The King of Swords rushes down from on high riding on Pegasus, sword drawn and ready to strike. He unites the fiery and airy elements with wind and storm, and applies courageous action and focused word to his spirited thoughts. Lacking Water and Earth however, he can be quite unreflective in his keen observations, and when being honesty – he can be brutal.
When you draw the King of Swords, it speaks to authority and truth as principal meanings. This is a personality with a great tenacity for quickly striking whatever occupies their mind, spiritually focused, enlightened with logic. They bear no scales such as with the card Balance, but they do attempt to serve justice by fairly observing all sides of the equation.
The King of Swords is all about intellect, mental power, courage, authority and truth. This card calls for the seeking of truth through intellect and rational thinking, and also denotes a quick mental action or logical approach to any given scenario. It is a time to push emotions to the side so you can see as clearly and objectively as possible. It calls you to be “on your game” mentally, so that you can take action effectively and decisively at any moment.
The figure this card represents is someone with the energy like that of a lawyer, commander or some sort of judge; known for their stern ability to seek out the facts and make logical decisions as such. They are not preoccupied with the waters of emotion or even the tangibility of the earth, but rather the swift mental pathways that the swords cut through.
This card may suggest it’s time to take on a more stern role in your life to properly complete your objective. Have you been allowing people to walk over you? Do you feel like you’ve lost your voice or aren’t fully being heard? The swift energy of the King of Swords reminds you to step into your power. It’s a time to use logic rather than feeling, and while both are important, rationale is what is needed at the moment.
If you are in need of some advice, this card is a perfect indication that you should seek it out. It’s important to ask for help sometimes, and this card stresses the importance of receiving some solid logical support from someone who is more experienced. This can look like anything from legal advice, to the analytical support of a friend, but generally speaks towards receiving more logical and rational support, rather than emotional support.
The King of Swords is just in his ways; or at least he believes himself to be. He operates by following the rules and his logical moral compass, and expects others to operate by the same set of orders and structures. If he is proven to be wrong, then he easily adapts and changes his flow to match the new truth revealed. In this, he can take on the role of a father figure or someone in a position of authority.
Judgement is key with this card, though not the same judgement as Major Arcana card Balance, nor The Aeon, but rather; a logical sense of fairness by observing all sides of an equation. In this The King of Swords reminds us of the importance of taking in all of the information possible before casting judgements, but once we’re sure – not to second guess ourselves. This king is fair and responsible, understanding the need to act as a mentor when those around him needs help.
In his reversed state, The King of Swords embodies the energy of believing he has all of the information, and making rash decisions and in essence – persecuting others, whether it’s fair or not. In this there are so many thoughts running through his mind that they overwhelm him, and with his scattered thoughts, he represents the aspects of us which becomes subject to ambiguity; inexactness, the opposite of what this character is normally all about.
He is then subject to making decisions with apathy or while being uncertain, and this can lead to persecuting communication that is degrading towards others, if not completely hypocritical to boot. At his worst, he can be tremendously cruel, or at the very least cause himself a great deal of confusion by making mental connections that bear no influence on anything which is happening in the present moment.
To turn this reversed card upright, understand that the King of Swords prides himself in communication, but if we don’t have much to say, it would be best to allow these thoughts to circulate in the mind first before we express our thoughts as words. Our words are a sacred gift which can be used for great good, or great evil, and depends entirely on the intention or consciousness of the one wielding them. Therefore, if we are able to allow our minds to comprehend fully what is happening before speaking, and making sure that we fully know what is going on; we can step into a much greater version of ourselves, and a much better leader for those around us.
“Speak only if it improves upon the silence.” ― Mahatma Gandhi
The Book of Thoth
The Golden Dawn
The Tarot Handbook
The King of Wands ⬩ The Queen of Wands ⬩ The Prince of Wands ⬩ The Princess of Wands ⬩ The King of Cups ⬩ The Queen of Cups ⬩ The Prince of Cups ⬩ The Princess of Cups ⬩ The King of Swords ⬩ The Queen of Swords ⬩ The Prince of Swords ⬩ The Princess of Swords ⬩ The King of Disks ⬩ The Queen of Disks ⬩ The Prince of Disks ⬩ The Princess of Disks