Equites - The Knights

[*Eques refers to a horseman, rider, cavalryman, knight, member of the equestrian class, second-in-command to the dictator (Oxf. Lat. Dict.). Another word for a horseman is Vector.]


The Knight (Wet>Hot) inherits the dominant quality of the King (Hot>Dry) and recessive quality of the Queen (Cold>Wet), thus the Eques may be called the Koros (Lad) and the Prince (though each rank may manifest in either sex). In the Knight, however, the form receiving (Wet, Humidus) quality of the Queen is dominant over the motivating (Hot, Calidus) quality of the King, and so the Knight is less swift to act than the King. The lack of the will power (Dryness) of the King also contributes to this. Knights lack the Cold quality of the Queen, and so are deficient, compared to her, in their ability to preserve form, i.e. in steadfastness and endurance, and in their contractiveness, i.e., inward focus and quietness.

The Eques is assistant to the Rex and Regina, and is nominally their offspring. In this role the Eques is action-oriented, and tends to be less bound by social responsibility than the Rex and less experienced than the Regina.

The Pages and Knights are immature and dominated by passive (i.e., spontaneous, reactive, undisciplined) qualities (Dry or Wet). For the Page it is willfulness (Dry), which combines with lack of discrimination (Cold) in the Earth element. In the Knight, obedience (Wet) has become dominant, which combines with discrimination (Hot) in the Air element. Thus Knights are the perfect executers of their parents' wishes, though they may err through blind obedience or excessive zeal.

The Knights are adolescents (in the characters of their Suits), as shown by the incorporation of the Wet quality, which is relational, for it permits them to conform to others and establish social bonds, including sexual relationships. This Wetness can also lead to the excessive conformity common in adolescence. (Contrast this with the Dry, egocentric quality of the prepubescent Pages). However, the Hot quality makes adolescent Knights increasingly discriminating in their relationships, though the basis of the discrimination may be the Wet qualities of conformity and the desire for approval.

Key Words

Venus, Vulcan, Vapor, Vector, Volition, Voluntary, Venture, Virgin, Virile, Vigor, Vitality, Volatile, Union, Unification, Undertaking, Understanding, Uterus.

Eques Baculorum (Wands) - Vitality of Impulse

The Air (Wet>Hot) of the Knight operates on the Fire (Hot>Dry) of the Wands. Since Fire overcomes Air, the effect of the Wands prevails over that of the Knight. Thus the Knight of Wands is dominated by active, external action (Hot) and willful imposition of form (Dry). People manifesting this Knight are adventurous, energetic, impulsive, and active.

However, the Knight of Wands lacks the Cold quality, which is the contractive principle and imparts stability, quietude, endurance and steadfastness. Therefore, the Knight of Wands tends to be flighty, unable to persevere, and always seeking novelty.

Image: Apollo as Lad of Fire. He wears a greenish-blue khiton (tunic) and holds a bow and arow; he is beardless, blond and stands against a sunny yellow background.

Commentary: Apollo is Lad of Fire because of his traditional association with the sun and because, as Lord of the Muses, he governs inspiration (suit of Wands). He is always depicted as a young man. See 5.High Priest and 18.Sun for more on Apollo; see also 6.Love.

Eques Gladiorum (Swords) - Vitality of Understanding

The Air of the Knight operates on the Air of the Swords, so the Knight of Swords is a pure manifestation of the qualities of Air (Wet>Hot). The Wet quality gives fluidity (the ability to change form) to the Knight, who may have, therefore, a Mercurial personality. These Knights often effervesce with ideas, but they may defend them fanatically due to the Hot (separating, divisive) component of their personality. In the best of cases, the expansive nature of the Hot quality makes the Knight of Swords brave, strong, fearless, skillful (discriminating), and creative in the realm of ideas (Swords).

Since the Knight of Swords lacks both the Dry and Cold qualities, which impart solidity (Dry) and stability (Cold), they may lack grounding and perseverance, and so exhibit poor judgement or erratic behavior.

Image: Athena as Maid of Air. She wears armor over a greenish-blue peplos (robe), holds an upright spear, and stands against a background of sky and clouds. An owl perches on her shoulder.

Commentary: Athena is Maid of Swords because she is a virgin battle goddess and because she is a goddess of wisdom (suit of Swords). She is also a Bird Goddess (cf. her owl), and so associated with the element Air (Dexter 119). See 20.Justice (Principal of the Sword) for more on Athena.

Eques Poculorum (Cups) - Vitality of Openness

The Air (Wet>Hot) of the Knight operates on the Water (Cold>Wet) of the Cups. Since Air overcomes Water, the effect of the Knight prevails over that of the Cups. The Knight of Cups is often highly motivated, which is a consequence of the Hot quality of the superior element (Air). However, the Knight of Cups is dominated by relationships, for the Wet, which occurs in both elements, is conforming and relational. Thus the Knight tends to be open minded, easy going, kind, gentle and trustworthy.

The Wet is also a quality of the inferior element (Water), where it combines with the Cold, which is mixing (thus Water is the element of relationship par excellence). Therefore these Knights tend to be social, and with the admixture of the Hot they tend to be romantic, idealistic, and imaginative. However the Knight of Cups lacks the Dry quality, which is the principle of solidity and form, so they may avoid commitment, and may be unprincipled in their relationships.

Image: Artemis as Maid of Water. She wears a greenish-blue khiton (tunic) and holds a bow and arrow; she stands against a deep-blue nighttime sky, in which the full moon shines.

Commentary: Artemis is Maid of Water because she is a Virgin Goddess and because of her association with the Moon. See 4.High Priestess and 17.Moon (Second of the Cup) for more on Artemis; see also 6.Love (Master of the Cup).

Eques Pentaculorum (Pentacles) - Vitality of Effort

The Air (Wet>Hot) of the Knight operates on the Earth (Dry>Cold) of the Pentacles. Since Air and Earth are opposites, neither overcomes the other, so there is an unstable balance between them, and context may cause the balance to shift one way or the other. Thus, in the realm of material activities (Pentacles), the Knight may vary in primary quality between practicality and solid dependability (Dry) on one hand, and unreliability (Wet) on the other. However, an excess of the Dry may cause the Knight to concentrate too much on the the materialist and the utilitarian.

In the secondary qualities the Knight may vary between goal directedness and diligence (Hot) on one hand, and laziness and carelessness (Cold) on the other. An excess of the Hot may result in a the Knight who single-mindedly pursues a course when it should have been abandoned.

Image: Persephone as Maid of Earth. She wears a greenish-blue peplos (robe), holds a scepter, and sits in her throne on a background of green and brown earth tones.

Commentary: Although Persephone becomes the the bride of Hades and the Queen of the Underworld, she remains young, ever renewed in the spring. Thus she is always depicted as a young woman, the archetypal Kore (Maiden). She is the spirit of the seeds, which descends into the earth in winter and is reborn in spring, hence the browns and greens in her image. Persephone is associated with 4.High Priestess (Mistress of the Pentacle).

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Last update: Thu Aug 15 17:25:29 EDT 1996