Sternness and severity combined with justice and compassion.
The King of Swords portrays the masculine side of the air element. This is the power of the intelligent, quick, clever mind, which is here represented in its imaginative, witty, versatile, completely contradictory manner, but also in its cunning, ironic, and sly aspect. With the help of this disposition, we can recognize, understand, analyze, logically deduct, abstract, estimate and calculate, consider problems from all sides, and penetrate them. But when these powers attain the upper hand the dark side emerges: too much emphasis upon logical thought, coldness, biting and cynical criticism, dubious suggestiveness, and butterfly-like unstableness.