Legend: The King of Spears, Pellinore


Like the Queen of Spears, Pellinore the King has the grey hair of maturity. He wears a short dignified beard and looks towards the sky, ready to release his falcon. Pellinore wears a royal robe of gold, but with a dynamic coloured edging, conveying energy along with authority. Under his robe his clothing is quite practical, a shirt of royal purple, and grey servicable looking pants.

King Pellinore is hunting on this estate with a falcon in training, for which he carries a tether line in his right hand. Falcons were expensive birds, costly to train and maintain, and considered a sacred mark of the nobility, as the following reference suggests, used "to keep up their rank":


A Keeper of Words tells us that King Pellinore is a wise and loyal ally of Arthur, who aided him in battle with the rebel kings. A longer and perhaps more revealing story is told in the Seven of Cups, that Pellinore is on a lifelong quest to catch the elusive Questing Beast. This reflects on the meaning of King Pellinore's card, that this is a man who "sets high goals and continuously works to achieve them". As do the other members of Legend's Court of Spears (Wands or Staffs), King Pellinore's countenance conveys creative intensity and courage.


Has anyone noticed that the lesser of the negative qualities of the King Spears are very much like the King Swords and the Emperor (when they are feeling a bit intolerant and unsympathetic)?...sort of.

I was thinking that lack of empathy, has more of the remoteness of Air of Swords. But I think Kings are the Air of the four Elements, while Queens are Water, so I guess that it would make sense that each king is a reflection of each of the elements that create the Emperor. (Now I am seeing myself trying to jump back and forth between the Emperor while looking at Kings, finding similarities and differences)

The Air of Fire...mental examinations, direction and action of the Fire element, the things that drive us, to persue creativity, growth or reproduction. Our actions and motivations, conduct and codes of behavior are ruled by the Kings.

The falcon, as a messenger of Enlightenment, gives us messages from our Higher selves, brings the element of Air to this card. Pelinore holds the falcon by it's jesses, acknowleging the receipt and consideration of it's message it has brought to him, thoughtful consideration before sending messages of his own or taking action on it, once he releases it.

He has learned to control his passions and desires with logic and reason, come by experience and the real world of day to day life. He is practical, no nonsense, has high aspirations and isn't into pretention at all. Yet he isn't afraid to follow his dreams, no matter how elusive they may be, or how much effort it will take to make them become reality. He dares to dream, and to put the Fire in his nature into spreading his message of "You can do, what you set your mind to."

The gray hair, a man in his prime...I knew there was a reason I was attracted to this man! It was one of those things I had on my "Please God, send me this man" wish list. It was no guarantee of maturity or character, but atleast would narrow the field down to my peers. ;D


Hi WalesWoman

Like me, perhaps you are struggling with Anna-Marie's imaging of Swords in Fire, Spears in Air. Of course one can certainly assert one's own preference in the ascribing the elements to the suits when reading with or considering the cards, but the images themselves were created within Anna-Marie's system. For example, the King and Knight of Swords have explicit Fire images in them.

The falcon does indeed bring Air to this card, but for Anna-Marie it is as the element of the suit. I also have the impression that the trees are blowing in the wind, with the wind coming from the right as we look at the card, but that could be my imagination.

I am trying to determine whether her Kings are in Air or Fire, which of course parallels whether she sees her Knights are in Fire or Air. In the introduction to the Suite of Cups, page 185 of A Keeper of Words, Anna-Marie suggests that "Cups... are the feminine to the masculine Spear". Since Cups are in Water and Spears are in Air, this would imply that the counterpart of the Queens - the Kings - would be in Air, as you suggested. Looking at the four Courts I have not yet been able to located a visible elemental distinction between Kings and Knights, but at this point I think the most likely intention is for the King of Spears to embody Air in Air.

I agree that King Pellinore seems to have a lack of human empathy. But his intense, slightly raised eyes suggests to me that he looks to the divine for guidance, that he is somewhat of a mystic. The combination of these traits would indicate a tendency to be mystic without a heart, which unfortunately is not an unusual combination at all. This King does dare to dream: his dreams are of quests and battles, heroic expenditures of masculine energy in service to his spiritual goals; not dreams of human passion or compassion.


lol How have I had this deck for almost a year and NOT figured out that the elements for Spears and Swords are different from other RWS "clones"? In some ways it is similar to Morgan-Greer, especially the Knight of Swords, fire appears in both cards, so I guess I paid it "no never mind" and associated that with the destructive/burning bridges, etc, wildness of that Knight.

I know I read this book cover to cover and as usual for me...paid attention only to what I wanted to pay attention to and just didn't think about it after that...I tend to get stuck in my own way of thinking....just as this King of Spears. Hearing only what he wants to hear in order to preserve his ideal image of what he wants to believe.

Oh boy, now I really have to look at this again. Who says an old dog can't learn new tricks? Wait, I'm not THAT old or a dog, but I sure need to learn a few things, like not thinking I know everything there is to know after I've read things a few times...especially if I'm in speed read mode, looking for things that jump out at me. I miss too much that way.


With the falcon being a captive bird, it seems that the King doesn't have as much freedom as he once had, his castle in the background shows his responsibilities to his estate, possibly family and the people that work for/with him.

Falconing being a sport, brings out the competativeness of Pellinore, playing by the rules of the game, the thrill of the hunt, dominion over the wild and the domestic.

The king's eyes are looking at the sky - envisioning his falcon taking flight? or is he rolling his eyes? perhaps he's wishing he could fly so that he could see the Questing Beast from the air and catch it once and for all.


I think he has his sight set on a target, and is communicating it's location to his falcon, and is getting ready to launch the falcon to hunt and stike. He knows what he wants and isn't afraid to do whatever it takes to get it. He takes what he claims as his own, enthusiastically. He doesn't just want to reach his goals, he HAS to. Reminds me of my youngest when he was just little. He didn't tell me that he wanted something... " I NEED this!" Like it was the difference of life or death.