We are the stars which sing,
We sing with our light;
We are the birds of fire,
We fly over the sky.
Our light is a voice:
We make a road
For the spirit to pass over.
Algonquin Song of the Stars
Here’s hoping that you took advantage of the last two weeks of back-to-back Four of Swords, because now the pace turns explosive. This week of Samhain, the Knight of Swords comes charging 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.
The knights of the Tarot are the action heroes — questing, seeking, journeying (okay, so, 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! We can see the long, sharp spike that is the knight’s spur.
The Knight of Swords rides a white steed, and his face is the least protected of all the knights, indicating, as Ruth Ann and Wald Amberstone describe, “qualities [that] transform the Knight of Swords from a brute, a bully, and a killer into a warrior and a hero.” This is reinforced by the delicacy of those airy creatures, birds and butterflies, we see in the knight’s emblem on his horse’s breastplate.
Speaking of that vulnerable face, many Tarot scholars have speculated that this knight portrays 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 countenance inside that armor.
Something in the Air
As mentioned, Air is the element most often associated with the Swords suit, so be on the lookout for comings and goings regarding information, news, attitude, perception, and communications. And wouldn’t you just know it – the planet that rules these matters is “the main focus this week,” according to brilliant astrologer and friend, Elisabeth Grace.
Specifically, this Thursday, October 31, the messenger planet, Mercury, will station retrograde. Back up your phones, accounts, passwords, and other devices NOW. Double-check your travel plans, triple-check (or better yet, postpone if possible) important contracts or written agreements, and be prepared for computers, communication, and journeys to be disrupted.
Also, New Moons are a most magical time for fresh beginnings, and the one that arrived Sunday night is the one closest to Samhain, when we celebrate the arrival of the Celtic New Year.
Elisabeth explains this New Moon period, including the warrior influence in it:
We launch this new cycle in the wake of that challenging pattern between warrior Mars in Libra and Saturn in Capricorn. Mars is not happily placed in Libra, where its crusading drive may be at odds from the peace-keeping needs of the sign of the Scales.
Mars in Libra can function like a tornado when it finally lets loose its built-up resentment, and in this New Moon for Washington DC, Mars is strongly placed at the bottom on the horoscope — having just been likely dampened — or advanced — by Saturn’s authoritative controls. Mars rules the 10th house here — the Fearless Leader. Hmm.
The New Moon is at 4 degrees of Scorpio and it is likely to trigger events that occurred on the July 2018 eclipse at 4 Aquarius, which was conjunct Mars. Hmm.
Pay attention to what gets started this cycle, as it will likely advance significantly on the January 24th New Moon and again on the New Moon on April 22nd…
Whatever day you were born, a New Moon offers an opportunity to reset intentions for the next 30 days. Maintain your focus in your own personal world, even though the rest of the world may seem to be falling apart. It’s supposed to be falling apart at this time, so we can put it all back together with a new set of values.
Meanwhile, do your best — and be kind.
Thus, endings and beginnings that gallop in this week are likely to be provocative. News and disputes may fly like the wind via words, technology, media, attitudes, and perhaps even music — all matters that are ruled by the suit of Swords.
Putting It All on the Line
As a court card of the Tarot, this may represent someone you know, some aspect of yourself, or just the vibe that is in the air right now.
In any case, the Knight of Swords blasts off with everything he’s got.
Who do you know that loves a good argument, that likes to play devil’s advocate for sport, and sometimes doesn’t know when to shut up and give it a rest?
This is someone who lives almost entirely in his or her head, disdaining anything illogical or remotely touchy-feely, and to whom you would probably never confide that you read my Tarot articles.
There is no more courageous champion, no hero smarter or more daring than the Knight of Swords. But — his rush to judgment, and his sometimes arrogant viewpoint are not always the best way to deal with problems and conflicts.
His dazzling intellect can make him believe he is infallible and superior to others, so he may not heed more tempered opinions. Disconnected from hunches that cannot be explained, he has not yet learned that overpowering people in an argument, or having thousands of “likes” in social media does not automatically give him victory.
[By the way, I would not characterize the current resident of the White House as a Knight of Swords. The Tarot’s knight can be cunning, yes, but never sly or dishonest. He is also legitimately intelligent and in fluent command of vast, detailed data at all times.]
The Knight of Swords never has to brag about how smart he is. Everyone who has seen him in action is rightfully impressed, even if they disagree.
New Directions and Beginnings
This week, there may be startling messages and even conflicts ahead. Be alert!
When the fearless, adroit Knight of Swords rushes off, he’d better know what he’s doing, facing battle with bravery and chivalry.
In other words, however this knight shows up for us, he would be wise to heed Elisabeth’s urging to do one’s best and be kind.
Be careful of pouring on too much aggression in whatever conflicts may come up. Is there a way that your goals could be better served by instead taking a breather and toning down the drama?
The urge to respond with a smart comeback, snarky gossip, or verbal dressing down may be powerful, but the intensity of this knight unleashed wrongly could cause real trouble, even start a war.
Expect someone to be a change agent, bearing a message that may topple our plans or routines. Or we may face situations where we are called on to fly far from our comfort zone.
For whom or what are you willing to summon your inner warrior, responding to perceived difficulty with vision and rapid intelligence?
During this week’s turn of the Wheel to Samhain, the souls of our Ancestors and beloved dead gather near. As we commemorate this changing season, in which anyone with even the least sensitivity will surely feel the thinning of the veil, let us employ within ourselves the Knight of Swords.
May we sing with our light, for it is with this boundless, fierce commitment that we may make a road of song that spirit may pass over.