As a reminder, the suit of swords is driven by masculine energy and channels the power of the intellect and mind, including all the concepts, knowledge, and beliefs that it holds. Scholars and academics have connected the suit of swords to the classical element of air, and most of the cards from that suit embody the symbolic attributes of this element, one way or another.
Knight of Swords card: Traditional meanings
The active element of the four court cards in the suit of swords, the Knight of Swords is a bold and witty knight in shining armor, always standing in the front line and ready to fight for his own beliefs. The Knight of Swords is an idealist, always with his eyes on his next quest, drawing up a plan to succeed and get closer to his ultimate goal… of finding his next quest.
Upright: Young adult man, driven and full of energy, a brilliant activist with a sharp wit, and always ready to act or fight for what he believes is right.
Reversed: Bold and brash, acting without a second thought, and not caring about collateral consequences.
Upright Knight of Swords card
The Knight of Swords looks like the archetypal knight in the Rider-Waite Smith Tarot deck illustration. A young man in full battle armor is charging ahead on a white horse, sword drawn and ready to be used. This cavalry charge scene would not seem out of place in Lord of the Rings, Game of Thrones, or all the recent entertainment successes in the Fantasy genre.
More than any other card in the tarot deck and in the suit of Swords, even with the other knights, the Knight of Swords looks like a larger than life hero. In his Pictorial Key to the Tarot, A. E. Waite compared the Knight of Swords to Galahad from the roundtable, with a swift sword and a pure heart.
The Knight of Swords from the minor arcana is ultimately an achiever. Bold and proactive, he uses the power of his mind to choose his battles and bring forth action and change. In a way, this Knight is always on some sort of quest or another, always striving for a greater goal.
Also attached to the Air element (Gemini star sign), the Knight of Swords represents someone that is highly skilled but also has the courage and will to use it. He is highly intelligent and motivated, ready to answer any call to action.
The final important element to remember when the Knight of Swords appears upright in a tarot reading is that as the embodiment of the proactive aspect of the mind and will, he represents someone with strongly anchored ideas, and his readiness to act consequently makes him an activist. The Knight of Swords can usually represent the most passionate people you can find at either end of an ideological debate.
Reversed Knight of Swords card
The intense sense of self-righteousness that can be found in the Knight of Swords can sometimes lead to extreme behavior. A reversed Knight of Swords in a reading tends to highlight this very Manichean view, dividing the world into black and white, day and night, right or wrong, without any room for shades of gray in the spectrum between these extremes.
Convinced of being right, and that the universe is on his side, the Knight of Swords can act with imprudence and hastiness, without taking much time to plan ahead or think about the negative consequences that might come from his actions, especially collateral damage. He is so focused on his quest that anything he does to see it through will be aimed at his final goal, oblivious to anything that happens in the sidelines.
Knight of Swords and love
The Knight of Swords is a bold and colorful young adult, very charismatic and larger than life. He is extremely skilled and knows it, even if these skills are not always put to the best use. Like a knight in shining armor, he moves with such presence that it is rather easy to fall in love with him.
Like many heroes of old, however, while he is capable of love, it will always be a secondary concern to him, focused on his desire to change the world and uphold his own values.