Tarot Card Comparisons: The Thoth Tarot-Knight of Swords & The Wild Wood Tarot- King of Arrows-King Fisher
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Thoth Tarot & comparisons

Tarot Card Comparisons: The Thoth Tarot-Knight of Swords & The Wild Wood Tarot- King of Arrows-King Fisher

The Tarot of EliThe Thoth-KNIGHT OF SWORDS & The Wild Wood Tarot-King of Arrows-King Fisher:
Aliester Crowley choose to call his sigil for Air-Swords and the King of this element, Knight of Swords. In the Ryder-Waite, Connolly Tarot, Night Sun Tarot, Golden Dawn and most traditional tarot decks, the King of Swords is the master of air; However, others have chosen King of Arrows as their masculine-Air Element sign. Crowley's Knights, are comparable to the Kings, simply because, Master Theron, believed in the Actions of Chokmah-Will To Force-, the 2nd Sephirotic Being, who is Active Fire and the first Masculine expression. His Knights are "Battle Kings", the Knight of Swords is the fiery part of air, as all the Kings are the fiery part of their element and are not prone to sitting on their authoritative butts, directing others. Rather his Kings, are out in the forefront of battle, chargers leaping, weapons a swinging, kicking the opposition's "behind". 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 that we know as our "self-conscious".

The Thoth Tarot 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 his ultimate phase of creative control and will. Often involved in matters of justice, discipline, civic and personal order.

The Wild Wood Tarot, depicts the King as an aggressive bird figure, known as a King Fisher, and name him the King of Arrows. The King Fisher, is a small bird, both sexes wearing the color of the rainbow, and is equally at home in air or water, making it the perfect representative of Sun/Fire and Air. Therefore, the shamans, often used this bird as a symbol for ancient wisdom and lore.The position of the King Fisher on the wheel of life, is the period of spring moving from Imbolc, through the Spring Equinox, towards Beltane

In Mythology, The Knight/King of Swords or Arrows 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, that is attributed to this personality, they 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.

***Yama (Hinduism)From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  This article is about the deity Yama in the Hindu tradition. For the deity Yama in other religious traditions, see Yama. For other uses, see Yama ."Dharma (Hinduism)" redirects here. For the Hindu concept, see Dharma. DeathयमDeva Naraka Pluto Om Surya puthraya Vidhmahe MahaKalaya Dheemahi Thanno Yama Prachodayath Dandawater buffalo Hades .

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 in Taurus.

In Tarot- the Knight/King of Swords or Arrows 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, for now, the most accurate tool used by counseling centers around the world. Proving once again the Ancient Wisdom of the Qabalistic-Tarot and 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, as is the Wild Wood-King of Arrows-King Fisher. 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, on the Thoth card 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 of the Thoth Knight 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.

The Thoth Knight's 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.

To reiterate:
The Knight of Swords or King of Arrows, is called "the fiery part of Air" which may confuse you, but really He represents the violent power of motion applied to air. He rules from the 21st degree of Taurus to the 20th degree of Gemini. In the Thoth rendition, he is a armored warrior whose helmet bares a rotating wing 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 or King of Arrows can be compared to the Lightning bolt of an idea absorbing the entire life of one, in concentrated aspiration. There will be Live and Evil here.

The stubborn Will of Taurus and the Inspiration of Gemini
are also applied here. The Knight of Swords or King of Arrows, 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 Idea 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 ideas to accommodate the expansion and liberation of the living from their poverty of self imposed or ruler imposed- definitions rather than just erase "others" with visions of tempestuous velocity; of immense violence. Love of idea without empathy is a
Terrible Tempest of Self-Absorbed Desire, where the Vision
is more important than the living, such as, poisoning the very water one and their children must have to live, by over zealous commercialism. 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, 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 or King of Arrows. 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 Sephiroth, is also the Force behind the four twos and the four Knights-Kings, that launches ideas 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 or Thoth Knight. 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 of Arrows/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. Again, 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/
The symbols of this Mad Movement, is depicted in the art of the Knight 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. The Wild Wood Tarot, King of Arrows, just shows the rapid wing-movement of the King Fisher, keeping the idea of rapid mental activity as the rapid flight of this small bird.

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 or her from being prey to their 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 or King image, he is the "Extended Flame of mind" as Zoroaster calls it. Here the True Will To Force, as Chokmah is the 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.


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!

Thank you for your interest, comments, and supportive donations. May you live long and prosper!

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