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Five of Swords

A description and interpretation of the role of The Five of Swords in the Tarot

In a nutshell...


  • conflict

  • diplomacy


General overview

When analyzed in a detached way, the Five of Swords is very ambiguous. So, the extraordinary strength it conveys is sometimes seductive but its equal capacity for destruction is frightening. Nothing being fixed in the world of the Tarot, the influence of the card will, in fact, be very dependent on the other cards present in the draw, and more particularly those located in the direct vicinity of the Five of Swords.

Like all the Fives, the Five of Swords occupies a middle position in the non-court cards of its suit. This characteristic is extremely revealing, acting as it does as a pivot, the switching point between two different states. Because of the deeply bellicose nature of the card, this passage won't happen peacefully. The Five of Swords is closely linked to the existence of conflicts, disputes and struggles.

From a symbolic point of view, this card has a main structure in the form of a pointed oval with black sticks on either side. On the extremities, there are four black, blue and red flowers. The sword is located in a central position, protected inside the main structure. Proudly erect, clearly indicating action and affirmation, it is immediately noticeable that its tip slightly protrudes from the oval. This reflects the seeker's willingness come out of the cocoon of their inner world to interact with the outside world. It emphasizes the desire for creation and emancipation that necessitates interacting with the external world. War will be declared on anyone who stands in the seeker's way. Look out for turbulence!

Man is alone, and his aggression comes from that solitude.


  • from an emotional viewpoint

    In a romantic analysis, specialists often highlight the Five of Swords' association with conflict. In this analysis, the card testifies to the existence of unresolved emotional problems for the seeker that are likely to make building a relationship more complicated. Sometimes it can reflect an overwhelming desire to conquer, which will be done despite the possible long-term consequences. When you light a fire, beware of the backflash.

  • from a career viewpoint

    When analyzed from a professional point of view, the Five of Swords is, once again, not the happiest of omens. It testifies to major conflicts within the work team, dissensions that obstruct the smooth functioning of the structure. The seeker has the impression that his colleagues are trying to hinder his career development. They will need to pour a little oil on troubled waters and try to resolve this situation as calmly as possible.

  • from a life path viewpoint

    The Five of Swords is closely associated with a belligerent energy of affirmation and pushes you to reflect on the benefits and the dangers of conflict. It all boils down to this fundamental question: is it better to win at all costs and ignore the consequences or opt for a more diplomatic approach?

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    Its influence

    • short-term

      In the short term, the Five of Swords testifies to the existence of a current conflict, which may be in your love life or in your professional life. Anxious to meet your objectives, you never hesitate to march into battle, no matter what the consequences of your action may be. Instead, you should take the time to weigh the pros and cons before you commit.

    • long-term

      In the long run, the Five of Swords teaches you the importance of feedback. It is seldom useful to expend your energy in a futile combat. Far from allowing you to get closer to your goals, it's more likely to slow down your development and attract the wrath of those around you. So, choose your causes wisely!

    Full interpretation

    Interpretation of The Five of Swords upright

    Belligerence is inherent in the Five of Swords. This card highlights the tensions in what everyone desires and the complexity of expressing that in the physical world.

    The most obvious way this card expresses itself in the seeker's life is through major conflicts, which may occur in the professional sphere as well as in romantic or other relationships. Because of the suit's properties of encouraging thought, the Five of Swords will probably encourage the seeker to push their pawns forward, accompanying them with strong arguments, effectively engaging them in a battle they will often win.

    But despite this seemingly successful resolution, the seeker will often be left with a bitter taste in their mouth. The consequences of the conflict will be very painful, and they will be plagued with doubt. Couldn't all that energy they expended in overcoming opposition have been used better, not to dominate but to achieve something more constructive?

    Obsessed with victory, the seeker didn't hesitate to hurt others during the battle. Their triumph may have brought short-lived satisfaction, but in the long-run the consequences are dangerous. The injuries they caused may well lead to them becoming isolated from other people. Was the result really worth the cost?

    Interpretation of The Five of Swords reversed

    Contrary to what you might instinctively think, the inverted Five of Swords is generally considered a very positive arcana, likely to make the seeker aware of his excessive aggression.

    When it appears upside down, the Five of Swords testifies to a certain form of maturity. Having learned lessons from the past, the seeker now recognizes the dangers of conflict and no longer seeks to impose their point of view whatever the cost. When a disagreement arises, it is now easier for them to take into account what their opponent things and they no longer consider it a real threat. The seeker manages to come out of their inner world to fully accept their place in society. They are now part of the whole.