This card is known as the Prince of Spring or Knight of Cups, depending on what deck you are using. Doreen Virtue and Radleigh Valentine’s Fairy Tarot has us looking at the Prince of Spring, an illustration of a winged man, a warrior, a knight… sat upon a robed rabbit; reminiscent, to me, of Alice and Wonderland and the White Rabbit, only this one is brown and looks more tamed. The Rider Waite Smith’s Original Tarot, on the other hand, depicts the more traditional Knight of Cups, showing us a knight on a horse, richly clothed, a gold cup held aloft in his right hand. His helmet and boots have decorative wings, symbolic of flight and adventure. He has travelled far, succeeded his body to journey the landscapes of his mind, his inner yearnings, his heart path. His cloak, adorned with fish, show us that he is an emotional man, in touch with his feelings, aware of his thoughts, his needs, on a deep level. So, a knight on a rabbit and a knight on a horse: not so very different; only the energy behind them is, leading to both cards giving a very different reading if read apart. Which this is why I like to compare decks, making the most of all that is on offer to me. I find it helps me to get a more complete picture of the story contained and to obtain a deeper reading. And it’s fun to blend, mixing old with new, fairies and angels against symbols and archetypes; unpicking and unpacking, examining and analysing, holding things imagined and things romanticised against things experienced and thing felt. I like the contrast, the challenge, the opposing messages and stories that present. I like when I mix unicorns with dolphins, mermaids with ascended masters, messages from the universe and messages from Louise Hay… The symbols vary, and the text, but the depth and the meaning is there. The magic is not lost.
This card is a call to action, encouraging us to awaken our inner warrior and ride out into the unknown. It is asking that we make him charming and confident and passionate and restless. That we cast him, as if in spell, in the exact model we need to achieve and accomplish all that we need. His purpose, we are shown, is to stir us out of inactivity, to coax our gentler “I’ll just put up with it for one more day…” side into the idea of leaving, departing the security of the known and comfortable, certain and safe, for the “anything and everything might happen” of the unknown. For while we have created this space that we feel safe within, we are also arguably trapped, living a small version of the story we were born to live.
The two cards have many parallels:
• a knight
• a beast
• a talisman
• a wild terrain
• purpose, poise and confidence
Looking at the Rider Waite Smith version: I see a proud knight, a man in his element; his courage, his compassion, his creativity… extended in his right hand, almost as if in offering to the gods. He has these things and he is proudly proclaiming them to all who will listen, declaring “I am an honest man. I am diligent. I have worked hard and paid my dues. I have won, I have not taken. I have lost sweat and shed blood. I have earned through my efforts and my wealth furnishes me on multiple levels. I am physically fit. I am emotionally balanced. My mind is quick and exercised often in a broad variety of things. I read. I write. I study. I pray and meditate. I am spiritual. I am travelled. I am cultured. I am resilient and strong. I have all or most of the things that I believe I need: food, shelter, companionship, clothing, weapons, books. I believe in the future and the benign nature of the universe. I life is on my side… You can feel all of this looking at him. He is not a shy man. He is not secretive or closed. And neither is he cowed or humbled. If life hasn’t always been kind to him, it is on his side now and he embraces this fully.
On his outfit we witness a suit of armour with a colourful coat, adorned, as mentioned before, with fish. From this we know that he is in touch with his unconscious and his emotions and his inner self; that he journeys as often on the inside as the out. He appears to be wealthy, successful and strong.
The horse, on the other hand, looks slightly reluctant: shy and bashful, a little unsure of itself. It looks tamed, obedient instead of in command. So even though this animal is a symbol of power and strength and speed and energy, here that seems to be contained. It’s not easily visible. Maybe it isn’t quite ready? Maybe it’s still thinking and dreaming about other things? Or hard at work on the landscape of the mind, the dreamscape it wishes one day to turn into a reality but isn’t ready yet to put it to the test outside. For dreams kept hidden are arguably safer than dreams shared, and dreams put to the test are subject to trail and error and road blocks and ruts. I sense, in this respect, that the horse is more of a feminine energy. And maybe reluctant to allow herself to be ridden by a man, to be taken over by this other more powerful force. But the card is calling upon her to trust, to allow, to temporarily be submissive, to act more from her head than from her heart, so that she might be led for a while. For it is only in bending to this other, this man, that she will pass through the desert of loneliness and drought she finds herself stuck within and reach the verdant meadow full of companionable horses just out of sight. A place where the sun always shines, where the flowers grow in December, where the rabbits lie down with lions and the horses with butterflies.
Take action today, this is what the Knight of Cups calls for. Be brave so that you can manifest your dreams into tangible reality. Listen to your mind as well as to your heart. Trust all sides of yourself – both masculine and feminine, knight and horse, fairy and rabbit – and act in unity, a little bit of one with a little bit of the other, never leaning too much one way. In doing so, it promises, you will move from where you are towards where you want to be. I like this card. It speaks of all things happy.
And the Virtue Valentine? Here we fall instantly into a field of bulrushes, towering, or so it feels, above us. We are small, and they are big, like the sky. Everything is magnified and splendid in its magnification. We are a knight, only this time a winged one. We carry a long wand, wrapped in vines with leaves like stars. It is an object of power and success, of victory. It is not a battle worn sword, it is not a bloody knife. It is a cared for and polished object that our rider has taken the time to bedeck. His armour is golden, like his wings. He shines with confidence, courage, achievement, self belief, certainty, direction and purpose. He has a mission and he is determined to accomplish it.
His stead, the rabbit, looks somewhat less sure. Her eyes show a degree of sadness, like she has been pulled away from somewhere she cherished, forced to venture out when she was perfectly content at home. And I’m not so sure she likes the heavy bright outfit, which declares to the world that she is owned, that she belongs to another not side by side but underneath, as in less than. She is wise and she is silent. She is of a certain age. She knows the world and her place within it and she has come to accept her lot. She no longer fights or argues. She has her life and she she lives it. And while it might not be all that big or grand or contain all of the things her younger self set out to achieve and own, it is alright with that. She knows enough of what now lies in the future to align her mind with it and relinquish the things that were always wanted but have yet to come.
As with the Knight of Cups, the Prince of Spring is a call to action, a demand for the currently slumbering to be awakening. The ‘you’ who is in acceptance with the current status quo is being shaken by the universe, asked to saddle up, to be the rabbit/horse, and to accommodate the rider. For this is how your dreams will be won, your desires achieved, your goals materialised.
Reassure your softer nature that this change is alright, that it is to be accepted, that it is what your higher self would like. Tell her that she will be protected and kept safe and secure, that nothing will harm her. That even if it is painful for a time and even if the change to her routine is uncomfortable, even unbearable: it will pass, as everything eventually does, revealing a shiny new future.
You have read this article and found these cards because right now they can help you in some way. Honour yourself with the permission and freedom to really appreciate what they offer.
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