THE LORD OF THE WINDS AND THE BREEZES;
THE KING OF THE SPIRITS OF AIR
The Knight of Swords – King of the Sylphs & Sylphides
FIRE of AIR
Meditation pattern: Place 7 of Disks, 8 of Swords, and 9 of Swords side-by-side, with the
Knight of Swords above them. Below the two Swords, place Atu VI, The Lovers.
Traditional Description: A winged warrior with crowned, winged helmet, mounted upon a
brown steed. His general equipment is as that of the Knight of Wands; but he wears, as a crest, a
winged six-pointed star, similar to those represented on the heads of Castor and Pollux, the Dioscuri,
the twins of Gemini (a part of which constellation is included in his rule). He holds a drawn
sword with the sigil of his scale (Yod) upon its pommel. Beneath his horse’s feet are dark-driving
YOD of VAV (FIRE of AIR): When the fiery, creative, commanding impulse of the paternal
Yod expresses itself through the intellectual realm of Air, we see the egoic, self-conscious
faculty of reason, a piercing and brilliant intellect, separative and discriminating, controlling,
commanding, and imperious. These faculties, which have permitted civilization and science to
emerge and flourish, give enormous ability and advantage; yet they are also cruel, callous, and
Yod of Air is all these fierce and penetrating things. “The Dominion of the Intellect” is its cognomen.
Yod in Yetzirah is the power of brilliant intellect, vivid and mighty imagination, and all related
cognitive capacities mobilized to support the Will. This Knight’s chief weakness, though, is
that, in Yetzirah, awareness is dividual, cut off from conscious relationship to the Supernals; so
there is less certainty in Swords that one’s perception of Will and its purposes is True.
He rules the heavens from 20° Taurus to 20° Gemini (including the constellation Auriga). Dual Gemini
corresponds to Zain, which means “sword.” The sword divides; cognition is a dual, binary function;
and Gemini is ruled by mental Mercury. The Knight corresponds to the first two decanates of Gemini,
ruled, respectively, by Jupiter and Mars, and called INTERFERENCE (or SHORTENED FORCE) and
CRUELTY. “Cruelty and Interference” is a good description of the Knight’s basic nature.
The Jupiter decanate, INTERFERENCE, expresses “Fire of Air” as the lightning and thunder of
the storm. This decanate is an example of “overkill” and obfuscation, of too much force applied
to small things. In Swords, these traits commonly degenerate to malice, pettiness, and domination.
The Mars decanate, called CRUELTY, indicates despair, pitilessness, malice, argument, rage,
revenge, suffering, anxiety, and distress. However, if very well-dignified, it can signify mental
discipline, analysis, precision, inquiry, and discrimination.
His shadow aspect is shown by the last decanate of Taurus, attributed to Saturn, and called
FAILURE. Quite the opposite of the Knight’s usual temperament, it is characterized by inertia and
slow development. It requires patience and careful labor. More than the simple antithesis of the
Knight, this is his buried fear from which he flees, and against which he overcompensates.
In divination, his character is active, clever, subtle, fierce, courageous, skillful, discriminating;
with a piercing, brilliant, and disciplined intellect and powerful imagination; precise, analytical,
inquisitive; but inclined to dominate, to overvalue small things, and to apply disproportionate
force to small matters, unless he is exceptionally well-dignified. If ill-dignified: deceitful, tyrannical,
separative, suspicious and distrustful, cruel, malicious, argumentative, rageful, vengeful,
pitiless, petty, callous, and cagey.
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"Write, & find ecstasy in writing! Work, & be our bed in working! Thrill with the joy of life & death! Ah! thy death shall be lovely: whoso seeth it shall be glad. Thy death shall be the seal of the promise of our age long love. Come! lift up thine heart & rejoice! We are one; we are none."