The King of Swords shows a king sitting on his throne, staring directly at us. He holds a sword in his right hand. This card is considered to deal with strong-heartedness, decisiveness and the powers of the intellect.
Appearance and Symbolism
An introduction to Tarot cards will tell you and you will see that his card shows a King seated on his throne, facing us directly. This is unlike the other court cards in the suit of Swords, who we see side-on. In his right hand he holds a large, double-edged sword and his left hand is at rest in his lap with a ring of power on one of the fingers.
The back part of his throne is decorated with images of butterflies, crescent moons and an angel just next to his left ear. The angel almost looks as if it is there to give him guidance and speak into his ear.
The sky is relatively clear and we only see a flew clouds, quite unlike the stormy weather we see in the other court cards of the suit of Swords. Also, unlike the other court cards, the trees in the background of this card are not being buffeted by the wind – they stand straight and unmoved by the wind. In the sky we can also see two birds, flying in the distance.
The fact that the trees are not being moved by the wind is sign that the power and stern judgment of the king are in effect. The feeling of chaos and storminess has abated, leaving clear skies and the intellectual power of the King of Swords. This indicates that with the right thoughts and the power of our minds, we can make any stormy situation disappear.
Butterflies are known the world over as symbols of transformation. As they change from caterpillars to butterflies, going through the period of being in a cocoon – the show us that sometimes to get to something beautiful, we have to go through a period of change and difficulty.
Butterflies appear on both the King and Queen of Swords as symbols of mental and intellectual transformation and are reinforced by the fact that the suit of Swords takes air as its element. These butterflies are signs that if we change our ways of thinking we can achieve things we never thought possible.
The angel we see on the throne of the king is a symbol of receiving divine messages. If you go to a psychic Tarot reader, card readings will tell you that this symbol is a sign that we must be open and listen out for any messages that may be coming our way. If we aren’t listening properly and open for the information and messages coming to us from high, we will never hear them and be the worse off for it.
The King of Swords is someone who has the courage and the power to achieve anything he sets his mind to. He is a potent symbol of power that may help you in your individual quests in life. This card often comes up when someone feels fearful about the future and is hoping for a message. This card tells you to see things more clearly and try and find a new perspective. It cautions us that we must remain detached in order to see things better and judge a situation.
The King of Swords is the pinnacle of intellectual and mind power and is a representation of command, ruling justly and judgment. This card tells us strongly that we need to use our intellect in order to climb life’s ladder – your traditional education is important but so are the daydreams and other thoughts that might pop into your head. This King understands human nature and is able to act accordingly, using his knowledge to his advantage and he asks us to do the same.
When the King of Swords is inverted he can show that someone is not using his or her mental power and authority properly. This card inverted can show someone who is being manipulative and persuasive in order to achieve his or her own selfish goals.
This may also indicate someone who is in love with their own intellect and uses it to show off, using unnecessarily big words or trying to make others feel stupid. You need to ask yourself whether this person is you or someone else, as it could be either. This is the kind of person who comes across as charming and intelligent but is only out for his or her own needs, be wary of them. And if this person is you, take the time out to assess your ways of being and change them accordingly.