King of Swords

Image – The Wheel of the Year Tarot

The King of Swords sits on his stone throne in the heart of his stone castle, alone. He holds a book and a double-edged sword as if they are comforts against the winter. Behind him, a shelf holds many books, a repository of wisdom in practical but beautiful leather covers. A single log (a Yule log?) blazes brightly in the large fireplace, and the mantle is decked with Holly. This deck’s symbol of Winter graces both arms of his chair.

Meaning: King of Swords

This is a man who prizes both knowledge and might, who is willing to make the difficult decisions required to bring his people through the winter and back into the light of spring. He does not waste – a single log warms him, and he is dressed warmly but simply. His presence is one of simple and unquestionable authority, not ostentation or self-absorption. His sanctuary, where he chooses to live through the winter, is a library or a study, a repository of knowledge, warm but austere.

The King of Swords is a forceful man, one who is not afraid to speak his mind and to do what he believes must be done. He is not always one to speak gently or spare another’s feelings in pursuit of what he believes is important. In his most positive aspect, he is a just and powerful ruler who values wisdom, weighs his decisions, makes judgments deliberately, and then acts without delay. In his most negative aspect, he can be stubborn, even bull-headed, and unable to see another’s point of view.

The King of Swords can represent a man or a woman who presents a more masculine image in the querent’s life, often with hair on the darker end of the spectrum. Like all Court Cards, this King can also represent an aspect of the querent’s self or ego.

The King’s Advice for You

When you draw the King of Swords, you may be working with or involved with someone who is very difficult, but who may just be in the right. Don’t let defensiveness or frustration get in the way of making the best decision.

The King’s Question for You

Is there a place in your life that’s a blind spot, a place where you may be avoiding the Truth of a situation? Is there a difficult situation that cannot be avoided, something that you must go through, rather than around? Medical tests, loss and grief, a truth that must be told, something that must be released before you can move on?

It’s time to face it, as your coolest and most discerning self. You have the tools and the inner strength to make it through this Winter and into the coming Spring.


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