King of Swords Tarot Card Meaning

By Charrette Vachon

A powerhouse of self-discipline, structure, strength, and clarity of the mind, the King of Swords is an appeal for intellectual fortitude. He is a strong leader, governed by his unwavering moral compass.

  • Element: Air
  • Planet: Saturn
  • Astrological sign: Aquarius
  • Key dates: January 10 to February 8


The King of Swords depicts a serious man holding upright a double-edged sword in his right hand, the hand of rational thinking. The sword is pointed left, favoring the subconscious. This dichotomy suggests the king uses his intellect and intuition in his contemplation.

Facing forward upon a throne, the king is calmly sitting ready to combat any adversary. A look of calm thoughtfulness consumes his face, symbolizing his deep intellectual understanding of the world. Enrobed in a blue tunic, a symbol of understanding, and a purple robe, a symbol of power, the king sits confidently adorned.

Butterflies, a symbol of transformation, decorate the king’s throne. Two crescent moons, also depicted, represent energy that is both masculine and feminine. A symbol of an angel resides near the king’s ear, guiding him in his endeavors.

The birds flying above the clouds are the king’s informants, relaying information to him about the world below. The clouds represent mental challenges that may test the king.


A master of intellect, the King of Swords is a very commanding figure. Though the King of Swords uses factual information and subconscious intuition in his thought process, logic dominates his decision-making. Known for his level-headed nature, the king is strict and holds himself to the highest of standards.

A person that is represented by the King of Swords would adhere to a strict structure in their life, evidenced by schedules, goals, and careful planning.

Self-discipline is also a major trait represented by the King of Swords. In normal life, this trait may reveal itself in various ways. A person represented by the King of Swords may excel in their job or at school, managing to outperform others regarding productivity. One represented by the King of Swords may be at the top of their class or an expert in their line of work. You may also find you have self-control regarding maintaining a healthy diet or exercise routine. Whatever the goal, a person represented by the King of Swords will find the inner strength to achieve it.

The King of Swords, and those he represents, are natural leaders, pointing others in the direction of justice and morality. Purposeful work pleases one represented by the King of Swords.


The King of Swords in the upright position is a sign that your life may lack structure. An embodiment of the card would result in taking control of your life. You may benefit from making lists and a more regimented daily routine. Scheduling exercise into your day and planning healthy meals may be necessary.

If you find yourself acting with purpose, positive changes will follow. A newfound strength and practicality may be just what you needed to accomplish your goals.

People tend to be drawn to those who exude confidence and strength. As a result, embodying the King of Swords may increase your social standing and attract those who have a similar sense of discipline.


In a love reading, the King of Swords may signify independence in a relationship. Having a strong sense of self-worth, one governed by the King of Swords may have very high expectations for a mate. However, high expectations may lead to disappointment. A single person should aim to keep their mind open to different types of people. They might be pleasantly surprised by someone that didn’t meet their expectations on paper.

In a successful committed relationship, those represented by the card would find a mate that was naturally confident with a high intellect. When in a relationship, you should be mindful of flexibility and supporting your partner. This may mean a compromise in some situations where your partner is not using logic to make decisions or failing to attain their goals. While this may be frustrating for a person represented by the King of Swords, space must be made for your partner to live their own lives and make their own decisions.

Home life tends to be structured for those in a relationship with a person embodying the King of Swords. Though this typically leads to financial security and a certain degree of comfort in lifestyle, it also puts the relationship at risk of becoming mundane. Surprise dates and spontaneous acts will go a long way in making your partner feel loved and cared for.


In the career realm, the King of Swords card symbolizes success driven by intellect and careful planning. You may be known as a go-getter, with others aspiring to be in your position. Likely an expert in your field, a person represented by the King of Swords is both rational, ethical and a natural mentor.

Few may find your confidence intimidating. However, you find success easily and those skeptical of you will likely find you an inspiration after some personal experience as your co-worker. Be mindful to embrace the ideas of others, as you may find yourself rigid in wanting to stick to a carefully developed plan.


Money is typically not an issue for one that is success driven. It may be difficult for one represented by the King of Swords to ask for help in making decisions. This puts you at risk of making decisions too quickly or before you have all of the facts. You should be mindful of educating yourself on making investment decisions. If you find yourself in a difficult position regarding money or if you are looking to invest, it would be wise to turn to someone in your life that is a financial expert for advice.


In a health reading, the King of Swords poses some possible complications. While your need to succeed is strong, this trait may not complement your need in taking care of your body. You should be careful you do not become overworked in an attempt to meet a goal or exhaust yourself with an over strenuous exercise routine.

On the other hand, you possess the self-discipline that others lack which may benefit you greatly in making healthy choices. You may be more likely to stick to a plan of healthy eating or remaining active over a long period. There is an opportunity for success if you are mindful in setting your expectations for yourself. Be careful not to become so rigid that you are unable to take pleasure in the things in life that inspire happiness.


Unyielding at times, the King of Swords tends to inspire an approach dominated by high expectations and demands for success. This methodology may harm relationships, both personal and professional if those around you feel it difficult to live up to your expectations of them.

Fear of failure may get in your way of success if you are unable to remain fluid with your expectations. You may find that you are withdrawn from personal relationships or deemed too serious by those whom you interact with if you are not mindful that others may require a softer approach than your natural candor.

Those close to you may view you as selfish if you are unable to consider objectives that are not on your original agenda. Keep in mind the needs of others when making decisions as well as your plans.


It may be your tendency to be picky when choosing a mate. If you are single you should try to remain open upon meeting someone. As someone that knows what you want, you may be dominating conversations in listing your expectations. This approach may come off as both cold and insulting to a person upon first meeting you. Practice the skill of listening when on a date or having a conversation with a love interest.

If you are currently in a committed relationship, be aware that your powerful presence and confidence may intimidate your partner, leading to feelings of resentment and low self-worth. Keep in mind that your partner may not manage their life in the same way as you do but are equally entitled to make their own decisions.


While it may be beneficial in some ways to have high expectations, to be unable to modify them is a fault. Be careful as to not place blame for mistakes or reprimand those who let you down. If you do so, others may feel that they are responsible for your disappointment. This may lead to resentment. A lack of flexibility will hinder you in the workplace.

When the King of Swords is reversed, it may represent the fact that you need to soften your approach, both with yourself and those you work with. Adaptability is key in combating your tendency to take charge with a specific goal in mind.


The tendency to spend money in large amounts to combat the overly serious and stringent lifestyle of someone represented by the King of Swords is a sincere risk. It may be tempting to jump into a business deal that seems wise or make a large purchase that seems necessary. However, do not fall into this trap.

Do your research or consult an expert before making any big financial decisions. Though it feels powerful to spend large amounts of money as a fruit of your labor, it doesn’t always pay off and can lead to a sense of regret and stress. Impulse purchases rarely pay off.


In a love health reading, the King of Swords reversed means you should take measures to make sure that both your scheduling and your expectations for yourself are realistic. Work can be demanding, both mentally and physically. While it is worthwhile to make time for physical activity and exercise, you have to keep in mind that there are only so many hours in the day. Be mindful not to overtax yourself and do not be afraid to cut back on work.

Make time for exercise and eat a healthy diet. However, do not be so restricted that you are unable to adapt to a circumstance or have fun in life. This balance is not easy to achieve for any person, but for a person governed by the King of Swords, it is very difficult.


In the past, you may have felt alone or alienated by others. The reason you were set apart, however, was your ability to obtain clarity of mind. Though this may have made you seem unapproachable to some and even arrogant to others, it has likely given you a leg up in the long game. Driven for success, a person represented by the King of Swords will likely be a future leader.

In the present, the King of Swords symbolizes the need for clarity in understanding. Understanding may be reached by listening to those around you or by seeking out the help of a mentor.

In the future, this card is an indication that you will achieve your goals. A person that is success driven often finds success in their endeavors. Intense dedication and ambition lead to results. However, you must take measures to stay motivated in the face of adversity.


The King of Swords is a court card in the suit of cards and encompasses strength of mind and an intellectual approach to decision-making.


The King of Swords is governed by his conscious mind while the High Priestess is governed by her intuition. This is an obvious conflict. When this combination presents itself, take it as a warning that your instincts may be correct.


The Emperor is powerful and passionate. His power is complemented by the intellectual strength of the King of Swords.


Relationships will thrive with clear communication. The King of Swords indicates that your decisions need to be transparent, especially when met with the Justice card.


A yes or a no answer is likely to not be obtained by a King of Swords card, as it is highly subjective. However, a no answer may be more likely, unless the question is dealing with an issue of ambition or power.