Five of Swords

Written by Jacob. Published on November 2nd, 2011 at 01:05.

Five of Swords Rider Waite Tarot

Five of Swords Artwork Description

“A disdainful man looks after two retreating and dejected figures. Their two swords lie upon the ground. He carries two others on his left shoulder, and a third sword is in his right hand, point to earth. He is the master in possession of the playing field.” 1

Five of Swords Associations

  • Five: Instability; loss; imbalance; struggle.
  • Element: Air.
  • Timing: Spring; instant; speed/swiftness.
  • Direction: East/flowing; unexpected.
  • Keywords: Intellect, the mind; communication, sharing of thought; insight, wisdom; philosophy, enlightenment; movement, creativity, origin of conflict.

Five of Swords Basic Meaning

The Five of Swords is about unjust attack. Going into battle expecting a fair chance, and you are struck down by a possessive and offensive opponent. Loser, assault, onslaught.

Where the three of swords reflect deconstruction and suffering, the five of swords are about going into battle willingly at a change to obtain success but fail due to the actions of another (or the variables of a situation). With the fives you are attempting to battle, and with the threes you are just getting mulled over effortlessly.

Additional Interpretations

“Theft by a friend; loss or defeat; humiliation; the inability to defend oneself; unfairness; understanding one’s limits before success can be achieved; up against a bully.” 2

“A smirking young man gathers up swords won in battle from two, humiliated losers. In arguments and battles of ideas there are going to be times when one just loses or has to surrender. The winner seen in this card has clearly been winning fights. Maybe fairly, maybe not, but it is clear that he has some advantage as well as the confidence that no one can beat him.

Pride can make us blind to our own limits and weaknesses. It can lure us into fights we weren’t ready for, or weren’t equal to winning. Most of the time, we probably knew it was a bad idea, yet we let ourselves be tricked, lured, or goated into fighting. And now we are dishonored.

The Question: ‘How can I survive this disgrace?’
The Answer: ‘By learning from it your weaknesses and limits.’

Losses like this teach us to know ourselves and be better prepared for the next time. They teach us how and when to walk away from fights, which can often be harder than giving in, and so save ourselves from the greater damage of failure.

Note that this card in the future position can sometime teach this querent this lesson without making them go through it. A reader can say, ‘Don’t let yourself get into a fight with this person, you will lose,’ and if the querent listens, they will avoid having to learn the hard way how to be strong and walk away from such fights.” 3

“Meaning: Degradation, destruction, reversal, infamy, dishonour, loss. An attack on fortune of the Querent.

Reversed: The same; burial and obsequies.” 1

Axank’s Dream Recollection

October 31–November 1, 2011
I remember bodies (living ones)… maybe a group of people?