The Five of Swords

The Five of Swords comes after the retreat and healing of the four in the Suit of Swords. This card can show an individual carrying three swords while two figures limp away, leaving their swords behind. The individual carrying the swords has clearly won out over the two men walking away and seems quite satisfied. Because this victory follows the healing and therapeutic work of the four, it is particularly sweet for the man shown here who has undergone his own plight and is looking to regain his personal power. Especially since there was so much pulling him down in the previous Swords cards. The fives of the Minor Arcana suits imply disruption of some sort that comes about through changes made by the querent as he arises form his sick bed since the Suit of Swords is about conflicts and tribulation. There is definitely upsetting news and unpredictability in fives, and although change is said to be good, it is not necessarily good for all of the involved parties.

When more than one five appears in the same spread, there is more information available to the querent. Pairs of fives surface as outer forces or outside parties setting things in motion to create change that causes turmoil while three fives warns of loss, tragedy, or accidents that cause tremendous change for the querent and his future. Having four fives in a spread heralds bad luck and goals and guidelines falling apart, which is very appropriate if it occurs here considering the former stability of the Four of Swords. The Five of Swords may show loss and abuse of power within this context.

The Five of Swords in an Upright Position

When found in an upright position, the Five of Swords augurs a time when there are battles and volatility around the querent, and very possibly caused by him. The querent may have become extremely headstrong as a defence for pain like the kind he suffered through in the the Three of Swords. Perhaps the querent has decided that it is better to hit than be hit, and there is a definite enjoyment gained by the misery of others when this card is presented upright in a layout. The querent may have taken up revenge against one of the offending parties of a past betrayal and could be hell-bent on seeing them suffer as well. This may be a time where the querent is happy to see the misfortune of others manifest, and he may even find it an entertaining pastime to cause some of this himself. There is a great indication that the querent is pleased with his own pettiness and is attempting to hold power over others anywhere he can, but this does not, by any means, show that he’s come out on top. There may be a break-up during this time or  a loss involving something the querent holds dear such as a business partnership, friendship, or romantic relationship that has stung him in the past. The querent could also have something taken from him through a break-in or theft of some other kind.

The meaning of all Minor Arcana cards can be modified by the cards that surround it. Court cards from the Minor Arcana (Pages, Knights, Queens, and Kings) all represent people. They have corresponding physical characteristics as well as their own astrological correspondences. The Five of Swords indicates that the querent will be dealing with a life-changing loss that causes him to lash out in some way or develop bitterness. The participants in these conflicts and separations will be identified by the court cards in this area of the spread. Major Arcana cards in the spread will indicate what type of loss or any specific details for deeper interpretations. The Lovers card will reveal that the querent is dealing with a romantic loss or momentary break-up, and the presence of several pentacles will foretell that jewellery will be stolen or misplaced.

The Five of Swords in a Reversed Position

The reversed position of each card of the Minor Arcana is really as it states: an inversion of the card’s meaning. The reversal of the Five of Swords shows that the arguments the querent is taking part in have no resolution and no winner. The querent could be beating a dead horse by travelling the same circuit over and over again with grievances, past wrongs, and a generally cantankerous or fussy demeanour. There is a feeling of a grudge forming when the querent encounters the reversed Five of Swords in a spread. The feeling brought on by this card in this position is of an on again off again relationship where no one fixes anything but would rather abandon the situation for awhile and return once everything has returned to normal. Nothing gets solved and the patterns repeat themselves until one of the parties says enough, or something drastic happens that changes the attitudes of both lovers. This may be a good time to evaluate relationships with ongoing conflicts when the reversed Five of Swords surfaces in a layout.

There are also signs of a conflict so intense and frustrating that both sides part exhausted and completely shattered from the immensely hurtful words and deeds that were exchanged. No one ends up winning and everyone comes away form the argument with a horrible attitude and outlook for the future. There can be bitterness seen here, and the reversal of the Five of Swords shows no end of the conflict in sight. This may result in a life long feud that neither side has intentions of dissolving. There is no positive change in the future of these two as long as they continue to bicker and jab at each other, so it is best that they part and refrain from getting back together. It would be best to keep other company in this scenario.

Key Terms

  • Conflicts
  • Empty victory over another
  • Arguments with no resolution
  • Pettiness
  • Hurtful words
  • Bickering
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