One of the most common challenges for those learning Tarot is understanding the Court Cards. Do they mean people? Events? Personalities? The querent? Someone else? And does a Queen really have to be a woman? And a Page a blond-haired, blue-eyed person under the age of 25?
In this blog series, I focus on each of the Court Cards – the Pages, Knights, Queens and Kings of the Tarot – to help you understand how you can interpret these Tarot cards in your readings. This builds off my post, “How to Read the Court Cards Like an Expert” to help other Tarot students learn more about these tricky cards. (If you haven't already read this post, please do.)
We've already looked at the Page Court Cards. Now, we look at the Knights.
The Tarot Card Meanings of the Knights
As people, Knights are highly action-oriented – more so than the Pages. The journey of the Knight is already underway and the Knight is more focused on keeping that journey going.
Knights are also slightly more mature than a Page. They have enough experience under their belt to know what they’re doing, but the trouble is that that do not have the full life experience that the King and Queen have, thus they are prone to being extremists. Such excessive feelings and behavior can be either positive or negative depending on the circumstances.
For example, the Knight of Swords has an excess of ambition. Once he has his mind set on a goal, he will do anything and everything to achieve that goal. However, the downside is that he will rush into things and may potentially rail-road others to get what he wants. He doesn’t have the maturity of the King of Swords to be able to take a moderate approach, and thus he can end up charging down the wrong path if he’s not careful.
Always consider both sides of a Knight – does he represent a helpful or harmful approach? What is in excess and what needs to be in moderation?
On a physical level, Knights can represent adults aged between 20 and 35 (more or less).
As events, Knights reflect change, movement and action. They are never still but are constantly on the move, looking for the next big opportunity.
Knight of Cups
The Knight of Cups is charming and attractive to others, regardless of their sex, while still expressing the romantic, poetic view of life in his unique way. He may be in love with love itself. This Knight also looks to his emotions to provide a map for his life direction. He is someone who is ruled by his heart rather than his head. When faced with a decision, he will always go with what his heart tells him, whether it is logical or not. Decisions will be made without much thought and instead they are made drawing upon inner direction, with the experience of warmth, friendliness, love and the need to share these qualities with everyone.
The Knight of the Cups often appears as a messenger, an invitation or the arrival of someone or something with an emotional benefit. He offers an interesting invitation, which will result in an emotional experience that will bring high energy and lift you to an exhilarating state as new situations appear from nowhere. In addition to the physical sources of information, the Knight of Cups can also represent wisdom that comes from your dreams and that helps you to surmount life’s obstacles.
Knight of Pentacles
The Knight of Pentacles works in a very methodical and rigorous manner. Though his visions may not be earth-shattering, and his methods are certainly not original, the Knight of Pentacles sees that everything he undertakes will meet with nothing but success. He has the patience to accomplish all his tasks and he is incredibly reliable due to his sense of responsibility and commitment. As a court card, the Knight of Pentacles may represent a part of yourself, someone in your life or an event.
As a part of yourself, the Knight of Pentacles suggests that you need to be trustworthy, reliable and a good provider. You need to follow a routine to ensure that an important task or job is completed from start to finish at the standard expected. You are in ‘implementation mode’ and are committed to getting the job done, even if it requires hard work along the way. You are also fiercely loyal and prepared to do whatever it takes to ensure the job gets done.
Knight of Swords
The Knight of Swords is a powerful figure full of life and energy who needs to be balanced with a realisation of responsibility and compassion. Once he has set forth on his journey, there is no stopping him! He does not see, nor care about, any upcoming challenges, risks or dangers, and instead moves forward with his strong intent to succeed and win.
On the positive side, this card shows great ambition, determination and strength to succeed no matter what. On the negative side, however, he can be blind to potential challenges and consequences of his actions, and may charge forth into a dangerous territory without any foresight or preparation. He may also neglect to understand the needs of others as he fervently pursues his own goals.
The Knight of Swords often reflects a time when you are embarking on a new project or idea and there really is no stopping you. You have had this sudden burst of energy that is propelling you forward and inspiring you to take quick action to manifest your goals. You are ready to overcome any problem, challenge or obstacle that is in your path.
Knight of Wands
The Knight of Wands is an ‘act first, think later’ type of guy. He is impatient and impulsive, with a love for action. The downside to the Knight of Wands is that while he is bursting with energy and enthusiasm, he has a tendency to rush into things without much consideration for the consequences of his actions. He sets off on his journey in haste and often fails to have a clear plan of attack and this may negatively impact his chances of longer-term success. He is so focused on being the best and of fame and glory that he almost forgets to plan ahead and to keep sight of reality. The Knight of Wands can also come across as aggressive and overly ambitious. He is highly insistent even if others stand in his way, criticise him or challenge him.
As an event, the Knight of Wands may indicate an event that enters your life quickly and unexpectedly. You can expect to see a lot of change and action occurring around you, and you will no doubt be swept up by the restless, ‘busy’ energy whether you like it or not! An important matter is likely to enter your life and demand your attention until it passes. Rather than resisting it, make the time to give it your full attention. Oftentimes, the Knight of Wands can indicate a hasty change of residence, job or other living arrangement. You need to be ready to react quickly and go with the flow as resistance is useless.
If you’ve been searching for an easy to use, fresh, modern, practical guide to the meanings of every Tarot card (upright and reversed), I’ve got just the thing for you. My book, The Ultimate Guide to Tarot Card Meanings, is a straight-forward, relevant and comprehensive guide to every Tarot card. Available in paperback and digital – order yours today.