In the Thoth Tarot, the traditional Kings are called Knights. Crowley saw Knights as armored battle Kings sitting astride their powerful "Spirit Force" steeds. The Knight of Cups is the fiery part of water, this may sound strange to the neophyte; However, the fiery part of water is the Power of Solution. Here the Spirit is active in the Unconscious.Hence, The Knight of Cups is not unlike the fiery attack of rain or springs; the power of them kind of sneaks up on you.
The Knight or King of Cups rules the zodiac from 21 degrees Aquarius to 20 degrees Pisces making him the Specific Fire in the World of Primal water. Water is the substance used to represent the unconscious mental world and the Knight of Cups is a personification of the specific motivational force that activates the currents of the unconscious... something we call e-motion.
The Armor, bright wings, and the leaping white charger, all represent the most active aspects of water and/or Emotions. The crab represents the aggressive nature of water and it's regenerative state, as crabs individually regenerate by shedding their hard outer shell.
The Knight of Cups totem is the Peacock, as the very nature of active water is it's brilliance. The Peacock is also the totem of the Peacock God Myths of which a greater amount of study is needed if you wish to understand the "Swirling Depths" of this card. The Night Sun Tarot places the upside down triangle symbol for water above the haloed King.
The fluorescence characteristics of the Knight of Cups as a archetypal personality that is signified by this card are surprisingly passive, as dictated by the Zodiacal attribution. With the qualities of Venus, he is a graceful dilettante (a weak Jupiter). Passively amiable and quick to respond to attraction but the stimulation fades away as he is not very enduring. He maybe emotionally triggered by outside influence, and if so, his personality has no real material depth of character. Yet, in his highest state, he is a master of his emotion; keeper of the Graäl, and is not afraid to manipulate the emotions of others to "make his point".
However, The Knight of Cups has an undeniable innocence and purity, a Galahad, that is hardly clouded by his ill dignified sensuality, idleness, and untruthful nature. In fact he seems so superficial that it is hard to reach any depth in him. Yet, his depths are very occult and as deep as Spirit.
The fluorescence character of this Knight is in the blues of water, all around him. He also has the Wings of Mercury, as he is a Husband and messenger of the Graäl. Husband, is an old English word, taken from the Norse Husbondi, meaning "master of the house". Hence, the Graäl husband is a "master of his emotional form and/or vessel", as the Great Womb or Graäl is the "Will to Form" and e-motion, is from the Masculine-"Will to Force".
The golden Graäl held above the Knight's head, is representative of the ultimate balance of the male-"Will to Force" and the Female- "Will to Form". The Crab is also the symbol used for the sign of Cancer, another water sign.
The Crab rising from the Graäl- Cup carried by the Thoth Knight symbolizes the sign of Cancer (Cardinal Water) which ruled by the Moon directs the flow of the tides.
There is a dual meaning presented by the crab as it is also a ancient symbol for the Goddess Isis, Stella Maris, the Star of the Sea. The peacock, shown bottom left, is often attributed to Chokma, the symbol of Wisdom on the Qabalistic Tree of Life.
There is great difficulty in rightly mating water with Fire, as the swift violent nature of fire (as shown by the Knight or King of Wands) ill suits a character that is naturally as placid as water. It is a rare persona indeed that has mastered the balance, just keeping the "water below a boil"; a magus of emotion, such as a Christ or Buddha, so most often we find the personality mismanaging his or her affairs and unless good fortune attend them, their career and life would be littered with a trail of failure and disaster. In the small ego of the self-conscious, there can be a mental "civil war", and this can lead to depressions, and/or schizophrenia. The abuse of stimulants, alcohol, and narcotics is not uncommon with such a personality.
Fire represents Will and Passion, while water denotes Unconscious emotion, often they do not agree, so to escape the internal argument, the self-conscious will often "self medicate". However, if the Soul is the primary Psyche of the emotional body, rather than the personality, you have a Buddha-Peacock god persona, who is extremely psychic.
As always the case, the surrounding cards will help the Reader decide the positive or ill dignified nature of this card. Often within the reading is the recommended nature of correcting the unwanted behavior of his ill dignity. All in all, a very fun bubbly, bright person to be around---as long as you show attraction, to stimulate his attention.
The Tarot-Knights/Kings and 2's: As before stated, the Upper Supernal Triangle can be compared to the Garden of Eden From here, the male and female polarities of energy balance against each other, evolving into ever increasing density of equilibrium as they develop towards the lowest Sephira, Malkuth, on the Tree of Life.
In Qabalistic Tarot, the number Two, the number of Chokmah, symbolizes the union and balance of opposites that underlies all material existence.
Because this equilibrium of opposites begins in Chokmah, which is represented by the Thoth Tarot Knights or Tarot Kings. This second Sephiroth is also called the Sephiroth of "Perfect Harmony". While Kether is that which is the "Root" of impetus: Chokmah/Knights/Kings is the impetus for all manifestation. The Harmonic Union of opposites supplies that action as the coupling of Chokmah-Wisdom and Binah-Understanding. Binah is Saturn, and Chokmah is the sphere of the Zodiac.
Ultimately Kether, the first Sephiroth, is "sexless" for the idea of a dual nature is not formed yet, it is however the " whirling force" that begins motion. Therefore, Chokmah is the idea of Maleness (Electric) and Binah is the idea of Femaleness (Magnetic), and the mating of the Three (Supernal Triangle) "whirls the Electromagnetic Spectrum" into form. Therefore, the Thoth Knights represent the Archetypal Yod (Divine Masculine) Male Force, while the Binah-Queens, represent the Archetypal Divine Female, the Divine Heh; However, they are never separated and begin all creation as Yod Heh.....
Once again our sensual ideas of sexuality do not apply on this Higher Scale of Communion, such as the "Fisher King" and the Graäl. Here Maleness is the vital outpouring of electrical energy that is organized, limited or formalized by the magnetic qualities of Female. Thus Yod is male and Heh is female, and the resulting offspring is Vau of the Divine Name, Yod-Heh-Vau-Heh, that is attributed to the six lower Sephiroth in which Tiphareth (Beauty) is central. Therefore, Fabio Listrani, places an octagon halo above his Night Sun court card figures.
As you may note, there are many interchangeable symbols in the Qaballah that may make it seem more complicated than it is. The essential key is that the Vital outpouring Energy (Knights), which in intercourse with an organizing force (Queens), produces something else. For example, red combined with blue, creates purple by the motion of the mixer (Kether). Therefore, opposites joined in balanced harmony, produce something greater than the parents. This is not possible if exactly the same united with exactly the same, you would only get ... exactly the same!
Therefore the Qabalistic Tree of Life originated in the opposition of Chokmah and Binah. However this is not static, any more than male- female union on earth is static, there is a constant back and forth motion of growth and movement as the "undercurrent" of the Whirling Force of Kether-e-motion, personified in the Knight of Swords. This "undercurrent" insures that when a change occurs in one Sephiroth, there is a natural balancing response in its opposite ( often shown as the figure eight). Therefore there is a continual exchange that could be compared to breathing, as the inhale/exhale action that powers Life.
On the Tree of Life, the Uppermost Sephira is Kether, Eheieh ("I Will Be..."), which sets the pattern for all below it. Like an electrical switch that is off, Kether is all potential, while Chokmah is the electrical switch in the On position, the "Will to Force". Thus Chokmah/Knight is function while Kether is potential. Kether is a "no-thing" while Chokmah is a form of the whirling force that is Kether, and called Force. Therefore, Crowley, made his Kings, into Battle Kings or Knights, as they are Switched on and forceful, rather than sitting on a their royal ass on a throne anchored to earth. However, even though fierce in battle, the natural gentle nature of and emotional wisdom of this effervescing personality archetype, is well shown in:
In Celtic lore, the Heron, represented psychic reflection and perception.
Therefore the Heron was believed to be the guardian of many occult secrets (such as a Gaäl keeper) and is said to stand at the gateway between life and death.
Here, he is a mediator and/or psychopomp, who guides the soul into death and then back to reincarnation.
Such a personality, believes deeply in honor, honesty, and fairness. In fact, to live an honorable life, colors everything they do. However placid they seem, as in a great wave on the ocean, the very depths of this one's character, once stirred into action, carries all before it.
Chokmah, the intelligence that rules the Kings/Knights and 2's of Tarot, is the State of Self, where we, begin as Force and Binah is the State of Self, that organizes Force into Form,i.e. into being, from a Divine State of Meditation. The dreamed is unaware of the dreamer as we dream ourselves "inside out" (we are infinite inward and limited outward), an ultimate fact of our Earthly existence. Thus, you are the Master and the Masterpiece, the Transmitter and the Transmitted. Ideally our identity should flow back and forth from Transmitter and Transmitted by being the "corporate manager" and/or Mercurial Magus, in charge of both the transmitting intelligence and the receiving intelligence. Once again, you can see that your only savior, is an awakened subjective inner self saving the active-objective outer self from the delusion forced on it by "reflection".
The Knight of Cups or King of Vessels, implied that from One "I"- all identity becomes, so in actuality, we do not exist as separates, any more than fish can exist separate from the Ocean. As Self-Awareness of "I AM", we declare existence by stating "I AM ME" (Force and Form) becoming a Psyche/Soul combination of Fiery Father (Electric Force) and Watery Mother, (Magnetic Form). Each of us a "self-vision" of the Divine, given the freedom to preform on our own. Therefore we set about defining that invisible principle of existence as a manifestation of self-identity called "Me". Thus manifestation is a simple three word definition called, "I AM ME" of which we, who are the inheritors of the Divine Creative Mind (Imagination), hold total freedom to define ourselves. The body is the Vessel or Graäl of our Spirit.
Because of this power to create self, I AM Not, is an impossible identity, for what ever you define as not being you, simply states, that it is you. This is because you use the Force of Psyche to imagine it as a form before you can deny it, making "what is not" into form and/or "what is". Never forget, that you must identify something to deny it exists. Much like an Ocean that builds a fish of itself and denies it self-exists after it becomes a self of ocean! Therefore it behooves us imaginative creators to understand that " I am happy" creates happiness, while "I am not Sad" creates only sadness. Time to rethink your psyche power over the dream of you!
Since dimensions are descriptions of spatial terms, our life dream has specific dimensions, as that is our best frame of reference. The Tree of Life is how the Qabalah describes these dimensional frames of reference as being a downward flowing evolution of Chokmah thru various levels of Self Dream called Sephiroth. Yet, no mater how "solid" you think you are, you are just a spatial expression of Spirit; The One Energy, that cannot be created nor destroyed, only transformed and transmitted.
To make this simple, we are first willfully-dreaming our own existence (Eheieh), and that we are all collectively bubbles of Psyche (Souls) in the metaphorical effervescent Ocean of The Divine Collective Unconscious. You could say we are what is known as God-looking into a sparkling mirror and realizing an image.
This process of Macrocosmic dreaming towards a more condensed and sensual dream self, Microcosmic image, is a state of Self-Awareness called the "fall", but it really is a "down sizing" the Ocean of The Divine Collective Unconscious into individual fractal components (Souls), copies of the larger whole that cause us to "lessen" and/or give dimension to our self concepts to become more sensual and interactive, all of which is necessary for evolutionary discernment of identity. The many copies, as individuals, will interact as each "goes its own way", while the Whole Self is stable and has only "one way". Since this is a type of fragmentation of the Collective, we lose Whole-sight of our own Divinity and must "reclaim" all the data we left behind on our "downward" journey into Sensual-Self-Dreaming. One could say that in manifestation, Malkuth, we are to become a Lucid dreamer, rather than a "sleeping one".
The goal here is to get the inner dreamer and the dreamed image to cooperate with each other and thus the dreamed-Self than begins to get control over its life happenstances formed by e-motion, as "Will to Force" (consciousness) and "Will to Form" (Imagination/unconsciousness) work in sympathy with each other. This is a truly extraordinary experience and is the making of a Magic Being where the Union of Dreamer and Dream has no veils between them and here magic becomes a reality. Hence, we can have anything at all, but often require very little as we no longer experience the " wanton need" or "hole" that is in the center of the disconnected. One Loves, without need; One creates without fear or need of result. One wants nothing at all because one becomes I AM Me rather than "I seek Me". Once one discerns what does matter and what does not ("No-Thing Matters"), One goes about the Great Work of "As above, so below", a place where the "me's" are not separate, but a collective of effervescence in the Ocean of the Divine Mind.
When thrown and well defined, the Knight of Cups/King of Vessels card often represents:
In a more esoteric meaning;
When ill defined,
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