The Knight of Swords represents the principle of the mind in action and the desire to share one’s truth openly and communicate decisively. It represents a strong surge of energy that motivates us to express our thoughts with a brazen openness and take risks toward pursuing our goals and ideals.
Knight of Swords Keywords
decisive action, speaking one’s truth, haste, ambition, confrontation
restless, unfocused, burnout, impulsive, reactive
Description of the Knight of Swords Tarot Card
Where the key meanings of the Major Arcana focus on life’s overarching themes and events, Minor Arcana cards like those in the suit of Swords explore and reveal the more subtle changes impacting one’s day-to-day life and near future. The Knight of Swords follows the Page of Swords and represents the desire to take action on the ideas and plans that were incubated in the Page.
All Knights in the Minor Arcana represent taking action according to the element of their suit. The Knight of Swords’ style is associated with the suit of Swords’ element of air: intellectual, logical, and assertive, similar to the air signs of the western zodiac like Gemini, Libra, and Aquarius. The Knight of Swords also bears similarities with fellow court cards the Knight of Cups, Knight of Pentacles, and Knight of Wands, in that all four deal with action, motivation, and practical expressions of energy.
In the Rider Waite Smith tarot deck, the Knight of Swords is represented as a young man charging on horseback toward an unseen opponent, his sword raised high as if to announce his intention to enter a confrontation or a duel. His expression is fiercely focused and impassioned as he appears to be singularly fixated on whatever battle he is charging towards.
The white horse he commands is pictured mid-gallop, his two legs flying through the air at breakneck speed. This alludes to the ungrounded quality of this Knight and his tendency to live fully in the realm of the mind. The horse seems to be looking back with fear and anxiety as if to ask the action-oriented Knight if he’s sure they should be moving this quickly toward a dangerous situation.
The wind whips through the horse’s mane and the surrounding trees, suggesting that the situation is in a state of rapid flux, requiring a careful adaptation to changing circumstances. The clouds that appear in the sky are jagged and foreboding and echo the clouds seen in the Five of Swords, which is another card that describes confrontations and conflicts, winners and losers.
Knight of Swords Upright Meaning
In a tarot reading, the Knight of Swords upright describes the desire to take bold action in order to speak your truth, assert yourself, or come out on top of a conflict. It can represent a willingness to take risks to see yourself succeed and a strong sense of ambition compelling you to take forward-thinking, decisive action in order to realize your goals.
The Knight of Swords is motivated to take action or make a positive change based on ideas, intellectual pursuits, and projects related to communication or the sharing of one’s personal truth. You may be itching to tell your side of the story, speak your piece in a conflict, respond to an aggressive message, or let someone know how you really feel. Because this Knight can be impulsive and impatient, this card encourages you to think before speaking.
The upright Knight of Swords can symbolize words said in haste or from a place of emotional reactivity. You may be fueled by a surge of strong emotions or impassioned ideas, and in this frenzied state, tact and diplomacy can temporarily go out the window. This card invites you to draw on the Knight’s ability to speak the truth directly while maintaining an awareness of your own reactivity, delivery, and tone.
Love and Relationships (Upright Meaning)
The Knight of Swords upright can indicate heated conversations where important truths are shared, but words are also said in haste. Because this Knight is fired up and ready to enter the battle, someone may get unnecessarily hurt in the process. This card asks if you are charging into a confrontation blindly or if you are approaching the situation around you from a place of calm emotional awareness.
Love tarot readings with an upright Knight of Swords can also indicate a passionate and exciting connection built on a strong intellectual attraction and a desire for emotional intensity. While this connection may feel enlivening, the Knight’s tendency for rash and impulsive action suggests that it may be wise to adopt a slower approach that allows for a connection to form naturally over time.
Love/relationships upright keywords
Career/finance upright keywords
heated conversations, sharing emotional truths, passionate connection, rash impulsivity
ambitious, driven to succeed, desire for speed, cutting corners
Career and Finance (Upright Meaning)
The Knight of Swords upright indicates that you’re ambitious, driven to succeed, and willing to take risks to achieve your goals. You could work in the realm of communication or intellectual exchange, or you could simply be passionate about sharing your ideas and taking action toward your dreams. You can draw on your intense drive and decisiveness in service of advancing your work.
The upright Knight of Swords may also symbolize a tendency to “move fast and break things,” and while your willingness to take risks can serve you well, it can also work against you if you are cutting corners or bypassing important details that you will have to return to again later. You can succeed when you balance your ambition and desire for speed with a commitment to taking the necessary steps to ensure your vision is built with integrity.
Knight of Swords Reversed Meaning
The reversed Knight of Swords can indicate that you’re pushing your impassioned beliefs, perspective, or ideals onto others and that this is causing friction in your relationships. You could be so motivated by a desire to share your ideas or to convince others of your point of view that you are acting forcefully or without regard to others’ feelings.
The meaning of the Knight of Swords reversed may symbolize that your mind is churning and overloaded with ideas, plans, and thoughts, which is leading to a frazzled feeling of scattered energy. This diffusion of your mental energy may make you feel restless and unfocused, without a clear direction forward. Taking time out to gather your thoughts and focus your energy may help to set you back on course.
When the Knight of Swords is a reversed card, it can also signal a need for rest and the need to slow down or risk the feeling of burnout. Like the Knight on horseback, you could be so focused on the immediate goal in front of you that you don’t realize you are wearing yourself thin—physically, mentally, or emotionally. You could be seized by a single-minded desire for control which is leading to exhaustion and ineffective action.
Love and Relationships (Reversed Meaning)
A love reading with the Knight of Swords reversed can represent someone who is blinded by their own impassioned convictions and is pushing their ideals onto others. You or your partner could be so focused on being right or having your point of view validated that there’s no room for the other person. This card invites you to consider taking a balanced approach to conflicts and heated conversations in your love life.
The Knight of Swords reversed may also suggest that you are ignoring the signals from within to slow down your approach to a new relationship. You could be feeling impatient and so focused on the attainment of a person or relationship ideal that you are bypassing the ability to form an authentic connection over time.
Love/relationships reversed keywords
Career/finance reversed keywords
blinded by impassioned convictions, pushing one’s ideals onto another, ignoring signals to slow down
scattered energy, ineffective action, ignoring signals to slow down, approaching burnout
Career and Finance (Reversed Meaning)
The Knight of Swords reversed can signal that your energy is becoming scattered as you try to tackle too many different objectives or goals. You may have competing priorities or have several different projects that you are simultaneously working on, which is leading to the feeling of ineffective action. This card suggests trying to rebalance your time in some way so that you can maximize your energy toward more focused ends.
When the reversed Knight of Swords appears in a tarot card reading, it can also suggest that you are ignoring signals from within to slow down at work. You could be spreading yourself too thin and are approaching the feeling of burnout. This card invites you to try and find time to take a pause or slow down when possible in order to regain your strength and motivation.