Five of Swords Tarot Card Meaning Explained

5 of Swords ThothKeywords

  • Battle
  • Defeat
  • Humiliation
  • Abandonment
  • Hollow Victory
  • Arguments


Meaning of the Five of Swords in a Reading

The Number Five in the Tarot Cards is the most challenging of the numbers, as it represents change, which most people are afraid of. After the stability of the Four, there is a need for a bit of a shift in our circumstances. When we see many Fives in a reading, such as the Celtic Cross Spread, we know that there is a great deal of chaos around us that that time of life. The Swords Suit represents the element of air, which is the mind and communication. Once again, the more difficult of the suits, since the mind is the hardest to control.

Hence, we can say that the Five of Swords may be a difficult situation involving argumentativeness, differing opinions and so on. This may be with the ones we love, such as our partners or family, or people at work. We could feel mentally tense and wound up, and there is a sense of having to fight a battle. This will be a battle which we or someone else may want to win at all costs.

Five of SwordsSymbolism of the Five of Swords

The illustration on the Five of Swords card clearly communicates the difficulty of the situation we find ourselves in. With the Suit of Swords representing the mind, we know that there is some mental tension here. A Man stands with 3 Swords in hand, grinning at the two people walking away, their swords lying on the ground at his feet. He has won a victory, and the others involved are clearly defeated.

In this card, it is important to know which person represents us. Are we the one who has fought and won the battle? If so, at what cost? Have we lost an important relationship just because we wanted to win? Or are we the ones defeated, feeling humiliated and abandoned? It will be important to understand where we are in this difficult situation. There has been a clear conflict, a crossing of swords so to speak. There has been a great battle, usually on which is mental in nature. Cruel words have been spoken, and cannot be taken back.

Five of Swords in the Past

It can be a great relief to have the Five of Swords in the Past Position of a reading. Although we may still be feeling at odds with the ones we have recently argued with. Whether these be family, colleagues or a lover, there is a sense of the worst being behind us and the chance to make amends. We have the opportunity to apologize and set things right.

Five of Swords in the Present

The Five of Swords in the Present position of a 3-card spread can indicate that we are currently engaged in a battle or conflict. A battle in which winning seems to be the goal at all costs. Even if it means the loss of an important relationship in our lives. We may need to try and realize that this could be a hollow victory. So while defeating competition may feel sweet at the time, we may also end up feeling alone and abandoned. This card can also indicate that we may lose to a more cunning opponent.

Five of Swords in the Future

This card in the future position warns us of a conflict to come. It warns us that we may be so focused on winning the battle that we could lose sight of the importance of teamwork. What’s more, we may lose important relationships if we continue to compete with others. We may lose a battle and be defeated, although the victor may feel eventually as if it is a hollow victory.

Five of Swords ReversedReversed Five of Swords

It can be a blessing to see this card reversed. There is a sense that you would prefer not to move into conflict mode, that it would be better for you to forgive and move on. This may also apply to someone who wishes to do the same with you. Perhaps a boss at work or a family member.

It may be tough to remove yourself from the argument, or perhaps there is still resentment from a conflict you have had recently. It could take some time for these bad feelings to dissipate and for you to move on.

Five of Swords Tarot One Card Meaning

When we get this card in a One Card Reading, this might be a time of arguments and mental battles. Yet it will be a hollow victory either for yourself or for others. You might feel abandoned or humiliated at this time, even if you have “won”. Or alternatively, you may decide it is time to walk away from the battle.

Five of Swords Yes/No Meaning

When we get this card face up in the Yes/No Tarot Reading then it means “yes” to our question. You will win a victory now in a verbal battle. However, someone is going to get hurt and feel abandoned or it may be a hollow victory. Either for you or for someone else. Proceed with caution, and do your best not to make this into a power struggle as words can cut for a long time.

When you get this card facing down, your answer is no. You will not lose in this situation; and despite the chaos, you will feel neither abandoned or alone, nor will this be a hollow victory. You can expect good negotiation and the ability to find a win-win outcome. This period of fighting will soon be over and you will move on.

Summary of the Five of Swords

This is not the easiest card to get, as it can speak of loss and defeat. However, if we make reconciliation our focus rather than blindly wanting to win, we can grow a great deal from the conflict we are facing. We will avoid humiliation and a sense of hollow victory.

Affirmations for the Five of Swords

“I don’t need to always win”

“Negotiation will get me further than forcing my way”

“I will accept defeat with grace”

“My relationships are more valuable to me than winning”

Bitwine Psychics Five of SwordsMore on the Five of Swords

Dealing with the conflict implied in the Five of Swords is never easy. It can be helpful to speak to someone who can advise us on the best way forward. The Psychic Advisors at Bitwine and Keen and always ready to help. Whether it’s a love-related question, or something a bit deeper.

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Article Info

Date: Apr 03, 2019
Amelie Rose Estrela is an experienced psychic and recently published, esteemed lead author for the Psychic Guild since 2003. She has written hundreds of articles for the website on a range of topics covered within the psychic niche, including Psychics & Mediums, Tarot & Angel Cards, Astrology & Horoscopes (the topic of her newly-released e-book), Love & Relationships, and Spells & Magic. You can find out more about Amelie on
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