Thoth- Knight of Swords
The Lord of the Winds and Breezes; King of the Spirits of the Air; King of the Sylphs and Sylphides.
The 2nd Sephiroth-Chokmah is the beginning state of conscious energy that is masculine in action. Chokmah (wisdom) is the "idea of male" and its mate, Binah (understanding), is the "idea of Female". Now we have the concepts of Father-Mother God and/or the Divine Creative.
Chokmah being the 2nd Sephiroth, known as Wisdom, is also the Force behind the four 2's and the four Knights/Kings.
The 2's symbolize the Forces of the 4 Battle Kings, who are Knights, and the 4 Queens that are uniting and initializing the Forces. The Knight-Kings are the Fathers of and initiators of Material Forces.
The Knight of Swords, is also known in 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. Here we have Specific Fire in Primal Air that is the personification of a Force of spiritual will behind the World of Astral Images and ideas. This Power is violent, aggressive, and a cutting edged force that is much like an overheated wind. He is storm and violent emotion applied to an apparently manageable mind.
The symbols of this Mad Movement, are depicted in the art of the Knight of Swords, as his maddened steed is charging down from the heavens, with Tempest about, 4 wings of a dragonfly 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 is a revolving wing, showing violent motion in air, much like a helicopter beats the air into submission. There are 3 Swallows diving downward with him; swallows are birds sacred to the Greek Goddess Persephone and the Egyptian Goddess Isis and symbolize the coming of spring. Therefore, he is also connected with new ideas, that if acted on bring new growth.
Such a character, if personal, would be that of a person who is:
- Clever, skillful, active and subtle. Being that he or she is fierce, delicate, and courageous, much like a Dragon Fly, does not keep him/her from being prey to ideas which come as inspiration without consideration.
- All of this changes when this card is ill dignified. If such occurs, s/he is incapable of decisions or purpose, and any action s/he takes is so weakened by mental indecision that it is easily brushed aside by opposition. Often we find, that inadequate violent action is merely futile effort at best.
However, we choose to dignify this Knight-King, s/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. Therefore, the Knight of Swords implies there is 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 and stubborn behavior.
Gothic Tarot-King of Swords
The Gothic Tarot-King of Swords, is linked to the element of Air (mind) by his wings. The Sword in his hand links him with the double edge device we call mind, for it is the sword of action and reaction. The King of Swords is compatible with the Thoth Knight of Swords and as Crowley insisted, is not sitting on a throne but ready for battle.
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.
- The querent is a person of tough- minded common sense which is usually based on preconception and prejudicial determinations.
- The arrogance of a powerful mind turns 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.
If ill dignified by surrounding cards:
- Too much emphasis on Mind.
- Emotional coldness.
- Biting and cynical criticism.
- Dazzling ambiguity.
- Fickle instability.
- The snare of thinking.
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