The Thoth-KNIGHT OF SWORDS & The Night Sun Tarot-King of Swords:
Crowley choose to call his King of Swords in Ryder-Waite, Connolly Tarot, Night Sun Tarot, Golden Dawn and most traditional tarot decks, the Knight of Swords. His Knights, are comparable to the Kings, simply because, Master Theron, believed in the Actions of Chokmah, the 2nd Sephirotic Being, who is Active Fire and the first Masculine expression. Hence, his Knights are "Battle Kings", and the Knight of Swords, who is no exception to battle, is the fiery part of air. Since all active Kings are the fiery part of their element and are not prone to sitting on their authoritative butts, directing others, they are riding battle chargers. Hence, the Thoth Kings, are out in the forefront of battle, chargers leaping, weapons a swinging, kicking the opposition's "behind" as armored Knights. To Crowley's reckoning, Kings are expressions of "Will to Force"/Chokman. Other traditional decks also have knights, but these are the "Princes" in Crowley's Tarot.
The Thoth Tarot-Knight of Swords is the fiery part of Air and rules from 21 degrees Taurus to 20 degrees Gemini. The Knight of Swords represents the personification of the activating Force behind the World of Astral images and ideas. The Knight is attributed to subtle actions and craftiness; as the element-Air this card refers to the personality of the conscious mind.
The Thoth Deck Card shows the Knight mounted on a charger (symbolizes the dynamic energy of Taurus) with swords extended which represents the violent cutting power of this Force.
As a Archetype personality, The Knight/King of Swords represents a mature male with a cutting edge consciousness at its ultimate phase of creative control and will. Often involved in matters of justice, discipline, civic and personal order. The Night Sun Tarot, depicts the King as an aggressive figure, albeit sitting on his throne, with the crown of thorns, implying the severity that rule imposes on one's mind, and a large two handed double edged sword implying justice. The heart in a bird cage, is the symbol of the "caged soul", again implying the severity rule imposes on one's soul. The Wings on his throne, implies the element of Air, as does the large yellow alchemical triangle symbol in the window.
The Night Sun Tarot, also shows the Hebrew letter Vau-meaning Nail- top center of this attractive tarot card. I would think he would use the letter Zayin (Zain)- meaning sword; However, the Path of Vau (Hierophant Tarot Card) is between Chessed and Chokmah; Chokmah, the 2nd Sephiroth- being the ruler of the kings and therefore, he could be referring to this active-authoritative path of the Hierophant. Either that, or he just didn't draw the letter Zayin properly.
In Mythology, The Knight/King of Swords is the personification of ***Yama the Bull God who gave up his Earth life to become King of the Underworld. A powerful judge, a godlike authority, and an embodiment of discipline and order. Because of the dual nature of Gemini this personality can either absorb his/her entire life in concentrated aspiration, or can go the entirely opposite way and become incapable of decision or purpose becoming weak in action. Again the surrounding cards will show which aspect of Gemini (the twins) is directing the Dynamic power of Taurus.
In Hindu Religion, Yama (Sanskrit: यम), is the lord of death. In the Rigveda, he is mentioned as one who helped humankind find a place to dwell, and gave every individual the power to tread any path to which s/he wants. In Vedic tradition, Yama was considered to be the first mortal who died and espied the way to the celestial abodes; thus, as a result, he became the ruler of the departed. Yama's name can be interpreted to mean "twin", and in some myths he is paired with a twin sister Yami. Yama is associated with various roles in Hinduism that are not always consistent throughout the stories. Sometimes, he is the lord of justice and is associated with Dharma, such as in the Brahma Purana; in other Puranas, Yama has no association with Dharma at all. Yama is also found in Buddhist texts. The Buddhist Yama, however, has developed different myths.
After reading this Wikipedia essay on Yama and Yami, the "twins", and the fact he is also known as the "bull god", we can see why Yama is the personification of this personality archetype who is Gemini , the twins, in Taurus.
In Tarot- the Knight/King of Swords is considered the archetype of the Mastery of Passionate Thinking and Intentionality.
By now many of us know that the Tarot Court Cards represent personality Archetypes. In the book: TAROT-Dictionary and Compendium, Jana Riley describes Archetypes ; The original Archetype was a thought in the Mind of God-male and female. The Supreme Mind became enamored with this thought and created life in Its image by the friction of Its Word-or by the motion of Its sound. This caused the Universe to divide into ordered strata, and because creation is within the Mind of God, everything is a model or a copy of the original pattern, which is God.
The court cards are pictures of 16 different core- personality types, as shown on the Tarot birth chart. 8 proven by Carl Jung, and later 8 more by Katherine Briggs and Isabel Myers who devised the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator ( MBTI) which is, argumentatively, the most accurate tool used by counseling centers around the world. Proving once again the Ancient Wisdom of the Qabalistic Masters and Tarot. Remembering is how we are slowly coming out of the amnesia imposed on us by the concussive Age of the Patriarch.
The Thoth Knight of Swords is seen to be flying over water. In alchemy, elemental air is associated with the Mind and elemental Water is "emotionality". Therefore, this combination of air and water represents passionate thinking. Three swallows represent the union of mind and heart with all action proceeding in united direction. This serves to remind us that focus, will, and intention must be aligned to achieve any goal.
The dagger in the left hand and the sword in the right hand, represent yin/yang (Yama/Yami), (feminine/masculine) forces of One energy. Female is magnetic force and male is electric force, both must be combined to create a balanced unity called life and/or living forms.
Four wings, are four directions, north, south, east and west; each represent four levels of conscious: mental, emotional, spiritual and physical.
The six pointed star at the center of the wings, symbolizes illumined clarity and spiritual guidance. Golden armor represents powerful fluid thinking.
The Knight of Swords is called "the fiery part of Air" which may confuse you, but really He represents the violent power of motion applied to air. He is a armored warrior whose helmet bares a rotating wing, imply the four directions of the compass and is mounted on a rampaging steed. With both sword and poniard in hand, he is the very idea of Attack.
He is the Spirit of the Tempest.
The Knight of Swords can be compared to the Lightning bolt of an idea absorbing the entire life of one, in concentrated aspiration. There will be Live and/or Evil here.
The stubborn Will of Taurus and the Inspiration of Gemini
are also applied here. The Knight of Swords represents the True Will (of the Soul) exploding the mind spontaneously. What many of us forget or have been indoctrinated to forget, is that True Will is not empathetic---Spirit has no need for empathy, as it never Dies and the Love of Identity is its e-motion. Those of us Spirit-personalities, who are fortunate enough to inherit a human body, now know how to empathize with the "living" and will adjust our identities to accommodate the expansion and liberation of the living from their poverty of self imposed or ruler imposed- definitions, rather than the mundane task of just erase "others" with visions of tempestuous velocity; of immense violence. Love of idea/identity without empathy is a Terrible Tempest of Self-Absorbed Desire, where the Vision
is more important than the living. Hence, this Card reminds us to take time to love being, for the body human is a Vision of Divine Will-To-Be and must be our Vision Center, so that we can "feel" the violence of our own Ideas, and restructure them to care for the living rather than sacrifice them to our ideas.
Remember, Chokmah or Hochma, the 2nd Sephiroth that is known as Wisdom, also is the primeval "Will to Force" and is a mental-tempest of force that rules the Knight of Swords. Chokmah also represents the beginning state of conscious energy that is masculine in action. Therefore, Chokmah is the "idea of male" and it's mate, Binah, is the "idea of Female". When one exists, so does the other. Now we have the concepts of Father-Mother God and/or the Divine Creative.
Chokmah being the 2nd Sephira, is also the Force behind the four twos and the four Knights, that launches ideas of self-identity towards Binah, "the womb of Mind", who receives and Understands; understanding is the foundation of love, and therefore, beginning formation through gestation. Wisdom is learning, such as when one slams their finger in a door, they learn to not do that! However, Understanding, requires the knowledge of both the force, and form of a door; such as why fingers are different from wood, observation of finger placement, forces and the forms of a shutting door. Hence, Wisdom and Understanding both come together to prevent shutting one's finger in the door. One may say that Wisdom is "do or don't do that", and Understanding is knowing why not to do this or that.
The Twos/Twins symbolize the Forces of the King, who are shown in the Thoth Tarot as Knights/Battle Kings. The four Queens unite and initialize the "will to Force" of the Knights with the Understanding of "Will to Form". Hence, the Knight-Kings are the Fathers of and/or initiators of Material Forces.
Therefore the Tarot King/Knight of swords personality is also known in the Hermetic Qaballah as Lord of Winds and Breezes. King of the Elemental Spirits of the Air; the Sylphs and Sylphides. This is a very Strong masculine mental force whose zodiacal attributes are the last Decan of Taurus and the first two Decans of Gemini, and just as able to switch directions of thought, as the wind.
Here we have Specific Fire in Primal Air that is the personification of a Force behind the World of Astral Images and ideas. This Power is violent, aggressive, and a cutting edged force that is much like a overheated wind or a powerful dual edged sword. He is storm and violent emotion applied to an apparently manageable mind, as shown on the Night Sun Tarot, by his shout of anger.
The symbols of this Mad Movement, is depicted in the art of both the Knight and King of Swords. On the Thoth Card, his maddened steed is charging down from the heavens, with tempest about,smearing the clouds and armed with both sword and poniard, he is the very personification of the idea of attack. The Bull like power of Taurus is represented in his steed and the Twins of Gemini are shown in his armament. The crest on his Helm (his personality) is a revolving wing, showing violent motion in air, much like a helicopter beats the air into submission. One must remember that Yama, is also a "death god", and therefore, the suit of Swords, the traditional death suit, represents the thoughts of destruction as well, so again, this persona's rapid mental activity can easily be used for both good and evil.
Such a character, if personal, would be that of a person who is clever, skillful, active and subtle. Being that he is fierce, delicate, and courageous, much like a Dragon Fly, does not keep him from being prey to his ideas which come as inspiration without consideration. Often such a personality finds, that inadequate violent action is merely futile effort at best, and therefore can "over react", which tends to make them emotionally unstable.
However we choose to dignify this Knight, he is the "Extended Flame of mind" as Zoroaster calls it. Here the True Will To Force, as Chokmah is exploding the Mind. The Taurian influence, makes it steadfast and the first Decanate of Gemini makes it inspirational; thus an Idea tends to absorb the entire life of the individual in the blinding light of concentrated aspiration. Thus the description shows the danger to this state of mind, for the first Decan is also known as "shortened force" and that shortened force is symbolized by the poniard. Shortened force often comes off as defensive, cruel and stubborn behavior.
r than a Tempest-
WHEN THE KNIGHT/KING OF SWORDS IS THROWN DURING A READING:
The querent is or may be experiencing:
- The Will to transcend.
- An analytical period, where the power of idea and motion come into play.
- Letting go of old beliefs and attitudes that no longer serve the motion of the individual..
- Is a person of tough- minded common sense that is usually based on preconception and prejudice.
- The arrogance of a powerful mind turn on itself in its own desire for control.
- tends to judge harshly but with scrupulous fairness.
- a lawyer, senator or doctor.
- Mastery of creativity and confusion, as he sees new points of view,while brainstorming new thoughts that vent the mind.
- Intellectual,and mental prowess whose only emotion is to control.
- A strong personality of fiery emotion and powerful thought.
- A highly analytical period for the querent, that is exacting, precise, brilliant and highly rational.
- Since the Knight of Swords represents fiery emotions and powerful thought there is potential for dangerous thought that is both inhumane and perverse. The surrounding cards would show if this card is well or ill define.
- This card also represents the lecture, preacher, and teacher of sharp wit and indomitable will. A very strong mentalist card.
This Archetypal personality is a person:
- Who possesses qualities of skill, activity, subtlety and cleverness combined with fierceness.
- He is both delicate and courageous while also being prey of his inspirational idea--- that he doesn't question.
If ill dignified:
- The Card represents inadequate violence, which is useless and futile. The vigor in all the qualities before mentioned, is gone...merely a convulsion of breezes rather than a tempest a-charging!
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