Like all the Court cards, the King of Swords tarot card can represent a real person in your life or a role you have to play. This king is a thoughtful leader and a master of intentional behavior and analytical thought.
So this card stands for someone forceful, powerful, and blunt. They’re also just as talented with words as they are at getting things done. The King of Swords is about thinking through decisions with clarity and taking immediate action.
This card shows it’s time to get your head, heart, and actions in alignment.
When you see the King of Swords card reversed, it can mean that someone is being overbearing or abusive. This person is trying to manipulate the situation for selfish gains, so don’t let them pull the wool over your eyes.
Along the same lines, watch out for your own manipulation when you see this reversed card. Are you withdrawing love and affection just because you’re upset with the situation? Look at your actions and intentions and decide if they are truly in line with your values.
The reversed King of Swords card can also stand for someone who uses their words to impress or steamroll others. Be wary of their intentions and don’t let them walk all over or manipulate you.
Finally, this reversed card could show you’re lacking decisiveness. It could indicate that your thoughts are scattered and you feel out of control. Slow down and think things through logically. The best choice will become obvious.
Reading this reversed card using the “blocked/restricted” meaning
Alright, let’s talk about how to read your reversed King of Swords card. First, you can use the “blocked/restricted” reversed card meaning. When you read your cards like this, you look for an obstacle standing in front of the card’s upright meaning.
So for the King of Swords, this means something is blocking your power and authority. Someone or something is standing in the way of you taking care of business, so it’s time to figure out how you can be more effective.
Say you pull the reversed King of Swords thinking about your home life. You have twin girls and are in a loving marriage. Your husband is in charge of things in the house, and usually, you prefer it that way.
He’s a strong authority figure and takes care of you all, so you’re comfortable letting him take the lead. But as your girls have gotten older, you’ve noticed they don’t listen to you as well as your husband. They often go behind your back to ask for his permission when you say no or just shrug off your requests.
You’re frustrated by the lack of respect, and your husband isn’t doing anything to help. In fact, sometimes he’ll even joke around with them about how they don’t need to listen to you.
Here, the reversed King of Swords card tells you that you’re also an authority figure in your home. And even though your husband loves and respects you, he’s keeping your girls from seeing you as a strong parent.
Talk to him about your concerns and tell him to stop putting you down in front of the kids. He probably doesn’t even notice what he’s doing and will be happy to make the change for you.
Reading this reversed card using the “opposite” meaning
Another way to read your reversed King of Swords card is using the “opposite” reversed card meaning. When you read your cards like this, you look for the opposite of the card’s upright meaning.
For the King of Swords, instead of being decisive and disciplined, you’re having a hard time making decisions and things are feeling chaotic. It’s time to center yourself and get focused.
For example, say you pull the reversed King of Swords card thinking about your job. You work as a real estate agent for a large firm, and recently there’s been some turnover.
One manager who had been there a long time retired, and it’s really affected the office. Things are disorganized and hectic and it seems like no one knows what’s going on most days.
The chaotic environment is making it hard for you to focus, and you’re falling behind. You can’t decide which properties to invest your time and effort in, and things are spiraling out of control for you.
Here, the reversed King of Swords shows you that having aspects of your work life turned upside down can be very difficult, but it sounds like other things in your life are making it hard to focus too.
Take some time to look at your life and identify your stressors. Then focus on what you can control, like taking charge of your work life. Remember, concentrate your energy on one thing at a time, and don’t put too much pressure on yourself.
Reading this reversed card using the “worse” meaning
You can also read your reversed King of Swords card using the “worse” reversed card meaning. When you read your cards like this, you take the card’s upright meaning and put it in a negative light.
So for the King of Swords, this could mean there’s someone in your life who’s taking their authority too far. They might be manipulative or controlling, so be sure to keep your eyes open.
Say you pull the reversed King of Swords card thinking about your relationship with your boyfriend. You’ve always been curious about exploring a dominant and submissive partnership, and he has experience.
You’ve been learning a lot of new things about what you want and enjoy, but the problem is that his dominance isn’t only in the bedroom. He’s controlling in your daily life too, especially when it comes to your friends.
He doesn’t like you to go out with your girlfriends and says manipulative things to get you to stay in. The truth is, he doesn’t make you feel secure or confident, and most of the time, you’re unhappy.
Here, the reversed King of Swords shows that this is not a healthy dynamic. There is a proper way to explore this kind of relationship, and this isn’t it. To feel secure enough to explore your desires, you need to be in a respectful relationship that is nurturing and supportive.
There should be kindness in all things, and that’s not what’s happening here. You can try talking to him about your concerns, but this man is likely a horrible fit. You can find someone else who will help you explore and will also respect you as a person.
Reading this reversed card using the “no/not” meaning
Finally, you can use the “no/not” card meaning to read your reversed King of Swords card. When you read your cards like this, you put a “no” or a “not” in front of the card’s upright meaning.
With the King of Swords, this can mean “no authority”. You’re in a position where you can’t call the shots. Even though this is hard for you, you’ll just have to roll with the punches.
For example, you might pull the reversed King of Swords thinking about your fraternity. You’re part of a big brotherhood at your college in Massachusetts, and becoming the president is something you’ve wanted since you joined.
But last week the frat held the election, and you lost to someone a year younger than you. He’s tenacious and social, so people want to give him a shot and see if he can shake things up a bit.
You’re really upset because you don’t agree with his vision and you’re having a hard time following his rules. Even though he’s being responsible and reasonable, you want to do the opposite of everything he says.
Here, the reversed King of Swords card tells you not to let your emotions get in the way of you forming bonds with your brothers. Everyone has agreed to your new president, and it’s your responsibility as part of the group to respect that decision.
Once you give him a chance, you might be surprised by how much you agree with his choices. If you keep this spiteful attitude, it’ll only cause problems. Instead, use this as an opportunity to grow and think about what you can do differently to win people over in the future.