Inspiring Enchantment & Illumination with Tarot & Intuitive Guidance

Tarot Card of the Week: June 15 – 21

The King of Swords
Knowing a great deal is not the same as being smart; intelligence is not information alone but also judgment, the manner in which information is collected and used.
— Dr. Carl Sagan

Here on the turning point between Spring and Summer, with the celebration of the Solstice later this week, it is interesting to have the serious visage of the King of Swords come visiting again.

What might he portend? Certainly, as I’ve discussed before in more traditional interpretations, he represents the Swords’ Air element, ruling the mind and intellect, communication and idealism. The King of Swords is the only court card that looks directly out at us, reminding us of the Majors’ Emperor and Justice, two other figures who also sit upon their thrones, gazing straight at us, judging and choosing. This King rules by the intelligence of his mind.

What do we actually mean by intelligence? For a long time, we measured intelligence strictly by IQ tests. However, these have come under increasing scrutiny because of their racial and economic class biases. And, frankly, several of the most IQ-intelligent people I’ve ever known have been, in my estimation, some of the most inept and ignorant.

Perhaps this is because intelligence is much more than information retention and regurgitation (which, as most school teachers will tell you, makes the current emphasis on grade testing dubious at best).

Increasingly, intelligence is being understood as much more than just one quantifiable thing. Scientists are now proposing various theories of “multiple intelligences.” They believe that intelligence is a matrix of several independent abilities, such as analytical, creative, and emotional intelligence. These combine to contribute to the total performance of an individual.

It is emerging, too, that our intelligence may not reside exclusively in our brain, and that our brain’s physiology and capacity literally change, depending on the extent to which we learn to expand beyond self-centeredness and our egocentric thinking.

The word intelligence comes from the Latin verb, “intellegere” which means “to understand.” No matter how smart we aspire to be, without insight and the ability to connect to our world and to one another with real understanding, our mental capacity means little.

Nevertheless, the King of Swords reminds us to do our homework this week and stick to the facts. When times are difficult, we need to think clearly and logically, with precision and a certain amount of emotional detachment. We must ask the tough questions, listen carefully for the truth, and make honest choices.

In your personal dealings, it is time to see things with clear eyes and incisive analysis. This card may show up for you this week if you are dealing with attorneys, government bureaucracy, or academia. This also might be an opportunity to make an important decision. And this card is a good reminder that sometimes we need to break free of emotional and energetic drains.

Welcome the King’s intelligence, remembering that without real understanding, we are merely clever, which is not that smart, after all.

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  • June 15, 2009, 11:10 am Madeline

    Hi Beth! Wow–your card of the week is always right on ..I use it!! I am in a think think think mode..also a waiting for MORE information situation– I hope the KING and the planets help me to just chill and relax, and stop OVER thinking all of it!

    Mercury is bringing in lots of calls already– and it's only 10 in the morning here! I forsee a wild week ahead.. I am going to be sure to channel some of my AIR energy into ART,instead!! Am working on al altered book project and some SOUL COLLAGE cards..

    have a great week–

  • June 15, 2009, 4:22 pm Star

    Madeline, I like the idea of Soul Collage cards. Would you describe them? Are they for personal use or for sending to others?


  • June 16, 2009, 3:32 am Azam Mansha

    Emotional intelligence is the ability to understand your own emotions and those of people around you. Emotional intelligence is sometimes referred to as emotional quotient or emotional literacy. Individuals with emotion intelligence are able to relate to others with compassion and empathy, have well-developed social skills and use this emotional awareness to direct their actions and behaviour.

  • June 16, 2009, 10:20 am Dunyazade

    a question: what type of job (in a broad sense) would this card indicate, in your opinion?

  • June 16, 2009, 10:26 am Beth Owl's Daughter

    Interesting question, Dunyazade!

    I see this card as relating best to jobs that involve communications (writing, broadcast, Internet for example), or those that require very technical knowledge, information technology, and abstract concepts.

    I can also see it as a card for the legal professions (especially those that must argue brilliantly) and even academia.

    Other ideas, y'all?
    – B.