A knight holds a single wand in one hand while his horse rares up on his hind legs. Red plumes of feathers adorn his armour while salamanders are emblazoned on his yellow cloak. His visor is lifted so we can see the knight’s face
The action of the horse in this card typifies what we might expect from a young, confident knight. Up on two legs, the horse is preparing to charge into the distance. The knight is unafraid, his visor lifted, almost as if he is saying goodbye to the familiar and brashly charging into the unknown.
He holds in his hand a single wand, held upright. Wands are associated with fire and ideas in the Tarot, our creative fire. Holding his idea aloft, the young knight is driven forward by its ideals, prepared to go it alone if necessary to achieve his goals.
We see again in the Knight of Wands the symbolism of red feathers, which also appeared in the Page of Wands, The Fool and Death. The elaborate plumes of feathers on our Knight may indicate that we have built on the achievement of the Page of Wands and that the circle of life – birth, death and renewal – is progressing. The red colour of the feathers and the salamanders on the cloak are both symbolic of fire.
In readings, the card translates to an idea or impulse that we cannot let go of. It drives us forwards, sparks our creative energy. It is an intuition that we act on no matter the consequences. The page of wands signified that initial spark but the knight puts the spark into action.
When we latch onto an idea and refuse to surrender its ideals, that is the Knight of Wands. When we take a stand on a principle despite the odds, that is the Knight of Wands. It is the first voice of protest, the first man into battle, the first inventor, explorer and thinker.
When taking this into consideration in a reading, we should remember that the Knight comes near the end of the suit of wands. The significance of this is that the brashness of the knight and his courage comes from within himself and the talents he possess. He has already been through battles, he has already achieved much. His confidence is as a result of the road is has traveled thus far. His courage is derived from his ideals.
Despite these ideals, the Knight of Wands can also signify that we are blinded by our idea. We rush into the unknown not having thought things through. We jump fences without looking. We argue then think afterwards. We should heed this side of the Knight of Wands and think about the consequences of our actions. We certainly should not abandon them, but some forethought as to how things will pan out will help us in the long run.
The Knight of Wands reversed indicates that we may be lacking courage in pursuit of an idea or ideal. We still hold our idea but for some reason our ability to pursue it is hindered.
Often, the Knight of Wands reversed appears when we are suffering the effects of negative energy. For example, we know we should eat healthy but our mind is so clouded and addicted to unhealthy foods that we find it difficult to make that change. We know we should change job but our fear of change or of the unknown prevents us from taking that step.
When this card appears reversed we need to look at our ideals and see what is stopping us from achieving them. We should strap on our armour and throw our self doubt to the wind. If we analyze why we cannot take the steps required to achieve our ideal then the Knight of Wands reversed can be a beneficial card to receive.