King of Swords Tarot Card Meaning Explained

King of Swords ThothKeywords

  • Masculine Authority
  • Clear Judgement
  • Mental Clarity
  • Harsh / Rigid
  • Strict Boundaries
  • Detached / Cold Male


Meaning of the King of Swords in a Reading

The Kings in the Tarot Cards are often masculine energies in our lives. They are men who we may be in a love relationship with; men in our family such as a father or brother.  They could even be the men in our workplace, like a boss or CEO. When we get many Kings in a tarot reading, such as the Celtic Cross Spread, then we may be literally surrounded by men at the moment.

Because the Suit of Swords correlates with the element of air, it is all about the mind and the intellect. Hence is indicative of the air signs in astrology – Gemini, Aquarius, and Libra. These men will be one of these signs or embody similar qualities such as cleverness, deftness of mind, detachment and coolness.

The Kings in tarot are older than the Knights, usually over the age of 30. Hence, the King of Swords is a mature male type; wise and with balanced judgment. Although he can also be harsh, cold and overly authoritative.

We may be carrying or embodying this energy ourselves, and “being” the King of Swords.

king of swordsSymbolism of the King of Swords

This King faces forward in the Rider-Waite Suit and holds the sword of truth and judgment. The Suit of Swords is all about the mind and intellect, so this King is sharp and perhaps even cutting at times, embodying the nature of Swords.

His clothing is blue, again emphasizing the element of air, and his throne is bare stone, showing the potential hardness of this King. His expression is very detached, even slightly harsh as he delivers his judgment. The butterflies are all about transformation, showing the mind’s capacity for change.

King of Swords in the Past

The King of Swords in the past position of a 3 card spread indicates that we have recently dealt with a clever, clear and truthful male. Perhaps they were our boss or partner, and have offered us guidance, authority or wisdom. However, they may have also been somewhat harsh in this. This card could also have been an energy we ourselves embodied.

King of Swords in the Present

The King of Swords in the Present position of a tarot reading tells us that an air sign man, perhaps an Aquarius, Gemini or Libra, is very influential in our lives at the moment. For better or for worse. He can lack empathy but is clear, non-judgemental and authoritative. We may be in this masculine, rational space at the moment.

King of Swords in the Future

Soon, we will encounter an air sign man; someone whom we could get into a relationship with, or work in business with. This man will be very authoritative and wise, clear, rational and powerful. We ourselves may embody this energy soon and come across as mature, strong and in control of our minds.

king of swords reversedReversed King of Swords

The King of Swords reversed can be a man in our lives who is overly harsh, cold, authoritative and judging. He may lack empathy entirely. This man has a lot of power in our lives. He might be the boss in our career area, a partner, or a family member who causes us hurt with their words and rigidity.

We ourselves may be embodying this energy and need to practice a touch more softness towards those around us.

King of Swords Tarot One Card Meaning

When we get the King of Swords in a One Card Tarot Reading, then there is a Libran, Aquarian or Gemini Male figure in your life that is harsh, unrelenting and coldly logical. Yet he carries deep wisdom to offer once you get past his rigidity. This could also symbolize an energy that you carry within yourself or may need to carry, and logic might be more important than emotion now.

King of Swords Yes/No Meaning

The Yes/ No Tarot Reading is helpful when making big decisions in life.  When we get this card face up, our answer is “yes”. You are charging in with passion, enthusiasm, and a strong opinion, but just be sure not to trample over anyone else in your pursuit of knowledge and desire to be heard. You may encounter opposing ideas and arguments could pose a problem when it comes to this situation that you are facing right now.

If this card faces down, your answer is “no”. The man that you have in mind may oppose this decision. There could be a sense that he is not giving the right judgment here; there is a marked lack of logic present. This man could be you, so it may be best to hold back on any decision requiring intense mental energy.

Summary of the King of Swords

The King of Swords is going to be someone who is one of the air signs in astrology – Gemini, Libra or Aquarius. He will be someone who is very wise, detached, has strong, clear judgment and possesses great power. This person may be somewhat detached or even cold.

We may also be embodying this energy at the moment and be more in a masculine, rational and logical mental space. We may need to be mindful of too-rigid boundaries or being overly harsh.

Affirmations for the King of Swords

“I am in my power”

“I practice clear judgment”

“I’m strong in my boundaries”

“I’m rational, with empathy”

“I trust in my own authority”

keen psychics - King of SwordsMore about the King of Swords

Find out who the King of Swords could be by chatting to one of our Psychic Advisors at Keen or Bitwine! Whether it’s love advice you need or career direction, someone is available to help you 24/7!

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Article Info

Date: Apr 18, 2019
Amelie Rose Estrela is an experienced psychic and recently published, esteemed lead author for the Psychic Guild since 2003. She has written hundreds of articles for the website on a range of topics covered within the psychic niche, including Psychics & Mediums, Tarot & Angel Cards, Astrology & Horoscopes (the topic of her newly-released e-book), Love & Relationships, and Spells & Magic. You can find out more about Amelie on
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