What does the king of swords tarot card mean?

Main image for King of Swords

The king of swords is part of the Minor Arcana deck of tarot cards and is part of the Swords suit.

Keywords: Authority, law, advice, intellect


The King of Swords is an obviously powerful and intellectual person, capable and willing to take command and accomplish whatever he sets out to do. Similarly to the Queen of Swords, he rules with his head, not his heart, and is a wise and impartial judge. If you draw this card,  it is a reminder that you should keep your emotions in check when faced with difficult decisions. You are faced with a situation in which you need to be strict and firm, but fair. Use logic and intellect to make the right choice, and leave emotions out of it. Often, the King of Swords represents a wise advisor, such as a teacher, lawyer, or accountant. If you are struggling to see beyond your emotional entanglements in a situation, you can consult with this person and they will help you make the right choice.

Reverse Keywords: Manipulation, ruthlessness, injustice

Reverse Meaning

In reverse, the King of Swords can often represent an abuse of power. There may be somebody in your life who is taking advantage of their advanced intellect and your emotions to manipulate you for their own gain. Be wary of anybody in your life who is trying to influence you to make a big decision without giving you all of the facts, and simply telling you to trust them. This card can also symbolise somebody who is acting completely ruthless and taking the ‘rule with your head, not with your heart’ message a little too far, and making decisions that can hurt others. Be careful who you trust.

Other Minor Arcana Cards (in the Swords suit)