The King, seated upon his throne holds an upright sword in his right hand. His throne is engraved and is set upon the top of a hill or mountain. On his left hand, a ring adorns his middle finger.
The King of Swords is an authority figure with a vast reserve of wisdom. Sitting alone, he is seated with the authority of one who is unafraid. His sword reaches far above him towards the heavens, suggestive that there is something more than just brute power to his authority.
On his left hand, the ring adorns the middle figure which is the finger of Saturn. Saturn is the planet of hard work, discipline and karma – a sense that we reap what we sow. A fitting characteristic of a King.
The King’s robes are blue and his cape is purple. Blue is the color of integrity and loyalty. Purple is the color of imagination, nobility, mystery and magic. Again, we see the theme that the King’s authority does not stem from force alone but from a higher realm, one of understanding the world.
In readings, the King of Swords may represent an authoritative male figure or the querent. His decisions will have been carefully considered and we should pay attention to his message. His stern face in the card indicates the gravity with which he takes his position. Logic and rational thinking are the hallmarks of the King of Swords.
The King’s throne is also carved with symbols of butterflies (transformnation) with 2 angles whispering into his year (a divine connection).
Reversed: The King of Swords reversed indicates the King has become corrupt. His considerable abilities are no longer at the disposal of the people, but he has transformed into a severe and bitter personality.
Reversed, the King is not against using his cunning to obtain his means. We may need to be cautious of being taken advantage of by ‘professionals’ and we should be careful in our dealings with those we see in authority over us.
The King of Swords reversed can also suggest that the King is muddled at the moment. Clarity of thought is absent as we struggle to make sense of the situation. The card may serve as a warning to us to consider what we are doing and if we doing not have enough information to perhaps ponder the issues once more.