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Russian Tarot of St.Petersburg: Knights

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Little Baron  Little Baron is offline
Join Date: 18 Aug 2002
Location: UK
Posts: 9,963
Little Baron 
Russian Tarot of St.Petersburg: Knights

Looking at the Knights, after a short look at the Pages. I thought that the pages looked alike but the Knights do even more so ...

Simularities and differences I have found from initially scanning them ...

All knights are in movement to some degree.

The Knights of 'Coins' and 'Clubs' show cities in the background, whereas there is not in the other two cards.

The Knights of 'Clubs' and 'Swords' face to the future, but the other two face the past.

All knights have dark hair, unlike in the group of Pages and Queens, who both have a blonde (cups).

All knights wear armour; the 'Knight of Cups' armour looks slightly more flamboyant than the others, which are more 'practical' and traditional looking. They all wear headgear.

The Knight of Swords' horse is the only one that does not face in the position he is moving, unless it is about to turn. It could be avoiding the edge of the rock which is infront of it.

All knights seem to confront things head on, except the Cups Knight, who looks like he is actually running away from confrontation (lol), holding onto his cup protectively.

Pictorially, I like the 'Knight of Clubs' the most. I just like the illustration. I also like the 'Knight of Swords' and 'Knight of Coins'. I like the way that the Swords Knight dramatically cuts through the cloud with his weapon. I am not so keen on the Cups Knight. I am not quite sure what he is doing with the cup. He seems to be dipping his fingers in - a quick snack for the journey (lol) or is he pulling on his emotional reserves?

Cynthia Giles' book says the following -

Knight of Cups:
suggests arrival and approach.
lover and sometimes a dreamer.

Knight of Coins:
returning from battle
reliability and usefulness

Knight of Clubs:
prepared to meet trouble
departure or flight

Knight of Swords:
dashing, brave, impetuous
cleverness and subtlety

Top   #1
HearthCricket  HearthCricket is offline
Join Date: 10 Feb 2002
Location: ~~
Posts: 16,603

These are truly knights in shining armour. They are what legends are made of, be it fairy tale or historically true. They have been awarded horses for their many tasks, and now their deeds are greater, vaster and expansive. They will travel to places, see new things, make conquests and come back heroic, or die nobly in their cause.

The Knight of Clubs-This knight is travelling away from his beloved home on a quest. His green robe flies wildly behind him-he is off on his journey with haste and abandonment, and sits firmly in his saddle, determined. Dressed in armour, he holds his club firmly while his galloping horse's eyes flash back at his master, questioning and doubtful. They know their quest, but they do not know its outcome. They fly into the unknown, as bidden, but are not sure what their fate will be.

The Knight of Coins-Proud and noble-looking, this knight is a formidable enemy, a reliable servant. He rides high in his saddle, holding the colours of his King in one hand, while armed with his shield in the other. He looks patient, as though pausing and posing for us to snap a photo, before he continues on his way. He is sure of himself for good reasons. He has been successful before, and expects success once more. Prepared, organized, he is ready for the quest at hand, and his maturity and self-assurance will prove useful.

The Knight of Cups-This luxurious knight is about possibilities. Riding on fairly even ground he dips his hand in the cup, as though sifting through jewels of opportunity and seeing various possibilities. But he is no swindler. These jewels were well deserved after his quest, and bringing such wealth to his King may mean an advancement for himself. Flowers bud under the horses feet, full of promise. This knight faces us onward, challenging us, and showing us he arrives full of hope and proposals.

The Knight of Swords-This knight is all about battle. His sword is ready to slash, the blood red cloak bellowing out behind him reminds us of his blood, and those of his enemies. Stormclouds gather above him, but this brave knight fears nothing, not even the cliff he approaches. While there may be obstacles in his way, he will battle through them into success. His spirited horse gallops forward, and shows no fear, but turns its head towards its master to listen to his commands. This knight has fought often, and fears neither obstacles nor death. This fearlessness is not foolhardy, but rather that of a hero, the knights legends are made of.
Top   #2
zhadee  zhadee is offline
Join Date: 09 Dec 2014
Location: gone
Posts: 4,894

Originally Posted by Little Baron View Post
Cynthia Giles' book says the following -

Knight of Cups:
suggests arrival and approach.
lover and sometimes a dreamer.
When I saw that black Tarot deck in the antiquarian bookshop I was hooked at once. Without much thinking I bought them. At home I realized that they initially did come with a book... all I had purchased was that small leaflet.
For several months I did not touch those beautiful but rather intimidating cards still I felt attracted to them.

Yesterday I have joined this forum, and one of the first threads I came across was the "One Deck Wonder". What a great idea! Which deck would be the one? The latest one I bought is a tiny edition of the "Renaissance Tarot" by Lo Scarabeo. They answered my request quite fondly, being a friendly deck I did not expect anything else.

On second thought, I knew which deck really wanted to be studied - the ever so difficult to read, sombre-looking Russian Tarot cards! They answered my question by giving me the Knight of Cups. I thought this one looked nice, taking it for a good sign and put it back into the deck.

Today, I picked a card for in depth study. And I get the Knight of Cups again. Seriously, these cards mean business. They want to have my full attention! Not just a smile, or some happy moment - they want to be looked at more profusely. A bearded man clad in green with a golden helmet on his head is riding on a blueish horse. His horse is trotting across an uneven piece of earth, no water, no grass. But some bright flowers are sitting there. I am not sure if the rider does see them, as he might as well be poring over his cup. He does not even take very much care about his horse, keeping a firm grip on the cup while about to slip the other hand inside the cup.
The blueish horse is not rushing towards its destination. It seems to shy back, or even take a step back. But the rider takes no notice of his horse's tension. Rather irresponsible considering the value of his cup. He cannot make a new one in case this one gets broken.

These days, he can act as carelessly as he does. Some cars do have an auto-pilot, and people fully put their trust on electrical devices without paying much attention towards the world around them. The knight acts like those persons staring at their mobile phones and tablets while walking across the street. No fear, no second thought. He is too far busy with his cup.

I know the Knights are dealing with action in the outer world, and this one is especially a nice one - considering he is a knight. But to me he looks a bit foolish and silly. Maybe he is going to meet an errand, maybe he comes home after having dealt the matter successfully, though it does not look like he went out for a battle. He looks tired, but his grip is quite protective.

Putting my insights in a whole sentence: be aware of your destination, pay close attention to what is near and dear, good instincts.
Top   #3
Le Fanu's Avatar
Le Fanu  Le Fanu is offline
Join Date: 10 Feb 2008
Location: Somewhere Spooky
Posts: 17,258
Le Fanu 

Nice points here. Congratulations on your new deck. This tarot didn't always come with the book. I bought the book separately and it is well worth getting and I'm sure can be picked up cheaply on amazon. You will learn so much. However, if not, do not be intimidated by this wonderful deck - it is very, very RWS - and is very readable for someone with this background. Of course it has it curious details ( e.g Stalin as the Devil). You know that the Majors and Cups suit were done by one artist who then died and the rest of the deck was completed by another? You can see it if you look closely but both styles have their charm. I love this deck. One of my favourites. And so perfect for this time of year - I think of wintry palaces in St Petersburg and lacquer by candlelight...
Top   #4
zhadee  zhadee is offline
Join Date: 09 Dec 2014
Location: gone
Posts: 4,894

Le Fanu, I haven't paid close attention to those cards before as they really are a bit intimidating. Maybe I am getting the opposite kind of experience I had with the RWS - for years I did not take that deck seriously for I was misguided by the serene colours. Now I hold that deck in high regards.
When I got the Russian Tarot cards, I showed them to my russian workmates who gave me a bit of insight about russian folklore. They were looking at the depicted sceneries as if they remembered their home. None of them is a tarot reader, still the cards obviously spoke to them. My workmates also said, that some of those faces aren't very russian, and the purple/violet colour is not commonly used.

And you are so right... these cards are perfect for this time of year. Right now, it is beginning to snow...
Top   #5



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