The King of Swords was born to be fair and just and righteous, for the king swords to appear in the reversed position we know that his path has altered due to experience or circumstance. It is interesting to question whether this king when reversed, was not someone who chose to become ill-dignified, but whether he was someone who was corrupted by insurmountable adversity.
Given the King Swords is dignified by the Element of Air, and is the highest thinking archetype in the tarot, with an enormous capacity for intellectual (not necessarily emotional!!) intelligence, he rationalises (in his own irrational way – perception is a reality after all) his behaviour.
That he did not just succumb to greed or darker forces; there was a life changing event that corrupted his ability to be himself… our King was victimised, and it changed the fabric of his being. As he is dignified by the Element of Air, and is intelligent, he rationalises (in his own irrational way – perception is a reality after all) his behaviour.
Remember, though, there was a time when he too aligned himself with the loftier values he has it in himself to honor, his birthright. However, he lost himself in over analysis and calculation and forfeited his more human side and ended up crippled instead.
Does the experience of abuse reset you psychologically to react to it in an extreme manner – to take on the identity of your abuser? To become more abusive than your abuser, and outdo them, or to become an advocate for the victims of abuse.
It changes who a person is when they experience abuse. The more abuse they experience, the more severe the abuse, the greater the impact upon them will be.
There seems little middle ground, one is either consumed by the victimisation and fear of the abuse, and become a perpetual victim or abuser, or having survived the abuse, they become advocates and supporters of those in need.
Do people realise that they have changed due to abuse? Are you yelling because that is the only way you know how to deal with a situation?
When some people are young, and they experience abuse, they promise themselves that they will find a safe place, where no one can ever hurt them again. Other’s promise themselves they will become the strongest most dominant player, that no one will lay ah and on them again, because of their own physicality.
Some people perpetuate the patterns, others promise themselves they won’t. Both are survival techniques. They are creating for themselves a vision of the future that is safe, where they are free from fear and harm, and this allows them the ability to cope throughout their most abusive experiences. They go somewhere else, cut themselves off, and hide in their mind.
This is the King of Swords Reversed. No other is as cold, remote, or changed by the experiences of youth than he. His Queen has become wise through the hardships she has experienced, but she is not imprisoned in her own psychology the way our King Swords is.
Whilst upright, the King of Swords, represents all that is fair and honourable and impartial and just, reversed he is at best dispassionate and at worst cruel. He perceives himself as being a higher intelligence. He plays games with those who are easy prey.
He is bored, restless, and unfocused, only intense challenges engage him, and he is one-eyed in how he goes about them. The King of Swords goes after his target with a no mercy spared attitude. No casualties or sacrifice from others, is too great, if it enables the King to have what he will.
This King is a political enemy, a strategic political force, a promoter of false investment schemes, and one who is mercenary when it comes to taking what they seek.
Whereas our upright king has the ability to put emotion to the side and be objective. Our reversed king borders on sociopathic with an inability to feel for or see through the eyes of others. He simply seeks what he wishes to obtain, and no cost is too great.
The one distinction to make here is that the King isn’t having a good time hurting others. He is having a good time making himself feel superior. It’s not about causing harm, it’s about grandiosity and self-promotion. It’s about winning, at all costs.
Just as the Ace of Swords’ mighty force can be wielded by those who strive for justice just as readily as it can be by those whose causes are murkier, the King of Swords reversed has taken leave of his moral compass. Instead, he is directed by gratification.