The Four of Swords saw us forced into a state of rest. Now emerging from that sense of peace, calm and recovery, we find that we are in the middle of conflict within the sphere of the Five of Swords. As the suit of Air, remember that this is connected to our thoughts and with the way we deal with others, especially how we communicate with them. As a Five, this card represents unbalanced, challenging energy. How can we get through this awkward situation?
The Five of Swords shows three figures. The man in the foreground holds two swords over his left shoulder, and his right hand rests on a third. Two more swords are scattered at his feet. He looks over his right shoulder with a smug grin. The second man in the middle ground is walking away with his cloak thrown over his shoulder. The third person, stands farther away, hunched over, giving the appearance of defeat. The background shows an ocean and distant mountains. The sky is pale, with wind-driven ragged clouds racing across it.
The trick with interpreting this card is to work out which figure represents the seeker. If it is the man in the foreground, then the seeker has achieved a victory. However, it is an undeserved win. S/he has taken advantage of another, manipulated or cajoled someone into an unwanted situation.
If the seeker sees themselves as the victim of a manipulator or the loser, then s/he must act to redress the imbalance.
Should the seeker identify with the one who walks away, then they should know that they are the ultimate winner. The one who makes the choice to leave the fight leaves the so-called victor nothing to fight against. It’s a wise person who chooses their fights carefully.
The Five of Swords can also be telling you to disregard what other people think of you. If you feel you are taking the right path for you, then you must follow it.
Reversed, the Five of Swords indicates that you are finding it difficult to extricate yourself from this conflict. It may lead to a legal battle.
Interpretations in Various Areas of Life
The appearance of this card in a work or career reading suggests you need nerves of steel right now. There is a sense that someone is attempting to manipulate or fiddle the results in their favor. Keep your eyes and ears open, and make sure everything you do is documented and provable if needs be. Hopefully it won’t come to that, but you can’t be too careful.
If you are looking for work, then know that the competition is very strong; some people will stop at nothing to gain the edge. Make sure you are prepared to do what it takes.
You could cut the tension with a knife. Conversation is stilted and restricted to necessary communication. There may be “silent treatment” involved. Alternatively, the stronger partner is attempting to manipulate the other. This relationship is not a pleasant one right now, so thought must be given to the desired outcome and action taken accordingly. Mediation may be of benefit.
If you are looking for love, then this card would tell you that it’s tough. You could be feeling at a loss as to why love is not materializing. You seem to get so close, and then it all falls apart. Watch out for someone who won’t let go.
There are arguments about money and possibly legal wrangling over property and/or other assets. The Five of Swords will sometimes appear when there is an imbalance in a legal dispute. One party will be taken advantage of, and the winner will keep the spoils.
The flow of money is interrupted, and you may find that you have been duped into parting with more than you expected. Take this as a warning and don’t fall for a silver-tongued salesperson.
Stress and tension may be a feature of life at present. As you well know, this can lead to physical problems. Seek professional advice to regain your equilibrium. Your health is too important to let anxiety threaten your well-being.
If the Five of Swords appears in a spiritual reading, you may be experiencing inner conflict. Your thoughts could be directed at yourself or toward others. Remember the great teachers tell us that we are all connected – whatever you do, say or think about ultimately rebounds back onto you, negative or positive. Love thine enemy.