The Pictorial Key to
the Tarot of the King
of Cups in Tatters
By James W. Revak



King of SwordsKing.  He is a politician and, unlike Justice, he holds his sword off-center, which indicates that he, like all politicians, is easily bought.  (Did I have to tell you this?)  However, the Highest Mysteries teach that, on an alternate dimension, he is principally associated with the Sword of Solomon, the Anvil of Art, the Orphic Egg (scrambled), Militant Intelligence, and all that synergistically arises out of them.  Thus, he signifies a domineering but just man; a man of keen intellect or no intellect; a good but harsh man, or a bad and harsh man, or a good and lenient man; a loving but aloof man; a sadistic but masochistic man; a man of the law or a career criminal; a darkly complected man or a blond man; a man born under Sagittarius or a man born above Sagittarius; a man who is really only a boy, or a boy who only thinks he is a man; a man who acts aggressively but does so charmingly; a man who is a soldier or a peace officer, a fencing instructor or a tennis instructor, a butcher or a candlestick-maker.  Have We forgotten anything?  Oh, yeah, all of the above in a woman but to a greater or lesser degree.  In practical Tarot work these “interpretations” remind you that no one has any idea of how to interpret Court Cards.  So why are you reading this?

Queen of SwordsQueen.  “Don’t fuck with me, fellas!  I’ve had bigger sharks than you for breakfast,” says this no-nonsense Queen.  This implies that it is an inopportune time to invite your mother-in-law over for a quiet, home-cooked meal to coax her into giving you the loan you desperately need, because you and your spouse were stupid enough to buy a time-share in the middle of the desert.

Knight of SwordsKnight. 
This speedy Knight in shining armor will soon enter your life to rescue you from a boring and/or tragic existence.  If ill-dignified: Said Knight will be in such a hurry that he’ll leave without even noticing you.

Page of SwordsPage. 
Do not leave swords, guns, or other deadly weapons where an emotionally disturbed child or adolescent may find them.  If especially ill-dignified: You will soon ignore the preceding sage advise, the disturbed child or adolescent will be yours, and he/she will have a bone to pick with you.  Don’t say that We didn’t warn you.

Ten of SwordsTen. 
Fasten your seat belt; it’s going to be a bumpy ride.  If ill-dignified: Same advise, but it’s going to be a crash landing over water in sub-zero weather.

Nine of SwordsNine.
 It can and will get worse.  But take courage, Daughter/Son of Earth, you will soon see the light at the end of the tunnel.  If ill-dignified: The light will be that of a freight train heading right for you.

Eight of SwordsEight. 
You will soon play blind man’s bluff.  Or, your spouse will soon be held hostage for a mere one thousand dollars, whereupon you will callously reply to the kidnappers, “Keep her (or him).”  Hey, it’s you’re karma.  Ethically, the cards are strictly neutral.

Seven of SwordsSeven. 
You will soon steal silverware from a restaurant.  If ill-dignified: The restaurant will be the only one in town with a clandestine metal detector.

Six of SwordsSix. 
You will soon visit Venice, Italy, where you will travel on its many picturesque canals.  If ill-dignified: You will soon visit the beaches of Venice, California, where you will barely be saved from drowning.

Five of SwordsFive. 
You are a victimizer.  You must explore alternative ways of obtaining what you want from others; read How to Win Friends and Influence PeopleIf ill-dignified: You are a victim.  You must explore alternative ways of relating to others; read Machiavelli’s The Prince.

Four of SwordsFour. 
Is your burial insurance paid up?  You do want your family to afford a snazzy tomb like the one pictured here, don’t you?  If ill-dignified: Yes, your burial insurance is paid up, but your spouse will opt for a cheap cremation and take a vacation with what’s left over.

Three of SwordsThree. 
There isn’t a chance in hell, that you will receive a Valentine card this year.  If ill-dignified: The implication is the same—possibly worse. (Did you really think that there was an out?)

Two of SwordsTwo. 
This card means “tenderness, affection, intimacy” according to Waite (I’m serious!), who obviously didn’t tell the artist.  Anyhow, these purported meanings have absolutely nothing to do with this card or you.  If ill-dignified: The card really does mean tenderness, affection, and intimacy, but because it is ill-dignified, you will not enjoy any of them.

Ace of SwordsAce. 
“The crown may carry a much higher significance than comes usually within the sphere of fortune-telling,” says Waite.  Who cares; virtually all Tarotists, including you, use the cards for fortune-telling (ok, ok, divination)—period.


Copyright © 2000 James W. Revak.  All rights reserved.  Version 1.0 (4/12/00).