Five of Swords Tarot Card Meanings & Combinations
Air, analytical thought and intellect. Suit of challenges.
Keywords and Phrases:
Underhandedness, hidden agenda, dishonour, deceit.
Five of Swords Tarot Card Meanings
Against the backdrop of a moody sky the man at the forefront of the image seems somewhat smug in victory pose, with his sword held high and four others under his arm. In the background people lay injured and dying and it becomes apparent this is where his trophy swords have come from, his gain has been to their cost.
The Five of Swords is the ‘sneaky’ card, it represents deviousness, people trying to take advantage by underhanded means, hidden agendas, deceit, or theft. In most cases it is usually actions taken against the seeker, although there are occasions when it can represent actions of the seeker I’ve found this to be far less frequent and quite rare.
On a brighter note, The Five of Swords can act as a warning if it appears in a future position, and if the seeker pays attention to what is happening around them by raising their awareness, not being complacent or taking things for granted, it isn’t usually difficult to discover what is happening, sufficient to be able to prevent it from manifesting.
For a number of readers this is the card of selfish victory, and often short-lived, that leads to dishonour and humiliation.
If reversed or ill-dignified, still remains a fairly treacherous card, defeat and loss.
Similar or supporting cards:
Differing aspects of secrecy can be found with The Devil (not usually very healthy by most regards) or The Moon (deceptions). The High Priestess has a secrecy aspect but normally beneficial.
Opposing or contradictory cards:
Ace of Swords and The Chariot (triumph over adversity and difficulties) Hierophant (morals, doing the right thing) Justice (fair and balanced)
Five of Swords Tarot Card Combinations:
Surrounding cards should help provide further information for the root of the problem, in some cases a King or Queen preceding may provide clear identification of a person involved that can’t be trusted. Ideally, you want to see a positive card following to show it comes to nought or is overcome.
Multiple fives in a reading suggest instability.
> Eight of Cups: leaving a situation unexpectedly without consideration to others, may be viewed selfishly.
The Magician > Five of Swords: cunning trickster, someone is not to be trusted, (also watch for a King or Queen preceding the Five, for an accurate personality description).
> The Lovers > The Devil: clandestine relationship (The Moon may also feature).
Three of Cups > Five of Swords: sour grapes, jealousy from others.
Page of Swords > Five of Swords > Five of Cups: can be gossip and slander, jealousy, betrayal of friendships (false friends) causing the upset.
Two of Wands > Five of Swords: Working partner that can’t be trusted, devious.
Five of Wands > Seven of Wands > Five of Swords: be careful you’re not being set up, others providing bullets for you to fire.
Three of Pentacles > Five of Swords: professional jealousy, watch your back!
The Devil > Four of Pentacles > Five of Swords: Possible embezzlement, with other appropriate Pentacle card central may simply show theft (mainly Five of Pentacles central).
> High Priestess > Ace of Swords: information becoming known to you that works to your advantage and triumph, outfoxing the fox.
> Justice: justice prevails, unless both followed by further negative card in which case it may show injustice, or perverting the course of justice if order switched (Justice > Five of Swords)
You'll find more information to help you in Easy Tarot: Learn to Read the Cards Once and For All! book and card set.
Available from bookshops, Llewellyn, Amazon.com, & UK.
Material provided here is in addition and complementary to the kit. Copyrighted material displayed with permission of Llewellyn. Please see my notes regarding combinations and reversals on the main index page.