Five of Swords Tarot Card Meanings

Five of Swords’ Upright & Reversed Meanings

Five of Swords tarot card image
Five of Swords (Reversed, Lacking)

Ideas: Mercy, reconciliation, self-preservation

Traits: Agreeable, conciliatory, cooperative, courteous, disciplined, fair, forgiving

Emotions: Caring, compassion, gladness, hope, relief, tenderness

  • Actions:
    • Creating a situation that benefits all parties
    • Ending a power struggle
    • Letting go of resentment
    • Owning your mistakes
    • Preventing bullying
    • Settling arguments and disagreements
Five of Swords (Upright, Balanced)

Ideas: Gossip, manipulation, win–lose situation

Traits: Amoral, argumentative, competitive, one-sided, petty, prejudiced, selfish, wise

Emotions: Disappointment, eagerness, enthusiasm, frustration, sadness

  • Actions:
    • Acting in your own best interest
    • Backing down from unfair practices
    • Choosing your battles in a wise manner
    • Getting your own way
    • Knowing when to bend the rules
    • Refusing to go along with an unethical plan
    • Walking away from toxic situation
Five of Swords (Upright, Excessive)

Ideas: Antagonism, bully, implacability

Traits: Arrogant, cowardly, dirty, egocentric, greedy, power-hungry, sadistic, submissive, timid

Emotions: Defeat, embarrassment, envy, hostility, humiliation, jealousy, pride, shame

  • Actions:
    • Acting in an unethical manner
    • Gloating over victory
    • Ignoring rules you’ve agreed to abide by
    • Intimidating others
    • Looking out for yourself while allowing harm to come to others
    • Preventing others from speaking up
    • Taking advantage of others
    • Using words to goad others into violence and irrationality

Five of Swords’ Advice

Personal Growth

You can’t win every fight. With this truth in mind, think in terms of how you want to win … and how you want to lose. Rather than be driven by emotion, make conscious choices in both situations. Resolve to be noble in both victory and defeat.

Relationship

It’s crazy to think that one person in a relationship deserves more pleasure or power than the other. Balance must be restored. You’re not thinking clearly now, so back off and rethink your approach. Take care of yourself, but try to do so without hurting those you love most.

Career

Occasionally, one person’s success will bring about another person’s loss. When you’re the successful one, don’t gloat; be humble. When you suffer the loss, don’t despair; pick up the pieces and move on. Don’t drive yourself crazy asking “Why?” Breaking a rule may prove to be the key to innovation.

Spirituality

Suffering is a fact of life. How does your spiritual path deal with the reality of suffering or the pain of inequality? It’s easy to be spiritual when all is well. Insulate yourself from instability by thinking—in advance—of how you’ll deal with adversity when it comes your way.

Five of Swords’ Symbols & Insights

The Stolen Swords

Many see the figure in the foreground of Rider–Waite–Smith-inspired cards as a thief, stealing Swords at the expense of his associates. Just remember: victory achieved through dishonesty robs you of your integrity. Karma is a law; how long before someone steals your Swords?

The Jolly Victor

The victorious knight depicted on many versions of this card is gloating over his triumph. How we act when we win tells a lot about our character. What does your recent behavior say about you?

Unstable Logic

When the instability of the Five combines with the thoughtfulness of the suit of Swords, logic gives way to irrationality. Rules are shattered, and the whole world turns upside down. What would happen if you broke some rules?

The Marseilles Image

Again, a central blade comes to cut down the growth we saw taking root in the Four. The four curved, protective blades remain, but now they are guarding a single decision. How has a protected decision (or sacred cow) influenced your situation today?

More About Five of Swords Tarot Card

Prediction
Someone is stealing from you, financially or romantically.
Be wary of friends who talk behind your back.
Timing
Between January 20 and January 29
Affirmation
“Even as I care for myself, I am mindful of the needs of others.”
Numerology Number
5
(the catalyst: instability, resistance, confrontation, evolution)
Classical Element
Air
Astrological Planet in Sign
Venus in Aquarius
Story Character
Others are shocked or angered by the main character’s apparently irrational actions. Alternatively, the main character must take an action that will cause pain for his or her loved ones.
Questions to Ask
How do I behave when I win? What does that say about me?
How can I do what’s necessary without making others feel defeated?
What’s the difference between selfish action and acting in my own best interest?
Other Tarot Card Meanings