King of Swords Tarot Card

The Tarot Suit of Swords

The Tarot Suit of Swords is associated with the suit of Spades in standard playing cards - both have sharp edges. Although many tarot decks use the term swords to refer to this suit, it also has other names (that is, for the equivalent suit in other decks), which include daggers, blades or knives.

There are meanings associated with each of the suits in a tarot deck, as well as the more specific interpretations associated with each individual card - and yet more precise meanings pertaining to particular cards in particular locations within spreads.

The suit of swords is associated with the element of air. It is also associated with the season of spring and the direction East. The suit of swords concerns academic or philosophical thought, intellectual pursuits, truth, and clarity.

The 'Kings' in the Tarot Deck are also known by other names according to the deck used.
For example, the The World Spirit Tarot includes 'Sages' and the Shapeshifter's Tarot includes 'Gods' in place of the 'Kings' in the Rider-Waite and Robin Wood decks.

All court cards (i.e. Kings, Queens, Knights and Pages) may be interpreted as referring to a person with the card providing information to identify the individual. Alternatively they may be interpreted symbolically, in which case Kings represent the motivation at the beginning or start of something.

The Kings are reflections or aspects of the Emperor.

The element of the Kings is 'Fire'.

In general, when Kings appear in a spread they indicate the presence, or need for, planners, motivators, commanders, creators. That is, Kings suggest the people capable of making things happen.

The King of Swords expresses the theme of intellectual leadership. This character may, however, be domineering and inflexible due to having developed leadership through a series of challenges and some difficult lessons.

When the King of Swords appears in a spread to identify a person the characteristics it conveys include:

  • a mature man
  • dark brown hair
  • dark eyes
  • person whose astrological sign is Aquarius

Note that this is not always the purpose of the appearance of a court card in a spread and that not all of the above characteristics need apply. The readers intuition will guide him or her to mention only any that are relevant.


Keywords for the possible meanings of the King of Swords Tarot Card include:

  • Intelligent an
  • Perceptive man
  • Rational View that might overpower emotional aspects
  • Strong-willed male
  • Overwhelming force

Robin Wood Tarot Deck Celtic Tarot - Tarot Cards and Book Radiant Rider-Waite Tarot Deck The Gilded Tarot (Book and Tarot Deck Set) Angel Tarot Cards

What about the King of Swords Reversed ?

Some interpretations of the meaning of the King of Swords reversed include:

  • Abuse of authority or intellectual ability
  • A cold-hearted man who may be aggressive and even violent
  • Injustice which might be (though isn't necessarily) of a legal nature, e.g. being the victim of an unjust verdict

Tarot Articles:

Tarot Card Games - for, against and examples

Learning to Read Tarot Cards

20 Steps to reading Tarot Cards

Why use Free Printable Tarot Cards?

List of Tarot Card Meanings

Origins of the Tarot Nouveau - or 'French Tarot'

Learning Tarot

Uses of Tarot Cards

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