king holding a sword- n a forest

Sword of Truth: Does the King of Swords Say Yes or No?

Last Updated: June 3, 2023

The King of Swords is the patient, mature and reserved mentor in the Rider Waite Smith tarot deck. The King of Swords is typically a symbol of wisdom, objectivity, clarity and justice, and serves as a reminder to think before you act. He encourages us to be honest in our dealings and commands respect from those around him.

This card can represent authority figures such as judges or lawyers, but also mentors or teachers who provide guidance and direction for others. The King of Swords often stands for an answer that is based on logic and reason rather than emotion. In the context of a tarot reading, this card can give advice on how to approach a difficult decision or situation with clarity and objectivity. In its upright position, it suits its Kingly name, but in a reversed position, it’s almost a Villain archetype.

When this card appears in a Yes or No tarot reading, we find the upright keywords related to this regnal upright position; organization, pattern, power, command, astuteness, rationality, and honesty. When this card appears in a reversed position, its dictating voice speaks associated themes of being unnecessarily critical, savage, domineering, skeptical, unfeeling, merciless, ruthless, and controlling yet also irrational.

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So, does the King of Swords indicates a Yes or a No?

The King of Swords is not a definite yes or no card, but it is actually a neutral or “maybe” card, as it needs more information to make a firm decision and its situation needs more clarity on additional factors.

As we explored on the King of Swords tarot card meaning page, this impartial position does need more information from us, the definitive “full disclosure” and as an archetype this King spends a lot of time in his head – but this can be the perfect card for a non-judgemental reading for when we really need it.

Without knowing all the immediate facts, as a long-term tarot reader I would trust this card to be more of a yes when it comes to work queries, career, business, strategy or money, but when it comes to relationships, philosophy, intuition and matters of the heart I’d say this card is asking for a pause, or stating a hard no.

Read below some different topics, and typical tarot questions, where the King of Swords answers for us what their thoughts are. As a disclaimer to all of this, you are the only authority in your life, and it’s essential to consider your feelings, circumstances, and the specifics of your situation when interpreting these cards.

cinematic scene of a king holding a sword

Home related questions

Will I buy a new home within the next year?

  • The King of Swords answers a yes, but it’ll be a need for careful strategy and honouring patience within us.
  • In its reversal, it might mean that we’re too focused on the details and missing the bigger picture, or vice versa.

Is renovating my current home a priority for me right now?

  • The King of Swords suggests not, as this needs to be something that time and money are spent on, and your energy may be needed elsewhere right now.
  • The reversed King of Swords might mean that you’re avoiding making a firmer decision because of uncertainty around the details or what it’d entail to take on this project.

I am considering moving to a different city or country in the near future, is it a good idea?

  • In an upright position, The King of Swords upright suggests yes – but planning and researching are important, and the more information you can gather before making this decision, the better.
  • In its reversal, our King of Swords shares that you may be letting fear get in the way of making the right decision.

I would like to live in a rural area someday, is this a good investment for me?

  • The upright King of Swords is asking you to think about what is best for you in general, and do your morals and ethics align with living in more rural areas (where there are fewer people, and more greenery typically)
  • A reversal might mean that you’re being too rational or logical about the decision, and not taking into account your emotions.

Is living in a high-rise apartment something worth considering?

  • In its upright position, the King of Swords may be pointing you to consider this option but remember that research and careful planning are still important.
  • In the reversed position, the King of Swords answers no. The card is suggesting that you take a step back and re-evaluate your options, as it may not be the most practical choice for you.

Family related questions

Should I plan on having children?

In its upright position, the King of Swords makes a great father figure in terms of bestowing wisdom and guidance, yet in its reversal it shows up as cold and unfeeling. The real answer to this question is for you to decide if it’s something that you want for yourself, because of what you want to give, or will you resent having this level of responsibility that takes you away from other goals or dreams.

Am I currently satisfied with my relationship with my parents?

  • The upright King of Swords could indicate that your relationships are based on clear communication and respect. If you feel there’s wisdom and guidance, it’s likely that you are satisfied.
  • When reversed this could signify communication breakdowns, misunderstanding, or coldness. If these elements are present, it may indicate dissatisfaction in your relationship with your parents and that this is an authoritative call to action to communicate with the family as a whole, using “I feel” statements rather than accusatory tones.

Is it a good idea to spend more time with my extended family?

  • This King card suggests using your wisdom and judgment to make this decision. If your extended family offers valuable connections and intellectual stimulation, it might be beneficial for you.
  • But in its reversal position, the King of Swords represents conflicts, misunderstandings, or lack of respect generally within the extended family, so it might not be the best idea to spend more time with them right now.

Should I be open to the idea of adopting a child?

  • The King of Swords would advise to make this decision based on logic, wisdom, and careful thought. It does signify the potential to you to provide a nurturing environment for a child.
  • When reversed it suggests to look inward and understand any potential issues or conflicts that may arise with this decision. Are there fears or reservations that need to be addressed first? How will this impact your life, and the lives of those around you?

Should I be the primary caregiver for a family member?

Our upright King of Swords indicates intellect, skill, responsibility and clear communication needed to become the primary caregiver, but in its reversal, the King of Swords may indicate feeling overwhelmed or unable to handle this responsibility. It’s important to acknowledge these feelings and seek support if needed.

Love related questions

Is this love at first sight?

  • The Upright King of Swords wants you to not lose your head here, but to wait a moment and see if it’s true love or just an infatuation, and if this person is worthy of your love too. If you give in to the feeling and jump in too quickly, it may not last.
  • In its reversed position, the King shares that the person may not be worth your time and you should take some time to evaluate if it’s a real connection or something that may pass.

Am I currently in a committed relationship?

  • The maturity of the King of Swords upright indicates that you may be in a committed relationship, such as getting engaged or married. It could also suggest that your relationship is based on communication and respect.
  • In its reversed position, the King would be asking if you are needing more independence or if you wish to have them submit to you more, have serious discussions about communication for the long term or even manage your energy towards them better.

Would a long-distance relationship work for me?

  • You’d need a lot of planning and strategy involved, as well as you’d have to weigh up the risks, but the guidance of the King of Swords shares that this is something that could be nurtured if you’re both willing to put in the effort.
  • In its reversed position, it may lead to a lot of negative thoughts on either side and therefore put extra strain on a relationship – instead of asking if would it work for you, ask why would you want the relationship long-distance. What are the benefits for you?

Should I consider dating someone significantly older or younger than me?

  • With its themes of maturity, you could be ready to date older or be the older person in a relationship, as the guidance you could provide, the wisdom you could receive and the life experience you could gain, could be well worth the risk.
  • The reversed King of Swords is asking to look at why this age gap may not work. Are there any cultural differences that would be a barrier? Is the person mature enough for you and do they share your values? It’s important to explore all these types of questions.

Has my partner cheated on me?

This King of Swords is asking you to look at facts and be open to other interpretations. It may suggest that you have noticed signs of betrayal, such as a change in behaviour or lies, but you’re not sure if they have actually cheated. Look at your circumstances and investigate thoroughly before jumping to conclusions. You must also be ready to have this hard conversation with your partner, as this is no way to live.

Business related questions

Should I start my own business?

The King of Swords believes in seeking his counsel for large strategic decisions but is on the side of caution. The King may suggest that you take the time to research, plan and create systems before taking the plunge – but ultimately, if you believe in your business idea, only you have the authority to make it happen.

Will my current job keep me satisfied today?

The reversed King of Swords is warning you to look beneath the surface, and not just accept that job satisfaction today will be enough, as you’re not to tolerate mild vanities. If you’re feeling unchallenged or unfulfilled, it may be time to look for a job that will provide you with the level of satisfaction you desire.

Can I achieve a better work-life balance?

  • The upright King of Swords offers a gentle balance between the two, reminding you that both must be considered and respected. It may suggest looking for ways to increase your productivity through strategy, without sacrificing your leisure time or personal life.
  • In the reversed position, it could imply that you’re not even allowing yourself to experience both aspects of life equally right now, and it may be time to reassess your routine swiftly.

Should I consider a career change?

  • The King of Swords is a wise and cautious card, offering you sensible advice before making any drastic changes. The upright position implies that it could be time to review your situation, look at the options and explore different paths of career development.
  • In its reversed position, it may be warning you that a change is not necessarily the best choice right now and that you should consider other options first to ensure a steady transition. No matter what decision you make, the King of Swords is urging you to pay attention to detail and be strategic in your approach.

Should I invest in the stock market?

  • As with any investment, it’s tantamount you do your research and be aware of the risks. The upright King of Swords encourages you to take an analytical approach, taking into consideration all factors and being mindful of possible outcomes.
  • In the reversed position, it may suggest that you’re not taking the necessary steps to properly assess a stock market investment and should take your time with this.

Career related questions

Do I believe that my career defines my identity?

The reversed King of Swords encourages you to step back and look at the bigger picture. It may suggest that while your career can play an important role in your identity, it should not define you as a person. Consider if your job is fulfilling you, explore hobbies and passions that bring you joy – remember that your identity should not be defined by any one thing.

Would I be willing to relocate for a job opportunity?

  • The upright King of Swords will be the first to tell you to seriously plan this through. Think about the pros and cons, both financially and emotionally, of a possible relocation, and make sure to assess any potential risks.
  • In its reversed position, it may suggest that you need to consider all angles before taking any action, and make sure that the job opportunity is truly worth your time.

Do I need a college degree to be necessary for my own career success?

  • The King of Swords would advise you to look at the situation carefully and weigh up all options before making any decisions. In its upright position, it may swing more towards a positive outcome, and that it’ll benefit you – but plan for an alternative timeline for your career if you choose not to go down the route of education.
  • The reversed position may suggest that you look at other avenues of success without a college degree but be wary of the ethics and morals you align with to get there.

Should I be pursuing a leadership role in my industry?

  • Here the King of Swords offers a balanced response, suggesting that it may be beneficial to aim for leadership roles if you feel ready and have the required skills.
  • The reversed position however may ask you to consider why you want a leadership role, and whether is it for power and vanity purposes rather than making a difference.

Should I take a significant pay cut for a job I love?

  • The King of Swords encourages you to take an analytical approach when it comes to major decisions about your career. In its upright position, it’s advising you to consider the risks and benefits, as well as any potential future opportunities that may arise from taking a pay cut.
  • In its reversed position it leans more toward turning away from a role financially that is more of an alignment for you or priority for you, rather than the work itself right now.

Wealth & Money related questions

Am I actively working towards improving my financial situation?

  • The King of Swords suggests that you take a step back and look at your financial situation from an analytical point of view. In its upright position, it encourages you to be mindful and take a strategic approach when it comes to wealth creation.
  • In its reversed position, it may suggest that your current approach is not sustainable for you, and that you should take some time to really assess your situation and make the necessary changes.

Should I change my long-term financial plans right now?

  • Think carefully about any changes you want to make when it comes to money. In its upright position, it may indicate you need to seek an authority for independent review or a mentor for this area who can share more expertise on it, maybe in the form of a father or uncle figure.
  • Its reversed position points to avoiding any rash decisions and taking into account all factors before making the ultimate decision.

Should I take more risks when it comes to my financial investments?

  • The King of Swords will encourage you to look at the situation from an analytical point of view, and make sure that any risks taken are rational and well thought-through.
  • In its upright position, it may suggest that taking calculated risks can be beneficial, but to weigh up any potential gains and losses beforehand.

Should I consider changing my career for the potential of higher income?

  • With methodical tactics and the aid of a mentor or career coach, you could find that the upright King of Swords is encouraging you to take a closer look at your career opportunities and potentially unlock new and reign in higher incomes.
  • In its reversed position, it’s advising you to take a step back and look at your current career situation objectively to make sure that it’s not an impulsive decision made out of greed or desperation.

Financially how can I just be better off right now?

  • The King of Swords points to taking a measured approach when it comes to considering changes in your career. In its upright position, it can be interpreted as reassurance that if you look at your current situation with a clear head and clarity of mind, you can probably find ways to improve it.
  • In its reversed position, it may be implying that haste makes waste and to take time to really assess whether or not a move is right for you, or if it’s better to wait and save what you already have.
Upright King of Swords

Education related questions

Should I currently be pursuing higher education?

  • In its upright position, the King of Swords encourages you to look at your options objectively and take a logical approach when it comes to deciding whether or not additional education will be beneficial and the best use of your time and energy. Whilst it’s quite a favourable card, as mental pursuits as in this King’s court especially, the overall impact on other areas of your life needs to not be at a disadvantage for the duration of this additional learning.
  • In its reversed position, the King of Swords may be indicating that at this point in time, additional education isn’t a wise decision due to other priorities.

Is it a better decision for me to go back to school to get a different degree?

  • If it’s a complete “start from scratch” project for yourself, then it may be that you need to seek the advice of an education counsellor or trusted mentor to gain a better perspective on the situation. The upright King of Swords may be suggesting that going down this route could bring with it many benefits, but make sure that you take into account the costs involved and be realistic about what this new degree can bring.
  • In its reversed position, the card may be pointing to the fact that you should really be focusing on where your current skills and experience can take you. Ultimately, it’s important to think logically and weigh up all of the pros and cons before making a decision.

Will a classroom education be the key to success for me?

  • The King of Swords is suggesting that there can be value in taking a classroom education approach, but to ensure you have also considered other alternatives. Traditional methods could be the way forward, but to also look at other options such as online courses or even self-study.
  • If the card appears in its reversed position, it’s suggesting that you should really consider if a classroom-based education is the right move for you or if there are other methods of learning that may be more suitable.

Should I try to learn a new language?

The King of Swords indicates that taking a logical approach to educational pursuits and seeking advice from an authority figure in your life is recommended when it comes to making decisions about new learning experiences. In its upright position, it may be suggesting that taking on a language could open up new windows of opportunities for you, especially in terms of how you communicate with others in your mother language, however, in its reversed position, the King of Swords may be indicating that it’s not necessarily a wise decision to pursue new education at this time.

How can I use my education to get a better job?

The King of Swords encourages you to take an analytical approach when making any decisions related to education. In its upright position, it suggests that you review the potential risks and rewards of pursuing further education, and make sure that any investments in time


As you can see from these examples, the interpretation of the King of Swords card can be used to help you make decisions about educational pursuits. It’s important to take a logical approach and weigh all the pros and cons so that you can make an informed decision.

Download my quick and handy PDF guide, providing concise meanings and Yes/No interpretations for each card.


I have been reading Tarot for more than 15 years. I have always enjoyed using my intuition to provide clarity and insights to others. Tarot is one of my favorite forms of divination, and I love sharing that passion with like-minded folks.

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