FIVE OF SWORDS
UPRIGHT: DEFEAT | HOSTILITY | STRESS
REVERSE: REMORSE | RECONCILIATION | COMPROMISE
A manta ray swims swiftly away, its tail wrapped around a sword that trials behind it. Manta rays are harmless creatures and are often times confused with their barbed cousin, the stingray. It tries to swim away, attempting to evade the things it doesn’t want to confront, but conflict rarely caters to one’s desires, no matter how peaceful their natures may be. The Five of Swords reminds us that there is a winner and a loser in every battle we fight. Even if you win, guilt and regret linger. It’ll take conscious effort to reconcile ourselves with these feelings. Be ready to confront the good, the bad, the ugly, and everything in between.
When upright, the Five of Swords represents the user’s struggle with their emotions following a falling out or disagreement. Animosity colored this conflict with bitter, clashing emotions, and you may be feeling regret over the things you said and how you behaved. Victory isn’t always sweet, and it can be just as bitter as losing. Now is the time to pick your battles carefully. Fighting with everyone you disagree with won’t yield you much beyond burnt bridges and bitter rivals. Apologize when you’re able and hold your tongue when you feel like lashing out. If you’ve suffered a defeat at the hands of another, accept it and stop ruminating. Be graceful in defeat and learn from your loss.
When reversed, the Five of Swords signifies the realization that you are fighting a losing battle. You may have fought this battle for ages now, but your opponent is headstrong and determined. Even if they feel that the battle has worn on too long, neither of you is willing to yield first. You may need to take the fall. Accept a gracious defeat and move on. Your energies would be better directed on more productive things. This position may also symbolize an old wound reopening. Something or someone from your past could be coming back to cause problems. Resolve your conflicts and try to move forward. You’ve lived through enough conflict and have earned your share of scars. Seek out situations where you no longer need to fight. Ask for forgiveness and apologize. Seek out collaboration in the future, not confrontation.