16 Lessons from the Court Cards Part 3: Swords

 16 Lessons from the Court Cards Part 3: Swords and Court Cards Tarot Cheatsheet!

This post is part of a blog post series exploring the tarot card meanings through storytelling. 

For the major arcana, the story is told from the point of view of the Fool who is undertaking his journey through the arcana. The rest of the posts are from the point of view of another character who has heard about the Fool's Journey and goes on a journey of her own.

If you've already read the previous posts in this series you'll know that we've already completed our fictional Fool's Journey through the major arcana and we're continuing our journey through the land of tarot with a new protagonist, the Traveller. 

By now, we've already journeyed through all four elemental kingdoms: wands, cups, swords and pentacles.

Right now our protagonist, Traveller, is attending a royal ball held at Pentacles Palace and has already met the pentacles and wands families.

Today, she meets the swords family! 

Posts in the series include:

If you have not yet read the other posts in this series, I recommend starting from the beginning.

The major arcana, minor arcana, and court cards can also be read as stand-alone sections as well but for maximum benefit I recommend going in order.

Right, are you ready to continue?

Let's get back into the story!

Keep reading to get your FREE Tarot Cheatsheets!


The court cards are basically personality cards. They represent the essence of the element distilled into four distinct personality types for each suit.

DOWNLOAD THE FREE TAROT CHEATSHEETS!

If you're having trouble remembering the card meanings and want a quick reference to look them up when you need to, download my free printable cheatsheets for the majors, all four suits, and the court cards to help you learn!

The King of Swords: The Strategist


The King of Swords' Lesson

When faced with a difficult situation, be impartial and carefully evaluate all your options with a rational mind.

 King of Swords Tarot Card Meaning

"Presenting His Majesty the King of Swords, Her Majesty the Queen of Swords, His Royal Highness the Knight of Swords, and Her Royal Highness the Page of Swords" said the master of ceremonies. 

You turned around to get a good look at the incoming royals. They looked so utilitarian and compared to their more flashy counterparts from Wands and Pentacles.

He was dressed in an all black suit with silver embroidery only on the edges and wore a very simple crown. He had a gaunt face with intense eyes and had a bit of grey hair on his temples. He looked every bit as intimidating as you imagined him to be.

Throughout your journey in the Swords Kingdom you had heard of him and the civil war with his brother but you had never actually seen him or met him.

Looking at him, you couldn't get the sickening sight of his brother's corpse lying on the battlefield after the Battle of Ten Swords as they now called it. This was the man that killed his brother in such a brutal fashion. 

Nevertheless, you should go introduce yourself to the king. You walked up to the king and curtsied. "Your Majesty, I am..." The king raised his hand in the air. You stopped mid sentence.

"I know who you are, traveller" he said, studying you carefully. "You tried to help your friend stop the civil war in my kingdom. I had my spies follow your party for quite some time during your time in Swords."

"So you knew about her relationship with her brother?" you asked, incredulously. You couldn't believe it.

"Of course. I don't do anything without gathering all the information first. I only pretended for your friend's benefit during our little meeting. I wanted to see how honest she would be with me" he said with an icy smile. 

Are people just pawns on a chessboard to him? "Did you even care about your brother? I'm sorry for being so direct but I saw his corpse. The image is seared into my mind" you said, crossing your arms.

"Of course I did!" he said with uncharacteristic intensity. "I gave him many chances to swear allegiance to me and each time he spat in my face! I have been more than fair with him and gave him a generous offer as agreed upon with his lover. However, he said he would rather die than serve me. It pained me to kill him but it was fair. There can be no mercy for rebels and outlaws. None at all" he said, with an air of finality.

Queen of Swords: The Advisor


The Queen of Swords' Lesson

Stand up for yourself, always speak your mind, and don’t take shit from anyone.

 Queen of Swords Tarot Card Meaning

"Come now, husband, you're upsetting our tender-hearted traveller" said the queen. "Let me distract her with less terrifying subjects" she said. You didn't know how to feel about that. She made you sound like a complete pushover.

You wanted to protest but instead, bit your tongue and curtsied. "Your Majesty"

The queen tilted her head slightly as she studied you carefully. "You're annoyed by my words, traveller. Don't try to hide it. It's plain in your face. Say whatever it is you're thinking and don't hold back. One must always speak one's mind" she said. How could she tell? And was she always so sharp and direct?

"I..." you frowned. "I'm not at all tender hearted, Your Majesty, I'm afraid you have misjudged me"

"I said that in jest, traveller. I can see it hit a bit close to home. You should really learn to take a joke" she began. You opened your mouth to protest.

"Now now, kitten, don't argue. You are a kitten but a very brave one. I do very much admire your strength for all you endured during the civil war and for helping your friend. Loyalty is very much valued in our kingdom and you have it in spades" she said. She seemed to be genuine. 

"Thank you" you said. The queen confused you with her piercing words on the one hand, but heartfelt compliments on the other.

"I like you, traveller. You seem to be a genuine person, unlike the Queen of Wands over there" she said as she looked at the queen with a frown. "I mean just look at that outfit of hers. She's obviously trying to hard to be the centre of attention"

That was not nice of her to say! "Well, I liked her. I found her to be very confident and charming"

"She may be charming and very beautiful but she's totally empty in the head. A king needs a smart and capable queen to advise him properly" she said, turning away from the Queen of Wands as if she warranted no attention at all.

"Is that what you do for the King of Swords?" you asked.

"Oh yes, indeed I do" she said, brightening up. "He values my counsel very much. And do you know why that is, traveller?" You shook your head. "Because I'm the only person who doesn't lie to him. I tell it like it is when all his advisers prefer to say what they think he wants to hear. Honesty is the best policy, I say" she said.

DOWNLOAD THE FREE TAROT CHEATSHEETS!

If you're having trouble remembering the card meanings and want a quick reference to look them up when you need to, download my free printable cheatsheets for the majors, all four suits, and the court cards to help you learn!

Knight of Swords: The Conqueror


The Knight of Swords' Lesson

Be tough and be ambitious. Know what you want and go after it with a single-minded determination.

 Knight of Swords Tarot Card Meaning

"Mother! Don't monopolise the only interesting person in this snoozefest of a ball!" said a male voice. It was the Knight of Wands. 

The queen laughed. "Very well, son, I'll let you have a turn. It seems like everyone wants to meet the famous Traveller of the Four Kingdoms" she said and walked away leaving you alone with the knight.

He was a very tall, broad shouldered man. He almost dwarfed you!

"What a boring event this is. I hate balls. Would much rather be fighting with my men" he said.

"I thought the civil war was over?" you asked.

"Oh yes, it's over alright. We not only defeated the rebels, we crushed them! I personally killed at least twenty men!" he said puffing up his chest. "And father has tasked me with the important job of rooting out the remaining rebels"

"You seem very enthusiastic. Aren't you at all sad about the death of your uncle?" you said, with a frown.

He deflated a little at that which made you regret your words. "I am sad. I admired uncle very much. It was him who taught me to fight, in fact, but he chose his fate. I do mourn my uncle but his death leaves the position of right hand man to my father wide open and I very much intend to fill his shoes and more!" he said. 

"Those are some large shoes to fill from what I hear" you said.

"They shall call me, the Black Blade!" he said, gesturing in the air with a far-away look, completely talking over you. "I'm determined to be even more famous than my uncle and conquer many territories for my father!"

You raised an eyebrow. Conquer territories? "Well, don't let the other royals hear that or you might find yourself in a bit of trouble"

"I don't care! I'll say what I like! Father knows how to manipulate all of them anyways. This right here is what I've always dreamed of and nothing is going to stand between me and my dream!"

You couldn't stand to be around this man for much longer. You made your excuses and went to go find his sister. You hoped she would be better.

Page of Swords: The Investigator


The Page of Swords' Lesson

A quick, sharp, mind is your greatest asset. Always be alert, crystal clear, and focused in your perceptions.

 Page of Swords Tarot Card Meaning

You found the Page of Swords standing in the corner, furiously scribbling in a notebook. She was a thin, mousy looking girl, with dark hair and large round spectacles.

"You seem busy. What's that you've got there?" you asked.

"Ah, traveller, I was expecting you" she said, looking up from her notebook. "I noticed you only spend a few minutes with each person at a time and you were just talking to my brother" she said as she adjusted her spectacles.

"Wow. You're very observant" you said, surprised that she was keeping track.

"Oh you have no idea!" She grinned. "I notice everything and write it down here" she said. She showed you her notebook. 

She really did note down everything here. Who spoke to whom, for how long, and in what manner. You paged through her notebook. There were reams and reams of notes about everything and everyone. She had eyes like a hawk to be able to notice all of that! 

"How are you even able to get so much information" you said.

"People ignore me, you see" she began. "I'm very unassuming and forgettable. Even you had a hard time finding me" she said. 

You nodded in agreement. "You're right, I did spent quite a few minutes looking for you. You're not easy to find"

"That's intentional" she said. "I wanted to find a quite place from which to observe everyone and analyse the goings on here"

"But why? To what end?"

"Isn't it obvious? To use, of course!" she exclaimed.

"To use?" you said, repeating her words like a parrot. You just couldn't see why.

The page rolled her eyes. "This isn't just a party. It's politics. By noticing what everyone does, how they behave, and who they talk to, I can gather a bit of intelligence for father to make use of in the summit meeting tomorrow. In order to negotiate the very best deal for my kingdom" she said. "My mind and my perceptions and my sharpest weapon and this is how I use it to contribute to my family"

What an intelligent girl. You were impressed!

Just then you heard fanfare. Ah, it looked like the final group of royals were arriving.

DOWNLOAD THE FREE TAROT CHEATSHEETS!

If you're having trouble remembering the card meanings and want a quick reference to look them up when you need to, download my free printable cheatsheets for the majors, all four suits, and the court cards to help you learn!

Alright, so Traveller has just met the swords family. What do you think of them? Do you think you'd get along with them?

The story is not over yet though! The ball is almost over but Traveller hasn't yet met all of the court card characters. We've got one more family left!

In the next post, the last one in this series, she meets the cups family! Keep reading to see what they're like!

Continue to next post >>

Tarot Card Images: Modern Spellcaster’s Tarot by Melanie Marquis, Scott Murphy © 2016 Llewellyn Worldwide, Ltd. 2143 Wooddale Drive, Woodbury, MN 55125. All rights reserved, used by permission.