The Hermetic Tarot today; my cards are the Knight of Swords and The Devil. Interesting!
The Knight of Swords (the cusp of Taurus, “I have,” sensual, stubborn, cautious, and Gemini, “I think,” curious, talkative, dual, intelligent) is outspoken, assured, alert, and logical, as well as rude, domineering, critical and sarcastic. His daring and courage, and his ability to respond quickly to situations, are impressive, but he can also be disruptive, too. While all of the Knights can be considered as mercenaries, the Knight of Swords truly personifies this career.
The Hermetic Tarot Knights, interestingly enough, are seen to represent the sephira of Chokmah on the Tree of Life. They are not more or less than the Kings of the Tarot Court (which are seen to correspond with Tiphareth), just different, and since Chokmah is the top of the Pillar of Force, this does kind of make sense. The winged Hermetic Tarot Knight sits in full armor on a proud steed, and above his head is a winged six-pointed star (which symbolizes the heart chakra and the immune system, the four elements and the balance of opposing effects, and which is used as a “made-and-‘proved’-in” mark on swords). We are being told that this Knight works through the effects of the mind and the intellect, and those effects are active, brave, fierce, courageous, skillful, and inclined toward domination.
The Devil (Earth (cold/binds and dry/shapes, and stable, material, practical energies that are slow to change), Capricorn (“I build,” ambitious, competent, cautious, cunning), Ayin (the eye, senses), and the Path between Hod (which provides analysis and communication) and Tipareth (the hub of the creation process where energies harmonize and focus to illuminate and clarify) tells of being caught up in the physical world and the effects of the physical senses, to the point of being bound or addicted to those things. The Devil is often the scapegoat blamed for any excesses of the physical world; after all, enjoyment of the physical world is somehow seen by many as a denial of or estrangement from God.
The Hermetic Tarot Devil image shows Pan, complete with horns, third eye, bat’s wings, and a spiked crown, seated on a pedestal. Chained to that pedestal are two demons, one male and one female, both half animal and half human. He is holding a flaming torch, and his crest contains the reversed pentacle, a symbol of placing passion and earthly pleasures above spirit. This is a clear image of both material force and material temptation, a dangerous and addictive combination. This card is also about bondage and submission, both of which can be useful in appropriate situations, but dangerous if used in an imbalanced way.
I will need to be real careful today about manifesting my ambitions. Dominating others for my own pleasure or for my own purposes is not a good thing. Today I will believe in those purposes (even if they represent the right to feel pleasure) and I just might become distracted by my own authority. It feels good to be in control, but not when we only manifest our own rules.