The Knight of Cups

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INTRODUCTION:

All of the characters in my tarot cards have sad faces. Am I only pulling the sad ones or just seeing them that way? And if so, why would I be homing in on the disquiet, dissatisfaction and nostalgia when there is so much summer left in the sky?

Perhaps it is the storm that is brewing, the turn of the temperature, the feeling of moisture in the air? I have always been deeply connected to the environment, my energy affected by it’s constant shifts. When there is no light or heat; damp that is pervading: I wither away. I need favourable weather and plenty of sunshine in order to thrive.

It might also be related to my recent departure from all things Virtue and Valentine? I feel drawn – for the moment – towards archetypes. It is easier to read a man’s face, pet a dog, get up on a horse, step into a cup or wield a stick then flap along with a dragon, angel or fairy; they seem so much more tangible. No offence to our winged friends.

Or else, simply the basic need for a change of energy to challenge, wake, force out, etc… into a space where it is necessary to face one’s fears? Ejected from the slumber of stagnation, the apathy of security: we, both you and I, confront ourselves anew – realising and realigning, reintegrating and releasing, repairing and remodelling; rising from the flames.

Is there a phoenix in my life? Or am I embodying its essence, taking its message to heart?

Whatever the reason: it is delivering interesting and fresh insights on old cards, something I enthusiastically embrace.

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OVERVIEW: THE SUIT OF CUPS

As a Suit, the Cups represents our heart, emotions, feelings and mental well-being, determining the quality of our inter-personal relationships, interactivity with others and connection to the surrounding world.

As an Energy, the Cups are impulsive, passionate, powerful, spontaneous, erratic, unpredictable, hopeless, hapless, helpless, honest, optimistic, imaginative, romantic, fluid and subject to ups and downs.

As an Element, they are water.

As a Season, spring.

As People, Cups are highly sensitive, they feel everything – picking up on the slightest atmospheric shift, sensing the mood of a room, sentiment of an object. They can read you like a book. The news hurts. They find it hard to accommodate pain. They make great confidants, healers and friends but often give out too easily and need to pay attention to this, especially if nothing is coming back. They are survivors because they believe that everything happens for a reason. Their optimism and faith make them universally wise and resilient. But they wound easily. They also scare and take offencerunning from relationships, friendships, situations and jobs. Hiding their head in the sand, they seek to evade and avoid: circling, stalling, taking the long way around. They often lose things that are precious, either through misguided selflessness and over-generousity or fear. Their life is not as big as it could have been. Their biggest adversaries are doubt, guilt, unworthiness, low self-esteem and lack of self-love. They also dislike conflict, chastisement, rejection, recrimination, punishment and confrontation. They hate to feel bad. They have a tendency to self-punish and hold others in higher regard than themselves. They are in or out, on or off, all or nothing

*

OVERVIEW: THE KNIGHT

A knight is a servant, soldier, hero, warrior, messenger, traveller, pilgrim, vagrant, adventurer, seeker, survivor and thriver. Patient and steadfast, and good at following rules: he can take charge, pull together and take the lead. He works hard for what he believes in and he is devout. He fights for country and king. He prays and trusts in the protection he receives. His energy is that of action, vitality, mobility, passion, impulse, initiation, curiosity, question, enthusiasm, determination, activity and restlessness. He is archetypal of motion – e-motion, emotion, energy in motion.

– THE KNIGHT OF CUPS:

The Knight of Cups carries a gift. He is bringing something new into your life: something that you lack, something which you need. It is most likely of a romantic or spiritual nature. But this does not mean that it cannot also be a lesson, opportunity, windfall or reprieve, freedom from that which has been restraining you. His presence is an invitation for action and change in your life, prompting you to reach out and embrace it.

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IN DEPTH ANALYSIS: THE CARD AS A COMPLETE PICTURE…

Looking now at the card as a complete picture, encompassing the meaning and energy of both the cup and the knight: the Knight of Cups speaks of a journey almost done. The knight has been travelling for a long time, fought many battles, lost comrades, companions and friends. He has been hit, struck, kicked, stabbed and covered in blood. He almost lost his horse, and she him. Because of this, they are inseparable, like soul mates or twin flames. Despite being exhausted: both are jubilant. They are alive, they were successful, they achieved what they set out to do; they expect a joyful reunion, much thanks and time to rest.

In his left hand * the knight carries a valuable treasure, an important asset and the key to what comes next. In his possession, it will help the King and Queen to: carry out their goals, furnish desires, improve the overall quality of the kingdom. He is at peace with this: it feels good to serve: all he has ever wanted to be was a servant; it saddens him when there is upset in the world, when the land is unhappy. If he can do something to make it a better place, easier to live with: his life is complete.

* see later breakdown for an in-depth analysis of what the left hand symbolises

But why did the knight choose to be a knight and not a butcher, baker, farmer, farrier, sailor, tailor, artist, monk, etc., and what was his motivation?

• Does he desire adventure, stimulation, something bigger?
• Is looking to outrun, leave behind or escape?
• Is searching for the answer to the spiritual question, ‘why am I here?’
• Is he seeking deliverance from his sins or filling in an empty life?
• Perhaps, like the Prodigal Son, he is returning home after years of wandering
   having tried out multiple careers along the way?

To get a closer look, let’s break it down into pieces.

*

THE CUP:

A cup is a tool, a container, a vessel. A nice cup could be an award, a gift or an object of beauty. Kings and queens are famed for their use of cups, especially golden goblets. And what of the Holy Grail: of all the symbols of the quest for spiritual illumination, the Holy Grail is the most prized. In one’s possession: it can raise the dead, heal all wounds and turn a wasteland into a paradise of perpetual bounty.

In the Bible, a cup is thought to embody grace and salvation or damnation and wrath. It is part of the Holy Communion: it’s contents, the wine, symbolic of Christ’s blood.

A cup helps us to satiate our thirst, celebrate an occasion, feed another, share tea. A cup can conceal secrets and surprises; hold a spell, a potion; contain a remedy or a poison. A cup can be one of many, or entirely alone.

We use cups every day. We are comfortable with lifting, filling, holding, washing, making and breaking them, etc. We trust them to do their job without letting us down. They are ordinary and they are special. They are mainstream and unique.

– THE CUP AS THE GRAIL:

If we consider the cup as the Holy Grain, the knight its seeker and finder; then (in this card) he is returning home after having successfully completed his quest. He will have passed various tests, sought out guides, received visions, translated dreams… He will have travelled far and faced many difficulties and adversaries. He has probably killed a mountain lion, as well as a dragon or two and, perhaps, competing men. But in order to have won and secured this illusive commodity, he must have done away with his former self, rebirthed his soul and embraced the characteristics of acceptance, patience, compassion, humility, justice and grace. He must have died, essentially, and reawakened: his heart pure, his body an open vessel.

*

THE KNIGHT:

If we view the knight as external: a situation, energy, circumstance or person; then he is a messenger, denoting the arrival of something which may or may not be perceived as a gift.

• Perhaps he brings news of a loved one, an invitation to an event,
  word of a marriage or birth?
• Perhaps he brings renewed health, spiritual enlightenment, an
  exciting opportunity?
• Or the arrival of a new relationship?

Welcome things that make us joyful.

But he can also bring us sad news, like an accident, separation, tragedy or death. And bad news, like an unexpected bill, a legal summons or a termination.

When we receive, we allow something outside of us in; something we did not necessarily invite. And with this, we shift the energy around us and even our path. Good news can lift us to new heights and achievements. Bad news send us into a hole.

• Think about the post and how you feel when it arrives.
• Contemplate the power of those packages and that of the
  individual who sent them.
• Do you like your postman? (he is, after all,
  your most prevalent messenger)

In the Bible, the angels Gabriel, Michael and Lucifer serve as ‘Agents for God‘; Mary was visited by the Angel Gabriel and told she was with child; Moses saw God via the burning bush and was instructed to save his people; Abraham received orders to sacrifice his only son, and Jesus was tempted by the Devil. Politicians meet with other politicians to broker peace and threaten war. A friend comes to visit and cheers you up; a relative and perhaps you feel bad. The visitor might be other things, like the wind and the rain; a migraine, cold, cut, mosquito bite

It is a weighty job to be a messenger: to hold so much power in a single body.

Messengers can reveal things like death, desertion, departure, infidelity, deception, eviction, termination. As well as awards, prizes, commitments, publications, contracts and sales.

Messengers of bad news are often hated. Messengers of good news are welcomed with open arms. Messages we are expecting are okay – like packages from Amazon and Christmas gifts. But surprises and unexpected arrivals can be difficult and challenging.

The knight of Cups is an important messenger, for he carries a potent gift. Cups contain things and his holds the stuff of legends. What he brings will transform lives; elevate the King, granting him immortality, infinite wisdom, salvation from sin, renewed health; save or kill a man, curse or redeem him. And yet, the knight is forced to give it away. He has gone out in search of it; he has endured many trials, passed difficult tests, risked his life and sacrificed his family… For what? He keeps nothing, only the lessons learned along the way.

So a messenger can also be a servant, a soldier, a preacher and a follower.

• Are there any messengers in your life right now?
• What might they be trying to tell you?
• Are they welcome or resented?

– THE KNIGHT INTERNAL:

If the knight is you, consider how you process information.

• Do you work in an office and people the phone?
• Do you sit at a desk and interact via SMS and email?
• Do you predict the weather, stock market, betting odds?
• Do you write articles for a publication or blog?
• Do you teach, perform or act?
• Are you a judge, lawyer, bus driver, social worker,
  ad-man or salesman?
• Do you pray and receive guidance from God?
• Do you work with your intuition:
   – or angels and guides?
   – or speak to the departed?
• Are you a healer: doctor, dentist, counsellor, therapist,
  social worker, homeopath, physiotherapist, etc?
• Are you a parent, sibling, relative or friend?
• Do you watch the news and share or relay what you have
  learned with a third party?
• Do you read a book and then recant or retell that story?
• Do you carry gossip?
• Do you make things up?
• Are you kind, gentle, patient and encouraging?
• Or are you blunt, tormenting, cruel and stern?

Work out what kind of messenger you are. Then work out how you share/transmit the messages you receive. And look at how you respond to others when they send information your way.

• Are you a ready receiver?
• Or are you closed?

• Do you welcome information, help, advice, interference?
• Or do you shy away from it, fearful or resentful of the power it contains?

Then, work out what the knight is telling you about your attitude towards sending and receiving and how he might be prompting you to act.

• What do you have to let go of?
• What do you need to embrace?
• What do you need to strengthen?
• What do you need to reduce?

Follow his lead and balance the imbalances in your life. Moderate your energy.

*

THE HANDS:

The knight is riding with the reigns in his right hand and the cup in his left, his arm extended. The cup is proffered as a gift. He carries it carefully, as if it is of the upmost value; as if its contents might spill easily if not mindfully observed. There is feeling of intense focus and responsibility. While he might have been the one to venture out and find it, passing numerous challenges and tests, and as such be its rightful owner: he is a servant of the crown and it is not his.

If you are right-handed, then the left hand is the hand that receives energy: from the Universe, the earth, objects and others. If you are a healer, you use this hand to remove dis-ease and illness and other unwanted things. It is the hand that rests on a desk or your lap when you write, the hand that eats while the other serves. As your non-dominant hand, it is the weaker hand, the less dexterous one, the hand you neglect; the appendage you dismiss and fail to celebrate.

This tells us that while the knight is definitely bringing something towards us, something that feels positive and useful, something we want, something important to the continued growth and expansion of our lives, and that it is symbolic of a new energy coming in; he is also taking something for himself. He is a servant and a messenger, but he is also a man of the world and wise: he would not have survived this long without making sure that his needs are also met.

• What can he teach us about taking and giving?
• How might we reflect upon this energy in regards to how we feed ourselves:
   physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually in our own lives?
• Do you over-give or over-take?
• As a person, are you independent or needy?

*

THE HORSE:

Universally, the horse is a symbol of freedom without restraint, because riding a horse makes people feel like they can free themselves from their own bindings. Horses represent your energy or drive to express your authentic self and succeed in life.

The horse is also a symbol for femininity, specifically in regard to sexual expression. Depending on the scenario, the horse could represent repressed or flourishing sexuality or your ability to overcome obstacles in life.

The horse is also a symbol of travel, movement, strength, determination, power, confidence, speed, grace, companionship, servitude, trust and adventure and shows us that we can harness our own energy (or nature’s) to serve us and take us further.

The white horse is a symbol for developing awareness of your instincts and intuition. In some cultures it stands for balance and wisdom. In others, it is always a white horse that carries a hero.

*

THE FISH:

The Fish represents the subconscious, emotions, healing and purification. It also represents movement and independence. As a symbol it connects us with the emotional side of ourselves and symbolises our ability to be wise without being strategic; to simply respond instinctively, without the need for debate or analysis.

And like the horse, the fish is also a symbol of the feminine; only here she serves not as a sexual energy but as a reminder to love and nurture ourselves, accepting and releasing, reconnecting to and reawakening so that we might swim more freely.

In some cultures fish are considered sacred and represent change and transformation. In many religions, they are part of a sacramental meal and Catholics eat fish on Friday’s. In the bible, they represent the ‘Christ Consciousness‘ and the disciples were often referred to as ‘fishers of men‘: man being the fish swimming in an ocean of sin.

Some other interpretations for fish include: transformation, enlightenment, knowledge, deeper awareness, intelligence and thought, creativity, fertility, birth and rebirth, prosperity, abundance, good luck, happiness, faith, determination and adaptability.

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SUMMARY:

The Knight of Cups _ as a card _ is a messenger and an invitation. It indicates the arrival of something of emotional benefit, possibly a new relationship, or deep, meaningful love – of self or of other; and opens up the way for solid manifestation: dreams made real, fantasies realised, romantic notions solidified, adventures embarked upon, ideas balanced with action, words with results.

Scraping away the veneer you have placed on top of the darkness that lurks _ unmoving and somnolent _ within: it is telling you to pause to assess and alter your behaviour.

Notably, to stop:

• living in Fairyland
pinning your hopes on winning the lottery, and other such romantic intangibles
waiting for someone to rescue you
envying what other people have
dreaming about Porches and Ferraris
making excuses as to ‘why not’
resenting your life and bemoaning your misfortunes/disadvantages
lounging around and feeling sorry for yourself
burying your head in the sand
• feeling ‘not good enough’
putting it off until tomorrow
• getting distracted
procrastinating
avoiding
whingeing and whining
• doing everything else but
• saying ‘yes’ to everyone but yourself
letting life pass you by

And instead:

• think bigger
• be braver
• get motivated
• get out there and do it
heal your emotional wounds
release the past
let go of resentment and regret
live your life fully _ as if today were the only day you had

~

CONCLUSION:

The key to the Knight of Cups is in the cup. Work out what is in the cup and who the knight pertains to, and you work out the message and moral contained.

Essentially though, the card is a call to action, an alarm to wake up: out of reverie, out of fantasy, out of fear, procrastination, avoidance and denial.

Years ago you set out on a journey, intending to bring home a certain holy treasure. Somewhere along the way you got lost and forgot, and ever since you have been wandering. You have managed to convince yourself that you are living your life, that you are trying your hardest and working hard. And you do work very hard, daily. But in your confusion and overwhelm, you are working in the wrong direction, circling instead of approaching the desired goal.

Take yourself back to the beginning; recall what it was you wanted; pick up the pieces you have dropped and then return to where you are. With this new information reassess your journey and your destination and rewrite the map.

Try to do one thing a day towards making your dreams a reality. Record your victories and reward your failures. Failing means you have tried, no matter what the results. Chart your progress and at the end of every week look back over your achievements. Pretty soon you will see that you are moving and that this movement feels both expansive and good. You have reignited the adventure, risen from the flames, utilised the cup.

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HOMEWORK:

You have read this article and found these cards today because they are meant to guide you. Honour yourself with the permission and freedom to really appreciate that.

This means reading through the article again from the beginning and taking the time to record your thoughts. Then, looking back over these notes and the card on a regular basis to check in, using this disciplined exercise as your motivation to implement the necessary modifications and changes in your life.

To do this:

  1. Write down the answers to all of the questions in this article, then think about how those answers apply to you.
  2. Do your own reading of the cards and compare your answers to the questions in the article to your reading of the cards. 
  3. Make a list of the main points, those that strike you as important. 
  4. Check back in with your notes, first daily and then weekly, to inspire change and healing in your life. 
  5. Ask yourself where you need healing, where you need help, where you need balance and where you need love, then commit to spending half an hour each day towards working to achieve this.

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If this article has stirred things up for you or made you realise there are things in your life you would like to resolve, please feel free to visit my contact page or email me me to discuss both these and the possibility of our working together in the future.

Or, to book an appointment directly, see my contact page.

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To be healed is having an awareness that you were never broken

To keep up to date with my progress and receive love and light in your inbox, send me your email address.

• Ask me a question or book an appointment
Buy remedies, healing aides and helpful accessories
• Check out my Etsy shop Lemon Rose Petals 🍋 to see what else I do

Tomorrow Land


Imagine yourself as being okay right now exactly as you are: whole, complete, perfect; nothing wrong on the inside or out; no need for tweaks, improvements or changes: open and trusting; pure.

Can you imagine this?
Can you embrace it?

Then you have just created tomorrow.

~

If this article has stirred things up for you or made you realise there are things in your life you would like to resolve, please feel free to visit my contact page or email me me to discuss both these things and the possibility of our working together in the future to accomplish these things.

Or, to book an appointment directly, see my contact page.

To be healed is having an awareness that you were never broken

To keep up to date with my progress and receive love and light in your inbox, send me your email address.

• Ask me a question or book an appointment
Buy remedies, healing aides and helpful accessories
• Check out my Etsy shop Lemon Rose Petals 🍋 to see what else I do

The King Of Swords

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INTRODUCTION:

This is a one-card reading with the pulled card representing the present. The decks used are the Original Rider Waite and the Sharman-Caselli. I chose to use both decks because one is a little more modern and the images clearer to see. At times I struggle with the vintage-ness of the Rider Waite, for while the illustrations are timeless, the details can be hard to make out.

~

OVERVIEW:

The Suit of Swords is all about the intellect and is associated with our thoughts and mind; in essence, our mental pursuits and how we navigate from here. It can also be about action, power, force, battle, ambition, challenge and control.

The King, when pulled on its own, is a warning or a calling to centre – bringing our awareness to a situation or an area of our lives where we are either being too or not swordlike * enough.

The king asks us to look inside and to query:

• Are we letting emotion cloud our judgement?
• Or are we shutting feeling and sensitivity out?

The King of Swords – also known as the King of Winter and the King of Air – brings all of this to our awareness, encouraging us to take a subjective look at both our story and our surrounding landscape so that we might learn to see new and different angles, accommodating all parties and trying on their shoes. If we are too caught up in our head; if we are disengaged and dispassionate; if we are focused only on looking sensibly and acting rationally, etc… we are looking and acting without involving our better parts or our highest selves. The King of Swords asks that we bring all of our parts into play, allowing each one a vote.

• What does your heart want?
• What does your spirit want?
• How about your gut?

To make it simpler, go through each chakra in turn, scanning for blockages, disparities or imbalances:

• earth star – 6 inches below your feet
• root
• sacral
• solar plexus
• heart
• throat
• third eye
• crown
• soul star – 18 inches above your head

Pay attention to all that comes up, then allow this information to guide you. The key, essentially, is to do the opposite of what you are doing now. So if you are already fully present, all possible appendages in: assess if perhaps you are being overly passionate, energetically messy, irresponsible, dramatic, needy, selfish or childlike? If so, pull back. Try to slow down, take a breath and think before you act. Try counting to ten. Look for what is missing. Seek out the discrepencies and add more of that. On the other hand: if you are cold and detached, sitting in your kingdom and looking down from way up high, from the priviledge and security of your castle – seek to soften and remedy that, allowing yourself to exit and wander in the garden awhile.

The King of Swords does not call upon you to be unfair; simply just. If there is a person who is disappointing or disrespecting you, or a situation that is no longer serving your highest good: the King asks that you be your own mentor and protector and battle it out. If you feel unable to do this, perhaps find a teacher or a counsellor to help?

* Swordlike: ambitious, intellectual, righteous, immobile, ruthless, courageous, forceful, aggressive, sharp, pointed, blunt, cold, detached, socially dysfunctional/inept.

*

IN-DEPTH ANALYSIS:

So who is this King that sits before us? Asking this question is perhaps the best way to get to know him and the easiest way to unpack his insight and wisdom so that we can learn what he has to say.
First off: he is serious. In the Rider Waite version, I would go as far as to say sad, burdened, worried, concerned, pained, suffering, shouldering much, struggling under the weight of considerable responsibility… And I’m not sure he likes his sword: look at how he is holding it, with such reluctance and disgust; and his hand – right, slightly bent – indicates it is far too heavy to keep balanced for long. I sense that it has been used recently to draw blood, inflict punishment or take life and it is this that has made the King unhappy. He is human. He feels bad. He knows he had to, or thinks that he did. It made sense at the time. He was defending his kingdom… But now, afterwards, alone with his thoughts and the full responsibility, he is besieged by guilt and remorse. The ‘trampled’ were people. In another life, some could even have been his friends.

• Is it right to step over another in order to achieve one’s own end?
• Is personal gain, or gain for one’s kingdom, one’s family, enough justification
   for aggression, violence and force?

Sometimes, yes. Sometimes, no. I’m not sure yet which situation we are looking at here.

And yet there is also an air of peace about him, shown in the Sharman-Caselli deck. This King is bigger, stronger. He wears a slight smile. His sword is clasped eagerly and lovingly, held with ease. In this case, it is not a burden; more a symbol – like a magician’s wand or a businessman’s phone. He looks comfortable on his throne, cushioned and supported by pillows and throws, surrounded by favourable weather and flat, peaceful landscape. I sense a woman’s touch: a loving queenstanding just out of picture whispering words of encouragement and love. He also has a family (of children or pets): a background to come home to and be recharged by.

• So which card do we, you choose?
Which King do you/we root for?
Which ruler speaks with the most clarity?

I know my answer; I have known it all along, for when drawing the cards I drew first from one pack and then the other, reaching in only to find the matching King. And from the first deck I didn’t so much draw as have it delivered, the King flying out and landing on the table in front of me. The Rider Waite is rather like that: clear, concise, no hanging around.

Looking deeper… this King is a proud man. He is also competent and used to taking care of himself. He was brought up this way, abandoned by parents who had other commitments, other concerns, and who were themselves raised likewise. Clever, wise, intellectual, he sees the world with clear eyes, unclouded by fantasy. He would love to indulge in things like angels and spirits but his life doesn’t afford him that luxury. He believes in God and is a humble and obedient servant to the words and advice he regularly receives, but that is as far as his journey goes. Some would call him pious, but again this is just how he was reared. He is not really forging his own path: he is following where the one given him goes and this is why he is often unhappy.

He sits upon an inherited seat. He is the oldest son amongst other children; this was his destiny from birth, he couldn’t have avoided or escaped it if he wanted to. And to begin with, he was happy enough. But now, years later – battles, decisions, arguments, disputes, wins, losses, uprisings, unrest, riches, poverty, sickness, health… all far too familiar: he is tired and no longer content. As the lives taken mount up; as the sickness and pain around him escalates and grows; as the world changes and his ability to affect it diminishes, shrinking and shrinking: he feels increasingly suffocated and desperate to break free. If he could, he would throw down his crown, let his sword fall to the floor and rise up and run naked until he could no longer feel or see his kingdom. Then he would take a plane and a boat, and find a quiet island where he could live out the rest of his days in quiet contemplation, unaware of the nature or disparity of external events. But he can’t, or doesn’t feel that this would be right: responsibility traps him; he has others to think of; he is not his own man.

So why is this King here and what does he have to tell us?

First, ask yourself who he is:

• Is he you?
• Is he someone else in your life?
• Is he a situation?
• Is he something you have?
• Or something you need?

Look to his strengths and his qualities. Do they resonate with you or do you find yourself, or who or whatever he stands for, lacking?

*

Let’s unpick the image to understand why:

sword
   – plain
   – simple
   – no frills
crown
   – gold
   – RWS * heavy, large
   – SC ** light, padded, adorned with velvet
butterfly
   – stuck to the throne
   – pointing upward
birds
   – two
   – overhead
   – far away
clouds
   – RWS * dark, ominous, close, low
   – SC ** white, fluffy, distant, high
landscape
   – RWS * sparse, dry, red/yellow, sickly looking
   – SC ** flat, lush, green, thick
pillow/soil (depending on the deck)
   – grounding
   – connection with the land
   – symbolic of bloodshed?
throne
   – stone
   – simple
   – elegantly carved
   – seat of God
clothing
   – many-layered
   – richly coloured
   – expensive
   – restrictive
   – uniform

  * RWS: Rider Waite Smith
** SC: Sharman-Caselli

A sword is a powerful weapon. It is also a tool. And it is very personal, functioning almost as an extention of the body. The wrong sword – be it too thick, thin, light or heavy: and the wielder experiences impairment to his ability to fight. Think about new shoes that don’t quite fit: heels aching, toes rubbing, limping and slow. This is what a sword is like, only the consequences are more severe. The king’s sword – plain, simple, no frills – shows a man who takes fighting seriously with little concern for trappings and wealth. The sword is of the highest quality. It is clean, sharp and polished. It functions well. And while some may like to add gold and gems and intricate carvings… there is no actual need and the king, realising this, feels unpressurized to do so as a result. This is important to him, because while he got to choose his sword, his crown and robes were chosen for him, most likely handed down.

For this reason, regarding our analysis, his crown and clothing hold little concern. They do not speak to the true depth of the man or address the intricate layers of his soul. They do not tell us what we need to know. And the fact that there is such a disparity of colour – with the RWS being blue/green and brown/red and the SC purple and indigo – only makes it more confusing. One speaks of a man who is overly serious, someone who has allowed himself to become trapped in a role that does not suit him, who is deeply unhappy, who continues on because he believes it is the right thing to do for his kingdom and his country. And the other a person who is relatively happy; secure on his path, certain of why he is here and what he would like to achieve. This man is deeply connected: to the land, the kingdom, his people and family. His clothing and crown suggest the church is very important to him, as is spirituality. And I believe he feels called to his role as ruler and accepts it willingly.

Returning, therefore, to the RWS; disecting it further for its story, its truth; looking at the whole picture and not just the seperate details: this card is telling us that the King is a strong and just man who speaks his own mind with confidence, unshy about sharing his truth. He is learned and has a quick mind, having spent many years in study. Education and knowledge are important to him. He studies still, whenever he has the time: soaking up information like a sponge, adjusting his angle amd view to suit; acccommodating, moderating, evolving. This has taught him to be fair and just. He hates to hurt but will do so when necessary. He is certain of his beliefs and opinions and is not easily swayed. He is, or would like to be, very spiritual, and will be genuinely one day when he has time. He knows that the world is much bigger than him – he is just a pawn, a simple man on a personal journey – and he would like to do his best to earn his passage, so to speak.

But alas, he is trapped: within a role, by expectation, by the ‘he’ he has been and the ‘he’ those around him therefore perceive him to still be. He is burdened too, with guilt and remorse. He would like to go back and change certain things, do them better, different, not at all; try out different alternatives.

*

SUMMARY:

The King of Swords calls our attention to how we are ruling our life and asks:

• Are we balanced and just?
• Are we compassionate and kind?
• Are we grounded and reasonable?
• Are we rational and mature?

At the same time, it also encourages us to look deeper:

• Are we spiritually connected?
• Do we have a regular spiritual practice?
• Are we respected, sought out, turned to, honoured and obeyed?
• Are we stimulated intellectually?
• Do we have the freedom to come and go from our seat and our role,
   or is it, and the expectations we and others place upon it, restricting us and
   keeping us from being happy?

Next, ask yourself who this King is:

You?
Another person?
• A situation?

If he’s you: add more of what he is lacking; softening or hardening him as you see fit.

• Maybe you need to listen before you take action and speak more gently?
• Maybe you take too long to say you piece and let others walk all over you or
   take the lead?
• Maybe you are living in the past, believing that this is the only choice available,
   when really, fully grown, you have the power to make up your own mind?

If he’s another person, is he:

• Someone you already know?
• Someone you would benefit from having in your life?
• Someone you would like to meet or leave behind?

Work out who he is and then you will be able to figure out what the card is telling you and the best course of action to take.

*

CONCLUSION:

Right now this card is a message to reassess and reconstruct your life, to look at how things are weighted and get rid of that which does not serve you.

Look at all of the ingredients. Ask what makes you happy and what makes you sad. Examine what you need more of and move towards that. Walk away from what is old, outmoded, detrimental and bad. If it dulls your energy, if it diminishes your light: you aren’t treating yourself with enough love and respect. If it makes you sparkle and brings out your inner geanie: embrace it.

Pulled September 1st, 2016: this card is all about the surrounding energy, the new moon and Mercury retrograde. The new moon is a time of awakening: we are leaving the darkness ushered in by the arrival and departure of the full moon and travelling back towards the light; each night the small slither grows, delicate fingernail swelling into ripe fruit. For us this symbolises re-entry, emergence, rebirth, reinvention, restoration, inspiration, creativity and growth. It is a time to make plans, to start things, to begin again.

And yet this energy is juxtaposed by Mercury retrograde and the widely-held belief/superstician that surrounds it; for in Mercury retrograde we are supposed to keep it simple and small. To avoid making a big decision, entering into or leaving a relationship, signing a contract, moving house, using electrical equipment, driving a vehicle, speaking in public, taking an exam, etc. A fair few exceptions, and there are doubtless more…

So what are we supposed to do when one energy says YES and the other warns NO: freeze like a rabbit in headlights? No, we look to the cards and we reinterpret the cards from here.

Perhaps the King is actually Mercury in retrograde, ruling with an iron rod and firm hand; and we are simply his people: bound, whether we like it or not, to his will? Perhaps, too, because of the surrounding energy and the energy of the card, we are stuck beneath a steely woman or man? Is our boss a tyrant, partner a pig, best-friend selfish, father violent, mother hard? Are we supported or silenced?

The card is calling upon us to go inside, to take this period – lasting roughly until the 22nd – as an opportunity to reassess. What do we need to get rid of, let go of, lose? What do we need to balance, moderate, reduce, elevate? If our own energy is out of whack, we should take responsibility for this and focus on inviting more masculine or feminine energy in, softening and hardening as necessary. This is the key and the ultimate message.

~

HOMEWORK:

To get the most from this reading, you also need to do the homework. Work your way through the list of below, observing what surfaces:

• Answer all of the questions in the article
• Take note of your insights, deductions and evaluations
• Become your own mentor or spiritual consultant:
   – or find someone who can
Empty out all that no longer serves you
• Figure out what will
• State and repeat your intention to allow and invite more of this into your life

You have read this article and found these cards today because they are meant to guide you. Honour yourself with the permission and freedom to really appreciate that.

~

If this article has stirred things up for you or made you realise there are things in your life you would like to resolve, please feel free to visit my contact page or email me me to discuss both these things and the possibility of our working together in the future to accomplish these things.

Or, to book an appointment directly, see my contact page.

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