Knight of Swords

Knight of Swords definitions

The King of Swords is a serious, professional man. He works in an office. A lawyer.

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Image of King of Swords in Rider-Waite tarot deck
King of Swords

He sits in judgment, holding the unsheathed sign of his suit. He recalls, of course, the conventional Symbol of justice in the Trumps Major, and he may represent this virtue, but he is rather the power of life and death, in virtue of his office.

Whatsoever arises out of the idea of judgment and all its connexions—power, command, authority, militant intelligence, law offices of the crown, and so forth.

Additional Meanings:A lawyer, senator, doctor.


Cruelty, perversity, barbarity, perfidy, evil intention.

Additional Meanings: A bad man; also a caution to put an end to a ruinous lawsuit.

Book of Thoth – Knight of Swords

Image of the Knight of Swords in the Book of Thoth tarot deck
Knight of Swords

The moral qualities of a person thus indicated are activity and skill, subtlety and cleverness. He is fierce, delicate and courageous, but altogether the prey of his idea, which comes to him as an inspiration without reflection.

If ill-dignified, the vigour in all these qualities being absent, he is incapable of decision or purpose. Any action that he takes is easily brushed aside by opposition. Inadequate violence spells futility. “Chimaera bombinans in vacuo”.

The King of Swords is clever and articulate.

Golden Dawn – Lord of the Winds and Breezes, King of the Spirit of Air

He is active, clever, subtle, fierce, delicate, courageous, skilful, bit inclined to domineer. Also to overvalue small things, unless well-dignified.


Deceitful, tyrannical and crafty.


A Lawyer, a Man of Law, Power, Command, Superiority, Authority.


A Wicked Man, Chagrin, Worry, Grief, Fear, Disturbance.

Image of Etteilla King of Swords
Etteilla King of Swords


Lawyer, Man of the Law, Judge, Councilor, Assessor, Senator, Businessman, Medical Practitioner, Attorney, Public Prosecutor, Doctor, Physician. Jurist, Jurisprudence. Litigant, Jurisconsult.


Ill-Intentioned, Wickedness, Perversity, Perfidy, Crime, Cruelty, Barbarity, Inhumanity.

Paul Foster Case

In the circle of the ankh is the letter YOD, as in the other Kings. This card refers primarily to the exercise of will-force on the astral plane. It symbolizes will to action.

Time period

From the beginning of the last decanate of Virgo to the end of the second decanate of Libra, or from September 13th to October 2nd, under the combined rulerships of Venus in Taurus, Venus in Libra, and Saturn-Uranus in Aquarius.


A man of strong and powerful imagination; hard worker, and having authority; keen in understanding law, and capable of excellent cooperation; yet somewhat distrustful and suspicious, therefore hard to convince. At the same time he sometimes surprises his friends by sudden changes of attitude, although he is usually over-cautious and analytical. Very observant.


He is friendly to the Querent, and will co-operate with him.


He is inimical, harsh, malicious and plotting; obstinate, and wholly unreliable.


Dark hair and dark eyes.


A man of the law or robe, councillor, senator, business-man, doctor, etc. “Whatsoever arises out of the idea of judgment and all its concessions, power, authority, command, militant intelligence …” (W.) Reversed: Bad intentions, evil, perversity, perfidy, cruelty, etc.
The King of the suit of Earth, coming on the house of Aries, First house or ascendant. Whatsoever we may say of the ‘reversed’ side or weaker cases of this card, a king is a king and always denotes a higher accord, some one or something of principal value and rank. The king of the Martian and Saturnian element naturally is the king of matter and of war, i.e. also he who wins war and conducts the battle of earthy interests. It denotes the dominion and rulership of this element, consequently the military chief. This by the way we are astonished not to find mentioned by tradition, which mentions the man of the law, lawyer, advocate or judge, who rules or guides worldly strife and contention. As the ruler of the ascendant, the card may certainly mean any person heading a cycle of material activity and before all a pioneer on this plane, an independent man living on his own means. While material integrity is implicit, duplicity, doubt, double-dealing or uncertainty are definitely excluded. It indicates material certainty and severity, whether benefic or malific from a personal point of view, healthy or rude, even cruel. But we fail to see what it has to do with perversity, unless the meaning be the overruling of everything else, the higher by the material power, and the misuse of the latter. The card means an emphatic Yes.
General, captain, military chief, worldly authority, chief or captain in any branch of activity, man of the law; power, command, decision, initiative, pioneering, valour, integrity, severity, material certainty; in weak cases cruelty, misuse of power, tyranny.
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King of Swords tarot meanings - a lawyer
King of Swords or King of Swords is a serious, professional man. He works in an office. A lawyer. He is fierce, delicate and courageous,

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