Mind / Thoughts / Communication
FIVE OF SWORDS POWERWORDS
Defeat / Aggression
The Five of Swords means that you are feeling defeated OR you are being aggressive. It may have come naturally or because of a situation where you feel there is competition.
Traditionally this card means that you are feeling defeated or you feel you need to attack. It may be the reality or it could be how you are feeling about a situation.
We see a man standing holding three swords with a look of satisfaction on his face. In the distance a man walks away and in the far distance we see an upset figure. In the far distance is a body of water and mountains. The clouds are grey and jagged.
Man with Swords
This man is clearly gloating. He has won a fight – a physical one or, of words.
Two Swords on the Ground
These swords may belong to the two men. We imagine the at the victor will soon pick them up. They point out that in life there are stages where we lose. Sometimes in these cases the wisest thing is to walk away.
Middle Figure in Background
The middle figure is walking away. They have given up for now but they have also not given up hope.
Third Figure in Background
The victim/loser of this card. They feel distraught and weak. They feel right now like there is no hope. We know this feeling will pass with time but for now it is still strong.
The body of water is surprisingly calm. There is currently calm but we understand that aggressor and bully will meet again.
The clouds represent the mood. Jagged like words that can hurt our hearts. I always reflect on how the expression about tension between people – ‘You could cut the air with a knife’ really sums up this card and the atmosphere in it.
QUESTIONS TO HELP YOU EXPLORE THIS CARD MORE
Many people find this card difficult. Which character relates to the person receiving the reading? Often this question is asked during the reading and the question in and of itself might point to the answer. Is the person receiving the Tarot reading, the bully or the victim? We are talking about a Swords card which is all about communication. Therefore the Five of Swords is showing us that unhealthy communication is happening. Someone is feeling victorious and the other is feeling like the loser. Why is that? Because of bullying tactics, because of words spoken?
I have seen this card come up both with the bully and also the victim. I talk the same way to both of them about the lack of harmony and balance and how they must learn to communicate better and be honest and transparent. I usually recommend NVC – Non Violent Communication as a valuable skill to incorporate into their lives.
I also noticed early on that bad communication and the victim/bully dynamic is very common with co dependency and the children of addicts. Co dependency is a lack of healthy boundaries between two people and originates from a place of low self esteem and healthy self love.
Finally, this card comes up a lot in marital discord. Tension in the air, constant bickering and fighting and a lack of respect. It can even indicate divorce when one side feels they came out better.
Questions to ask about this card to help
Do I feel like a victim? Do I feel right now there is something right now in my life that is not fair?
What could I be feeling aggressive about? Am I displaying this outwardly?
Do I feel an injustice has taken place?
Do I have proper boundaries?
What no longer works in my life?
What have I allowed that I must never allow to happen again?
Where can I go in changing my personality so it is more healthy and aligned?
When do I feel like a victim? When do I feel like a bully?
Do I thrive on the pain of others?
Do I believe my opinion is the most important one?
What would happen if I changed my ways of communication?
GOLDEN DAWN / QABALA
The Hermetic title for this card is ‘Lord of Defeat’.
On the Tree of Life, the Number Five cards sit on the Sphiroth Gevurah which represents severity. After the energy from the Divine enters Kether at the top of the Tree of Life, it next flows to Chokhmah. Chokhmah is the place of wisdom. The energy then flows onto Binah which is the energy of understanding. Then the energy leaves this upper triangle of energy (called the Supernal) and flows down to Chesed, the energy of Mercy. Then the energy flows to Gevurah which is a difficult Sphiroth representing severity and possibly suffering. Therefore the 5’s in the Minor Arcana are always challenging cards. The Five of Swords challenges our mind to overcome difficult situations where we feel defeated and ‘less than’.
Ruled by Venus in Aquarius
FIVE OF SWORDS REVERSED
When this card is reversed the energy of the card is less potent. Perhaps you feel aggressive but you are not displaying it so strongly. Perhaps you feel the victim but you quickly see and choose to be more courageous. Perhaps you are becoming aware of your patterns?
Two important questions to consider with a reversed Five of Swords:
What situation right now makes you feel uncomfortable and what can you do to work with it?
What method of communicating in the past that made you an aggressor / victim and what are the alternatives?