by S. L. MacGregor Mathers, originally published 1888.
A dark Man, Victory, Bravery, Courage, Success.
An old and vicious Man, a Dangerous Man, Doubt, Fear, Peril, Danger.
by Arthur Edward Waite, originally published 1910.
The figure calls for no special description the face is rather dark, suggesting also courage, but somewhat lethargic in tendency. The bull’s head should be noted as a recurrent symbol on the throne. The sign of this suit is represented throughout as engraved or blazoned with the pentagram, typifying the correspondence of the four elements in human nature and that by which they may be governed. In many old Tarot packs this suit stood for current coin, money, deniers. I have not invented the substitution of pentacles and I have no special cause to sustain in respect of the alternative. But the consensus of divinatory meanings is on the side of some change, because the cards do not happen to deal especially with questions of money.
Valour, realizing intelligence, business and normal intellectual aptitude, sometimes mathematical gifts and attainments of this kind; success in these paths.
Vice, weakness, ugliness, perversity, corruption, peril.
by A. E. Thierens, originally published 1930.
Dark man, banker, trader, speculator, mathematician, master, professor. Success in mathematics and science in general.
Vice, weakness, corruption, deformity, etc.
Very often the ‘reversed’ meanings are nothing else but the expression of the lack of the quality given as ‘right.’ But this scarcely seems worth taking into account, because all qualities, which are not indicated are wanting, and moreover there are cards which decidedly indicate vices, as will be shown.
The King is the higher octave of the ace, and this particular king heads the cross of fixed signs, so has to do with economy, agriculture, art, vast business, devotional service of the church. The general effect of this card must consequently be to afford protection, and as it shows a very favourable attitude on the part of superiors or influential people, though these will be rather young, or at least, not very old. There is above all noblesse in this card, integrity, honesty above all doubt, nor is anything in it which can be turned to evil, were it thrice reversed. The only sort of faults that could be observed in people coming under it would be pride coupled with some vanity, love of pomp, gambling. The Leo-type will naturally dominate the card. Here is a man whom you must go to see and visit, because he will never come to you. He has a widespread influence, which is for the good of everybody who wishes to profit by it, and against which it is hopeless to contend. The card means further everything in the way of sanction, agreement, consent, etc., and gives success in love-affairs and marriage.
Noble, good and honest man; generally of influential position, central power, honourable intentions, whom you may trust, but whom you cannot counteract successfully; whom you must go out to meet and whom you must not expect to come and visit you. May be banker, speculator, gambler, commander, general or manager. Benefic influence, wealth, luxury, good cheer. In weak cases vanity, pride. Success in mechanics and machinery.