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King of Swords - Tarot Card Meanings

Key Symbolism


the intellect, fairness, head over heart, mental clarity, to apply reason and logic, to keep a cool head, evaluating the facts, being strong, being disciplined, communicating needs, objectivity, considering consequences, moral

King of Swords

Description and Symbolism

The King of Swords sits upon a throne made of stone that is placed on the top of a mountain. The throne is decorated with carvings of butterflies which symbolize transformation and the restlessness of the mind. The King of Swords holds a double-edged sword in his right hand and has a stern look on his face. The trees in the background are erect and sturdy which indicates that the weather is calm unlike the stormy weather depicted in the Knight of Swords card for example. It is a sign that the King of Swords is surrounded by a calm energy compared to the Knight and even the Queen of this Suit. His thoughts are controlled and organized. The blue color of his robe symbolizes the intellect, and the red color symbolizes his power and passion.

General Meaning

The King of Swords represents intellectual power more than any other card, since the Suit of the Swords and the Kings in general symbolize the intellect, experience and maturity. When this card appears in a reading, it can advise you to act rationally instead of letting your emotions control you, to think thoroughly and to weigh all sides before making a decision. He symbolizes controlled action and asks you to act responsibly.

As a Person


Most probably a man or a woman with masculine traits, in their late thirties or mature, experienced, wise, very intelligent, intellectual, cool, organized, just, controlled, well-educated, logician, strong will, authoritarian, distant, reserved, decides with head, problem-solver, honest, truthful, articulate, self-disciplined, strong, powerful, experiened, mature, in a more negative sense - cold, manipulative, insensitive, judgemental, cruel

Love Meaning


In a love reading King of Swords can indicate a relationship that is founded more on intellectual understanding than on physical passion. It does not mean that there is no passion, but just that you understand each other, enjoy to exchange ideas and share the same kind of humour for example. For singles this card can indicate that you will meet a person with the character traits of the King of Swords. They might seem cold and too critical at times but a good side is that they are inclined to act reasonably and are willing to solve any issues in the relationship, if they are sure that the relationship is worth it. 

As Feelings

If you ask how someone feels for you the King of Swords can indicate that the person in question most probably does not have feelings for you. But if they have feelings, they most probably don't want to let you see how they feel right now. The person you ask about probably thinks of you in a rather analytical way. 

If you want to know more about the meaning of the Pages, Knights, Queens and Kings of the Tarot have a look at the Court Cards.

© Illustrations from the Radiant Rider-Waite 2015 reproduced by permission of U.S. Games Systems Inc., Stanford, CT 06902. c. 2015 by U.S. Games Systems Inc. All rights reserved.

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