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King of Swords Tarot Card Meanings

Listen to the inner wisdom offered by the wise elder that dwells inside of you.

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What does the King of Swords Tarot card mean?

Learn the meaning of the King of Swords Tarot card in under a minute!


King of Swords Upright Meaning

Traditionally, representing the energy of a King, this masculine energy form is The Adjudicator, the wise judge or mediator. He helps parties in conflict discover common ground and build upon it, and guides societies to see their greater good. His archetype is Solomon, ancient lawgiver and philosopher of the Old Testament. Sometimes appearing cool and detached, he can be misunderstood as not caring.

But emotional displays are just not his medium, nor is he moved by appeals to sympathy or pity. With the philosophical overview that comes from long experience, he listens deeply, watches closely and speaks last. In the end, his even-handedness and objectivity earn him the respect he receives from his community, and those who cannot work out their problems come to him voluntarily for advice.

Occasionally this man is subtly detailed to imply that he is a woman in male armor. If you notice this theme in your deck, it is a reference to Joan of Arc, the Maid of Orleans, archetype of a devout and inspired woman warrior, who was mystically led to abandon her social role to defend what she saw as the greater good. Although she was martyred young, her model crystallizes the message that sometimes the good of the whole is more important than the good of the individual, and in that case, even if you lose, you win just for being there.

King of Swords Reversed Meaning

When the King of Swords is reversed, pangs of conscience no longer prick as keenly. It may be that morality and integrity have been compromised.

Your inner Wise One must be awakened from that state of blinded self interest and get back to serving the greater good. Hold yourself to a higher standard. Think about what you can contribute, not what you are going to get. Filter the static from your thinking. Relinquish self-absorption and turn your attention to protecting the greater good.

King of Swords Advice Position

In this position, the King of Swords advises that you research your situation and in the process question existing authorities. It may be time to examine underlying assumptions and bring greater clarity into areas that have been left in the dark. Don't wait for others to do it. Instead, draw your own conclusions.

Spend time reviewing all the ramifications because this King of Swords requires a thorough, methodical examination of ideas and possibilities. Call forth the sober and wise part of yourself -- the elder father figure. Then act on the instructions given you.