The King of Swords

The King of Swords – The Communicator

          King of Swords Upright             


Mature Male Air, Intellectual, Analytical, Articulate, Power, Authority, Honest, Truth, Principles, Standards, Morals, Ethics, Manners, Communication, Conversation, Debate, Spokesperson, Opinions, Mental Discipline, Reason, Logic, Discerning, Mind-over-matter, Head not heart, Unbiased, Impartial, Detached, Impersonal, Clinical, Severe, Stern, Severing, Objective, Aloof, Conservative, Dry, Formal, Fair, Justice, Law, Legal Matters, Courtrooms, Contracts, Rules, Regulation, Order, Control Freak, Disciplinarian, Formidable, Punishment, Meticulous, Methodical, Facts, Black & White, Detail, Scrutiny, Clarity, Ideas, Concepts, Strategies, Advisor, Privacy, Space, Denial of Personal Happiness, Quiet, Reading, Writing, Education, Classical, Languages, Military, Surgeon, Judge, Bachelor


Use your head in this situation,  Don’t let your feelings get in the way, Listen to both sides of the argument,  Don’t get sucked into all the emotion around you at present, keep your head and remain impartial, Make your decisions when you are in possession of all the facts,  Clearly define your position, This is a serious situation, Come up with a well thought out plan, Exert some mental discipline in order to get the job done,  Seek out the advice of the professionals, Scrutinise all documents before signing, Someone is giving you good sound advice, Deal with things in a fair and just manner, Legal issues surround you at present,  The Legal outcome will be in your favour, If you can’t do the time, don’t do the crime,  The will be consequences to pay for your actions, The truth will come out, Honesty is always the best policy, Be the one to speak out if something is wrong, Be the spokesperson,  Communicate your needs, Enter into the debate, Medical issues, hospitals, consultant or surgeons may be involved,  Don’t be so serious, Write that book, Put your thoughts down on paper.

 Now explore the personality of the King of Swords below. If he has turned up in your reading it means his energies have special meaning for you at this time.

You must ask yourself:  Who is he?  Who does he remind me of?  Is he having a positive or negative influence in my life?  Am I exerting discipline in the proper areas of my life? How can I embrace or avoid his energy?  What is he trying to tell me?  Is this how I am behaving?  Is this how others perceive me?  Do I like him or not? Do I want to be more like him? How can I be more like him, If he is not a person then what is his energy trying to tell me? How would this King handle my situation? Which part of this King am I trying to deny?

Personality Profile

The King of Swords combines the outward focus of a King with the positive intellectual, analytical and just qualities of Air.  He uses Earth to Ground his energy so that he may be of use in his world.

Dark and sombre looking the King of Swords sits on a structure which appears more like a pillar or column than a regal throne.  We cannot see the top of the throne so we are left to wonder as to whether it soars right up to the sky or even into outer space.  This symbolises this Kings connection to the element of Air and his ability to rise above any situation or crisis so that he can view it in a detached and objective manner.  The throne is adorned with carvings of butterflies and Air Sylphs which further connect this man to his governing element.  The butterflies also stand for metamorphosis and transformation.  The mind and intellect are a powerful force and when put to their most positive use can change the way we view our self and the world around us.  What the mind dwells upon it tends to adopt.  So if we dwell on the negative too often then our life will begin to mirror those negative thoughts.  By thinking positively, we can attract positive experiences into our life.  Our thoughts are energy and each thought-form whether positive or negative is exactly the same energy.  It depends on how much energy we put into either our positive or negative attitudes that ultimately determines what manifests in and around us.   Change or transform our thoughts and we can change our life.  However, we need mental discipline to achieve this and it is easier said than done.  The King of Swords is the master of Mental Discipline.  He will teach you his ways should you have enough stamina to follow them through.

The King of Swords sits upright and rigid on his throne.  He appears to face us, but if we look closely, it is obvious that his direct stare is slightly off.   Does this King not want to look us in the eye?  Is it fear or shyness that prevents him or is it something else?  Well, it is certainly not fear or shyness so it must be something else.  Could it be that this King chooses not to make eye contact because in doing so, he immediately becomes emotionally involved.  The King of Swords is the Earthy part of Air and so uses mental discipline to exert control over his life and those he has a duty to govern.  He represents the intellect in its purest form.  Therefore this man can separate his head from his heart in all areas of his life.  By not looking directly at us, he is saved from seeing any pain or sadness in us.  He is thereby better placed to act in a clinical and sterile manner.  The King of Swords cannot afford to feel deeply for he is relied upon to administer decisions and judgements in a fair and unbiased manner.   This King in a reading may be telling you that you must use your head in this situation and not let your emotions cloud your good judgement.  Detaching the heart from the head is always easy as our emotions exert such a force over us.  However, when this King appears he suggests that your present situation calls on you to do so.  If you can achieve this then you will be able to think clearly and form a plan.

The King of Sword’s throne sits as if on the top of a mountain.  We see a small bit of the green Earth element his is influenced by and a few trees in the background.  Other than that the sky dominates.  At the top of the mountain the air is clear and fresh.  On a clear day one can see for miles around and take in everything that is going on below.  Maybe, that is what the King of Swords is doing.  As he sits strong and proud on his throne, his eyes as keen as the birds that soar over head, he watches over us, observing our comings and goings, ensuring we stay within the confines of the laws he has set down for us.

He wears a gown of pale bluish grey suggesting his element of Air and a sombre personality. Above the gown he is shown with two cloaks; one of orange and one of purple.  The orange cloak he wears close to his gown symbolises the warmth and positive attitude that this King has the ability to display when he so chooses.  He would only ever reveal this side of his personality to those he trusts and is most comfortable with so you won’t see it too often.  A man of his position would be in danger of appearing a pushover to many if he showed his softer side.  The orange cloak also reminds us that this King can feel enthusiastic and excited about life or projects he is involved in even though he approaches them in a serious and methodical manner.  His outer cloak is of Royal Purple symbolising this Kings utmost authority and power.  In ancient times the ruler, be it King or Queen held the supreme position of determining the laws of the land and the subsequent punishment for those who broke them.  This King does too.

The King of Swords stands for the Law and the enforcement of it.  He presides over the courts, the police force and forensics.  He is determined to bring matters to a just and fair conclusion by dealing with the ultimate facts laid bare before him regardless of people’s feelings or dramatic displays of emotions.  For him to achieve this it is imperative that he remains impartial to the human elements involved in his decision-making process.  The King of Swords appearing in a reading especially if the Justice card accompanies it can represent legal issues surrounding you or decisions being made. Solicitors, lawyers, courtrooms and legal documents may be relevant.  When upright his appearance suggests that the outcome will be in your favour or that it will be fair and balanced.

The King of Swords is a mine of information and this card can suggest that someone is giving you clear, sound advice. This cards demands of you to use clear thinking and honesty in whatever the situation involves. He does not get involved with emotional matters so would be suggesting to you that you may have to let your head rule in this instance and not your heart. You will need a clear workable plan in order for you to succeed. If you are putting plans and ideas together for a project or business plan the King of Swords turning up would suggest that your ideas are sound. If in doubt about anything use your logic to figure a way out or a solution to your problem and remember to keep your head in a crisis. If you do not have the information yourself that he would suggest you seek out the advice of the professionals.

The King of Swords also represents the Military where he comes into his own when using his powerful, clear and razor-sharp mind to formulate military strategies, control armies and face the enemy.  It takes someone with a steely grip and unflinching nerve when giving or carrying out orders of such significance and major consequence.

The King of Swords crown depicts a winged spirit again connecting this man to the element of Air and his ability to rise above any issue or event that comes his way.  Beneath, his long flowing gown peeps one foot.  His shoe or boot is red in colour but we can see very little of it.  The red shoe suggests that this King is either lacking in deep passion or that he disguises it very well.  Again, he may only reveal it to a certain few.

The sky is generally clear except for a few clouds floating by, the bulk of which seem to be far away in the background.  This may suggest that this King, even though he has clarity of thought, may have some troublesome issues in his past or a time when he did not think so clearly, a time when his judgement was clouded.  This may reflect back to his days as a Knight when he was always in a hurry, running here and there.  He moved quickly back in those days and spent little time thinking of what he was doing or planning his next step.  Instead he was full of Fire and rushed into situations too hastily.  He should have stopped and contemplated his moves instead of making them up as he went along.  Yes, he had made some mistakes in the past and learned the error of his ways.  He realised that he achieved very little during those years and had often gotten into terrible arguments with other people just because he could not hold his tongue.

Thankfully, he eventually matured into the King and those wild days are long behind him.  Looking at him now, no one would ever suspect that he had been so manic at one stage.  The King had to learn to control his thoughts and his speech.  He had to learn not to be so reactive in situations and that whereas he was entitled to his opinion, so too were other people.   He has turned the often reckless actions of his Knighthood days into a fearless and courageous nature that is called upon when the situation demands.

The King holds his Sword at a slight angle.  Could this mean that this King has the potential to bend the law should he see fit or maybe it represents his amazing flexible mind and how it can bend in any direction to view all aspects of a situation?  The slightly bent sword does certainly take on another meaning when this King reverses.

Along with the Star card of the Major Arcana, this King can represent Aquarius, Libra when it appears with the Justice and Empress Card and Gemini when he appears with the Lovers.

The King of Swords overriding personality trait is his powerfully disciplined and high intellect.  From this stems an authoritative, stern and formidable character.  One of the important roles this King plays is in decision-making processes. He bases all his decisions on logic and hard cold facts.  His deals with issues in a fair and impartial manner which may sometimes appear as clinical to those involved.  The King of Swords lives in a world of order, rules and regulation, most which he has made or set himself.  A man of extremely high principles and standards he does not believe in bending the rules for anyone.   He is not open to coercion or bribery.

This King likes to be in charge and is a fearless leader.  He is intelligent, highly qualified and much experienced.  He is the true Professional and has much advice to offer.  If you need some honest and impartial advice then this King is the man to turn to.  He will need to know all the facts and details surrounding your issue so make sure you are well prepared in advance.  He will listen closely and will question deeply.  Don’t bore him with the trivia of the situation for it is of no interest to him.  He will weigh up all the facts carefully and apply his agile mind to cut through any confusion so that his advice is clear and precise.  The King of Swords is aware of his skill in this area. His advice is worth its weight in gold and should not be taken lightly. He will tell you once and once only as he does not see the need see the need to repeat himself.  The King of Swords will expect you to take on board all he recommends.  Indeed this King will not look on you favourably should you ignore it.    He may not be too eager to assist you again if you don’t.  If you have a complicated or serious issue, it may be wise to seek professional help.  The King of Swords is the man to turn to.

The King of Swords faces situations head on and does not flinch.  He is not daunted by the size or extent of a situation.   Analytical, methodical and observant he scrutinises all that is brought before him.  He rapidly sizes up a situation to find where the problems exist before applying a workable solution for all.   His searchlight mind and eyes miss nothing.  Any error, mistakes or underhand dealings will be clearly exposed under his gaze.  His presence in a reading may suggest that you need to be observant; read all the small print, dissect contracts or legal papers as you may miss something of great importance.

He operates on a level of clear well thought out ideas and plans which he will have tried and tested on many occasions.

Articulate and inquisitive, this King enjoys conversation and debate.  However, it must intellectually stimulate him.  He has a great interest in the world around him and is an avid reader.  His mind is like a sponge as it soaks up every last bit of information, storing it away for when it will be one day put to use. A master of languages and the spoken word, education is extremely important to him.  He is often to be found passing on his knowledge to others in this realm.   He makes an excellent College Lecturer or Professor who students will view as stern yet fascinating.  He has a great way with words and can explain himself or a situation in a clear and concise manner so that all can understand.

His strong principles, morals and ethics will find him speak out against injustice, corruption or discrimination.  He makes an excellent spokesperson who will speak on the behalf of others who need their case presented in a professional and honourable manner.  He has impeccable high standards and will demand the same of you.

Like his female counterpart, the Queen of Swords, the King of Swords is capable of depriving himself of someone or something due to principles or personal standards.  Because he has the ability to detach the head from the heart, he can sever any connections that are considered unnecessary even if it entails a personal sacrifice.   He lives by the standards he sets for everyone else.  He self-counsels and can arrive at harsh personal decisions after logically and objectively reviewing the situation.  Regardless of the associated personal loss his decision may entail, he goes ahead with it on the basis of logical conclusion and what is best all round.  This may come as a total surprise and shock to a potential partner who is dumped after the first argument or a much-needed member of staff who is let go after breaking one of the codes of conduct.  Once trust is broken with him it is hard to re-establish so he would rather make a clean-cut rather than prolong an awkward situation.

In relationships, the King of Swords is a cool customer.  Known for neither romance nor great passion he chooses a partner in the same manner he makes every other decision in his life.  His standards are high when it comes to relationships and like the Queen of Swords, will quite happily live on his own rather than put up with another just for the sake of company.  In fact the King of Swords quite enjoys his own company and space for he enjoys privacy and quiet.  His mind is more than enough to occupy him and really he wants for very little else.  He does not like overbearing or demanding women and is quite cautious about who he gives his telephone number to.  Neither will he appreciate a new partner turning up on his doorstep without a prior invitation.  He sets strict rules when it comes to his personal life.

When he does venture into the dating arena, he will be drawn to women on the basis of their cool intellect and how they conduct themselves in public.  A pretty face is useless unless there is something going on between the two ears.  He finds intelligence and accents far sexier than pouting lips and fluttering eyelashes.  He usually prefers his women classic looking and sophisticated; their style of dress well-tailored and understated.   Not a huge fan of make-up it is what is under it that he finds most appealing.  He likes women to feel comfortable in their own space but becomes irritated by incessant chatter and babble.

As a partner the King of Swords will hardly blow your mind with excitement, passion or romance but he will be steady, practical and organised.  He keeps his house immaculate and orderly.  He has daily routines that he rigorously adheres to; a place for everything and everything in its place.  A control freak to say the least, his partner best be mindful of his finicky ways as it will intensely annoy him to find anything disturbed or out-of-place.   He has a sedate style of dress but all his clothes will be of the highest quality and extremely well made.  He uses the same tailor and shoe-maker year in year out where they fully understand his standards and requirements.  Although he likes to spend money on quality items you won’t find this King with a houseful of gadgets or trendy furniture.  He prefers the traditional approach and may still choose to listen to his music collections on an old style record player rather than by digital technology.

When he takes his partner out, it will be to dinner in a fine long-established restaurant where diners are not prone to rowdy behaviour or guffaws of laughter.  Although he enjoys a good vintage wine, you will not find this King drunk at the dinner table as he exerts strict control over every aspect of his behaviour.  Drunkenness in his partner will be a terrible turn off for him and a big no, no which may result in instant dismissal.  He will feel uncomfortable with a partner who cannot be relied on to control herself at all times.   He enjoys the theatre and being a great fan of classical music is a regular at the concert hall.  He likes to attend book launches and art exhibitions with his partner where he will find like- minded intellectual people.

This King’s mind is constantly active and he can drive his partner to distraction with over analysing everything she says and does.  An unfortunate aspect of this King is his highly critical nature.  He can pick fault with his partner over the slightest thing and with the briefest of words cut her off at the knees without even stopping to glance up from his dinner plate.  The King of Swords does not deal very well with emotion and may not be sensitive to her hurt feelings.  He needs a strong steely woman who can give as good as she gets.  A woman who acts as he does and can engage in verbal warfare without losing her cool.  A woman who is control of herself and not prone to bouts of hysteria or melodrama.

If Desperate Housewives, the Soaps or Reality Programmes are your thing then give this King a wide berth when searching for a potential partner. The only television programmes allowed will be those of political interest or current affairs such as Politic Questions and Answers, Prime Time and Election analysis etc. You will also find it very hard to find one fictional novel or rag mag in his house let alone any modern music. Newspapers will be the Irish Times, Business Post, Financial Times and all the serious Sunday Papers with business supplements.   Generally this King will be seen as quite boring and severe by many but this is because they do not understand him.  He will settle with a like-minded woman who shares his mental understanding of life.

We must remember that the King of Swords does have the ability to happily remain a bachelor till the end of his days but if he finds the right partner who maintains his interest while giving him the quiet space he needs than their union can be a great success.  He also has the powerful ability to clinically sever a relationship that he deems is unsuitable.  He can be brutal and final in his actions when dealing with partners who have out-stayed their welcome.  When it is over with this King of Swords, it is definitely over.

All said and done, the King of Swords will put companionship before passion in relationships. Finding a friend in his partner is far preferable to having an active sex life.

When it comes to careers, the King of Swords is the archetypal professional.  He is an expert in all fields of law, business, education and science.  He has learned about life the hard way and now as a mature man rarely uses his mind for anything other than sensible business.

The King of Swords strongly represents the law and legal system so he can be found as the stern but fair judge in a court of law or as the hard-hitting barrister defending your case and your honour.   This King is involved in every aspect of law keeping so he will also be found as the relentless detective who will leave no stone unturned until the culprit is found and brought to justice.  We also find him in the forensic lab where he will spend hours searching for one tiny minuscule fibre that will link the suspected killer to the victim.  His believe is that the truth is always out there if we are prepared to look long and hard for it.

This King is often drawn to the field of Medicine and his presence in a reading can sometimes suggest encounters with the medical profession, especially where hospitals and surgery are concerned.  He is the  Consultant, Professor or Surgeon.  You will find him walking the corridors of hospitals followed by his team of Interns, Senior House Officers and Registrars who are in awe of him and hang on to his every word, hoping that even a small percentage of this man’s medical knowledge will rub off on them.  He is to be seen  scubbing-up before entering theatre to perform life-saving surgery brain surgery or as the State Pathologist carrying out post mortems to determine the cause of death for those who no longer have a voice to tell.  The King of Swords is also the Scientist and areas of research would be appealing

With his powerful mind we will naturally find this man entering a career in politics or business where he will naturally sit in a position of authority and expertise.  He is not necessarily charismatic enough to be the Prime Minister or Taoiseach but you will certainly find him working closely with them as one of their chief advisors.

Of Course, a career in the military will settle very nicely with him.  He likes order, control and discipline so this is an ideal area for him.  He will train his soldiers to be mentally disciplined, sharp and to think their way out of dangerous situations.  He will be behind the formation of all military strategies and manoeuvres. This man is also drawn to a career in flying so may very well combine it with love of military life by joining the Air Force.  He may prefer instead to be a pilot for an airline with the responsibility of transporting passengers safely from one destination to another.

The King of Swords is a keen writer and can cut out a very successful career for himself in this field.  His vast amount of knowledge, articulacy, attention to detail and mental discipline facilitate the requirements that are essential if one wishes to become a successful author.

With his high principles and strong morals, this King could find himself drawn to entering a religious order to become a member of the clergy.

Other professions for him might include:  Computer Analyst, Statistics, Diplomat or Logistics.

As a father the King of Swords is stern and believes in discipline and punishments that will always be carried out.  He can be cold, clinical and sterile in his dealings with his children.   His household is run on rules and orders with very little room for negotiation.  He expects his orders to be carried out without question.  His children know this and will rarely step out of line.  He runs can run his home like a military barracks as he does not have time for fun and games.  The thing is that this King loves his children but believes that they must be brought up under strict control.  Bad manners or emotional outbursts in public will not be tolerated.  Unless there is a softer mother in the background who can temper her partner’s severity the children will grow up with a fearful respect for their father.  Each time the King must carry out a punishment he reminds them that it is for their own good and that one day they will thank him.  He has a strange way of showing how much he cares.

The ring on the Saturn finger of his left hand suggests that this King may have unresolved issues with his own father. In palmistry the ring can suggest a father who was absent or very restrictive during their son’s early years.  This King may not have been exposed to the kind of love and affection that children need during the early years.  There is a chance that he has grown up just like his father, treating his children in the same manner he was or he is trying to be the father that he never had.  One way or another, his manner is stiff and formal with his children even though he may love them deeply.

He can be a bit of a control freak and a perfectionist with his children and will impose harsh curfews on his children as they get older.  His children will either turn out like him or rebel totally and leave home once they are old enough. He does have their best interests at heart though sets out to run a well-ordered household.   Like the Queen of Swords, this will not be the home where you can easily bring a gang of friend in unannounced.  The King of Swords does not like his peace disturbed so any visits will be by prior arrangement and strictly controlled.

Education is incredibly important to this King and he will wish his children to get the best that he can afford.  He particularly likes the idea of Boarding Schools where the whole day can be worked around learning in one form or another.  He has no problem sending his children to them from an early age as he considers they are then in the right environment for the sort of education he insists on.  His love of languages may even find him sending his children to overseas schools if he considers it necessary.

Not a huge fan of sport himself, he won’t be push his kids into either.  Sports will largely be replaced by other forms of discipline such as music usually where instruments like clarinets, violins or pianos are concerned.

The King of Swords will always be there for his family but should any of his children get in trouble or bring scandal to the front door he will not let them forget it.  He may throw them out or refuse to talk to them for months.  It could take a long time for the frost to melt.

When the King of Swords takes his family on holidays, it will not be on a package deal where the parents sit at the bar while their offspring run wild.  His holidays will be more subdued and destinations will be chosen on the basis of ability to broaden mind, historical interest or for improving language.  He is not the man to become laid back at any time and holidays are no exception.

The King of Swords however, enjoy heading up the mountains for long walks.  He marvels at the bird’s eye view from the summit and breathes in the pure clear air of his element.  This is when the King of Swords finds peace. He also like is enjoys the challenge of cryptic crosswords and puzzles.


King of Swords Reversed

Immature Male Air, Intelligence used Negatively, Hypercritical, Rigid, Ruthless, Cold, Inhumane, Uncaring, Unsympathetic, Feared, Oppressive, Negative, Cynical, Caustic, Sarcastic, Ill-natured, Bitter, Cruel, Dark, Sinister, Sadistic, Bully, Controlling, Brutal, Aggressive, Anger, Violence, Intimidation, Coercion, Threatening, Arguments, Tyrant, Dictatorial, Dangerous, Enemy, Punishment, Unlawful, Corrupt, Unscrupulous, Criminal, Injustice, Un-fair, A Lawsuit Lost, Arrogant, Judgemental, Under qualified, Lack of Education, Worry, Stress, Depression, Denied Feelings, Breakdown, Mental Confusion, Poor Judgement, Weakness, Powerless, Push-Over, Mental Health Issues, Intellectual Disabilities, Senility, Dementia, Softening, Mellowing, Absent Father, Widower, Single Dad, Bachelor,

When the King of Swords reverses his throne overturns and loses his self-control.  Without mental discipline this King’s mind can explode in all directions.  It just depends what has set it off.  Emotions flood in to the mental confusion turning dark and sinister.  Anger and bitterness take over.

What has happened to his throne?  Has someone carelessly knocked it over or has he in a fit of temper violently tossed it aside?  One thing is for certain; whoever has angered him will pay dearly for it.  He will ruthlessly seek out the perpetrator and when he finds him he will be merciless in his punishment.

The King of Swords reversed becomes dreadfully dysfunctional.  His wonderful mind in the upright is twisted and torn.  His intelligence however, is still intact but instead of all the wonderfully positive use he put it to, he now finds a different way to express it.  His mind and intelligence has become contaminated.  He becomes negative and cynical in his dealings.

In the upright King we respected his authoritative stance and the rules he set for our own good so that we may all know our place.  We learned that there were consequences for any action taken and if we stepped out of line then we may have to pay the price.  He was stern and consistent yet we trusted his judgement.  However, in the reversed King we discover what happens to a personality when they take discipline to the extremes.  We uncover the sadistic persona which develops when power goes to the head and the heart is cut off or indeed cut out.

The King of Swords is brutal in his actions and callous in his treatment of others.  Don’t expect to find compassion or sympathy in this man for he does not understand the meaning of them.  .His heart is stone cold.   He rarely shows mercy and punishment is delivered swiftly and severely. There is absolutely no soft side to this guy.  The King of Swords can be dangerous in the extreme.

Sarcastic and overly critical his every word is driven home by the sword and he can deliberately set out to hurt others.  He is cynical and rude engaging in arguments wherever he goes.  He makes scenes in restaurants for the slightest thing as he verbally abusing the waiter and manager. He sees himself as superior and enjoys humiliating or degrading people.  This King is mentally unstable or unbalanced.  We must ask ourselves how this has happened.  Was he born like this? Is it a genetic flaw or perhaps he has developed a mental illness that requires medication?  It is quite possible that these may be the root cause of his psychological illness.  On the other hand, he may have been born perfectly normal but has been conditioned by the environment he grew up in.  Do you remember in the upright card we spoke of the King wearing a ring on his Saturn finger and that it may indicate issues with his father or from his childhood? Well, if that is the case this reversed King may be the grown up result of physical and psychological abuse in childhood.  With a broken and disturbed mind he does not know how to function in the normal world.  There is a deep anger within and intense emotional baggage that weighs him down.  He feels the burden of it all the time and will attempt to hurl it at others so that they too may feel its load too.  However, he can never escape it, that is, unless he seeks out professional help.  Angry with the world at large he will find it impossible to find happiness and will set out to destroy it in others whenever he can.  This man may need professional help for Anger Management.

On the other hand, the reversed King of Swords may suggest weakness and lack of power.  The King may have no say over anything in his life and is controlled by others.  He may be shy and finds it difficult to express himself or talk to strangers.  He may fear speaking out in public or that his opinions don’t count.  He may be taken advantage of and walked on but cannot assert himself.   This again may be caused by conditioning from childhood or some other form of psychological trauma.  He may be afraid to tell the truth or is keeping a secret.

He may be suffering from depression or is worrying excessively about his problems.  His imagination may have become overactive and finds it hard to find peace of mind.  Stress may play a huge part in this King’s condition.  He may need to retreat and rest as in the 4 of Swords so that he can find mental stability once more. Earth may be smothering his access to air.  He could be taking life too seriously and needs to lighten up.  He may be exerting too much discipline on his emotions as he denies or grief or loss. He could be close to a breakdown and needs support and understanding.  He needs to get it off his chest and ask for help.

In relationships this reversed King is a tyrant and bully.  He exerts rigid control over his partner monitoring her every move and mistake.  He will set impossibly high standards for her and is hypercritical.  His constant put downs and jibes will erode any self-confidence or self-esteem she may have.  The more edgy and tense she becomes the more he digs his claws in.  She will find it pointless trying to explain herself to him for he does not want to listen.  This man is slick and his mind is polished to a needle point.  She will never win an argument with him for he is miles ahead of her. His razor-sharp tongue and rapid delivery of stinging abuse will have her sliced to shreds in seconds. He takes responsibility for nothing preferring to blame her for everything that goes wrong in the relationship.  His partner will find that she is always the one apologising for things she has not done in an attempt to keep the peace.

When this reversed King decides that his relationship is over, there will be no beating around the bush.  He will calmly announce that he no longer loves his partner and that either he is going or that he wishes her to go – and as quickly as possible.  He has very little conscience when it comes to terminating relationships.

Taken to the very extreme, the reversed King of Swords is not afraid to use physical force to control his partner.  Depending on the surrounding cards to support the evidence, his presence in a reading can suggest a very oppressive and violent relationship.  This man’s partner can be so terrified that she cannot free herself for fear of the consequences such actions may incite.  If you have ever watched the movie ‘Sleeping with the Enemy’ you will know this guy. He will watch and criticise everything his partner does and set impossibly high standards. When his partner fails the sword will be produced and punishment will be sharp, painful and swift. His children will also be at the receiving end of this as he controls his family through intimidation and fear.

However, as with all reversed cards this King of Swords may veer to the other extreme.  He may be mentally scattered and unfocused.  He dithers over decisions leaving his partner to sort everything out.  His partner wears the pants in the relationship as he is weak-willed and ineffectual.  He follows orders set by her instead of making his own.  He defers to his partner in all conversations allowing her to finish his sentences when he stumbles over words or finds it hard to explain himself.  In some cases depending on the surrounding cards, this reversed King of Swords can suggest that he is being bullied by his partner.

With his own lack of self-discipline he will find it difficult to apply any to his family.  He may be viewed as a push-over to his family who will walk all over him as a matter of course. Unable to assert himself, he retreats into his own little world where noting is expected of him.

When it comes to legal matters the King of Swords reversed can be unscrupulous and       .  He is to be found representing well-known and notorious criminal gangs and mobsters.   He is familiar with every loop-hole of the law and will relish victory when the guilty walk free and the innocent suffer.  He is an extremely ambitious person who will scheme and plot to get what he wants.  An expert at manipulation and intimidation he will coerce (by force if necessary) anyone he feels may be useful to his own advancement.  He can be found guilty of blackmail and extortion. As a Judge he may be corrupt and unjust taking bribes from anyone who can afford to pay.  His connections go right to the very top so those who attempt to expose him will find it almost impossible to make anything stick as they go up against the system.  Evidence can go astray or get contaminated.  Witnesses can disappear or abruptly withdraw their statement.  He is a slippery, clever genius who will stop at nothing to achieve his aims.

Taking the drama out of the above interpretation, the reversed King of Swords may just suggest that Legal proceedings or judgements may go against you.  You may feel unfairly treated or that there has been a gross miscarriage of justice.

Then again you may just feel that others are not treating you fairly and that you are being taken for granted. You may be trying to overturn an unfair policy in work or in the family and feel that you are banging your head against a brick wall.  You may feel that you cannot express yourself effectively or that no one will listen.  You may need to scream louder.  Maybe you are not asking the right questions or talking to the relative people.

When the King of Swords reverses he can lose clarity of mind and thought.  He has exercises poor judgement and is bound to make mistakes.  His brilliant mind begins to fragment; shooting off in all directions.  He lacks commitment to anything he starts as he becomes easily distracted.  He is restless and easily bored.  He can start behaving more like the Knight taking off and sounding off when things don’t go his way.  This King reversed will suggest that you are not thinking clearly at present.  You may be rushing into things with little thought as to the consequences of your actions.

Career wise, we have already seen how distastefully he can occupy himself in the legal system.  He can also represent the bent cop on the payroll of gangsters.  He may be sitting on information but keeps silent.  In politics he may buy his way to the top or use connections to advance.  However, he may not be getting the exposure to the correct audience; his voice lost in the crowd or has difficulty expressing his vision. He needs to formulate a proper campaign strategy and start again.  If this King is involved in the Military it may indicate that he is either off duty or retired.  Traditionally it is associated with been court martialled or

In business, this reversed King can be a ruthless tyrant who is feared by all.  He is argumentative and dictatorial.  He treats his staff abominably with his scathing remarks and caustic manner.  He can be heard screaming abuse down the phone at suppliers and contractors. He is impatient with all and has absolutely no interest in hearing what others have to say.  He refuses to listen to advice for he believes he knows it all. This is also the bully college professor or lecturer who has it in for you; making your life miserable as you struggle to get a decent grade from him.  Whether you are a staff member or student, he will be hypercritical of your work and insensitive to your distress.

As a doctor or surgeon, he may not have the best reputation or has been found guilty of professional misconduct.  He may be withholding the full details of your condition.  You may need to request your patient records and check for yourself.  Medical notes may go missing or a scan not checked properly.

The King of Swords is associated with high intelligence and this is all very well and good if he has been allowed develop his full potential.  However, this King may have come from a deprived background and may have not been given the opportunity to go to college.  He may be intelligent but has no qualifications.  This is bound to frustrate him if not make him altogether bitter.   If he had developed delinquency tendencies as the reversed Knight he may have rebelled against education but now as the King understands the importance of it and regrets it terribly. It is not too late for this King to sort himself out.  He needs to find an outlet for his natural intelligent and enquiring mind. Returning to college as a mature student may bring immense reward and satisfaction to this King allowing him to turn upright once more.

This reversed King of Swords may be suffering from ‘writers block’ or just has nothing to say for himself.  Sometimes the reversed King of Swords can suggest difficulties with speech such as a stutter or stammer or an intellectual disability.  His wonderful brain may begin to let him down as he gets older; his thoughts confusing and his memory uncertain.  He may show signs of senility or dementia as his mental faculties fade becoming absent-minded.  On the other hand his presence may be a sign that he is getting softer or in old age.  He may decide to become mellow and not take life so seriously anymore.

 As a father he will be ruthless, cold, unbending and unyielding. He will dish out verbal put downs along with physical punishments. He can be guilty of psychologically abusing his children. He is unreasonable and unapproachable. His household is run on strict rules and military regulations.  He enjoys punishing and will be ready to turn his sword on his children should they dare step out of line.

He can hold ridiculously high standards for his children in education which will put immense pressure on them as they grow.

This ill-natured and callous reversed King is capable of disowning or disinheriting his children should they break any golden rules or fail to live up to his exacting standards.  His home
is cold and lifeless.  Children tread carefully and quietly in fear of disturbing or annoying their cruel and compassionless father.  The children of this inhumane father may turn to crime or delinquency as a result of their upbringing and end up in trouble with the law or in therapy.  There is little joy in their life and most will escape as soon as they are old enough.  However, some will end up just like their father dishing out to others what was done to them.  His argument being that heavy discipline and punishment never did him any harm.

On the flip side this reversed King may be a big softie.  He cannot exert any discipline within the family and certainly cannot carry out any punishments.  There are no rules and no boundaries so his children can easily take advantage of him.  His children will talk back to him and call him names.  They may be out of hand and badly in need of some order and structure in their life.

Similar to the reversed Queen of Swords, this King can represent an absent or divorced father, single parent or bachelor.

Pages Intro   Knights Intro   Queens Intro   Kings Intro

King of Wands   King of Cups   King of Swords   King of Pentacles

Earth Signs   Taurus   Virgo   Capricorn

Back to Lesson 4

10 replies »

  1. Could you please help me
    Knight of swords ,Chariot , 5 wands
    2 of swords , King of cups , King of wands
    Hierophant got that part then i drew 2 cards for clarity which was page of pentacles and king of swords. Plz help.
    Q; what can i do to help …… achieve a job
    Then nxt day i just did a one card which was ace of swords. Just to start memorising my deck….


    • Hi Claire,

      Well those cards are certainly hectic and it seems like you are trying really hard and applying for just about everything. You are confused I feel about where your true strengths lie and what sort of career would best suit you. You are torn between the appeal of the King of Cups soft and calm energy and that of the more adventurous King of Wands. I feel you are firing off CV’S and application as soon as they appear. You are running on full steam and desperate to get a job. There is much competetio for every job you seek and I sense you may feel the competition to be too strong which is stopping you from getting an interivew or a job. If you do get an interview you are losing direction during it and not convincing the interviewers. I do think you are applying to large companies or institutions where there is a lot of hierarchy. You want to get established in something that is secure and not liable to collapse in 6 months time. You are also going down the very traditional route when finding or applying for jobs. You need to think outside the box and be novel in your approach if you want to be in with a fighting chance. You are sticking with the same for each application. You need to discern when the company are conservative and traditional or more modern in their approach. You need to be flexible and adaptable.

      With the Page of Pentacles and The King of Swords, I feel this suggests that now might be a good time to seek some professional career counselling. You need to go to the experts and learn how to brand yourself better. The Page also suggests that you might need to get extra qualifications or up-skill in some areas. The King of Swords will give you good advice from a purely logical point of view and will highlight any areas where you are falling down. The Page also could suggest an Internship may be the only way to get your foot in the door and noticed. You might have to initially work hard for very little financial reward but the results will come down the line. The Page of Pentacles might also consider starting a small business if he can’t get a job. Be resourceful and use your talents and skills. The King of Swords speaks of Professional business, law, medicine, research, business.
      With the Ace of Swords appearing it seems like you will come up with a new action plan. The King of Swords may be instrumental in bringing this about. Time to use your head. The Ace of Swords brings in a new form of communication, a new way of applying for jobs. It might open your mind to recording a video resume or cold calling on businesses to introduce yourself. LinkedIn would line up with the Ace of Swords where you can target the industries you are interested in and work on getting a connection or contact. Research well and know your stuff when you show up for interviews. Think of internship or doing something for yourself. Think of it as a long term plan rather than instant financial gain. Keep aboard the Chariot and don’t give up.

      I hope that helped. I just read them blind as I do not know what positions you aligned for the cards drawn other than clarity.


      With the


    • Hi Val,

      Can you let me know what the reading was about and the other cards with their positions as this combination could mean many things. The first thing I noticed is the seven of Wands in a defensive position between the King of Swords and The Knight of Pentacles. Who do they represent or are they aspects of your personality that clash against each other. There is an issue between these but it could also suggest one is defending the other. Which one is the protector? I would need more information.



  2. I have a Celtic Cross reading I’d love help with.
    0-signifier: king of swords
    1-cover: knight of cups
    2-Cross: 8 of cups
    3- the world
    4- 5 of cups
    5- page of cups
    6- 8 of wands
    7- queen of wands
    8- page of wands
    9- ace of pentacles
    10- queen of cups

    There was no specific question, just a general reading.


    • Hi Crystal,

      Just back at my desk today following a house move to new location and some issues with getting broadband installed. I have a lot of correspondence to catch up on now so will be steadily working on it over the coming weeks. I will be in touch with you in that time. Thank you for your patience.

      In the meantime, due to the heavy volume of reading assistance requests and time constraints, I can no longer offer full reading analysis. Please forward me a detailed account of your own interpretation (70% – 80%) of this reading and the allocation of card positions and order. This account should also include an overview and background information on the nature of your reading and the question or intention set when shuffling and drawing cards. Outline exactly where you need assistance and I will endeavour to help and guide you.


      Vivien Ní Dhuinn


    • Hi Crystal,

      Here are a few guidelines to help you interpret your own reading but it is not an actual reading as if you wish to learn tarot you will need to work all this stuff out as you go. As it is a general reading it will lack direction and focus and so will stay very generic. It will be up to your own senses and intuition to determine what they might mean and to which areas of your life they apply to.

      Note: King of Swords. If you chose this yourself, it might be because of your birth sign or that you identify with the archetype of The King of Swords. The significator I am taking is to represent you. If you have not personally chosen it but blindly drawn it instead, then his energy is very relevant to you and therefore he carries advice, way of thinking, acting, feeling and behaving that would be the chosen way of living and being for the King of Swords. If he is Upright then he is promoting his way of being and that his energy influences the way you live and your outlook on like. If Reversed he could be suggesting his Reverse or Shadow self. His energy may be emerging in your personality and not helping your situation. He could also be a front you are putting forward to the public. His Reverse self could also be telling you to not act like his upright version and to lighten up instead. Study the King of Swords to discover aspects of his personality and behaviour you identify with. Read both Upright and Reverse as you have not mentioned whether you have reversed any of your cards before drawing. If you haven’t reversed cards this is important as you will have to gauge yourself which aspect – upright or reverse – refers to you.

      To assist with this look to the other cards in the spread and see how they line up with The King of Swords. When using Significators, it is important to refer all cards drawn back to it and determine the dynamics between them. For instance card 1 to 5 plus card 10 are all Cups. Ask yourself how typically Cups and Swords would get on together? Do they speak the same language, do they approach life the same way, do they share the same attitudes? Are they driven in the same manner. It is quite easy to observe that Swords may possibly be intolerant with Cups, finding them too emotional, too easily swayed by their emotions, too highly strung, easily offended, too unrealistic. The Swords would pooh pooh their idealistic way of looking at the world and the Cups would find the Swords way too serious and clinical in their dealings with others, especially the King. The Swords are the professionals, the ambitious, career driven, academic, scientific, logical, rational, black and white. The Cups are the dreamers, idealists, romantics, arty, creative. There may be a clash. The King of Swords may be hell bent on developing a successful professional career, to go far, to become an expert in his field to ruthlessly pursue his goals and ambitions and make the necessary sacrifices to get there. The King of Swords would not allow his heart, emotions to distract him in his pursuit. If he has decided to foresake romance and relationship in favour of pursuing his ambition then he can hold firm on this.

      What then are Cups doing taking up half your reading? The Knight of Cups? Does an aspect of the King of Cups desire a bit of distraction? Has his steely resolve weakened? Is there someone around causing distraction? Read up on the Knight of Cups and see why this Knight may be your covering card. Again you will need to read both Upright and Reversed to discover which aspect pertains to you if you have not used reversed cards.

      In the Eight of Cups we see someone walking away from unhappiness or moving on. This card crosses the Knight. Did the Knight move on or has someone moved on from him? The Knight is still exerting energy even if he isn’t actually physically around. Also the Knight may not have moved on but has lost heart in what once held such importance to him. This could be a relationship or an interest in life or career perhaps. Read the Eight of Cups both Upright and Reversed. If it is relating to reversed then it could be suggesting the need to move on, to walk away, to change direction from a situation that no longer gives joy but there is a fear or reluctance to do so. It also could suggest being abandoned abruptly or someone who abandoned you makes a return thus throwing a grenade in the window of your life when you thought you had it all sorted and were psychologically strong as in The King of Swords. The reality could be that you are still vulnerable, soft and emotionally exposed.

      The World is a very important card as it sets it straight what you aspire to. Success, completion and achievement. But in what? Love, life, career? You will need to answer these questions and they lie within you. Perhaps you had idealised about the success of a certain relationship, saw it going somewhere, would still like it to. The Five of Cups shows what is driving the situation your reading pertains to. Regret, grief, mourning, anger, disappointment, disillusionment, emotional chaos. Ask yourself what this card means for you? Research this card. The Page of Cups could be a person; a child, a teenager, young adult. It could be a letter, text, email or phone call bearing information relating to your emotions, love, romance, social events, good news, invitations, dates. Again the nature of this communication will be impacted by the upright or reverse aspect of the card. Read up on the Page and see what hits home with you. The Page could also be highlight your emotional vulnerability which could find the normally controlled and together King of Swords feel out of control and emotionally exposed. He should be using his head but his heart is seeking to take charge (all those Cups). He is doing his best to show his serious side and lets us know he is not impressed with the presence of so many cups in his reading. Does he mean it?

      From here on your reading moves to wands and finally to a Cup. From the Eight of Wands we see action. Does the Knight of Cups move towards the King of Swords or vice versa. It seems a situation takes a life of its own and takes off. Ask what the King of Swords attitude to Wands/Fire might be. Does he approve of their high energy and extrovert behaviour? Is he likely to be impressed by their spontaneity and adventurous side? If you have read up on your King you will know they have issues with each other. The passion of both the Cups and Fire combine resulting in throwing caution to the wind and running with a situation without giving a huge amount of thought as to how it might end. This will seriously unseat the King of Swords who likes order and meticulous planning. However, it may be exactly what the King needs if he has become to bogged down in the serious side of life. The King under this influence could have a fling, run off on a wild adventure, chuck in a good job or career, take a moment’s notice vacation or begin socialising like never before. We find high energy coming in with the Eight of Wands.

      From there on the Queen and Page of Wands enter the scene continuing the vibrant tone as we see great enthusiasm and motivation take over. Could the Queen become alive due to the close proximity of the Knight or the pursuit of what the Knight stands for. The Page, second one so far might be showing us adoration, infatuation. He could be bringing news of activity, travel, fun. He could also suggest a baby, a child, a choice between him and the page of cups. It shows a busy, happy and positive time ahead where the serious side of life must leave its cloak at the door. The Queen of Wands may be determined not to read too much into things and just enjoy the moment for what it is or is set on taking charge of her life regardless of what others say or think. In the Ace of Pentacles we see a possible hope for a new grounded start to something. Could it be a fresh start with the Knight but under different circumstances. Remember, the Knight does not necessarily refer to a relationship, but perhaps a more emotionally fulfilling situation. This could be a job, career, location, circle of friends. The Queen of Wands may be determined to be more assertive, more positive, more optimistic about life. The Queen may also be a female presence or energy around you that is exerting influence in your life. We then see the Queen of Cups as the final card. She is the grown up version of both the Page and Knight. Has she become more mature emotionally or is it that she now replaces the significator of the King of Swords as in being softer, gentler and more emotionally connected. Could the Queen of Wands have failed in remaining detached while she had a good time and has now morphed into the Queen of Cups, her mind and heart turned to emotional concerns. Perhaps the change sought in the Ace of Pentacles shows the true identify of the King of Swords once he has moved away from the severe environment he was not suited to. Could the Eight of Wands show the sudden shift in energy, the sudden move away from what you thought you wanted and the Queen of Cups now emerges into her rightful place because she is at last following her heart instead of her head. Two Eights – one moving away (cups) and one taking off (wands). Eight is a number of strength so we see a combination of emotional strength and assertiveness, doing what you want and what you believe is best for you. Doing what she wants and enjoys, pursuing her creative or artistic side instead of constant mental activity? Again you will need to read up on and study all these cards to discover what they mean for you as a general reading could apply to anything and everything.

      My advice to you going forward is that if you are struggling with where to start in a card reading such as the Celtic Cross it is a sign you are not yet ready to tackle large spreads. You are asking too much of yourself. Try doing small readings such as three card readings as then you have less to get your head around. In time move on to larger spreads. Of course you will struggle with pulling it together but you should be able to manage the bulk of the reading yourself, make a stab at it whether right or wrong. It is the only way you will learn. Stick with smaller readings for the time being.



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