Knave of Swords

The Little White Book, penned by Barbara Moore, doesn’t provide keywords but rather “jumping off points” for personal interpretation. These are particularly useful, especially for journaling and personal contemplation.

The LWB says “The ideals of truth, of justice! At least once in our lives, these ideals, or a reasonable facsimile, become our focus and our quest. At these times, nothing else matters and we will not be distracted.”

Waite describes the Page of Swords as “alert and lithe, looking this way and that, as if an expected enemy might appear at any moment” and in her book ‘Tarot for Writers’ Corinne Kenner describes the Page as being thoughtful and imaginative, perpetually observant and alert. According to her he doesn’t miss a thing and is able to conduct some investigative research on his own.

Knight: the “teenager.” Prone to shift erratically within the suit’s energy – sometimes showcasing that energy in proactive ways, the next moment in unbalanced ways.
Carrie Mallon

Clearly Christina Benintende wasn’t having any of this. Her Knave (Page) is anything but alert. To be frank, he reminds me of decidedly disinterested, pubescent, pimple ridden boys I taught when I was teaching in Secondary Colleges. Come to think of it, I wish I’d had a copy of this deck when I was trying to teach them to write creatively. The same lads would have been very receptive to this vibe and would have been certain to know a girl just like the one prodding this guy, encouraging him to take the sword to someone.

If I have seen further than others, it is by standing on the shoulders of giants. The lessons and wisdom of the giants in my life allowed me to see more clearly and become a successful leader.
Isaac Newton

The young woman standing behind the Knave, pressing her arm to his shoulder is, in my mind, one of the most important figures in this card. When @seekerofsacredpassion and I dialogued about the card on Instagram she asked if “I thought it was strange” that we were talking about the girl. I replied that I didn’t think it was strange at all because I believe she is actually ‘the woman behind the man’ who is a guiding light, who motivates him to pick up the sword/intellect and go for it.

We all need someone to encourage us. We have all stood on the shoulders of others to achieve whatever we have achieved. No man/woman is an island and all that.

In fact, in writing classes I often spend an entire session having participants identify who were the really significant influences in their lives. I begin with this quote by Clarissa Pinkola Estes from her classic ‘Women Who Run With The Wolves’.

“I once dreamt I was telling stories and felt someone patting my foot in encouragement. I looked down and saw that I was standing on the shoulders of an older woman who was steadying my ankles and smiling up at me.

I said to her, “no no come stand on my shoulders, For you are old and I am Young.”

“No no” she insisted, “this is the way it is supposed to be.”

I saw that she stood on the shoulders of a woman far older than she, who stood on the shoulders of a woman even older, who stood on the shoulders of a woman in robes, who stood on the shoulders of another soul, who stood on the shoulders…”
Clarissa Pinkola Estes

  • Have you ever considered whose shoulders you stand on? Who are the giants in your life? What did these people do to invest in your life? How did they influence you to become the leader you are today? Sometimes these life investments were for a moment, while others were long term. Yet regardless of the length of time, you are standing on the shoulders of others.