Today we’ll cover the meaning of the Knight of Wands. This is a part of a deep dive series on the tarot.
The classical meaning of this card can be seen in the Rider-Waite deck. The horse is up and charging. If you want an easy way to remember the meaning classically: he’s literally a “knight in shining armor.”
Upright Knight of Wands Meaning
The upright meaning is one of travel and adventure. Depending on context, it can mean to finally take those steps to make the trip happen or it could mean that you’re on the right path and should continue the journey.
The journey can be physical or metaphorical. This again will probably depend on the question or position of the card.
Reversed Knight of Wands Meaning
The most standard reversed meaning is that you are on the wrong path. Notice if there are obstacles in your way or people around you concerned about the journey/path/project.
Think about whether these concerns are merited. The reversed meaning often indicates to stop the project or journey. Halt before you step into danger. At the very least, slow down your progress to figure out why you’ve been interrupted.
Another common reading is not quite this extreme. You may be on the right path, but you just need to go around whatever problem you’ve come up against.
To remember this, look at the upside-down card. The knight is being thrown from the horse. He just wants to go onward, but he can’t make progress until he gets back on.
I always like to examine other, modern decks to see what can be read into their symbolism.
The reason for this is that every person will have different decks, and so it’s good to learn how to go with your gut on what you see. This is the best way to have a good interpretation for the moment.
Too many people stick to a learned reading instead of going with the flow. Remember, each reading, deck, person, position, and question is different. Reading the cards is an art, not a science.
We’ll use a different deck for every one of these. Today’s is the Philosopher’s Stone Tarot.
The first thing that catches my eye is the fire. This type of symbolism should be expected considering the Suit of Wands is associated with the element of fire.
Wand cards can always take on alternate fire related meanings. If this came up for me, I’d read it as relating to passion or sex or relationships.
In light of the classical interpretation, it says to continue on the current relationship path. But since the knight isn’t even standing yet, it is probably referring to a relationship you’re considering and haven’t actually started on.
For the reversed reading, I’d take a stronger position: do not embark on this seductive new relationship. It’s very tempting, but it will lead to more problems than it’s worth in the long run.
Knight of Wands in Context
Context matters a lot when reading the cards. Here’s some particularly strong things to look out for.
I think the meaning should be clear in the past/present/future positions. It will indicate a journey in those parts of your life. It should also be easy for physical topics:
- Hobbies: start or continue on the hobby
- Relationships: start or continue the relationship
- Career: start or continue the career under consideration
The main type of positioning that complicates the reading is when it is in an internal or spiritual position.
This is because the knight is all about external action, charging in, and bombastic behavior. These are the opposite of contemplative or spiritual experiences.
In this position, I like to read the card not as going on a spiritual journey, but as a call to action. Step up in your spiritual life and take on a leadership role.
If you’re into meditation, start a meditation group. If you’re Wiccan, gather a coven together to do a social ritual or spell. The knight indicates bursting forward out of your comfort zone.
Spiritually, this often means making a step forward by trying something new.