Five of Swords



A naked person with long, white hair and medium skin tone sits facing away from the viewer. Their hair is parted down the center so their back is showing. They tightly hold a knife behind their back. Four transparent copies of the knife-clenching hand surround the figure, as if they are about to stab the person in the back. The background is bright pink; two of the outstretched hands are yellow and two are shadowed in purple.

Key words

Upright: unbridled ambition, sneakiness, corruption

Reversed: penance, forgive & forget, conflict resolution

Reflection questions

  • What conflicts or disagreements am I currently facing?
  • What negative patterns or behaviors may be contributing to my experiences with conflict?
  • How can I create greater harmony in my relationships?

Five of Swords Upright

The Five of Swords is about someone having an unfair advantage— it could be you or someone in your life. There is a sense of spitefulness, with the wronged person going too far in order to even the playing field. This person may have won the conflict, but at what cost? Apologies are in order, whether you are on the giving or receiving end.

Five of Swords Reversed

A conflict has ended and there is a sense of sadness even though you won. Perhaps you got so invested in the fight that you forgot what you were fighting for, or the cost of winning outweighs the benefits. It’s also possible you have tried to walk away from a conflict but it continues to follow you. Open and honest communication can bring closure to the situation.