What Does the King of Swords Mean?

The intellectual in the room, the King of Swords is the man with all the answers & a man of great conversation. In your life, it signifies a time to make balanced judgements. This decision is especially important & needs all of your mental faculties to make it.

Lo Scarabeo Tarot

Tarot Card Meanings for the King of Swords

King of Swords General Keywords & Reversed Meanings

Just and fair; intellectual but enigmatic; a great thinker or philosopher; authoritative; commanding; logical; moral and ethical; trustworthy and reliable.
Dictatorial; domineering; suspicious; untrustworthy; a liar; spineless; cowardly; cynical; arrogant; intimidating; uncouth; impatient.

King of Swords as People

Senior judge; barrister; senior civil servant; surgeon, doctor; intelligence/police; scientist; professor; military officer.
As People:
A decision-maker, a judge or mediator; has a sharp mind and high intellect; found in many of the professional careers; lives by clear logic and fact; diplomatic and a great communicator; an orator, writer and critical thinker; feels deeply but shows little emotion; ambitious but flexible in his approach; lives by justice and fairness; in modern society he lives by the pen instead of the sword.

King of Swords as Events & Inner Processes

As Events
Making plans and organising events; dealing with the authorities; facing big decisions; setting boundaries and rules; taking control and man-managing a situation; meeting with a legal expert or facing a legal case; completing university studies; success and/or completion of a literary project; signing of contracts; acting as a mediator; acting swiftly and decisively.
As Inner Processes
Putting aside your emotions to make an informed decision; learning to see all sides of a dispute; thinking for yourself; applying mind over matter; expanding on inner wisdom; filtering thoughts and imagination into cohesive ideas and projects; goal-setting and having commitment to those goals.

Kings, Knights & Fathers

The King is but one way to represent the mature men that grace each suit. The main three decks follow this way but some decks break with this tradition. The Quest Tarot is one such deck where the court family is replaced with an actual family: father, mother, son & daughter. Changing the title of the card does shift the meaning a little and humanises the court card in a more familiar way, as I explore in How to Finally Conquer the Court Cards. For a little more information about this group in general, see my post Kings, Knights and Fathers.

King of Swords Correspondences

Elemental Fire of Air. Kings are fire, the suit is air
Timing May 11 – June 10
20° Taurus – 20° Gemini
Rules 7 of Pentacles; 8 of Swords; 9 of Swords
Qabalah Chokmah in Tiphareth
Numerical Values 4 – card counting value / letters of the Tetragrammaton
2 – Tree of Life sephira – Chokmah
14 – sequential, following the Queen of Swords
Yes or No Maybe


King of Swords as a Daily Tarot Oracle Card

Oracle Message: Think things through, from every perspective.


The King of Swords, thinking man of the tarot. Never in a rush, never in any doubt, always great in a crisis…. Does that mean you’ll be having one? Maybe. But it’s more likely that whatever you’re faced with today, you will be able to handle things efficiently, calmly and decisively. And if you find yourself over-reacting and in a blind panic?

This is a great card if you’re facing some tough decisions, it shows you will make the right one – not necessarily for everyone else so don’t expect a round of applause across the board. The King of Swords wouldn’t be concerned with upsetting the few in making the right decision, he’d leave that to the King of Cups instead.

Legal dealings or documents, business meetings, work related issues that involve the HR department, anything of an official capacity will be the tone of the day. That may or may not be good for you, it depends on your position.

If you find yourself having to make a big decision today, take a leaf out of the King of Swords’ book and think it through first, from every perspective, being fair and just in the process.

Shadowscapes Tarot by Stephanie Pui-Mun Law


The intellectual in the room, the King of Swords is the man with all the answers & a man of great conversation. In your life, it signifies a time to make balanced judgements. This decision is especially important & needs all… Click To Tweet

Tarot Card Meanings Supporting Posts

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