The Knight of Wands vs the Knight of Swords

January 29, 2010 § Leave a comment

Emma asks: What’s the difference between the Knight of Wands and the Knight of Swords? They seem the same to me.

Hi Emma, thanks for being the first to ask a question! It’s true the Knight of Wands and the Knight of Swords have many things in common. For example, in the International Icon Tarot, both ride horses, both face left, both carry the symbol of their suit and both are leaping into action. But let’s take a closer look…

International Icon Knight of WandsInternational Icon Knight of SwordsCheck out the Knight of Wands. See how his horse rears up on its hind legs? See how its mane resembles flames? This knight wants to make sure he gets noticed. Sure, he’s going to rescue the damsel in distress but only after the paparazzi get a shot of the brave hero setting out on another dangerous mission. The Knight of Wands can’t do anything under the radar – it’s just not his style (and style is of great importance to the Knight of Wands). 

Now look at the Knight of Swords. While the Knight of Wands is still adjusting the collar on his leather jacket, the Knight of Swords has charged off, brandishing his sword, probably yelling “aaaargh” or something equally warrior-like. He’s moving at top speed, galloping down a hill, clouds zipping past. He’s off to set things straight –  right the wrongs, slay the dragon, rescue the girl (or guy), then his work here is done. 

A good question to ask any of the knights is “what motivates you?” For the Knight of Wands, it’s glory. Wands are the suit of fire and fire isn’t shy. He likes to make a spectacle – it’s good for his self-esteem and other people get a kick out watching him too. The Knight of Swords, on the other hand, is motivated by honour. He has to do what’s right. He couldn’t live with himself if he didn’t act knowing that evil is out there doing evil things. So, all the knights are on a quest but what makes them different is why. Once you’ve figured that out (and it may vary from deck to deck so don’t forget to study your particular cards), you should find them easier to understand.

I hope that helps.

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