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Five of Swords Meaning - Tarot Card Meanings

By Tina Gong


Five of Swords Keywords

Upright Keywords Reversed Keywords
arguments, disputes, aggression, bullying, intimidation, conflict, hostility, stress reconciliation, resolution, compromise, revenge, regret, remorse, cutting losses
Skip to Upright Meaning Skip to Reversed Meaning
Five of Swords Meaning - Original Rider Waite Tarot Depiction

Five of Swords Tarot Card Description

The Five of Swords card depicts a young man who has a very convenient look of contempt on his face. He is looking at the enemies that he has managed to conquer. There are five swords that he possesses – which he has taken from the other combatants who are in the card. The two other figures are walking away from him in a slow manner with a sense of loss and sadness. Above them, the sky is tumultuous and cloudy, which indicates that not everything is well, despite the fact that the battle is already over.

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Upright Five of Swords Meaning

This card indicates that you are engaging in a conflict of some nature. It can also suggest a disagreement with others, which leads to hostility and tension. Despite the fact that you think you’ve won, you might still lose in the big picture, because you have annoyed or hurt those that you have argued with, and as a result, you are on the road to isolating yourself. Perhaps, at the moment, you believed that it was more important to be right rather than appreciate and understand where the other side was coming from.

Right now, it's important to attempt to pick up the pieces. You still have the chance to act while the conflict is still fresh. You may feel as if everyone and everything is against you. You might also lose some friends along the way. This is why you will need to make a significant decision about your point of view. What is more important to you? Mutual progress, or winning? This might require you to stand up to a conflict within yourself.

What is more important to you? Mutual progress, or winning?

The card represents ambition in a way which is rather negative. Too much ambition without actual regard to the consequences or the people that you affect is never something good. Misplaced ambition such as the one depicted by this card can leave you as a dejected loser or a callous winner – in both cases, the connotation is rather negative. This card instead asks us to be more considerate of those that we surround ourselves with, to let go of ego.

Upright Love Meaning Upright Career Meaning Upright Finances Meaning
tension, conflict, arguments, fights, irritability, wanting to be right workplace bully, intimidation, defensive attitudes, hostility conflicts about money, being taken advantage of

Tarot Love Meaning - Upright 5 of Swords

Unexpected change and uneasy energy can be signaled by the 5 of Swords tarot love meaning. There can be an anxious and demanding feeling in the air, making it easy for arguments and fights to materialize. You and your partner may feel irritable, and without taking some care, conflicts can be easy to start. Should you find yourself in one of these, you should think carefully about your reasons for being in this squabble, and make sure that you’re not arguing simply for the sake of being right. Egos may push you and your loved one to clash without any real reason. Sometimes, this can create passion when it is sorely needed, but can be damaging should it continue.

Career Meaning - Upright 5 of Swords

Conflicts are erupting at work, and considerable amounts of hostility is in the air. It can be easy right now for arguments to explode. This can come from misunderstandings, lack of communication, or poor leadership. The 5 of Swords can also signal bullying and intimidation. Whether it’s you or another person, you may be called upon to stand up for yourself or someone else. While it can be tempting, ensure that you handle the matter professionally, and don’t be afraid to pull in HR if you need to. Processes are usually in place to handle these situations. However, this card can equally point towards self-victimizing, meaning that your impression of the situation may be what is causing these conflicts in the first place. Defensive behavior usually creates a cycle of aggression, so be very clear with your own actions and how they affect this environment. 

Finances Meaning - Upright 5 of Swords

You may be facing conflicts when it comes to money right now; whether it is with your partner, your family, or your friends. You’ll need to be extra cautious with your finances right now, especially when it comes to trusting others. There may be people who are attempting to take more from you than they are owed, or take advantage of you. Sometimes this card can also point to finances being tight right now; you may have to cut some luxurious expenses from your budget.

Five of Swords Reversal Meaning

In the upright position, the Five of Swords is a card of tension, conflict, and disagreement. The Five of Swords reversal meaning shows you that all you want is for that particular period to be over so that you can forget and forgive. Because you are beginning to understand that winning is not everything, you will be capable of focusing your energy on something a lot more constructive and positive.

Another interpretation of this card in reverse is that the conflict you are experiencing is actually going to become more upsetting as you realize that there can only be losers. These are terms that you need to come to grips with.

Reversed Love Meaning Reversed Career Meaning Reversed Finances Meaning
getting back together, forgiveness, breakup compromises, open dialogue, sabotage loosening of financial tension, relief

Tarot Love Meaning - Reversed 5 of Swords

Reconciliation after heated tensions is possible with the reversed 5 of Swords tarot love meaning. There is a desire between you and your lover to lay down your swords and find a compromise. It is likely that wounds will still be painful even if both choose to let things go. At times, this card can indicate walking away from a lover or potential relationship, should reconciliation not be possible. Though painful, this may have been the better choice if heated arguments are happening much too often. Sometimes, it is better in the long run to cut your losses and walk away before more damage is done.

Career Meaning - Reversed 5 of Swords

What was once a stressful and hostile work environment may be in the process of getting better. It seems that a resolution is possible now as everyone is ready to put down their swords. Compromises are made, and open communication is now possible again. If this doesn’t apply to you, this card can also suggest that an escalation in hostility is happening instead. If you’ve been dealing with a workplace bully, they may up their attacks towards you, sometimes even attempting to get you fired. Don’t be afraid to bring this up with your manager or HR, it’s their job to deal with these kinds of conflicts. Once you do though, make sure that your own behavior isn’t also a cause for concern. As long as you’ve handled things calmly and professionally, you can make it through.  

Finances Meaning - Reversed 5 of Swords

If you’ve been dealing with tense financial situations, or even fights about money, you may see these start to dissipate and relax now. If you’ve been dealing with people that have been attempting to take advantage of you financially, you may see them distance themselves from you, or even being held accountable for their actions.

Five of Swords Tarot Cheat Sheet

Five of Swords Meaning - Tarot Card Meanings Cheat Sheet. Art from Golden Thread Tarot.

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