Sunday 17 December 2017

Sagittarius in the court cards: quest for fire!

Last but not least, by any means – Sagittarius in the court cards. But which one – or ones?  Different traditions have different astrological correspondences when it comes to the Court Cards.  In the system I follow, correspondences depend on how cardinality, fixity and mutability have been assigned.  As Sagittarius is the mutable Fire sign, this gives us the Knight of Wands.

Knight of Wands (trimmed):
© Sharman-Burke/Caselli Tarot
In the Sharman-Burke/Caselli deck (Beginners Guide to the Tarot) we see the Knight charging towards us on a horse that looks as though it’s flying through the air.  Fire is represented by the arid background, the sun motif on the Knight’s cloak, and the salamander motif on the horse’s trappings.  The mutability is in the action, but also in the pyramids, representing old knowledge or wisdom. The Knight has visited that location, and is now taking that knowledge with him, intending to spread it on his adventures – transforming, bringing change.   

Like all the knights, he’s on a quest for knowledge, which is in itself quite Sagittarian – but this one is primed for action and adventure!  The fact that he’s so confident and positive works for him; he doesn’t consider the possibility that he might fail in his quest, an attitude which often leads to successful outcomes. 

Knight of Wands (trimmed):
© Shadowscapes Tarot
In the Shadowscapes deck, the Knight rides on a lion, not a horse. The lion symbolizes the strength of his feelings, his determination and passion (courage=coeur+rage? a stretch perhaps…!) as he heads out on his quest.  The foxes represent cleverness - the ability to think quickly, on his feet - while the flowers that are being trampled underfoot, unnoticed by the Knight, the lion, or the foxes, act as a reminder of the shadow side of this Knight: what might be missed through being over-confident or fool-hardy.
Knight of Wands (trimmed):
© Crowley Thoth Tarot

The Crowley Thoth tarot’s Knight of Wands is also depicted as a fiery image, full of movement.  He holds the burning torch from the Ace of Wands in his left (the creative side) hand, lighting the way forward.  Sagittarian qualities – the dynamism, the quest for knowledge, the bringer of change, the disseminator of wisdom and experiences – are clearly at work! He’s impetuous, but also carries Jupiterian courage, passion, and generosity of spirit out into the world.

Beginner’s Guide to the Tarot created by Juliet Sharman-Burke, illustrated by Giovanni Caselli, published by Connections
Shadowscapes Tarot created by Stephanie Pui-Mun Law and Barbara Moore, published by Llewellyn
Thoth Tarot created by Aleister Crowley, illustrated by Lady Frieda Harris, published by U.S. Games Systems, Inc.

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