Five of Swords

The Five of Swords is a card that often elicits mixed feelings, as it can indicate both victory and defeat, depending on the situation. This card reminds us that sometimes, we may win a battle but lose something more significant in the process.

Featured deck: Cosmica Somnis Tarot

Sometimes the greatest victory is in knowing when to walk away, let go, and move forward.


In the upright position, the Five of Swords suggests conflict and betrayal. It can indicate that we have recently won a victory, but it came at a cost. We may have been deceptive or manipulative to achieve our goals, and now we are left feeling guilty or ashamed. Alternatively, we may have been the victim of betrayal, feeling hurt and disillusioned by those around us. This card encourages us to reflect on our actions and their consequences, reminding us that the end does not always justify the means.

In alternative interpretations, the Five of Swords can also indicate a time of change and transition. We may be leaving behind old habits and ways of thinking, embracing new opportunities and perspectives. Alternatively, this card can indicate that we are facing our inner demons, confronting our fears and insecurities, and emerging stronger and wiser for the experience.

For example, imagine that someone has just won a promotion at work, but it came at the expense of a colleague who was unfairly passed over. The Five of Swords reminds them that their actions have consequences, and they may want to consider how they can make things right with their colleague. Alternatively, someone who has experienced betrayal may be struggling to let go of their anger and resentment. The reversed Five of Swords encourages them to find forgiveness and move forward, knowing that holding onto negative emotions will only hurt them in the long run.


In the reversed position, the Five of Swords suggests a time of healing and forgiveness. It can indicate that we are ready to move past the conflicts of the past and embrace a new beginning. We may have learned from our mistakes, and now we are seeking to make amends for any harm we may have caused. Alternatively, this card can indicate that we are learning to stand up for ourselves and set healthy boundaries, letting go of relationships that no longer serve us.

Overall, the Five of Swords is a powerful reminder of the complexity of victory and the importance of integrity and honesty in all that we do.

Illustration and Text Copyright © Shores Of Moon

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    Also called: batons, staves, clubs, or rods

    Element: Fire

    Astrological signs: Aries, Leo, Sagittarius

    They symbolize: will, action, desire, ambition, masculine energy


    Also called: chalices, goblets, or vessels

    Element: Water

    Astrological signs:Pisces, Cancer, Scorpio

    They symbolize: emotions, feelings, the subconscious, intuition


    Also called: blades, daggers, or spades

    Element: Air

    Astrological signs: Gemini, Libra, Aquarius

    They symbolize: thoughts, intellect, communication, mental processes


    Also called: coins, disks, or rings

    Element: Earth

    Astrological signs: Taurus, Virgo, Capricorn

    They symbolize: foundations, the material and physical realm.

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