The Knight of Swords shows a man on a white horse, thundering across the ground, ready to go into battle with all his might. This card is about being direct and authoritative, but warns against acting impetuously.
Appearance and Symbolism
This card shows a young man in full armour that is riding a strong white horse right into the midst of a battle. In the sky behind him, we can see huge storm clouds and just like the Page of Swords, the trees in the background are being buffeted and tossed by the wind. As the Suit of Swords is represented by air, we can see how important the wind is in these cards.
The harness of the horse is emblazoned with images of birds and butterflies and in the sky we can see a flock of birds moving across. There are also birds on the knight’s cape. From the look on the knight’s face, we can see the level of dedication and fury he feels as he charges into battle, disregarding any dangers to his personal safety.
An introduction to Tarot cards will tell you that birds are symbols of our higher ideals and matters of higher thought and the spirit. They are creatures of the air and so represent breaking free of worldly problems and issues and achieving a higher level of existence. Birds are about freedom and ascension up into the heavens. When we see birds in the cards, they tell us that we should try and break free – to make our hearts lighter and achieve higher levels of existence.
Horses are apparent on all knight cards of the Tarot and are all about strength and forward motion. They represent action and powerful vitality. The horse we see in this card is almost flying across the landscape, it is moving with such speed. This is a reinforcing of the idea of the Suit of Swords being a representation of air. As we see this horse moving so stridently across this card, we have to ask ourselves what we are charging towards and whether we should take the time out to see if that is the right way to be going.
Clouds are symbols of the revealing of something we didn’t know before. They are about the revelation of ideas, emotions or ways of thinking that we didn’t see or understand before. Sometimes the fog of our thoughts can seem impenetrable, but suddenly we will have an epiphany and everything seems sunny and fresh with the light of a bright idea. This is a basic way to look at the symbolism of clouds in the Tarot. Depending on the card itself, clouds can also be a representation of clouded judgment or confusion.
If you have undertaken a free Tarot card reading online and draw the Knight of Swords you will find that he shows us the energy that follows from the initial inspiration and belief that comes from the Page of Swords.
The knight’s energy and momentum seem almost unstoppable and the whiteness of his horse tell us how pure his intellectual energy is. The lesson to be learnt here though, is that even though his energy is immense, without the proper guidance things can go awry. Sometimes the consequences of blind action can lead to difficult situations and unforeseen problems.
When we are alive with an idea and want to make it happen we can sometimes get ahead of ourselves and won’t be able to see the possible pitfalls or consequences of that idea. As powerful and as energetic as the knight is, we need to remember that sometimes we must temper that energy and balance it with responsibility and compassion.
The Knight also shows someone who is brave and strong. They are skilful and capable of great successes – no matter the venture. This card tells us that problems will overcome our problem (regardless of whether they are physical, mental, emotional or spiritual problems) and that the assistance we need will be forthcoming.
When you see this card inverted, it could be a sign that you need to go it alone and trust in yourself in order to get things done, even if you find yourself making mistakes along the way. The Knight of Swords inverted is a very impatient and impulsive person with a huge amount of energy and little direction – this can result in rash decisions and possibly pulling others down with them.
If you feel that you encounter someone like this, and this card warns you – be aware that you could go down with them; be wary of the hype and don’t get sucked in.