Five of Swords Tarot Card

The Tarot Suit of Swords

The Tarot Suit of Swords is associated with the suit of Spades in standard playing cards - both have sharp edges. Although many tarot decks use the term swords to refer to this suit, it also has other names (that is, for the equivalent suit in other decks), which include daggers, blades or knives.

There are meanings associated with each of the suits in a tarot deck, as well as the more specific interpretations associated with each individual card - and yet more precise meanings pertaining to particular cards in particular locations within spreads.

The suit of swords is associated with the element of air. It is also associated with the season of spring and the direction East. The suit of swords concerns academic or philosophical thought, intellectual pursuits, truth, and clarity.

The Fives in the tarot deck typically depict images of loss, sorrow, and misfortune. They are in stark contrast to the secure structure conveyed by the Fours. One way to think of this is to imagine the fours as the body complete with its four limbs, but the Fives also including the head together with awareness, concerns, hurt, and uncertainties. These take different forms for each of the four suits.

Fives (in tarot cards, e.g. also the 5 of Cups, 5 of Wands, and the 5 of Pentacles) can represent some form of personal test.

The 5 of Swords card illustrates conflict in a negative, destructive way. For example, in the Golden Dawn deck this card is titled 'Lord of Defeat'. However, according to many writers this card is much more complicated than simple defeat. It can convey the energies of cunning, competition, deceit, slyness, and manipulation. The Rider-Waite and Robin Wood tarot decks both convey a scene in which there are several figures in different poses. This gives the reader and querent scope to identify with any one of the characters and therefore to have the possibility of different perspectives about the situation.


Keywords for possible interpretations of the 5 of Swords Tarot Card include:

  • Broken
  • Humiliated
  • Cowardice
  • Defeat
  • Failure
  • Manipulation
  • 'Winning' by deception or other unfair techniques

Robin Wood Tarot Deck Celtic Tarot - Tarot Cards and Book Radiant Rider-Waite Tarot Deck The Gilded Tarot (Book and Tarot Deck Set) Angel Tarot Cards

What about the Five of Swords Reversed ?

Some interpretations of the meaning of the 5 of Swords reversed include:

  • Unjust allegations overturned, truth revealed
  • Attacks e.g. involving dishonesty, spite and intimidation come to and end
  • Low self-esteem due to effects of degrading humiliation and / or bullying inflicted by one or more people filled with hate

Tarot Articles:

Tarot Card Games - for, against and examples

Learning to Read Tarot Cards

20 Steps to reading Tarot Cards

Why use Free Printable Tarot Cards?

List of Tarot Card Meanings

Origins of the Tarot Nouveau - or 'French Tarot'

Learning Tarot

Uses of Tarot Cards

Many people find meditation helpful to still the mind and receive communication from Angels.

Although care has been taken when compiling this page, the information contained might not be completely up to date. Accuracy cannot be guaranteed. This material is copyright. See terms of use.

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