Crowley choose to call his King of Swords, the Knight of Swords rather than the King, which is traditional in Ryder-Waite, Connolly Tarot, Night Sun Tarot, Golden Dawn, SpellCaster's, Witches Tarot and most other traditional medieval tarot decks. 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. 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 pseud- 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" and/or the Sons of Kings 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 alchemical element-air this card refers to the personality of the conscious mind.
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 "will to 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 Witches Tarot, depicts such a King, as a semi- aggressive figure, dressed in yellow, with a large double edged sword and a crown of sword points, implying the severity that rule imposes on one's mind and the element of air. The large double edged golden sword implying truth and justice. The Peregrine Falcon,on his arm suggests cunning, swiftness, and accuracy. Also the heraldry carved into the stone throne is that of a falcon.
This is a card for rulers, leaders and wielders of justice. So when thrown during a divination, it cautions that one's own actions will be called into question. This king is concerned with matters of right and wrong, personal integrity and honor. Hence, he is linked with the Emperor as well as Chokmah the 2nd Sephiroth called wisdom.
This depiction goes along with Mythology. For 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 the divination.
***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 (disambiguation)."Dharma (Hinduism)" redirects here. For the Hindu concept, see Dharma. DeathयमDeva Naraka Pluto Om Surya puthraya Vidhmahe MahaKalaya Dheemahi Thanno Yama Prachodayath Danda water 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 considered as Gemini in Taurus in the Tarot.
Hence, 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, for now, a 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. 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, that looks somewhat green here due to over printing, 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 rules from the 21st degree of Taurus to the 20th degree of Gemini. 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. Therefore, 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 Evil here, for both exist in the Mind.
The stubborn Will of Taurus and the Inspiration of Gemini
are also applied here. The Knight of Swords represents the True Will (Spirit) 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 becomes 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, 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 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 therefore, 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.
To reiterate: 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.
WHEN THE KNIGHT/KING OF SWORDS IS THROWN DURING A READING:
The querent is or may be experiencing:
This Archetypal personality is a person:
If ill dignified:
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