The court cards can represent people or concepts. As a person, a king is a man over the age of 35. As gender becomes more fluid, many see kings as simply masculine energy. Energetically, the kings represent authority and competence. These cards are not easily influenced.
As people, you can interpret kings as mature, masculine adults. Their energies take on a leadership role in a spread. A spread filled with kings indicates the final authority over a situation or person.
The upright kings are fathers and managers. They hold overt authority over companies and people. They are landowners, business people, politicians, clergy, and judges. They have mastered and control their domain. They can be aggressive. Their domain of influence is related to the element of the cards. Rods are fire, Cups are water, Swords are air, and Pentacles are earth.
Meditate on your power. What or who have you mastered? Who has influence over you? Take that responsibility seriously.
Inversions are tricky, because they can be interpreted so many ways. Sometimes inversions slow things down. Sometimes they turn things around completely. They can represent an internal journey, or a brush with the mystical. The inverted kings are often written off as jerks or deadbeats. They share many of the same traits of their feminine counterparts. They can be selfish, tyrannical, and controlling. They are often bullies. They can also be too lenient. They might be bad parents who are weak, unreliable, or absent altogether. They can be unfaithful and act out sexually. They can be arrogant or they can simply be fools. Like the queens, those behaviors come from their own experiences, from a lifetime of being in relationships with untrustworthy people. They may have learned that people will let you down or abuse you. Some react to these messages by showing the typically “male” emotions of anger, while others escape into substances, themselves, or destructive relationships. The abuser often lashes out when he feels most out of control. Some can rise above this and instigate lasting change for others like them. Others turn their focus inward, and tap into the divine masculine within themselves. Pay attention to the element of these cards, to see what needs to be healed.
Meditate on your personal history. How has it shaped you? How have you reacted to it? From where you are now, would you have reacted differently? Meditate on how that would have changed things. Journal through these feelings. This is internal work. Don’t reach for something outside of yourself. Let your tears soak the pages. Let your rage tear them to shreds. Burn them safely and offer forgiveness. Forgiveness is a tool to end these cycles of abuse. Forgiveness does not require you to go back or remain in a toxic community. Forgiveness gives you back your control. It gives you back your life.