Knight of Swords – Clean of Heart

Knight of Swords Clean of Heart

This looks like a busy week for me so I’m glad to see the Knight of Swords come rushing to my aid this morning. I need a clear head to stay on top of everything I need to get done and this Air sign courtier is just the guy!

A.E. Waite on the Knight of Swords, from the Pictorial Key to the Tarot:

He is riding in full course, as if scattering his enemies. In the design he is really a prototypical hero of romantic chivalry. He might almost be Galahad, whose sword is swift and sure because he is clean of heart. Divinatory Meanings: Skill, bravery, capacity, defence, address, enmity, wrath, war, destruction, opposition, resistance, ruin. There is therefore a sense in which the card signifies death, but it carries this meaning only in its proximity to other cards of fatality. Reversed: Imprudence, incapacity, extravagance.

To be ‘clean of heart,’ as A.E. Waite puts it, is to be a champion for the truth. It means that your motive is more noble than that of personal gain. You are fighting for a greater cause, the Summum Bonum. Some of the darker meanings attached to this card has to do with a tendency of this Knight to be convinced he is right even when he is wrong and not minding some lateral damage if I he can further what he perceives as truth. He has to learn that, often, it is more important to be kind than to be right.

I find it interesting that Waite uses the term ‘romantic chivalry,’ since most modern Tarot readers would reserve the word ‘romantic’ for the Knight of Cups. I also find it interesting that there is an association with death but it makes sense for someone who is willing to die for what they believe in – even when it is not the truth in any objective sense.

In the Frideborg Tarot, we have a rebel Knight of Swords. His colourful views of what is right and true are on full display and he won’t be shut down by anyone or for any reason. The astrological correspondence is Aquarius (or third decan Capricorn + first two decans Aquarius). This Knight happens to be my birthday Courtier (third decan Capricorn), so I know both his light and his dark rather well by now. Another strength of his is innovation but he is sometimes too far ahead of his contemporaries for them to be able to relate.

In Benebell Wen’s Spirit Keeper’s Tarot , this Knight is the ‘spirit personification of Air.’ His name is ‘The Shining Winds’ and we can call on him for help with all intellectual matters, as well as when we need to get stuck/stagnant energy moving again. He also helps those who are psychic with the gift of claircognizance.

If we are not ashamed to think it, we should not be ashamed to say it. ― Marcus Tullius Cicero Click To Tweet



Lisa Frideborg

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