In both of the beginners classes I have taught, the Knight of Wands has received a knowing smile and a raising of the eyebrows from those who know a little about both the cards and the kind of men who jump out of our bed as quickly as they jumped into it the night before. This knight has a reputation for being the bad boy of tarot. Let’s have a look at why.
In my understanding of the court cards, the rank of Knight is associated with the element of Fire. This represents the enthusiastic and passionate areas of life, including sex. As we know, the suit of Wands is also ruled by Fire. This makes the Knight of Wands ‘Fire of Fire’. For one card, this is a lot of the same element and describes those kind of people who are driven and can force themselves into situations like a forest fire.
The Knight of Wands is not all bad. None of the tarot cards are all bad or all good. On a positive level, this is the guy who inspires everyone in the workplace and enjoys to laugh. It’s likely that he takes business out on the road because getting him to sit in one place is not an easy request. He represents the energy we all need to take us from one place to another. He has a magnetic-personality, which many people find enticing and wish to be around. He can inspire us to do more, be more, and see more.
Most people suffer with the Knight of Wands because they try to contain him. Like a flame, he is a free spirit and cannot be tied down. Due to his charisma and popularity, people find him attractive and wish to ground him within committed relationships. This is not a natural place for him to be, since he is not the kind of man (or woman) to sit comfortably for too long. As a lover, he is exciting but not reliable. The problems with this young man is often due to the expectations of others. People wish to hold on to him but invariably get burnt.
Even though we see a fit youthful man in this card, the Knight of Wands will not always describe a young male. He can describe an older person who doesn’t wish to settle, toe the line, commit, or take root within work or a relationship. He can describe either gender, but when he is not representing a person, he concerns fast movement, excitement and situations which are focused on pure enjoyment.
When the Knight of Wands is followed by the 6 of Wands, we are witnessing someone who will inevitably find success. It is their pure drive which will carry them to where they wish to be. People will surround this person and appraise him, so fame is not out of the question in this pairing.
What might be the problem here? As with many people who seek fame, their hunger is not satisfied entirely. Both of these cards suggest that someone should not rest on their laurels, so the recognition available might never be enough. We have all seen celebrities who can not take the time to sit back and appreciate what they have achieved. As one obstacle is surmounted, they find a new hurdle to jump. It is in the nature of the Knight of Wands to keep moving and keep seeking.
When The Hanged Man comes into play, the trail of fire has to stop .. at least for a while. The Hanged Man is a card of stepping back or delay in many cases, so the Knight of Wands (who is not used to sitting still) is actually forced to for a prolonged period.
This combination might come up for many reasons in a reading. Maybe the person being read for has burnt them self out or possibly, their environment is preventing them from moving forward in some way – maybe through lack of opportunity or financial resources. Whatever the reason, the fire is contained or put out for a while, forcing the Knight of Wands to look at himself from a different perspective or sacrifice his own enjoyment for something greater.
© Steven Bright Tiferet Tarot 2014
Illustrations by Steven Bright