The 5 of Swords is a card of conflict – the truly nasty kind of conflict where destruction and defeat (for both parties) is an almost certain outcome. It’s the ‘lose-lose’ card. It can point to internal conflicts of the mind where our self-talk is super destructive or to actual real life conflicts with nasty, often underhanded opponents.
A.E. Waite has this to say about the 5 of Swords in his Pictorial Key to the Tarot:
A disdainful man looks after two retreating and dejected figures. Their 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 field. Divinatory Meanings: Degradation, destruction, revocation, infamy, dishonour, loss, with the variants and analogues of these. Reversed: The same; burial and obsequies.
I chose today’s quote in the picture above because it is true that many of us choose to create conflict as a platform for the separate self to perform. We do this because conquests in this type of drama feed the separate self and perpetuate the illusion that we are not connected to every other living being on this planet. It is a form of insanity.
I’m not saying that conflict isn’t sometimes necessary or that we should avoid it at all costs, but we need to be wary of the types of people who create conflict for the sake of building a stage for themselves. There are those who do this on a very grand scale via terrorism and political moves that further disenfranchise already oppressed peoples.
The astrological correspondence for the 5 of Swords is Venus (The Empress) in Aquarius (The Star). How do these celestial influences combine in such a grim card? In the fifth Sephira, Gevurah, have the chaotic aspect of the Empress (Venus) combine with the aloof quality of the Star (Aquarius). There is a lack of respect for natural order and propriety, coupled with a disregard for the feelings of others. This is the cold, calculating (Aquarius) heart (Venus) that is in it only to win it for itself.
In the Spirit Keeper’s Tarot 5 of Swords, we have the Hector, a formidable foe and bully who is eventually defeated by Achilles at the battle of troy. In the upper righthand corner we have the key to how to navigate the space of the 5 of Swords. Pass through the pillars and walk away. Walk toward the sunlight in the distance and don’t look back. It’s not worth it.
The Frideborg Tarot captures the political quality of the 5 of Swords, and the large-scale drama/terrorism that ensues from black and white thinking in fundamentalism. The 2015 Charlie Hebdo shooting was motivated by fundamentalist views and resulted in terrible loss of lives. An outpouring of solidarity ensued but in the picture, you see this expression of compassion and solidarity thwarted by graffiti on top of graffiti. People whose hearts are closed to the reality of all of us belonging to each other cannot be swayed.To live is to war with trolls. ~ Henrik Ibsen Click To Tweet
Tarot Soul Coach