Tarot Cards – The King of Swords

The Prince of the Chariots of the Winds

Numerical Value: 4
Elemental Name: Air of Air

Divinatory Meaning
Upright – This king is certainly a ruler.  This man is a law-maker, someone with a rational, alert and inventive mind.  An advocate of law and order, and modernity to the expense of tradition.  He has a tendency to be somewhat overcautious and leaves on project quickly to star on another.  A man of independent judgment and an achiever in what he does.

Ill Dignified or Reversed – The  probability of great disruption and contempt for the weak.  An abuse of power and authority.  A calculating, obstinate man, capable of utmost evil to achieve his aims and desires.

Further Interpretation

The best judge of them all is the King of Swords, because he can take any situation, look at it with total impartiality, and then render a decision that is both fair and insightful. He has powerful emotions, much more so than the other Swords court cards, but he keeps them under control and uses them for the best possible purposes. The King of Swords is the figurehead of government, law, administration and all the duties associated with his suit. In the majority of cases he appears in your life as another person, though sometimes he is a part of yourself that must be brought to the surface.

A King of Swords is a man of the highest ethical standards. He is totally incorruptible, a pillar of strength who gives sound advice to everyone, no matter who they are. Though not the same as the King of Wands, the King of Swords is a leader in his own way. His command style is more like a general than a governor. He does not inspire people, he commands them, and they obey him because they trust him. His decisions are almost always the right ones, because he sees the big picture and never lets his heart sway his judgement. Though they might not benefit the King directly, his decisions are always in everyone’s best interests.

But the King of Swords is not a passive leader who sits back and gives orders while never doing anything himself. All generals were soldiers once, and the King is no exception. He is very active, and when he thinks it is necessary his will be the blade that draws first blood. This is especially true when someone commits an act that goes against the King of Swords’ ethics. He is totally intolerant of those who break the law (or rather, those who break his law) and his retribution is swift and severe. He has no real empathy for others, and he does not care for their well-being. He leads them not because he wants to, but simply because he can.

When this part of you starts to manifest you’ll know it right away. The King of Swords’ arrival in your life is an event that almost never goes unnoticed simply because he commands attention from everyone around him. He does not linger waiting for something to do; he appears only when he is needed to drive raging emotions from you, or when his impartiality and cold judgement will help you solve a problem. For a moment, your head is clear and you can see things in a different light. Problems which refused to be solved before may simply solve themselves rather than stand before the King of Swords. Judge fairly, speak truth, and never waver from your standards.

James Rioux (The Black Shadow), bshadow@nbnet.nb.ca.
Copyright 2000 James Rioux.