Exploring the King of Swords

Welcome to Tarot Thursdays! This week we will be exploring the King of Swords and how it can be used as a prompt or brainstorming in our writing.

Tarot is an interesting thing. It’s based upon symbolism and metaphors through imagery. With these images the subconscious mind is tapped into through the story provided. Not everyone gets the same thing from a piece of art. Each piece will influence each person in a slightly different way.

Introduction of the Card


The King of Swords is card number 63 in the deck, the fourteenth card of the Swords Suit, and the fourth card of Swords’ Court in the Minor Arcana of the Tarot.

Let’s take a look at the following examples of this card below.

Card Examples


L-s14Notice the similarities between them and take note of their differences. Do any of these move you more than the others? Take your time and allow these cards to tell you their story.

My Analysis of These Cards

Yes, they are all kings here but they also appear to be judges in a way too. Interesting to note is in Mythic Tarot, the king doesn’t look to be happy in this card. Almost sad or regretful in the image. Meanwhile the king in the Universal Tarot card doesn’t just look like a judge, but also the jury and executioner too.

In the Dragon Tarot card, he appears to be in full command of the air while the king in the Tarot of Dreams is somewhat reminiscent of Clive Barker’s work in a benign way if that’s even possible. I mean the man doesn’t have wires or pins coming out of him, but it almost feels like it should.

Themes of the Card

Each card has a set of keywords associated with it that serve as themes for its image. These keywords will vary somewhat depending on who you ask.

According to the Learning the Tarot website, the keywords associated with the card are:

  • JUST

You can learn more about what this site has to say about this card here.

According to the Biddy Tarot website, the keywords associated with the card are:


You can learn more about what this site has to say about this card here.

What this Card Means to Me

Kings are the mature masculine aspects of their suit and here the domain of the intellect reigns supreme. Emotions are set aside in order to think with clarity whenever the need arises. Truth and justice are held in the highest regard above all else. This is someone who follows the law to the letter and will take action to bring back balance whenever injustice is brought to light. The ethical standard is set high not only for themselves but everyone around them. Nothing will alter their moral compass.

The key phrase I choose for this card is: MASTER OF THE MIND.

Music Playlist

In this spirit of all this, these are the songs I have picked out for this card.

The Writing Exercise

This exercise is a free write. Permit yourself to write whatever comes to mind based upon the theme of this card. Choose a keyword or key phrase and run with it to see what you come up with.

I would love it if you linked or pinged back what you wrote so I could see where you went with this.

Happy writing!

Mythic Tarot by Liz Greene (Author), Juliet Sharman-Burke (Author), Tricia Newell (Illustrator) © 1989
Dragon Tarot by Terry Donaldson (Author), Peter Pracownik (Author) © 1996
Universal Tarot by Lo Scarabeo (Author), R. De Angelis (Illustrator), A. E. Waite (Designer) © 2001
Tarot of Dreams by Ciro Marchetti (Author), Lee Bursten (Author) © 2015

2 thoughts on “Exploring the King of Swords

  1. Pingback: Exploring Character with King of Swords – The Art of Chaos

  2. Pingback: Exploring Setting with King of Swords | The Art of Chaos

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