The Five of Swords tarot card depicts a young man standing in the foreground with two large swords grasped by the handle in his left hand with the blades resting against his left shoulder and the tips pointing up to the sky. In his right hand he holds another sword whose tip is pressed into he ground. At his feet lay two more swords strewn about, likely the weapons of the two figures receding into the distance. The young man watches the backs of his vanquished foes as they head towards the sea, and presumably, home in defeat.
Five of Swords Tarot Card Meanings Upright- Desertion, dishonor, loss, defeat, destruction, conflict, separation, stress, failure, betrayal, ridicule, humiliation, and selfishness.
The Five of Swords speaks to defeat and loss. The interesting part is the protagonist of the card, the young man holding the swords, is clearly the victor. But the card does not focus on victory so much as it does the fact that we will all suffer loss and disappointment at some point in our lives. The lesson is learning to deal with defeat, failure, and shame in a healthy and productive way. What this card is warning of is the slippery slope to becoming a bully and having to win “at any cost”. It’s a mirror into the ways we can resort to abuse, humiliation, degradation, shame, and even violence in order to win. It unleashes the side of human nature that is not pretty to look at, or experience, and if this card comes up in a reading it’s best to take it seriously and do some internal reflection.
Love & Relationships- If you are in a relationship, you need to learn how to step back a little and keep your cool because you’re in a cycle of arguing about the same things over and over, no resolution in sight, because you cannot let things go. Some may call this a miscommunication and others may see it as a stubborn inability to forgive and move on. If you want this relationship, and you probably do, it’s time to take the warning the Five of Swords card is giving you. If you don’t change and allow your emotions of anger, bitterness, and selfishness to continue things will get worse. Arguments will become more heated and volatile and abuse is sure to follow.. Be vigilant and take the steps necessary towards changing your course. As a single person you’re struggling with finding a lasting relationship. Seems that your inability to reflect on yourself and your shortcomings is at the root of this, as you expect your partner to be perfect and never upset you. That isn’t reality. This is also exacerbated by being attracted to people who live on the edge or have a dangerous persona/lifestyle. You reap what you sow and if you continue to pursue these relationships be assured that a lasting, loving partnership will elude you.
Money & Career- Well, the office is always a place of stress and tension but for some reason, when you’re there it just seems worse doesn’t it? Could it be your propensity to gossip or complain about your coworkers? Your boss gets on everyone’s nerves but you seem to fixate on it. The disgust and aggravation you feel about your working environment is in some way a reflection of your attitude on the job. This path is an easy one to get on, and a tough one to get off of if you let it go too long. Don’t let your reputation become that of the office drama queen. The Five of Swords is warning you of what lays ahead if you don’t change your ways. When stress at work is building up and your project is coming due, resist the urge to threaten or bully your coworkers into doing their parts. This card clearly predicts that if you do so, it will not end well for you in the long-term.
Health & Wellness- You need to rest. That’s the long and short of it. It takes a lot of energy to be in a negative headspace and unfortunately, the trickle down effect of anxiety, stress, and fear is that your physical health suffers. While this card warns of very negative outcomes, it’s just a warning. Nothing is past the point of return, including your health. Feeling like a failure because you’re suffering exhaustion isn’t going to help you get well, so you must endeavor to find the root causes of your stress. What subconscious thoughts are feeling threatening and causing you to act defensively? Figuring this out and address the cause is going to get you on the road to recovery.
Spirituality- An upright Five of Swords pertains to a changing course on your spiritual journey. It’s been too easy to judge other people for their failures at living a spiritual lifestyle, but you see, by doing so you are hindering your own growth. Don’t take pleasure in the failings of others because ultimately, it won’t leave you feel any better. Now is a good time to take stock of your spiritual position and begin assessing how you can be happier and more fulfilled spiritually. It doesn’t come from enjoying other’s failings but from succeeding on your own merit.
Five of Swords Tarot Card Meanings Reversed- Regret, mourning, sorrow, malicious rumors, insult, despair, injustice, shame, weakness, doubt, relentlessness, and suspicion.
When the Five of Swords tarot card comes up reversed in a reading it can mean that conflicts and arguments are coming to a resolution. Regrettably, the reverse of this card does not mean positive and happy outcomes. In most cases it signifies a worsening of the situation. While the upright is a warning of things to come, but gives you a chance to right the ship, the inverse is a warning that those terrible things have come to pass. There is no way to avoid the fallout; you will just have to go straight through to the other side. Arguments will escalate. Lines in the sand will be drawn. Things will be said which can never be taken back. Be forewarned, this is going to a be a dark time. The upside is you will get through it, and in doing so you will learn some valuable lessons.
Love & Relationships- The reversed Five of Swords indicates your troubles in your relationship may be coming to an end. A huge blowout or ultimatum is very likely and the relationship will not be salvageable. If your relationship has been heading in this direction, this is the most likely outcome. On the other hand, if you’re in a relatively strong relationship there will be some hard-learned lessons about compromise. It may feel unnatural and like you are “giving in”, but this is a time of growth and growing pains are uncomfortable. Allow yourself to experience these feelings fully and over the next little while you’ll notice it feels less and less weird and you’ll have a new skill in your coping toolkit.
Money & Career- Feeding your ego by always being right, even if that means resorting to intimidation or guilt trips, is not a path to a fulfilling work life. If there is tension and conflict swirling around you at work your attitude may be a major contributing factor. Now, things are coming to a head and decisions will be made and lives will be changed. Your boss may have had enough of your disruption and will send you on your way. This can leave you feeling victimized and angry or you can use it as a way to reflect on what attitude adjustments can be made so your next experience is better. This is not a reflection of your work quality, but rather of your attitude. Leave the gossip table and shut your door to drama in order to rise above the conflict if you want to stay at your job. Compromise may be the best option for you, but you must put your ego in the backseat and drive the conversation so you can prove your commitment to your boss and coworkers.
Health & Wellness- An inverted Five of Swords tarot card in regards to health shows that your health issue is going to presented with a take-it-or-leave it solution. And you probably won’t like hearing it. But after neglecting to take care of this problem it’s escalated and now you have very few options, in many cases just a single one or do nothing and let it continue to worsen. It’s easy to feel weak and shameful when the body or mind fails, but it’s a part of the human experience. Swallow your pride and allow your doctor to offer you healing, even if it comes in a form you don’t like. The road to recovery may be painful and time consuming but it will be worth it in the end to have your health back. This isn’t something you can do alone and will require you to let others help you.
Spirituality- A major hurdle in your spiritual life is looming large and you’ve got to face it. The Five of Swords recommends letting go of the beliefs and behaviors which no longer serve you or meet your needs. When you consult others you will run into some negativity, some harsh words, and perhaps even insulting or suspicious comments. It may feel like grief to depart from your old beliefs, and if it does be sure to honor those feelings because they are valid and necessary. Avoiding them, avoiding this hurdle, will do nothing but hinder your progress on the spiritual plane. It’s tough to feel like you’re going through it alone but as you move from point A to point B you’ll find support and encouragement.
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