King of Swords

Alt names: Knight of Swords, Father of Arrows
Keywords: Genius, expertise, decision, verdict
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Range of meanings

Personality: The King of Swords can represent anyone who tends to control or seek to control (King) intellectual and verbal responses (Swords). The King may also represent the tendency to be more blunt than diplomatic, or the need to bring something to a conclusion once and for all.

Light: Expressing yourself with firmness and authority. Rendering a final decision. Consulting an expert. Calling in advisors and consultants. Coming to a final conclusion. Reaching a beneficial agreement based on sound information.

Shadow: Insisting on having the last word. Flaunting your intellectual capability. Talking “over the heads” of others. Waffling on an important decision. Constantly changing your mind. Refusing to make choices that are in your own best interest. Wishing in vain you could take back what’s been said.

Questions to ask

  1. How might airy qualities of logic and communication be deployed to improve your situation?
  2. How comfortable are you with the fact that not everyone may support or applaud your decisions? How willing are you to make decisions that alienate some people?
  3. What would your decision be if you had to render a binding verdict right now?
  4. How comfortable are you saying exactly what you mean? How often do you temper what you have to say for fear of offending others?
  5. If you were to ask others, “What’s my area of expertise?” what would they say?


Personal Growth: Strive to be consistent. Let your word be your bond. One measure of maturity is the ratio of words spoken vs. words listened to. Grow (and gain respect) by learning to hear what others are saying. Reserve judgment until after all the evidence has been heard.

Work: Don’t waffle. Make commitments and stick to them. If you say you’ll meet a deadline, do so. If called on to evaluate the work of others, don’t sugar-coat the results; render a fair verdict. Strive to be known for your honesty; avoid brown-nosing and voicing empty praise.

Relationships: Say what you mean, and mean what you say. Your friends and partners need straightforward feedback; give it to them. Avoid trying to control what someone says or how he or she says it. When an argument’s over, let it be over. Do what you said you would do.

Spirituality: Listen for the still, small voice, and, when you’ve heard it, act on its advice with total confidence. Don’t hesitate to confirm your verdict with a wise counselor whose opinions you respect. Be sure to let your spirituality temper your conversation, and match your words with deeds.

Fortune-Telling: This card represents an older man with an insightful, deliberate spirit, likely born between May 11th and June 10th, who is known for his integrity and sharp decision-making ability.


Element: Fire

Fool's Journey: The main character must choose a side and stick with that choice, regardless of the consequences.

King: A King card in your reading makes things limited and certain but also delivers results that are more concrete, more absolute and of a longer lasting impact.

Swords: One of the four suits of the tarot. Also sometimes called blades, knives or athames. Represents logic, objectivity, intellect, and choice. Along with the responsibility such talents bring. Swords suggest logic, clarity, and decision-making. Remember the story of wise King Solomon, who once offered to slice a baby in half in order to resolve a dispute over motherhood? Swords cut through confusion, revealing our agendas in the process.

Solomon Enthroned: The gravity and wisdom of this King are unmistakable—he is an incarnation of Solomon, who ruthlessly applied logic in order to render wise decisions.

Content generously licensed from Mark McElroy via