The tarot court cards can be difficult and
troublesome to interpret when they show up in a
spread. Of all the ranks in the court, the knight
may be easy to identify with if we see ourselves
as modern day warriors with a great responsibility
in daily life.
The knights of tarot are in a class all their own,
each one having its own secrets. Without going
into great detail, here are some interesting
things to know about knights in general, and some
practical uses for knights in readings.
American writer Thomas Bulfinch described the word
knight as originally meaning boy or servant. The
word knight comes from the Old English "cniht"
and even earlier, from the German "knecht," and
meant slave or servant. The word knight
eventually to mean a young man admitted to the
privilege of bearing arms in military service to a
king or aristocrat.
The roots of knighthood arose in Medieval Europe,
when feuding nobles and religious and political
challenges in Western Europe gave rise to a class
of warriors/protectors. As improvements in
military technology increased and the threat of
barbarians decreased, knights returning from the
Crusades brought with them their deep interest in
Eastern metaphysics. The merging of Eastern and
Western metaphysical knowledge played a huge role
in the development of the esotericism that was to
have a heavy influence on tarot.
Knights adopted their own special standards and
codes of honor for daily living and interactions
with others. The four virtues of prudence,
temperance, justice and fortitude were among
these, in addition to faith, generosity, courage,
determination and will.
Heroism is concerned with the moral pursuit of
goals, service to a high cause, and defending all
that is held valuable. These are represented
symbolically in the tarot knight. When modern
heroes let us down, we turn to fictional ones,
which is why superhero comic books and movies
are so popular.
We live in a scary world, and whether you read for
yourself or others, the main issue underneath all
queries to a tarot reader is the need to know that
everything is safe and secure, or will at least
end up that way.
In addition to the armored knights of the
Rider-Waite-Smith tarot, this rank has been
portrayed in other decks as princes, cavaliers,
warriors, seekers, angels, brothers and sons,
all emitting a daring masculine energy in the
style of their respective suits.
Like other members of the tarot court, knights can
represent people or personalities, and bring
changes of circumstance. Knights lack the maturity
of kings and queens, but demonstrate motivation
and sincerity in carrying out their duties. They
are models of goodness and beauty in everything,
even in things that are not so good. We must not
forget that the knights were trained to kill in
the name of good.
When a knight turns up in a reading, ask the
querent: To what or who am I in service? What is
it that I need to protect? Am I feeling defensive?
What virtue am I lacking? How can I humble myself
in this situation?
The following are ways to interpret specific knights
in a reading:
The Knight of Pentacles card suggests steadiness
and reliability. Planning ahead and considerations
that define a long-term goal. Knowledge of what is
important and valuable. A resourceful and
responsible person that uses common sense.
The Knight of Swords card suggests heroic action.
He is ready to take up a fight for almost any
cause. The ability to overcome obstacles or
resolve disagreements and conflicts. The desire to
make necessary improvements. Confronts challenges
by charging forward. Very focused on making a
point. Ruthlessness and hastiness. The Knight of
Swords jumps to the defense of his ideals.
The Knight of Wands card suggests enthusiastic
energy. He keeps his options open and is on the
lookout for the next best thing. The Knight of
Wands can be flamboyant and a trendsetter. Travel
may be on the horizon. The future looks bright! He
is all for a new quest or exciting journey
The Knight of Cups suggests compassion. He is
charming and comfortable with emotions, and is
very agreeable and amiable. Playing on the
emotions of others is very easy for this knight.
He is idealistic, romantic and has a tendency to
live in a dream world, but he gives a lot of
thought before committing to anything or anyone.