Be impeccable with your word.
Miguel Angel Ruiz
Flying like wind in the dark of this week’s New Virgo Moon, and riding, as he did on his last visit four and a half years ago, on the Equinox’s 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 movers and shakers 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.
The Brilliant, Eloquent Action Hero
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. Its focus is on 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.
She is the living antithesis of the so-called “fake news” that is rampant on every side of the political spectrum.
There are times when, like Senator Warren, we may be under duress. But we, too, must fight on behalf of the truth.
It may be to stand up against false gossip, or to push back against racist jokes and behaviors, or even to expose deceit in the workplace.
The calling of this Knight is to challenge thoughtlessness. The stakes are too high to defer to sloppy logic and shallow thinking. This is the time to examine perceptions, attitudes, and what is being served up as “true.”
Rider on the Winds of Change
This week’s New Moon is in Virgo. Virgo’s influence is amplified by warrior planet Mars also in the sign of Virgo, as well as money- and beauty-conscious Venus, also moving into this pragmatic, detail-focused sign on Tuesday’s New Moon.
So this would be an ideal time to clear away what is no longer beautiful or useful, get super-organized, be razor sure about your money’s whereabouts, and be prepared for any challenge armed with well-researched facts, figures, and data analysis at your fingertips.
The always insightful Dana Gerhardt of Mooncircles.com reflects on the catastrophes that have been unfolding since the recent Great American Eclipse. Now that the Moon cycle of that event has ended and a New Moon arrives this week, she writes:
Eclipses don’t cause the harm. Rather they define the period during which we can reliably measure a kingdom’s spiritual harmony.
Disasters occurring near an eclipse are a signal that the kingdom is out of balance. Its leadership has gone astray. When the priests couldn’t avert calamities occurring near an eclipse, they worked furiously afterwards, trying to unwind the negativity and set things in order again.
As my colleague Simone Butler also writes this month, we can’t count on our authorities to keep us safe.
If the king will not right himself—if he will deny climate change, stand with white supremacists, roll back the rights of decent citizens while removing the protections and regulations that keep corporations in line—we’ve got to do an unwinding.
We don’t have the support of ancient priests and their potent rituals. But we do have powers. We can unwind the negativity through various individual and collective ways. We can build personal emergency kits. We can freeze our credit. We can witness the system in action and hold our political leaders accountable.
Most importantly, we can do the spiritual work that difficult times require. Though we’ve lost the ancient magic, we still have the intelligence and imagination of the homo sapien mind. Let’s use it.
The Knight of Swords is the exact personification of this intelligence and imagination of the human mind. And, still flying in the aftermath of last week’s Tower, he is the rider on stormy winds of change.
The Truth and Only the Truth
In what ways might you be 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 daring, intellectually nimble virtuoso 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 because we think we know better than others. The temptation to respond to someone with a smart comeback, an arrogant remark, or verbal dressing down may be powerful.
The urge to launch a “pre-emptive attack” can seem logical to some points of view. But as the itch for war — with North Korea, Isis, Muslims, liberals, minorities, and who knows what else — drives demons all the way up to P45, let us not forget our bitter and bloody lesson from, “the worst foreign policy decision in American history” — the American invasion of Iraq.
The Knight of Swords’ dazzling intellect (or instead, perhaps his charismatic, dog-whistle rhetoric) can make him believe he is infallible and superior to others, so he may not heed more tempered opinions. Being smart does not necessarily make us wise, or even right.
This week, there may be a combat of words, information, and ideas ahead. Do your homework. Arm yourself with the facts. Breathe. Then be ready to act quickly.
Information may be changing rapidly and chaotically. Don’t be surprised if a sudden message wreaks havoc with plans or your routine. Change is in the air.
The Knight of Swords’ daring, and his swift laser focus can empower us in important ways. We must never refuse the discomfort of discovering what is actually true.
Yet we also must bear in mind that our drawn blade may bring a deadly sting.
If we must dash headlong into battle, let us only wield a sword that is tempered with fairness, honesty, and justice.