The Knight of Swords
The aim of military training is not just to prepare men for battle,
but to make them long for it.
— Louis Simpson
Here is a first! It’s hard to believe, but it appears that we have never once had a visit from the Knight of Swords in all the years I’ve been pulling our Card of the Week!
Well, he comes charging in now. As you know, the Swords suit corresponds to the element of Air, and is therefore associated with intellect and ideas, as well as the power of thought itself. The knights of the Tarot are the action heroes — questing, seeking, journeying (okay, maybe the Knight of Pentacles is not all that energized, but at least he’s mounted).
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 eager 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 that is the knight’s spur.
Robert Place offers additional 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.’”
He charges with everything he’s got. He is completely committed to destroying the foe. As long as he has considered carefully his assessment, and is seeing what is true, his is the ultimate in bravery.
But what if he is wrong?
There is no more courageous champion, no hero more brilliant and daring than the Knight of Swords. But his rush to judgment, and his argumentative viewpoint are 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.
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 summon courage, or respond with rapid intelligence. With Mercury in retrograde, this could be challenging. Be careful of communication glitches and misunderstandings. The power of this knight unleashed wrongly could cause real trouble.
But his daring and his swift, courageous responses can empower us in important ways. It is essential above all, that if we must do battle in some way, we do so with fairness and justice, and not only because of the fearsome habit and dark desire for war.