King of Swords- Grounding Reason with the Heart



Today as I brought out my cards, I wondered where I was going to go next. Something was compelling me towards the suit of swords, very strongly. The themes of suffering and pain appropriate for current events. So many of us are hurting and scared. Violence is ramping up. The global threat to justice by the powers of white supremacist capitalist patriarchy have reached the critical threshold where we can no longer go about our daily lives. We are stepping through that door that will lead us into the heart of our national shadow, and things are about to get very messy. They already have, but if we learn from history, we should all know that this is but a small glimpse of what’s to come.

I stacked each suit side by side on my tarot cloth- Wands, Cups, Swords, Pentacles, with the King of each at the top of the stack. The King of Swords stared at me, pulling me in. The highest card of his suit of anguish, despair, a story of the tricks of thought, of ego, of what happens when our beliefs and thoughts get the best of us. So the King is the ultimate in mastery of thought, in using reason to find truth.

The message that I received from him today is something that is critical in these times, if we can manage it. In the midst of our grieving, keep an eye toward the power of truth. Find, in the center of your grieving, the values, ethics, and beliefs that are the source of our pain. Those are the very things that are threatened right now. The beliefs that we are entitled to agency over our own bodies. That we deserve access to the assistance we need to maintain our health. The belief that every human is entitled to dignity. Values of diversity. Ethical considerations of fairness and of justice for centuries of oppression that have made it so that BIPOC are fighting uphill battles just to survive. Ethical considerations of global power dynamics that create and reinforce Islamophobia. Ethical considerations to recognize histories of colonization that have led to modern immigration patterns. Values of self-determination, and freedom of gender expression. Values of trusting one another’s self-knowledge, that we love and have attractions to who we say we do. Because we know ourselves better than anyone else knows us.

There are so many more values that I know so many of us hold close, and we are all in pain because these things are threatened now more than ever before.


The King of Swords says to get acquainted with your values.

Swords are also a symbol of justice. Through swords we focus, we aim, and we cut to the heart of a matter. The process isn't always easy, in fact it can be quite messy. The King in his maturity has seen the ways that thought can lead us down the path of suffering, when it is not tempered. With what do we temper our thought? We temper it with our emotions, our intuition, our passions and desire, we temper it with the lens of material reality- the human lens, and the lens of practicality.

Logic, thought, reason alone are not enough to live wholly in the world. Thought can lead us down paths of evil, spinning out of control, because systems of logic are their own beast unto themselves when they are devoid of the human elements of love and intuition.

Systems of logic like white supremacy “make sense” in their own isolated way, but not when you hold them up the standards of the heart, or the standards of the material realm.

When we ground our values and logics in whole ideologies, we understand that no good can come of a system that privileges some while harming and subjugating others. We understand that our own potential, and the potential of the world is bound up as long as others are bound. The realm of the heart does not allow us to dehumanize without bits of itself dying, piece by piece, until we lose our ability to truly love. No act that lacks a holistic perspective, no act that is not grounded in pure truth and love is a divine act. No act that is not grounded in pure truth and love will ever lead to our liberation.

So in the wake of this momentous news, as we head into a time where we may well see the rise a true fascist police state, the King of Swords wants you to find your truth, your truth as it is grounded in love. Dig into your heart to find the values and ethics that serve as your guiding principles in life. When you are clear on what it is you stand for, you will always be ready to act, and you will always know that your actions are in alignment with your highest self.

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