“Wow,” was my first response to this reading. Not exactly lyrical, I’ll admit, but perfectly descriptive of the kind of moment in Tarot where the cards render you somewhat speechless.
What at first appears mundane then reveals a compelling symmetry; and behind that, a story, which might just unfurl as we move closer into the images.
I have never noticed just how similar the Knight of Disks and the Prince of Wands are. Strikingly similar, in fact, with many parallels, and some significant differences. And here they both are, book-ending a card – the Eight of Swords – that is quite different to them both, and yet which also has its own parallels in the two female figures in the foreground and the double suns behind them.
But back to the two figures of Knight and Prince first, because they are the protagonists in a situation painted by the Eight of Swords. It may well be that the Eight of Swords only exists because of their presence – but you will know whether that’s true for you or not in what they are reflecting to you about your own circumstances.
My initial interpretation of the Knight of Disks and the Prince of Wands was that they are father and son.
Now I can see that this is not the case. It’s more than that: they are two aspects of the same person; they are two parallel, possible ways of being.
In other words, the Knight of Disks and the Prince of Wands are two aspects of you to which you have access – two ways that you are being, or that you can be.
In this deck, the Röhrig, the Knight is the senior court figure (often called the “King” in other decks, most notably the Rider-Waite Smith), while the Prince is the heir or pretender to the throne (often referred to as “Knight”).
The Knight of Disks is the senior masculine figure (not necessarily male, but rather embodying authoritative, focussed action) in the densest suit in the deck – Disks, which denote matter. The Prince is the crusader, the idealist, the fighter or zealot – and, as Prince of Wands, he is in the least-dense suit, which denotes fire, creativity, or Eros.
So what we have are close to two ends of a spectrum in terms of seniority, life-stage, and constitution.
To put it in real terms: the Knight of Disks is a grounded, pragmatic mature leader and healer who is focussed on the ‘matter’ of physical and material and natural wellbeing (when aspected well), while the Prince of Wands is a fiery, idealistic – perhaps impulsive and wet-behind-the-ears – go-getter who is focussed on the nature of what he can do with that Eros that is licking at his insides. The phrase “sex on the brain” might also apply, although he may equate this with love.
The Prince of Wands, crusader of fire that he is, dreams heat into reality. It burns hot as a blue flame. He is intense, and intent, and what he is essentially focussing on is something in himself, though he may not be immediately aware of its origin because it’s just so damned seductive it must be coming from outside, surely?
Idealism brings adventure, and that road often leads back to oneself. The Prince of Wands is in the process of discovering this. What he has going for him in all of this is his intuitive perception, and this can make him a veritable Romeo, a woo-er and seducer of note, because he knows just what to say to get what he wants.
But does he really want it?
Do you recognise any of this? Does this offer a tug of knowing? Again, you do not have to be male: the Prince transcends sex and gender because he represents a quality.
As does the Knight of Disks.
The Knight has been there, done that. He’s been on his high erotically and creatively charged adventures. He wouldn’t be who he is without them; they have played a crucial part in his journey.
This journey has taught him the value of connection beyond the kinds of connections that used to get him what he wanted and fed that blue flame. He knows what it is to be grounded, and in turn to value and nurture the ground that supports him. He also understands that he is the ground because he has learned to internalise his own sense of security. In this way, he has riches that may be reflected in the material world, but they also extend beyond it. He is a Healer because he has learned that he must first heal himself. He takes the fire of the Prince and he forges, and is forged, with it.
He can open his eyes and see – not simply a reflection or a projection – but also the individuality and the truth of what is in front of him. The Prince of Wand’s intuition has grown into something that is lived out practically. The search for love at the heart of the erotic adventure that calls to the Prince of Wands becomes the integration of love in the heart of the Knight of Disks. Esteem, presence, his own authority.
Note: while these may reflect other people or personalities in your life, I am more interested in how these may be a reflection of something that is in you which you are aware of, or that you can learn to own for yourself.
So what of the Eight of Wands? This is a situation that may well feel familiar to you: the feeling of being trapped by a lack of clarity or clear direction; a sense of mental overwhelm; a distraction that has become disproportionate; a state where what was attractive is now overblown and is taking up a lot of mind-space.
The perversion of the true path.
So – you have two aspects of yourself you can call on to deal with what appears to be blocking your way, so that you can then get on your way again.
You may opt for one, or the other, or both.
And don’t underestimate what the Prince can bring, by the way. He may be a young whipper-snapper next to the Knight, and he may have a tendency to get caught up in fancy and fantasy. He is, however, energetic, highly creative and adaptable, and maybe what is needed is a bit of self-focus to get you through.
On the other hand, the Knight of Disks is steadier, more worldly, less self-centred, more matter-of-fact.
Just keep reminding yourself of two things:
First, the suit of Swords suggests that what you are up against has a mental component, so consider that it is your perspective or your beliefs that may be a worthy source of inquiry, even if the obstacles have an external presence. It may be you, more than anything or anyone, who is holding you back.
Second, no-one else is as up to the task of dealing with this as you are.
You can sit in despair, holding out for a hero/ine, but this reading is clear that what and who you’re holding out for is far closer to home than you might know or wish for. Consider stepping up to the mirror before you start looking somewhere else.
Astrology Correspondences: Knight of Disks (the fiery aspect of earth), Eight of Swords (Jupiter in Gemini), Prince of Wands (the airy aspect of fire)
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