Today’s Tarot: Knight of Wands

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Author: Misty Talen
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The Knight of Wands rides out of the deck at full tilt, almost knocking my coffee off my desk in its exuberance to be out and about. This is the energy of the Knight of Wands.

Like most knights in any deck,  he is astride a powerful horse and wand raised high. This horse is usually in motion, and the figure riding him is a headstrong youth whose heart calls for knowledge and adventure for no other reason than the journey getting there.  This figure can speak of a need to follow our passion instead of the well-beaten path.  He can speak to us of new changes, adventures and moving. This willful energy is just dying to come out and DO SOMETHING – anything – because you know… it “seemed like a good idea at the time.”

 Rider-Waite tarot Deck, public domain

Rider-Waite tarot Deck, public domain

Here we see the Knight of Wands almost fighting with his horse who is in a rampant position. In the language of Heraldry, this position bespoke of action and power.  The knight has his wand raised, and you can see the wand is spouting! You can feel the energy become manifest. THIS is that burst of energy a seed feels when it shucks its shell for the damp warm soil of the earth before reaching out for the sun.  You too may need to break out of your shell.

In the Rider-Waite deck pictured above, he is also wearing a tunic with salamander designs. Salamanders are closely associated with the element of Fire which is were the Wands suit sits as well. Instead of plumes of feathers atop his helmet we see the curl of fire.  Wind is also seen here as the tunic’s edges are tattered and ragged. The barren landscape behind him gives way to three pyramids.  These pyramids could symbolize the mysteries we pursue, the path to enlightenment, or knowledge (those who have more Egyptology background than I, please comment! I’d love to hear your two cents).

The energy of the Knight of Wands can manifest in a number of ways through your own inclinations and/or the people around you, showing you a mirror to what you need to address within yourself.

Have you ever met a young man or woman who is inspiring yet utterly frustrating all at once? They hold no regard to the future and rush into situations that seem designed to bring them crashing down, but somehow always manage to land on their feet.  To me, this kind of person is the Knight of Wands in human form. They do not care much for the power that their adventure brings, they simply want to be out there doing things and having new experiences.

Regardless if the Knight of Wands calls to mind a person or a state of being within you, one thing’s for certain.  Keep both (three?) eyes open. While it may seem like a great idea, remember the infamous Chinese curse: “May you live in interesting times.”  This degree of independence is not for everyone, and it’s not forever.

Fires do burn out if they are not tended and fed well.  Take a moment to look around you and see where your creative fire wants to burn and instead of letting it overwhelm your entire existence like a forest fire burning out of control; let it instead be given boundaries that are functional enough to keep you safe, but relaxed enough to let you bloom into being.

Dancing Tarot, public domain (

Dancing Tarot, public domain (

Here we see Dancing Tarot’s take on the Knight of Wands as Mic Jagger who  embodies rampant energy, creativity and getting burned.  So remember: get some satisfaction, bank your fire and let it burn. It will lead you to where your passion lays.




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