Hanson Roberts - Knight of Rods


I looked in the HR study group and didn't find a thread on this particular card. Since I drew it today, how about some insight?

Images: A blond hair, blue eyed knight in golden armor. His helmet is golden with a golden dragon atop it. He is facing to the left of the card, towards the back of it. Moving towards the purple mountains in the background.

Ideas on symbols:

Gold symbolises the sun, material gain.

The dragon I'm a bit stuck on...its a firey creature of myth, a big lizard with wings that can breathe fire (or if you're into Dungeons and Dragons, depending on the color of the dragon would show its alignment, this one is Lawful Good I believe, if I remember correctly, and the color would also determine what it would breathe, whether its ice, fire, etc etc).

The knight is definitely moving, so there is movement there but he's moving towards the mountains in the distance.

Mountains...a higher calling? Perhaps ideals, perhaps he's trying to accomplish his dreams?

Ideas, input?


Hi PlatinumDove

The Hanson-Roberts Knight of Rods is one of those cards that really makes you think isn't it? It looks simple at first... but. My deck came with The Hanson-Roberts Tarot Companion by Susan Hansson. Noting that the knight is riding away into the distance, Susan suggests
His gold helmet is adorned with a dragon, symbol of aggression and fiery battles. Perched out of his view, the dragon also suggests there is a distinct aspect of his personality visible to everyone but himself.
I wouldn't have thought of that, although he certainly would know what was on his helmet when he put it on. His high energy and impulsiveness give him a dynamic personality, but don't make him particularly self-aware. He would tend to forget this elaborate ornanament, just as his impulsive behaviour might at times make him look rather incongruous and silly.

The Knight of Rods cuts a shining and charismatic figure in his golden armour and helmet, but his attentions are transient. As Susan say diplomatically, he "Rides easily in and out of love relationships". He finds it hard to focus his creative energy in a committed way, and is here today, riding off into the orange sunset tomorrow. The purple mountains do suggest a high calling to nobility, it is just that he may decide to pursue something else before he ever reaches them.

Although the gold could symbolize material wealth, I do not normally associate this Knight with material gain - that is usually the domain of Pentacles. I see the gold as a symbol of the sun evoking a touch of the Sun Major Arcanum in this knight. Gold in this case is a symbol of his dazzling flashiness, together with his masculine purity and passion. The red cape reinforces this fiery attitude. But as yet his heart is inconstant and untempered, his enthusiastic flames not having completed their transformative work.

Namaste - David


(Please refer to attached image) The Knight is the only among the Rod courts who has an orange sky, a yellow sky is seen in the other court cards sometimes light touches of orange, does it reinforce the idea of how strong and “fiery” is him? I see the dragon in his helmet as a way to produce fear in his enemies and respect among people, I can imagine the peasants looking at him with amazement and their children craving to hear the adventures of the “Knight with the dragon helmet”

I don’t the see the things on the background as mountains, to me they seem more like dunes, anyway mountains/dunes they don’t look as tall as those found in the Queen and King, but if we keep the original metaphor expressed by PlatinumDove about ideals then he might not be in the quest for a high ideal but he does it with all his enthusiasm anyway. I see him also as someone with a lot of self confidence he rides with a gentle and sometimes cocky smile.


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Hi Flavio

Yes, that's an interesting comparision with the rest of the court of Rods. Together with the orange sky, the possibility of a fire breathing dragon seems to fit with the idea of the Knight of Rods as the Fire of Fire. This refers to the system of assigning dual elemental energies for each court rank - one possible implementation would be as follows:

Page of Rods = Earth of Fire
Knight of Rods = Fire of Fire
Queen of Rods = Water of Fire
King of Rods = Air of Fire

It is unclear to me from this court whether Mary Hanson-Roberts used this symbolism, although perhaps the King does have the brightest and most arial sky.

I agree too, the Knight's mountains or dunes don't seem nearly as imposing as the King's granite heights, or the Queen's snowy (i.e. watery?) peaks. But his destination does look more mystical and challenging than the Page's.

Cheers - David


Sophie-David said:
This refers to the system of assigning dual elemental energies for each court rank - one possible implementation would be as follows:

Page of Rods = Earth of Fire
Knight of Rods = Fire of Fire
Queen of Rods = Water of Fire
King of Rods = Air of Fire
I just took a quick look at all the court cards in the Hanson Roberts looking for clues if the sky show clue of this system, here are the results:

SWORDS: All court cards have cluded grey sky, knight's is darker.
CUPS: The sky is a mix of yellow, bright clouds and blue, Page's sky is completly yellow.
PENTALCES: The sky has carnation flower tones (soft pinks and reds) in Knight's card the sky includes yellow-orange tones.

It seems to me that the intention to show the more contrasting sky was in the Knight of Rods, interesting isn't it?


Thanks for checking that out Flavio - I don't have the deck on hand at the moment, but I was curious about that too. Perhaps Mary Hanson-Roberts was really led by artistic and intuitive decisions in the selecting the sky colour, rather than following a symbolic system. Nonetheless, it would seem that three out of four of the knights have somewhat different skies, probably from an artistic concern to make them look more dynamic.


Very interesting points, I can see how the dragon would be an aggressive, warlike creature, though, older in age, I would see it getting rather lazy, and wanting to hoard things that came to him instead of actively going out and getting what he wants.