and deck artist Robert Place offers insight to 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, famed actress and suffragette, Ellen Terry. 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 nothing held back, completely committed to destroying the foe — take no prisoners.

Air, of course, rules neither possessions, nor land, nor love. It is vision, ideas, communication, and perception. Thoughtful listening and diplomatic negotiations are far preferable, but the time may come when we are forced to defend what is right.

My favorite public Knight of Swords right now may be U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren, whose academic training enables her to speak truth to power with stunning clarity.  Fluent with the facts, she is on a mission of exposing the mechanisms of government and corporate corruption that have been poisoning our country.

There are times when, like her, we must fight for the truth. In what ways are you being asked to step up as a champion for honesty?  If you do not use your sharpest weapons to slice fearlessly through deceptions, lies, subterfuge, and manipulative half-truths, who will?

To inspire us, there is no more courageous champion, no hero more brilliant and daring than the Knight of Swords.

But the Knight’s shadow lesson is he can be far too clever for his own good. We must take care that we not rush impetuously to a half-baked decision. The desire to respond with a smart comeback, a nasty remark, or verbal dressing down may be powerful.

And heaven knows, the itch to declare “pre-emptive war,” whether petty or large, can be strong.  But let us learn our bitter and bloody lesson, as we approach the 10th anniversary next week of what has been called, “the worst foreign policy decision in American history,” namely, the American invasion of Iraq.

The Knight of Swords’ dazzling intellect can make him believe he is infallible and superior to others, so he may not heed more tempered opinions.  Mars moving into its home sign of Aries on Tuesday can certainly amplify this impulsive, combative side. Being extremely smart does not necessarily make us wise, or even right.

This week, there may be battles ahead. Do your homework. Arm yourself with the facts. Breathe. Then be ready to act quickly.

A sudden message may wreak havoc with plans or our routine. The Mercury retrograde and the presence of three planets in Pisces can certainly contribute to such a setup.

The Knight of Swords’ daring, and his swift laser focus can empower us in important ways. We must never shun the discomfort of discovering what is actually true.

Yet we must bear in mind that our drawn blade may bring a deadly sting. If we must dash headlong into battle, let us shun hubris, drawing only when necessary a sword that is tempered with fairness and justice.

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