Knight of Wands/Rods Tarot Card Meaning & Interpretations
Tarot's Knights, like the Knight of Wands, are related to The Chariot They can be thought of as the Captains of their element, in this case Fire, led by their leader The Charioteer who is warlord of all the elements. They wear simple, practical, armour without ceremonial, or rank defining, decoration. Helmets, not crowns. Their display is purely one of defending their element.
The Chariot and Knights, with the exception of the Knight of Swords, represent defence. The Rider-Waite-Smith (RWS) Tarot deck emphasised their defensive nature by cladding them in armour. In the older Tarot decks, like the Marseilles, only the Knight of Swords is wearing armour and holding a weapon. The key theme with The Knight of Wands is one of defending ones work or home. The imagery of the card you are looking at should illustrate the mind set. In both the Marseilles and RWS decks the horse backed knight is heading left/east which represents the past. His right hand holds a single wand upright, not forward in an attacking gesture the Knight of Swords. Just as the Ace of Wands signifies a new project, job or home, this card does too but with the caveat that it's being done with caution or resistance.
The Marseilles decks usually depict both the horse and rider heading left/east (the past) but both man and steed are looking backwards west/right (the future). This may indicate a reluctance to engage with something that can be seen approaching from the future. The Rider-Waite-Smith (RWS) Deck changed this feature so both man and horse are facing in the direction they are travelling. In addition to this change the horse is rearing up with it's master pulling so tightly on it's reins that it's head is pulled as far back as it will go. The detail is worth noting as it indicates a need to control power and direction. The Knight wants to remain stationary, or is reluctant to head in that direction, but what is under him is bursting with energy and raring to go. Heading backwards, towards the past, may be taken as the wrong direction. The element of fire can represent the physical energy that one would apply to work and projects. The Marseilles Knight maybe symbolising a reluctance to take on a job or apply ones efforts to something. The RWS Knight may also symbolise keeping control of a project and not allowing other forces to take it in the wrong direction.
Returning to the theme of defence that runs within the Knight and the Chariot this Knight could signify a need to take defensive measure at home or in the work place. For example home improvements or repairs that maybe needed to prevent damage from the elements. Another example would be guarding, or being defensive about, ones position, or project at work.
The Knight of Wands, Rods or Batons could be a young* man who has not reached maturity** yet. His vocation in life could be related to the element of fire, home or construction (for example a fire fighter, an architect, an engineer, a carpenter or joiner). The symbolic relationship to this card may not be vocational, it could be a description of his personality. In which case this youth may be passionate, fiery or changeable. He could be someone who prefers to live in the countryside than a town or city. Someone who has a love of nature.
*the age of this man could be relative to the person the reading is for. He maybe a mature man but a younger man.
**maturity happens between ages 28 to 37, when a man enter's his 2nd numerological life cycle.
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THE PICTORIAL KEY TO THE TAROT
By Arthur Edward Waite (1911)
He is shewn as if upon a journey, armed with a short wand, and although mailed is not on a warlike errand. He is passing mounds or pyramids. The motion of the horse is a key to the character of its rider, and suggests the precipitate mood, or things connected therewith. Divinatory Meanings: Departure, absence, flight, emigration. A dark young man, friendly. Change of residence. Reversed: Rupture, division, interruption, discord.