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I have received the King of Swords recently in a number of Tarot readings and, while I have never felt that I had a special relationship with this particular card, I have found myself drawn to it as of late.

Although suit of swords is not a cheery suit many decks, I appreciate the energy of this suit. This is mostly because of the traditional association with swords and the element of air. Air relates to intellect and cognition and I like this association. What intrigues me the most however is the relationship between air and spirit.

In Hebrew the word for wind is ruach and while much can be said on this topic, I will only note here that Ruach Ha-Kodesh (רוח הקודש), the holy spirit is considered, in Judaism, one of the divine names of God, and wind has held this association for me on an intuitive level since childhood.

This is why the suit of Swords, and most recently its King, is of great personal importance to me. I did not, however, associate this particular King with the angelic realms until that connection was made for me by my friend, and fellow Tarot card reader, Tara Miller.

Reading for me earlier this week, Tara pulled the King of Swords and told me that this card represents the Archangel Michael's presence in my life and it is quite accurate that my relationship with Michael (or as I say, Mikha'el with inclusion of the guttural Hebrew chet), though always strong has grown closer recently. In Hebrew the name Michael means "Who is like God?" In the great Kabbalistic text, the Zohar, Michael accompanies the souls of the departed, helping them to enter the gates of the heavenly Jerusalem.

Michael is one of only two angels mentioned by name in the entire Hebrew bible and in the book of Daniel, it is Michael who comes to the aide of the archangel Gabriel to overcome the angel of Persia. Michael is in many ways a paradox: a being of light and love with a propensity for violence. Perhaps the reason the King of Swords never resonated to me as Michael before is because my own experience of him is as a figure of absolute compassion. And yet the many medieval Christian depictions of Michael doing battle are quite correctly based on scripture.

Is Michael indeed a warrior?

It is my opinion that Michael is correctly associated with medieval knights because, in their highest form, these warriors acted with chivalry and loyalty - often subjugating their true nature for honor (which is not unrelated to love). I believe that we can consider Michael's role as a warrior in this context. He is first and foremost a being of love, and this is what defines his role as guardian and protector.

It my belief that we can all have a relationship with this courageous and beautiful angel if we choose to do so. If you are unable to sense him, try again! It is my experience that Michael's primary intention is to freely share divine light. He is, in my understanding, a guardian to all those who would protect others and all those in need of protection themselves.

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