Knight of Wands is the most adventurous and forceful of the Court Cards: the most active card in the most aggressive suit. He may signify someone crossing your path or he may be rushing you to encounter that aspect of yourself.
Brian Williams’ Renaissance Tarot representation is much more subtle than the Rider Waite Smith image, but we can still find the indicators for the Knight who’ll take us quickly in the direction of our ambitions.
For starters we’ve got a few of the different names for Wands: Staves and the Italian Bastoni, which translates as Batons. Sometimes we’ve got slender staves or wands, other times heavy batons or clubs. All the same suit, under different family names. This one’s got the crown of spirit on it’s slender stalk.
Going basic, we’ve got a man on a horse. That immediately ups the speed and distance available to the Knight. His armour is light, a compromise necessary for speed. Perhaps he’s arrogant about defenses, perhaps he’s ignorant, perhaps he’s just a very good fighter. And perhaps he’s just able to out distance or out maneuver his adversaries.
He keeps a loose hand on the rein, an indication that he’s got a trusting relationship with his steed, letting his spirit take the lead. The wings on his helmet refer to the swiftly moving air element that’s associated with all the Knights. Knight of Wands’ flight is motivated by passion.
The red cloth of his dress is the colour of fire, with a yellow amulet, the colour of air. Emotional blue contains his passionate red. Although blue is most often associated with water, we all recognize it as the colour of clear skies . . . clear sailing.
Up in the corner, we’ve got an angel with a scroll – the Torah, the law. That’s one of two references to Hermes, the winged messenger. The other is the winged helmet. In the other corner we’ve got 2 men, indicating masculine energies (NOT male: you already know we’ve all got a masculine and feminine side); another descriptor of the activity level, the dynamic nature of the Knight of Wands.
The countryside through which he rides is fertile and green, growing. The water behind him – again a symbol of the subconscious and of emotions – is calm. The city is in the distance with mountains even further behind. Is our Knight passing by, or has he come from those distant places? It’s hard to imagine the city containing him but his fiery spirit could easily conquer the rugged mountaintops.
So, this week, identify the people in your life who are moved by their passions. And find the ways you yourself embody the Knight of Wands.
If you’re looking to learn more about Tarot, I’ll be teaching level 1, Tarot . . . It’s Easier Than You Think, on Wednesday, 5th November, and level 2, Tarot 2 . . . We’re Not in Kansas Anymore, on Friday, 12th December, through the Berkeley County Adult Ed program. Call 304-267-3585 for more information and to register.
And you know where to find me for phone, email, or in-person tarot counseling.