Ace of Swords, Air, Aquarius, brainstorming, character development, Court Cards, elements, Gemini, Joanna Powell Colbert, King of Swords, King of Wands, Libra, Meet the Cards, Minor Arcana, numbers, numerology, plotting, Raelyn Barclay, tarot, writers, writing
What I See:
This card is very different from most King of Swords cards. I get a sense of peace here, as though he’s offering up a prayer of thanksgiving. Whereas the more traditional image of this card is a stern man, more fit for a battlefield than a peaceful plain. This is the ELDER of Air and elder is the first thought that comes to my while looking at this card. Whether he’s a spiritual elder or a communal elder or simply someone’s grandfather. I imagine him using his flute to call the children to him for tales of ancestors. Or the lone piper on the hilltop playing a funeral dirge, sending a soul off to the next world. There’s a sense of healing in that image.
General Air element/Sword suit:
Please refer back to the Ace of Air.
Light (upright) Reading:
You offer inspiration and clarity to others.
- Keywords: Precision, Rationality, Articulation, Ethical, or Discerning.
Shadow (upside down or reverse) Reading:
Beware of being cut off from others.
- Keywords: Overly Critical, Dictatorial, Severity, Sadism, or Ruthlessness.
A pied piper retelling? Someone learning to play an instrument? A piper at a funeral? Someone healing through music? Perhaps the piper is sending a message to the Otherworld?
This card traditionally speaks to lawyers, doctors, and politicians so perhaps your story revolves around one of those professions. Or how about exploring the adjustments of retirement?
Maybe your MC is powerful, the type who is a steadfast and loyal friend or a ruthless enemy. What knocks him off balance?
Or perhaps, this is the last man standing. The last of his people? The only survivor of a battle, disaster, illness?
- Elder Themes: Competence, Authority, Respect, Decision Making, Mastery, Leadership, or Prowess.
“I am a song of peace and healing for the world.” ~Joanna Powell Colbert
- Suit Archetype/Feudal Class: Nobility, Warrior, and Political class.
MBTI: ESTJ (Extroverted Sensing Thinking Judging)
The nine-point personality enneagram can also be useful for character building.
Elders/Kings are an equal mix of E1: Perfectionist and/or Reformer
- Self Image — I am right
- Passion — Anger
- Virtue — Serenity
- Narcissistic Trap — Perfection
- Avoids — Vexation
- Speaking Style — Teaching or Moralizing
E1 people are instinctive, spontaneous, and intuitive. Their “gut” feeling is the center of their awareness. They are often direct or territorial. They are concerned with power, ruled by aggression, and may be troubled by self-doubt or self-blame.
and E8: Boss, Top Dog, Challenger, and/or Confronter
- Self Image — I am strong
- Passion — Lust
- Virtue — Simplicity
- Narcissistic Trap — Justice
- Avoids — Weakness
- Speaking Style — Challenging or Unmasking
E8 people are instinctive, spontaneous, and intuitive. Their “gut” feeling is the center of their awareness. They are often direct or territorial. They are concerned with power, ruled by aggression, and may be troubled by self-doubt or self-blame.
You will have to decide which fits your character best.
Additionally, look up one of the Air signs (Gemini, Libra, Aquarius) for personality traits.
- Careers: Judge, Technical Writer, Lawyer, Diplomat, Intelligence Services, Anthropology, Professor, Scientist, Research and Development, Surgeon, and Environmentalist/Humanitarian.
- Recreation: Ice-Skating, Parachuting, Gliding, Deep Sea Diving, Svaroopa Yoga, and Anything that allows them to feel unrestricted and free.
For more information on the Elders in general, please refer back to the Elder of Fire.
Image: Gaian Tarot by Joanna Powell Colbert from Llewellyn Worldwide