Court Card Thumbnails: The Knight/Prince of Wands

The Court Cards: The Knight/Prince of Wands

Titles:

Air of Fire; The Prince of the Chariot of Fire

Astrological Correspondence:

21° degrees of Cancer to 20° degrees of Leo

Commentary:

Golden Dawn “Liber T” (S.L. Mathers):

“Swift, strong, hasty, rather violent, yet just and generous, noble and scorning meanness. If ill-dignified, cruel, intolerant, prejudiced and ill-natured.”

The Pictorial Key to the Tarot (A.E. Waite):

“Departure, absence, flight, emigration. Alienation.”

The Book of Thoth (Aleister Crowley):

“The moral qualities appropriate to this figure are swiftness and strength. But he is sometimes inclined to act on impulse, sometimes easily led by external influences; sometimes, especially in trifles, a prey to indecision. His character is intensely noble and generous. He may be an extravagant boaster. His sense of humour is omnivorous. His courage is fantastically strong, and his endurance indefatigable. One of his greatest faults is pride; meanness and pettiness of any kind he holds in infinite scorn. When this card is badly dignified, the character degenerates . . . he may be intolerant, prejudiced and idle – principally because it saves saves trouble.”

Discussion:

As a person involved in the situation, this is the classic “Good-time Charlie,” the easy-going “life of the party.” He may not have a serious bone in his body, and can’t be bothered with too many details. As a hopeless romantic, he can be naive and “wear his heart on his sleeve.” If he can be convinced to buckle down and apply himself, his capacity for work is prodigious. But he can be difficult to pin down to a formal commitment since he has trouble making up his mind and sticking to it. He will be a reliable friend as long as he can see the fun in it, but doesn’t like getting bogged down in the heavier sentiments of loyalty and trust. Otherwise, he can quickly lose interest; “Here today, gone tomorrow” could easily be his motto.

As an attitude or behavior of the seeker, this card advises keeping things “on the light side,” staying flexible and lively. Being alert for and wary of manipulation by others would be a good idea. Straightforward initiatives with clear goals and few complications are more likely to succeed than ponderous endeavors requiring greater persistence. Restlessness and compulsive “change for its own sake” are possible.

As an impersonal influence upon one’s circumstances, it can show an opportunity to “get away from it all.” Good times are implied, but they may come and go rapidly, so enjoying the “pleasures of the moment” is encouraged.

Copyright Notice: The quoted sections were taken from Tarot Divination: A Description of the Cards of the Tarot, Aleister Crowley’s publication of the Golden Dawn’s Liber T, the tarot papers of Samuel Liddell Macgregor Mathers (from The Equinox, Volume 1, Number 8, Autumn 1912, Samuel Weiser edition 1981); The Pictorial Key to the Tarot, Arthur Edward Waite, originally published in 1911 by William Rider & Son, Ltd, Dover Publications edition 2005); and The Book of Thoth by Aleister Crowley, originally published in 1944, Samuel Weiser edition 1974.

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