The Meaning Of The King of Swords Tarot Card

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King of Swords Tarot Card

New to Tarot? Just pulled the King of Swords? Then, it might be time for you to step into your power!

The King of Swords doesn’t suffer fools or waste his time. He has sharp decision-making skills and is holding up a sword to show you he doesn’t mess around! When he authoritatively steps into the picture, the whole room quiets down.

While he’s definitely intimidating, he’s not here to intimidate you! He wants you to follow in his fatherly footsteps and go into the family business of thinking outside the box and doing the hard work no one else can.

He can be intense with that sword, but his other hand is pointed up to the sky, indicating that he’s got a moral code, with his eyes on heaven. He likes to be knowledgeable before making a decision and makes tough calls for himself, too.

Excited to learn what else the King has in store for you? Keep reading to find out!

Key Facts

UprightAn astute man, authority, a leader, logical, fatherly
ReversedIrrational, abuse of power, lack of morals, absent father
Yes or NoYes
Numerology1 or 4
Astrological SignLibra and Scorpio (cusp)
Key Facts: The King of Swords Tarot Card

Upright Meaning of The King of Swords

When the King of Swords is sitting upright on his throne and right side up in your reading, he’s letting you know it’s time to use your mind. A mind is a terrible thing to waste, and he’s telling you that once you get your head in the game, you’ll be up there with the best of them.

He values a sharp wit, a switched-on mind, and the decision-making skills that can cut like a knife (or a sword!), and he’s not afraid to let you know! That being said, the King of Swords can move in silence if he wants to ensure that no one gets in his way. 

Above all, he champions fairness and doing the right thing, even when it’s hard. He’s not trying to get you to do anything underhanded to get ahead; in this way, he doesn’t let his mind get in the way of his heart. Seeking the truth can be challenging, even painful sometimes, but it’s worth it. 

He’s a logical leader, taking you to victory as long as the wheels turn in your mind. Think it through with the King of Swords!

Upright Love
Upright Career MeaningUpright Health Meaning
Honesty and rationality in relationships; communicate openly and directlyLeadership and clear decision-making in your career; stay focused on your goalsPay attention to mental health; practice mindfulness and seek mental clarity

Love and Relationships – Upright, The King of Swords

In love, the King of Swords is not mincing words. He says what’s on his heart and is a clear communicator. There’s no mistaking what he’s trying to say because there’s no way he’s mumbling, sugarcoating, or using a bunch of words to ultimately say nothing. 

Honesty also goes a long way with him, and this doesn’t change when it comes to relationships. While this doesn’t mean that you should randomly tell your partner that you don’t like their hair or roommate, it indicates that something important is going unsaid.

Be honest because at least the other person will know where you’re coming from, and be objective, not emotional. He may even tell you that your emotions are clouding your vision! Find a balance between speaking your truth and being empathetic.

Career and Work – Upright, The King of Swords

Regarding your career, the King of Swords is encouraging you to be a boss. You might not necessarily be THE boss at your job, but you can embody some boss-like energy when the King of Swords appears.

Projecting strength and assertive energy might just help you get where you want to go in the workplace rather than taking a backseat role and speaking up when you can. The more you engage authoritatively and clearly, the better!

He’s insisting that you step into your power and think critically while you do so. Why stay behind?

Health and Wellness – Upright, The King of Swords

When it comes to health and wellness, the King of Swords’ message is loud and clear. It’s time to cut some things out. There may be unhealthy habitsan unfocused mentality, or a lack of self-respect when it comes to your health. His sword will cut right through those!

It can be hard to make informed decisions and have the self-discipline to put down the things you know are bad for you but feel so good. Sometimes, you have to do the hard thing now to have an easier time later on. 

Eliminating bad habits, eating a healthy diet, exercising, taking medicine at the right time, training your brain with mental exercise, and talking to yourself respectfully and positively all count toward the kind of self-discipline that the King of Swords embodies!

He knows you’ll feel better once you buckle down and do the right thing, whatever that means for your situation!

Spiritual Context – Upright, The King of Swords

The King of Swords has a strong moral code, and he uses his head and heart to make decisions. If you’ve been floating through your spiritual life with more heart than head, he might encourage you to study what you believe.

While everyone has a different spiritual path to walk, we can all stand to learn a little more about what we believe, and it’s a good practice to do devotionals and keep a diary of our spiritual progress, something that the King of Swords would applaud us for. (If he was easier to please!)

He might even encourage you to find a teacher who can help you communicate more about what you believe and support you to round out your knowledge of your soul. He also encourages more spiritual discipline if you’ve been lacking in that department.

He’s holding his hand up to the heavens for a reason; he knows that the mind is nothing without the guidance of the spirit. They have to walk hand in hand to do good! Find clarity through discipline, and you’ll be on the right track.

The King of Swords champions honesty, clarity, wisdom, assertiveness, and self-discipline!

Reversed Meaning of The King of Swords

The King of Swords may be upside down, but his frown is not. He can warn you of being too bossy, logical, or stubborn when he’s reversed. The more closed off you and your mind are, the more you run this risk!

This card in the reversed position can alert you to others acting in ways that abuse their power in relationships with you or indicate that you are abusing your power, which is not cool! It’s good to be strong, but there needs to be room for kindness.

You may not think of yourself as being stubborn or bossy but try to remember that neither do a lot of people who are actually very stubborn and bossy. It can take a lot of guts to do the self-reflection that the reversed King of Swords is asking for, but it’s worth it. 

He can also indicate that you’ve been a little too quiet and might need to communicate your feelings about a situation you’ve been mum about. Otherwise, conflicts can arise from miscommunication and confusion.

Use your mind, and be kind!

Reversed Love
Reversed Career MeaningReversed Health Meaning
Being too harsh or distant in relationships; find emotional balanceAuthoritarian behavior or conflicts in the workplace; strive for cooperationWatch for mental strain or burnout; take time for self-care and relaxation

Love and Relationships – Reversed, The King of Swords

When it comes to love, the King of Swords is very honest, but sometimes, that honesty gets a little too spicy and hurts people’s feelings. Protecting yourself and saying what’s on your mind is one thing, but going on the offense any time you feel slighted is wrong.

The King of Swords appearing reversed in a love reading can also indicate that you’re being too distant, cold, or competitive in a relationship. Remember, this person should be in a partnership with you, not your employee or opponent!

If King of Swords reversed represents the person you’re in a relationship with, unfortunately, it may be time to talk seriously about how they’re treating you and the relationship, or it might be time to move on. 

Kindness, compassion, and open communication go a long way. Use them!

Career and Work – Reversed, The King of Swords

In your career, the King of Swords reversed can tell a story of power struggles and dominating attitudes. Whether this represents you, a coworker, or a supervisor, it indicates that a challenge is on the horizon or is already here.

It’s not easy trying to work with someone who’s embodying the reversed King of Swords, and this is because they have a bossy tone, a holier-than-thou attitude, or simply refuse to communicate. It doesn’t really bode well for teamwork, shockingly! (Not shockingly.)

If it’s you, you probably need to loosen up a bit, be a little more understanding of your coworker’s problems, and open up your mind to the possibilities. As smart as you are, you’re not all-knowing! 

If it’s not you, then good luck! The best thing to do is to make it known that you’re doing your best, and your best should be good enough for them.

Health and Wellness – Reversed, The King of Swords

The King of Swords reversed in a health reading can indicate that some changes are in order. While you may be disciplined, is your discipline taking you to a good or bad place?

You might be on a routine that’s not right for you, one that hurts, so you think it’s working, but in reality, it’s just hurting and maybe even making things worse. Working out past your limits or beating yourself up mentally when you don’t do things right the first time are both possibilities.

You could have the opposite problem: you’re so unfocused and undisciplined that you have the same negative effect as too much discipline in the wrong direction. You may even want to seek out a health professional who can guide you in the right direction.

Once you figure out what needs fixing, you’ll have an easier time fixing it.

Spiritual Context – Reversed, The King of Swords

Regarding your spiritual life, the King of Swords reversed tells a tale of too little clarity, too much logic, and a heaping helping of stubbornness. This can be challenging to overcome, especially since this battle lies within.

If you’re using this energy, you might engage with spirituality with your head and not your heart. This can lead you to be dogmatic and cruel to yourself and others, which is a hurtful path. Being bossy with other people’s spiritual life is a big no-no.

It indicates that you need to tap into the more intuitive side of your spirit and talk with yourself about what you’re feeling, not what you’re thinking. Tapping into your emotions like this can help break down some of the walls around your heart, keeping you closed off.

Suppose this represents a spiritual guru or pastor in your life. In that case, this may indicate that this person is bullying you spiritually and likely hurting your spiritual health more than they are helping it. Move on and find a new mentor who uses their heart, too.

The King of Swords Reversed means tyranny, stubbornness, coldness, silence, and a lack of kindness.

The King of Swords: Yes or No

The King of Swords is tough but fair, and like a strict parent, sometimes you know what they’re going to say before you even ask. He’s more of a neutral answer, or maybe when it comes to yes or no questions, but depending on what you’re asking, he likely leans one way or the other. 

If you’re asking if you should stay out all night and party right before your job the next day, it’s probably a no. If you’re asking if you should study a little more for that test, it’s probably a yes. You can ask yourself, what employs more discipline? That’ll pretty often be your answer. 

The King of Swords is a maybe and encourages you to be smart either way!

The King of Swords and Astrology

The King of Swords might have reminded you of Saturn, our favorite disciplinarian planet, and this is for a good reason! The King of Swords is associated with Aquarius, an air sign naturally ruled by Saturn and co-ruled by Uranus, the planet of change.

Like Aquarian people, the King of Swords can come off as cold and aloof to others, but this is usually because he’s deep in thought and analyzing all the facts. He has a sharp intellect and loves problem-solving, just like Aquarians do!

Just because he’s serious and stoic doesn’t mean he’s stuck in the past or unkind, as Uranus brings progressive vibes, and he can help us reach eureka moments and intellectual breakthroughs on his quest for truth. 

The King of Swords is effortlessly blending tradition and innovation with his Aquarius energy, and he can help you learn how to do the same!

The King of Swords works to blend intellect, innovation, and tradition.

The King of Swords Tarot Card and Numerology

The King of Swords is connected with the number 4 in numerology, and this makes a lot of sense when you think about the number 4’s ability to buildstabilize, and rationalize

The number 4 is no joke because it asks us about our dedication to building something we might not even enjoy. 4 asks us to build what’s suitable for the happiness of everyone around us, even future generations. 

4 also aligns with intelligence and logic, helping us to build through our knowledge and understanding. After all, a house is always better when you know the tools you need to build it. Relationships, spiritual lives, and even self-improvement are the same way. 

4 helps to steady the ladder while you work on your goals, and the King of Swords does the same.

The King of Swords is connected to the number 4 in numerology since they are both so stable and masterful.

The King of Swords as a Daily Card

As a daily card, The King of Swords is telling you to think critically, not emotionally, about your interactions and decisions that day. You won’t have the same success as a follower that you will have embracing your leadership qualities.

If you’re feeling emotional or confused, it’s time to ground yourself and cut through the noise. You have a sharp mind and wit; use it! 

When you’re communicating with others, don’t let vague, confusing statements get in your way. Ask for clarity, insist on it even. Hold your head up high, and think clearly.

The King of Swords wants you to use your head today!

The King of Swords in Relation to Other Cards

All tarot cards have other major and minor arcana cards that back them up by complementing their energy or challenging them by contrasting their energy. Are you doubling down or finding a balance? Let’s find out!

  • King of Swords’s decisiveness + Ace of Swords’s victory  = Mental clarity to see through the fog.
  • King of Swords’s stubbornness + Five of Swords’s conflict A disagreement of the minds; deception may be at play.
  • King of Swords’s stoicism + Three of Cups social nature = A more reserved and balanced approach to social interactions
  • King of Swords’s strength + The Devil’s limitations = Buckling down to overcome oppressive situations and challenges
  • King of Swords’s discipline + The World’s completion = Mastering a difficult practice or skill to find success

Complementary Cards

  • The Queen of Swords: The King of Swords is cut from the same cloth as the Queen of Swords. These two decisive brainiacs are a power couple when they’re together. 
  • The Ace of Swords: The King of Swords shares a sharp intellect and a clear view of victory from their path together. 
  • Justice: The King of Swords knows how to make the tough calls, just like Justice, and they share a love of, well, justice!
  • Strength: The King of Swords can go without creature comforts to reach his goals, and Strength can ask the same of us, sacrifice as well as power. 

Contrasting Cards

  • The Seven of Cups: The King of Swords does not need the high-flying ideals and dreams of the Seven of Cups. That’s a bunch of indecisive nonsense to him, but you may want to balance your ideas with your actions.
  • The Fool: The King of Swords sees the Fool as someone who’s not going anywhere, and he isn’t going with him. Time to balance childlike wonder with realism.
  • The Wheel of Fortune: The King of Swords doesn’t like leaving anything up to chance, and that’s the Wheel of Fortune in a nutshell. Balance planning with letting the universe decide.
  • The Ace of Cups: The King of Swords isn’t very emotional or free-flowing; in these ways, he differs from the Ace of Cups. Feel, but don’t let emotions rule you.


This brings you to the end of your journey with the King of Swords, and hopefully, you understand now that there’s a heart of gold underneath his steely exterior

He wants the best for everyone, so unfortunately, he can get a little harsh with the details. He’s so sharp-wittedintelligent, and straight to the point that his compassion sometimes takes a backseat. 

When you’re feeling a little unsteady, he can help bring that stability for you, and he wants to ensure that you’re doing things with wisdom, clarity, and no BS!

Whether he’s representing you, another person, or just some friendly, not-so-friendly advice, you can trust in the King of Swords to tell you the truth and remind you to be strong and wise in your everyday life. 


What does the King of Swords tarot card symbolize?

The King of Swords represents intellect, logic, and clear communication. He signifies a person who is fair, analytical, and authoritative in their decision-making.

What does it mean when the King of Swords appears in a tarot reading?

When the King of Swords appears, it suggests that you need to approach situations with a rational and logical mindset. It advises you to use your intellect and make decisions based on facts.

What qualities does the King of Swords possess?

The King of Swords embodies qualities such as intelligence, wisdom, objectivity, and strategic thinking. He is known for his ability to analyze situations and make fair judgments.

How can the King of Swords influence relationships?

In relationships, the King of Swords represents a need for open and honest communication. He encourages clear boundaries, intellectual discussions, and a rational approach to resolving conflicts.

What can the King of Swords teach us?

The King of Swords teaches us the importance of using our intellect and reason to navigate through challenges. He reminds us to be fair, objective, and to think before we act.

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