The Druid Craft Tarot, illustrates a Celtic Clansman or Chieftain, of either Irish or Scottish origin, who has his own Clan Name -Tartan (Plaid) and sits as "law giver" over his clan. Now the Plaid or Tartan is of no known clan that I can find, so it is an artistic design to suggest a Celtic clan. He wears the gold torque of authority and holds his swords in a ready position. Upon his face is a stern expression of stern consideration, as if trying to figure out if a point being made is a valid one. Yellow is the color attributed to the Pythagorean element of Air, which is considered the Mind.
On the Qabalistic Tree of Life, Chokmah (Hokma) the 2nd Sephiroth (numbered circle) is the beginning state of conscious energy that is considered as 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. From-0 to 8; 2 as an unbroken circle of the One Energy.
Chokmah being the 2nd Sephira, called---Wisdom, is also the Force behind the four 2's and the four Knights/Kings.
The 2's symbolize the Forces of the 4 Kings, who are Knights, and the 4 Queens 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 behind the World of Astral Images and ideas. He is the ability to take the abstract thought and objectify it. Even so, 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, is depicted in the art of the Knight of Swords, as his maddened steed is charging down from the heavens, with Tempest about, 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. The 4 directions of his wing, show that he is able to go "any which way", with a thought.
[illustration for the Text Book- The Qabalistic Tarot by Robert Wang]
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.
All of this changes when this card is ill dignified. If such occurs, he is incapable of decisions or purpose, and any action he takes is so weakened by his 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, 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 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 and stubborn behavior.
WHEN THE KNIGHT 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.