Tarot Card meaning for the Five of Swords



In the Five of Swords, we see a young man with Swords in his hands, looking back at two other people that are walking away. This card traditionally means an icy atmosphere, possibly a fight that has just past. What does it mean for you? And who are you on this card?

The Five of Swords as a day card

Today you might be surrounded by an icy atmosphere. What does this atmosphere represent to you? Who do you relate to in this card? Is there anything you can do to improve the atmosphere, or are you able to move away and be as little involved as possible in this icy situation?

Negative or reversed meaning for this card

Fives are somewhat troubled numbers in the Minor Arcana of the Tarot and this card has a negative undertone. If the card is reversed however, we could interpret it in such a way that the meaning becomes lighter. The icy atmosphere might not affect us much, we might not really be part of it. We might just have memories of a time that we were in a situation like this and now we are grateful that we aren’t.

How this card could present itself in real life

When teaching Tarot this card comes up many times for people in their work situations where personality and authority clash at work and the atmosphere is not conducive to being comfortable and relaxed at work. In other cases we find this card indicates relationship that have taken a turn towards an uncomfortable atmosphere where there appears to be a focus on a winner and loser.

How this card is represented in other Tarot decks

The Osho Zen deck takes a much lighter approach and indicates that we might draw comparisons between two things that are hard to compare. When we translate this to our everyday lives we might compare our work our relationships to that of others (friends or family) and think the grass will be greener on the other side were in fact, we all have our share of challenges to deal with.


In the Crowley deck we see the five pointed star made out of Swords and it is pointing down, showing the energy in this card is prone to negativity. How can we deal with this and change the situation?


Note: Especially with the Air element in the Tarot which is represented as a Sword card in the Rider Waite deck, there is a lot of ‘argument’ and there are several different ideas about weather Swords should represent Air and what else could be used. This leads us into a fairly advanced Tarot conversation - at this stage remember that Swords in the Rider Waite deck does not necessarily mean swords in another deck. Tarot creators could have changed Swords with Wands or replaced Swords with rainbows or crystals to name a few. This is not wrong or right it is another way of thinking about the different elements used in the Minor Arcana of the Tarot cards.

If you have multiple decks, it might be interesting to have a look at how the Swords are represented.

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