Five Of Swords – Rider Waite Tarot Deck

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I. Five of Swords Rider Waite image description

In the Five of Swords card, a young man with a contemptuous glance, staring at the losers. He has five swords, mostly from the others in the card. They slowly walk away with a sense of pain and loss. The sky is cloudy and full of fluctuations. Things are not really good even though the battle has seemed to pass.

Five of Swords Rider Waite image description

This is a card about the self-interest. Social norms want us to think for others, but we go against that thought. How can we ignore our concerns while still staying alive and surviving? This dilemma in this thought comes from our definition of the self. If we consider our ego as our personality or body, then our benefits will become factors related to our own ego. Do I have enough food? Am I happy? Do I have everything I want?

Sometimes, Five of Swords implies a need to put your concerns first. If you are being abused or exploited, you must find a way to free yourself. If you are tired of your needs, take good care of yourself. If it is your turn to act, step up and ask for fairness. Be aware that if you hurt others in any process, your victory will not perfect.

This card also represents the opposition – It can be as simple as a quarrel to a more serious one such as a war. When our ties are broken, we will experience discord. This card may imply that the loss of honor is quite large.  You may be the one who suffers from deception, lies, trickery, tricks, even crimes or you will be the culprit causing them. Anyway, you should keep a broader view of who you are. Let’s find the best solution for everyone, including yourself.

II. 5 of Swords Tarot Card Meaning

Self-interest, Discord, Loss of honor publicly.

Act for your personal benefit

  • Ignore other people’s concerns;
  • Search for the number one position;
  • Think of your own needs;
  • Know that you have to focus on yourself;
  • Show selfishness;
  • Enjoy the game of power;
  • Exultancy;
  • To sink or to swim.


  • Live in a hostile environment;
  • Feel that people are against each other;
  • Choose to fight;
  • Think that “us against them”;
  • Create bad karma;
  • Experience conflict.

Publicly humiliating

  • Loss of moral virtue;
  • Despite everything to achieve more important goals;
  • Sacrifice the upright;
  • Not aware of what is right;
  • Win a suspicious victory;
  • Understand criminal activities.

III. Opposite and Support Tarot cards to the 5 of Swords

Opposite cards

  • Emperor – according to the rules, abide by the law;
  • Justice – integrity, doing what is right;
  • Temperance – work with others, harmony, cooperation;
  • 6 of Cups – innocent, goodwill, kind.

Support cards

  • 5 of Wands – discord, people against each other;
  • 7 of Wands – “us against them”, conflict;
  • 7 of Swords – humiliated, separated from others.

IV. 5 of Swords Upright Card Keywords

conflict, stress, loss, failure, win at all costs, betrayal

Words and Keywords

Vulnerable pride, humiliation, controversy, nomination, cynicism, ridicule, embarrassment, cunning, exultancy, intrigue, chaos, sinister, betrayal, malicious rumors, pictures controversy, disagreement, hostility, hatred, sabotage, attack behind someone’s back, insensitivity, limit, loss, cut off the binding, failures, misfortune.

Be defeated, cowardice, negative thoughts, messy comments, theft, act without considering the consequences, abuse, selfishness, domineering attitude, precipitation, deftness, blame, destructive behavior, revenge, deception, funerals, unfairness, results are the most important.


When the Five of Swords card appears, you may feel yourself experiencing some mixed feelings about life in general and some people in particular. Do not ignore this, but do not feel as if have to say all the things you think or feel; otherwise, you can ruin everything you have worked hard to get, such as intimate and durable relationships with friends and lovers. Think and consider carefully before you really talk or confide in someone.


In general, this card may imply that someone you care about may be away from you for a certain period. If that is the case, do not show that you want to keep him/her at all costs, just believe that he/she will come back to you. It can also imply conflicts in both external and internal aspect. You should not increase conflicts unnecessarily, think before you act.


In terms of work, the Five of Swords is a warning that your greatest enemy at work is yourself. You can not expect the whole system to change just because you believe it needs to be different. The way you think is just as important as what you say. Even though you may be suffering from some injustice at work, make sure you behave and act appropriately.


Unfortunately, when this card appears in the spread about love, It implies a conflict that will occur in your relationship. Everything may not happen as you expect in the current relationship. Think calmly and carefully about what causes cracks in this relationship. Let’s be honest with yourself first, then be honest with the person you love.


Five of Swords tells that you need to be cautious and restrained if this card appears in the spread about finance. Show your ingenuity when needed. Are there any unnecessary things that you can consider selling? Can you cut down on your spending? The most important thing is not to give up. If you need help, do not be too arrogant, there will be people who are always willing to help you.


You may be stressed out by many different factors. Therefore, when this card appears, you need to be more gentle and aware of yourself. Rest is necessary. Any other feeling like worrying or feeling guilty is useless at the moment, just forget about them.


Even if you suddenly find answers to the mental problems which you are looking for, remember that they are the answers for you, not for others. You do not need to try to make anyone else follow your way of thinking. The Five of Swords may also imply a break in the mental aspect which is no longer effective for you. You should give yourself time and space to find new answers.

Situation and advice

This card warns that you or someone next to you can act in a negative or destructive way. You may need to restrain your ego and admit your limitations before moving forward. Perhaps you are blaming others for your mistakes.

You may be too concerned about winning instead of considering the consequences of your actions. You can get what you want and then realize that it does not satisfy your ambition. Malicious or sinister actions will not bring the expected results. You may be listening to too many other people’s opinions instead of drawing your own conclusions. You need to be wise to accept things that you cannot change and accept failure before moving on. Each victory has its price.

You should also consider whether someone near you may not deserve your trust. You may be a victim of malicious rumors or fraud. Someone may be undermining your interests because of jealousy or hatred. Any royal card that appears in the spreading can give more information about people who are ruining your plan or adversely affecting your reputation


The humiliated people, the losers, the person who spread malicious rumors, the vandals, the troublemakers.

V. 5 of Swords Reversed Keywords

open to change, resentment has passed

Words and Keywords

(+) Be washed away from sin, put an end to malicious rumors or slander, the traitor has revealed.
(-) Loss, failure, threatening, abuse, insult, fraud, illegal tactics, sneaky, victim, sinister, deceitful, weakness, defeat, injustice, selfishness, nominality, conspiracy, despair, doubt, suspicion, negative attitude, only a focus on victory.


When the Five of Swords appears in reverse, you may be urged to prove to someone that you are right about something – and that can be a serious waste of your time and energy. If you are right; whether others believe you or not, that is their problem. You just need to put your mind and energy into more profitable and productive things.


In general, this reversed card is a sign that you may be hurting yourself. Not everything is worth to rush in and argue, and not everyone is worth fighting for. You should consider your priorities and what is most important to you.


In terms of work, the Five of Swords in reverse implies that you can do something harmful to yourself. In a peaceful work environment, if you do not want to lose your job, do not cause conflict and do not increase the conflict which has occurred before. Please accept the inherent circumstances unless something illegal or unethical happens, and if so, consider reporting to competent authorities. There are some things that are too complicated for you to solve by yourself.


When this reversed card appears in a spread about love, you may be sacrificing your happiness because of a need to express/feel that you are “right”. Many people ask a sensitive question, “Do you want to be ‘right’ or do you want to be happy?”. Sometimes, you have to forget about your ego and simply accept everything, whether you are looking for love or are in a long-term relationship.


You may encounter some conflicts about money when the Five of Swords appears in reverse. You should stay calm and consider the root of the problem. Have you made any mistakes? If you have, take your responsibility. Are you or your loved ones too worrying about the money issue? Do not try to avoid them, just solve each problem one by one.


This Swords card in reverse shows that you may be very nervous at the moment. However, at least some of the reasons for this situation are actually caused by yourself. You will realize that you can control the feelings of tension. You do not have to (and can not) do everything. Take the time to rest and relax, and know that nothing is perfect.


You may end up believing in a certain spiritual thought (beliefs, faith, etc.) which you had followed before, such as telling your partner that you no longer want to participate in the rituals of your group or of your partner’s. This may bring a “victory” feeling, indicating that you know how to stand up for what you want. However, your spiritual life cannot be stopped or lost. You should seek to share from people who have the same beliefs or systems of thought in order to meet your spiritual needs.

Situation and advice

On the positive side, the Five of Swords in reverse shows the end of the attacks and slander from the upright card.

On the negative side, it shows that you are dealing with a situation in which you feel humiliated, insulted or victimized. Your self-esteem is lowered because of your humiliation or failure. Someone may bully you or act maliciously and viciously against you.


The bully, the vicious enemy.

In a Tarot spread, the Five of Swords may imply that you or someone else is ignoring a greater viewpoint or recognition of ego – the self. You are defining your concerns in a way that is too narrow. If you keep trying to do everything on your own, your actions will go back to haunt you then, one way or another.

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