Exploring the Minor Arcana: The Knights

In this series we'll be diving into the world of the Minor Arcana. Each segment will group the cards by number where we can engage in their themes and differences. For all the posts in the installment, click here.


I have such a soft spot for the Knights in tarot. They have so much verve and energy! These are not a group of cards interested in concepts or abstractions. They want to get down and dirty, engaging with life in the hands-on, adventuresome style of someone on a mission. While the Pages are eager students, the Knights might be someone who lists "School of Life and Hard Knocks" on their facebook education section. They want to learn by doing and they're already diving into the task at hand.

I often refer to the Knights as the teenagers in tarot. They have the same headstrong conviction and, like any rebellious youth, this attitude is also masking an endearing tenderness. Not fully formed as people, the Knights still have a lot to figure out, which is why these cards can also represent foolhardiness, irrational decision making, and risk-taking.

While the Knights can get themselves in a pickle by jumping the gun - saying something in anger or frustration, committing to a task they can't finish, or living in an idealized fantasy world - they also bring an incredible amount of energy and enthusiasm to any situation. Look to the Knights for the galvanizing force behind a big leap or the passion needed to get things going and inspire others. 

Each of the Knights comes with their own unique flavor. Let's explore their wild, engaging, and impetuous world below:

Explore In-Depth Minor Arcana Meanings

The  Knight of Wands is quite the handful. Just think about the combination of teenage energy + fiery wands! This card might possibly be the most charismatic of the deck. It brings with it passion, energy, and the desire to leap in and get things done.

For the Knight of Swords is much more cerebral. This is a card where the conceptual and the real come together for the Knight of Swords is all about testing out ideas. What might this theory look like in real life? How can we act on our principles or communicate our thoughts? This can sometimes get tricky since sharp swords are in the situation, but the intention is usually well-meaning.

The Knight of Cups is the romantic of the bunch. Think of the emo guy writing poetry in the back of class. This Knight has a way with words and imagery, loves art and poetry, and will sweep anyone off their feet with romantic promises. When it comes to real life, however, this card balks at anything less than glamorous and perfect and can become sullen and withdrawn.

Last but not least, The Knight of Pentacles brings the energy of the Knights back down to earth. The most practical of the bunch, this card is all about slow, deliberate, action. Concerned with cultivation and making plans into reality, this card can get stuck in their ways and become resistant to change. Is the path they're going on what they really want?

What about you? How do the Knights show up in your tarot practice? How do you relate to them personally? Share in the comments below, and be sure to do something bold and adventurous today in celebration of these zesty cards.