Card Meaning: Five Of Swords

Five of Swords


   This card usually represents defeat. The reason is obvious. Two defeated figures are moving away from what seems has been a battlefield of a sort, their swords are abandoned on the field while a victorius figure is looking at them with the mix of scorn and chortle. The real question is; who represents you? Are you victorious or are you defeated. Unfortunately, this card usually tells us that it is you who are defeated. In that case the lesson is not to be absorbed in self-pity and disappointment but to carry on, learn from defeat, come back and try again. Sometimes this card speaks about giving up, we are not sure are these two figures just walking away after throwing their swords or they are actually defeated in battle. No matter what, new assessment is required for a new attempt. If you are feeling that you are winning - pay attention, maybe it is not all over. Be aware of arrogance. The winner holds two swords in his right hand, connection with the Two of Swords - there will be always a balance between losing and winning, there is no place for pride there.


Positive: acceptance, understanding.

Negative: spite, treachery, loss, defeat, pyrrhic victory, degradation, humiliation, no-win situation, winning battle while losing the war, plots behind one's back, weakness, selfish gain, indecision.


  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.

The Pictorial Key to the Tarot, by A.E. Waite

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Minor Arcana