King of Swords Tarot Card Meaning

Tarot, like astrology, has long been one of our favorite divination systems. Interpreting either takes practice. As you learn, we wanted to help you to quickly connect to the cards and use them in ways that are actionable and practical in every area of life. xoxo, Tali & Ophira

Co-authored by James Kerti

What does the King of Swords tarot card mean?

The King of Swords represents authority and intellectual power. Though this card’s energy isn’t particularly empathetic, there’s a deep sense of integrity and principle present here.

When it connects to a general theme, the King of Swords relates to:

  • a need to follow logical, structured processes in dealing with the situation at hand
  • thinking through the different possibilities and the outcomes that can transpire based on the choices you make
  • conducting yourself in a restrained or measured way

As with other court cards, the King of Swords can correspond to a particular person in your life. When that’s the case, this person might have an authoritative, “yang” energy and a rational approach to problem-solving.

What is the King of Swords zodiac sign?

The zodiac sign of the King of Swords is Libra

King of Swords Tarot Guide

Keywords for the King of Swords: Authority, structure, discipline, integrity, intellectual power

Yes or No: It depends

Planet of the King of Swords: Uranus

Element of the King of Swords: Air

What does the King of Swords card mean in a love reading?

When the King of Swords appears in a love reading, it can mean that you or your partner are inhabiting the characteristics of this card, being more head than heart. The King of Swords is a call to be mindful and mature. Perhaps you’re taking a step back from strong feelings and practicing more emotional self-regulation.

If you’re in a relationship, this court card can also represent how you and a partner connect intellectually. Your relationship may not be overtly romantic and affectionate, but it could be just right for the two of you. The King of Swords is sapiosexual, turned on by a beautiful mind!

Beware perfectionism: Under the energy of the King of Swords, standards can be high and exacting at times. Part of this card’s message here is to accept one another for who you are. In the right dosage, the King of Wands is an invitation to grow and self-improve as a couple.

If you’re seeking a relationship, the King of Swords points you toward a more mature and conscientious person. Carry yourself with respect and poise if you want to attract a better caliber mate. Pursuing a hobby that sharpens your skills could lead you to your next relationship.

This card may also be highlighting your need for a partner who’s your intellectual equal and stimulates your mind. If you feel guilty about rejecting people who don’t meet those standards, the King of Swords encourages you to keep holding out for the person who is right for you.

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What does the King of Swords tarot card mean for career, money and finance?

The King of Swords in a career reading may represent an advisor figure who has the characteristics of this card. With high standards and a commitment to impeccable work, this person might challenge you to grow in ways that also frustrate you. To the King of Swords, life is a marathon rather than a sprint—and you’re being challenged to develop a new mindset so you can go the distance.

Don’t quit five minutes before the miracle, as the saying gos! This card’s appearance is a sign to keep going. You have it in you to rise to those standards, and your career will benefit greatly from toughing it out. Grit, resilience and rigor are your friends now.

This court card emphasizes the importance of structure and routines in your work life right now. If you’re handling a big project or difficult workplace dynamics, put some systems in place to stay grounded and cool under pressure. These tactics can help you come out on top.

Bring this same disciplined and mindful approach to your money management when you pull this card in a financial reading. Smart investments rather than flashy ones will pay off in the long run.

What does the King of Swords tarot card mean for health?

The King of Swords calls for structure and routine with your health. Measuring can help you get results, whether you keep a food journal, use a fitness tracker to count your daily steps or you work with an expert to redesign your habits. Lean into the intellectual prowess of the Swords suit: download some podcasts and audiobooks then listen to them while you take a heart-pumping walk.

If you’ve been thinking about starting a new eating or exercise regimen, this card’s appearance suggests that you’d do well to think about it in a systematic way. For instance, consider what you could do to make your success inevitable. Could that be as simple as laying out your gym clothes the night before so that it’s easier to get going in the morning? Start with small, sustainable steps and you’ll build a new lifestyle one action at a time.

If you’re seeking medical advice, the King of Swords suggests getting several opinions and checking the references of any health professionals you consult. Do your own research but avoid self-diagnosing.

King of Swords Tarot Card in Reverse Meaning

The King of Swords in reverse denotes what can go wrong when authority and intellect are misdirected. It may be a warning sign that you’re carrying yourself in a rebellious or domineering manner. This reversed card could also caution you about someone in your life who is displaying these characteristics.

The shadow side of this card’s power is tyranny. That can show up in your day-to-day life as abusive, domineering behavior. While having high standards can be a good thing, it’s unfair to hold others to your ideals—especially without regard for what they might want for themselves. If that characterizes you or a relationship you’re in, the King of Swords reversed is a warning that it’s time for a change.

In love readings, the reversed King of Swords can also warn that your relationship is being poisoned by one of the Gottman Institute’s four horsemen: criticism, contempt, stonewalling and defensiveness. Are unkind or hurtful words being exchanged? This card may indicate that there’s deeper resentment brewing. Consider getting help from a neutral third party, like a coach or therapist.

When reversed, the King of Swords can also point to a lack of logic or mental clarity. If you’re dealing with an important situation, this card in reverse could reveal flaws in your approach. Are you ignoring crucial facts or being swayed by emotion? Is someone manipulating you or not telling the whole story? The situation may warrant further research before you can make a solid decision.

Is the King of Swords tarot card a yes or no?

The King of Swords doesn’t come through with a clear answer in a yes or no reading. As this is a thoughtful card that considers all possibilities through a rational lens, it encourages you to do the same.

What does the Suit of Swords mean?

Swords are associated with air signs (Gemini, Libra, and Aquarius), which get things moving, acting as the winds of change. Air energy is communicative, and people with air signs like to connect and share ideas.

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Feature art by Diana Hlevnja