Deviant Moon -- Knight of Wands


The Deviant Moon Tarot is not populated with an abundance of characters that can be called human but the Knight of Wands is one that bears very little resemblance and the only features that he has which link him to humanity may be his jaw, mouth, lips and nose.

Is he wearing any battle armor? It does not appear to be the case. Here we see an image of what looks to be an insect riding upon another insect. Yet are not all insects by their nature armored? Looking at the image it is impossible to find where one begins and the other ends. It does appear that he is in a saddle as his brown body is resting on part of the armored back of the mount. The question is about the legs that stick out of the side of that armor plating. I think that those belong to our Knight but seem too deep into the mounts body. Unless this is all one single creature, which with this deck is an option. I love the seemingly out of place violet wings on this Knight. The rest of him is armored and tough yet he has delicate wings that are nearly transparent. Could these wings fly him away if trouble overwhelms him? Does this Knight know how to retreat?

This Knight has arms like a mantis, truly one of the more intimidating insects to me, and holds thorny wand that will serve him in battle. He just looks like he is looking for a fight and will find one where ever he goes. He is full of life and energy. His eyes always looking forward he rarely looks back.

This card clearly carries the theme of nature and the vital force that it can be. He is a representation of every dangerous bug, spider, wasp and bee that we find that attacks and stings (yes, there is a stinger on the mount) when there seems to be a challenge to home or colony. He is another expression of passion in the nature that is found in the grassy ground we step on every day. There is a fight for survival and threats all around for those who inhabit them.


bumble bee

Deviant Knight of Wands

Why does this knight choose to ride a flea when he has wings to fly?
He is sort of an intimidating creature, his mouth open probably yelling
faster faster! While shaking his wand . Insects have exoskelatons, this would be his suit of armor. The full moon is providing light for his travel.
Where is he going?
It is hard to see where the knight begins and the flea begins. Maybe they are one entity. Maybe the knight has bored a hole into the flea and then stucks his legs out of the flea to help him stay on. Hold on its gonna be a bumpy ride! You know how spiders drill a hole into their prey and liquify their insides and suck them out for a meal. I bet he just flies away after the flea has served his purpose. What sick mind created these images! What sick mind would choose this deck for readings? (me)
This knight is not very likeable. The whole thing sort of makes your stomach turn. ICK!

Cosmic Ray

Hola, Bumble Bee! Sheesh, I never thought of it like that! This is so insightful. I guess chicks like you and me can get into all of this crazy imagery too! Thing is, it is just not imagery that is thoughtless. I find the entire deck to be so thought provoking. I have never been so vocal about a deck before. So glad you joined our little class under the moon.

bumble bee

I've been in a mood.


I am still just flipping through cards, making groups and unmaking them, I have not even tried a spread yet, just trying to get a little conversation going between me and the deck. For some reason, much to my despair, frustration, even humiliation, I had not had one yet, I was not understanding the language. Today, this morning, I moaned aloud to it, as I shuffled and pawed and shuffled some more, "I only want to love you". It replied immediately with the Lovers. Things may be looking up. Maybe I just need to stop fooling around and do a spread.

I read these posts, and then went away to make some notes of my own, which I now must transcribe and try to get into some intelligible order. My comments reiterate some of those that have been made already, but this is my own riff.

The knight of wands is one of the six cards I identify and group together as having the least human elements in them. Foremost of all, the most outstandingly different card (imo) in the entire deck is the ace of pentacles, the dragon having absolutely nothing of the human about him, the group also includes the 10 wands, knight of cups, 9 pentacles & the unnamed Death card. That's just a personal grouping of my impressions, your mileage may vary.

Along with spiders and snakes, insects must rank most highly on the inexhaustible list of things that humans fear. This creature is the hybridization of two quite different insects- opposites, even, in some ways (to my way of seeing), but also completely joined by the inescapable fact of both being insects.

The knight of wands, already noted, has almost no humanity expressed in it's form, only in the lower part of it's face. The upper part of the insect-being most readily identifies as a mantid, emerging almost parasitically from the back of the flea-body/mount. I think it doesn't matter so much how they are joined, how they came to be that way, or why, but only that they are.

This flea resembles the Indian Plague Flea (Oriental Rat Flea), though in the case of neither insect was it needful to have rendered any specific species, or is it that necessary to identify it so specifically. Still, the bony skull-like half-mask suggests ...

*wierdly, there was just now a protracted delay while my husband summoned me to catch a large wolf spider in the kitchen. He has a serious *thing* about spiders and relies on me for assistance in such matters. It took some time, we had to chivvy it out from under a baker's rack, there was awkward use of a yardstick and small broom, but it was safely scooped up in one of our bug jars and transported out to the deadnettle patch in the garden. I have no "thing" about spiders.*

Where was I? The mask. Covering the flea's head. Strange and doubtful that the mantid-knight's steed-body should need any armor. So to me, the skull is more symbolic of the flea, and the aura of death that surrounds its silhouette. The ectoparasite Xenopsylla cheopis brought death to tens of millions of people (maybe up to 75 million world-wide), during the centuries of the Black Death.

In comparison, the mantid is a large, actively hunting carnivore, distinguished by a marvelous mobile head, giving it much more animation in that respect than most insects. They will disconcertingly turn their heads to watch you walk by, and it gives them a most anthropomorphic air.
The forelegs, too, and the pose they hold them in while waiting for prey, is human-like enough to suggest it is praying, & inspires the name of the Order the insects belong to, Mantodea, derived from the Greek, meaning prophet or soothsayer.

Mantids are among the insects I admire most, with their predatory elegance and the colorful, amazing variety of form among the families. I regularly and seasonally keep one in a glass dome in the studio, usually until the natural clockspring of it's lifespan winds down and it dies in the late autumn, but until then feeding it and supplying it with fresh water. I like the company.

Insects, though, have a very alien-ness to them, their exoskeletons (like a mammal turned inside out) force on them an outwardly mechanical structure, and movements mechanically dictated by the limitations of their chitinous armor.
Their motivations, too, are cold and automatic, operating on the most basic drive of life, which seemingly is just to perpetuate its own species in any way possible. The means of supporting their lives can seem cruel, even horrifying, when viewed through human eyes. I feed my mantis flies and small grasshoppers, but I do not stay to watch it eat it's live and kicking meal. Generally all it leaves behind are a pair of wings and, in the case of grasshoppers, sometimes a gut-sack. They are complete carnivores, and perhaps do not relish the usual plant-contents of a grasshopper's stomach. And of course the female mantis is renowned for you-know-what. All of these actions are almost too extreme to witness, even to contemplate.

Insects operate on invisible chemical signals, their vision includes spectrums of light the human eye cannot detect. They are inscrutable, having no emotions, they are almost *mindless* life, whirring, buzzing, swarming, eating, breeding, flying, burrowing. Fragile, delicately iridescent wings contrast with the thorny, armored, biting, stinging bodies that are considered repellant and yucky.
Whereas the truth is, the wings were never meant for the aesthetic delight of man, and the chitinous bodies are a marvel of engineering, allowing the insect to have achieved evolutionary dominance on the land.

The flea was directly responsible for wiping out perhaps 60 percent of the population of Europe in one of history's most destructive pandemics. In ten years' time, it did this without rancor, free of any conscious motivation, feelings or remorse. It seems to have done so without even being recognised as a cause or vector at the time. Tiny, yes. But not invisible.

The creature on the card is all activity, skittering under a full warm moon, life expressing life by living and moving, moving seemingly for the sake of movement alone, without understandable motivation or clearly expressed or expressible goals. Perhaps not the highest order or expression of evolution, but a very effective one. The wings, which are not mantis wings, give it beauty and delicacy, seem unlikely to be useful as aerodynamic appendages, contrast strongly with the heavy body, but share in it's inexplicableness.

These are things which occurred to me, looking at the card, with a tiny bit of supplemental research. I really did not like to see the impact of the card ending with sick mind, not likeable, stomach-turning and "yuck". That seems overly-dismissive of a life-force which does have it's place (probably a bigger place than we do) on the planet (as well as a card that has it's place in a deck), and should not be underestimated. But I am clearly a bug-geek, and think about these things. This was one card I was almost insane with excitement to see in person, and I was fully edified by it when I finally did.

*delayed editing due to forum acting up and couldn't get the page to load, but needed to clarify and fix a couple typos

bumble bee

Deviant Knight of Wands

Im not really much of a bug person but your observations are facinating.
The power of the little flea carrying the plague is nothing to take lightly.

swimming in tarot

Wow! Sphinxmoth, I only just stumbled on this thread and am utterly impressed. Haven't seen you in other forums; hope you're still around and posting.

Bumblebee, you say you're not a bug person, with a name like yours? ;)


I have also been fascinated by this card, and thought I'd share some of my perspective on it.

The Knight, armored as a praying mantis, is riding on a flea. In nature, this could never happen. Yet I see this as an interesting pairing. The mantis, much larger and stronger than the flea, could not hop from point to point on its own with such speed and dexterity. My experiences with praying mantises leaves me with the impression that they do not expend any more energy than they have to, like a spider lying in wait for its prey to be trapped in its web. Yet this ambitious mantis is commanding this flea to go and do his bidding.

Yet this seems fruitless. While the picture shows his mouth open and his wand held threateningly in the air, the mantis has no reins to control the flea. It would go and do as it pleases. I think this serves as a caution, that when we have the Knight of Wands energy, to remember that it can go well beyond our intended goal.

The flea itself has no humanoid characteristics, and it appears to be sticking out a serpentine tongue to test the air from its skullcap. Its legs appear too spindly to even carry its own weight, let alone the bulbous abdomen of the Knight.

The beautiful purple wings also indicate futility, as they appear too frail to carry its passenger away. The Knight is dependent on its steed to carry out its mission. The wings also serve to remind us that the energy of the Knight of Wands is beautiful to behold and imagine, yet not always in our best interests.

The full moon shines very brightly in this scene. It shows that, although the path may be fully lit, it is still fraught with mystery and highly influenced by the moon. When the full moon comes out in real life, is often a time of strange activity. The pull of the moon on our actions can also leave us far afield of our intended outcome.



I think this Knight will do whatever he has to do to get himself noticed. Wearing a bug suit and riding a flea will certainly get everyone's attention-he must have a great sense of humor! He certainly is creative!


Interestinggggggggg........ I like this card.

I see four animals on this picture........... Yes four!!!...

Look at this picture:

1) There is green Locust onto the ant.

2) There is a black armored Ant.

3) Third animal.... is diffused... an allegorical image.
Locust and Ant joined together. And they are making something look like a Scorpio. Locust is making something look like Scorpio tale.

There are 4 ant's legs turned up + the wand in Locust hand (Ace of wand) it is look like a key to knowledge in his hands 4 + 1 = 5 - "fifth penalty". Apocalypse.

The wand in Locist hands is flaming like the Star.

Bible > New Testament> The Book of Revelation> Chapter 9>prophecy

"And the fifth angel sounded, and I saw a Star fall from heaven unto the earth: and to him was given the key of the bottomless pit. And there came out of the smoke Locusts upon the earth: and unto them was given power, as the scorpions of the earth have power.And they had breastplates, as it were breastplates of iron; and the sound of their wings was as the sound of chariots of many horses running to battle. And they had tails like unto scorpions, and there were stings in their tails: and their power was to hurt people five months."

As to nature Locusts live only 5 months. Group of flying Locusts is look like dark cloud that close the Sun. So that the Locust associated with solar eclipse/ So that we see the Big Moon on the picture.

Four legs turned up - 4 of wands.
Four of wands symbolizes disciplined thought, the desire for order, a sense of belonging to the events.
The locusts symbolize the wrath of God in the Bible, who rebels against the chaos of the universal and human nature. It is the powerful purpose to establish the Order.

4) So that - Fourth aminal... Allegoric again.... It is the Horse.... Even no one horse, but 4 Horses... 4 Horses of Apocalipse.

I think the aurther was able to pick up the whole "ZOO" at the only card. So that we have 7 animals on it. :)

The same allegoric hoax cover "Horseman" tool.

Chapter 6.

"And I saw, and behold a white horse: and he that sat on him had a bow; and a crown was given unto him: and he went forth conquering, and to conquer."

If to have a look at this horseman we can see that his shape + wand is look like Bow and sharp ant's legs aimed like arrows. We can see the King's crown on the Locust weist.


"And there went out another horse that was red: and power was given to him that sat thereon to take peace from the earth, and that they should kill one another: and there was given unto him a great sword."

Horseman is taking his wand like sword.

"And I beheld, and lo a black horse; and he that sat on him had a pair of scales in his hand. And there was given him power ... to kill with sword and famine, and with the beasts of the earth"

Locust was a symbol of famine, because they devastated the agricultural fields.

"And I looked, and behold a pale horse: and his name that sat on him was Death"

Wand and shape of locust is look like Scythe. Death is always with Scythe.

Why the Ant?

Locust and ant are antagonists. Locusts came out of the abyss - from the state of inactivity, but ant is active one. Locust and ant are representaives of group life. Sinners and Saints.
But Locust is only consumer who use the work of others, but the Ant is "working horse". Ant symbolizes justice, righteousness, gentleness and self-restraint. That the ants taught Solomon to meekness and humility.

Ant is able to take weight twice bigger than ant's weight.
Difficult times and trials that may befallen onto the people. But God does not give a person tests more than he can survive.

The Ant with his 10 legs represents the tree of Life, tree of Sephirah with its 10 Spheres, through which the essence of God explains. The Tree of Sephirah compared with channels connecting our world with God.