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The Five of Swords Tarot Card Meaning Upright and Reversed

The Five of Swords Tarot Card Meaning Upright and Reversed

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We won’t beat around the bush here; the Five of Swords Tarot card does carry a painful lesson. The image created by Pamela Colman-Smith makes it easy to appreciate the bitterness of this card.

Two defeated men flee from their victorious opponent. With a wicked smile on his face, the victor celebrates his triumph, having stripped them of their swords and their honor. Ambitions and a “winner takes all” mentality can often be a double-edged sword, as both sides can find themselves worse off than when the conflict began.

Historically, human nature hasn’t allowed the “losers” of a conflict to ever forget the hardships they went through. There have always been and there will always be room for revenge, especially when injustice and dishonor are part of the equation. In scenarios like this, even if the swordsman feels he has accomplished something great, the reality is that he will not find happiness or success, only loneliness.

Five of Swords Tarot Card Meanings:

From sabotage to conflicts in the office, the Five of Swords Tarot card will show you the dark aspects of human nature, such as selfishness and betrayal. The appearance of this card in a spread is a negative omen that will always have a negative meaning that is impossible to ignore. This can be mitigated by the presence of a Major Arcana, however.

People around you might be plotting something against you. Defeats, losses, and the necessity to always watch your back are some of the meanings attributed to this card.

If you protect yourself and take precautionary measures, it can help you get out of this situation somewhat intact. Even so, the events that are about to occur will catch you by surprise, despite this warning.

The Five of Swords Tarot Card in the Upright Position:

Upright (5) Five of Swords Tarot Card Meaning – Minor Arcana
Upright (5) Five of Swords Tarot Card

The Upright Five of Swords Tarot card tells us that there is an irreconcilable conflict in your environment, and you must pay attention to it. Tensions, hostility, and disagreements are creating the conditions for you to discover the harmful intentions of those around you.

Although you can achieve your goals, in the long run, this will not be a victory that can bring you happiness and prosperity. Actually, it is a victory full of difficulties and sadness ahead, because even though you have won the fight, you might have lost a friendship or a relationship.

The Five of Swords Tarot card can refer to hostility and tensions. Yet, it is good to remember the saying, “there’s no use crying over spilt milk.” The Five of Swords can also represent an achievement. Your winner mindset, courage, bravery, and will have taken you right to the place you wanted to be.

On the other hand, you may no longer feel that the prize has been worth the colossal effort that you have made. Obstacles, confrontations, envy, and loneliness will be some of the disappointments that this triumph has brought you.

There is another interpretation for the Five of Swords Tarot card. The querant may have unlimited ambitions and be losing every scruple in search of a goal. If so, their thirst for recognition could end up destroying everything in their path.

The meaning of the Upright Five of Swords Tarot card when it comes to:


There could be conflicts in the relationship or a lack of communication. Infidelity, betrayals, and disagreements have significantly impacted the trust between the two of you. You could become distant with your love or even break up. For singles, it is not a good time to start a new relationship. Analyze all your candidates, and do not rely on unfounded promises.


The tensions and conflicts that you have recently lived through have led you to an emotional breakdown. This breakdown not only presents itself in your state of mind but also in your health. You need to relax, release all your sorrows, and work through the resentment that is holding you back.


You find yourself in a toxic workplace in which your boss, together with some subordinates, create an excessively competitive environment. There is no cooperation, communication, or teamwork. Beware of sabotage, and do not believe in promises of sudden promotions as they can be a trick.


Be careful of signing checks, loaning cash, or dealing with bank procedures. It is not time to trust advisers or businesses that promise miracles. Right now the best strategy is to avoid splurging or embarking on financial adventures.

The Five of Swords Tarot Card in the Reversed Position:

When the Five of Swords Tarot card appears reversed, its negative influence does not disappear completely. The energy of conflict, betrayal, and unexpected change is still present in the reading. The querant will have greater willingness to forgive or let go of the bad times, however. They may even decide not to take part in the conflict at all and retreat instead.

There may be arguments or problems that require a lot of patience and tact if you are to get out in one piece. It will be a good idea to remember the lesson of patience we’ve learned in the Four of Swords Tarot card so that the reversed Five of Swords won’t hit us so hard.

Another lesson of the reversed Five of Swords is one on self-love. Let go of grudges. Overcoming the injuries that you suffered in the past will help you move forward in pursuit of your own goals.

It is not worth living your life with remorse or grudges that you may be holding towards those who betrayed you. They may get what’s coming to them, or they may not. You will not be the one in charge of judging them, however. Live for yourself. Do not live with your thoughts bound to others.

The meaning of the Reversed Five of Tarot card when it comes to:


You are sacrificing everything to keep this relationship alive, yet you are receiving practically nothing in return. Although love doesn’t follow economic laws, there is supposed to be some reciprocity and, in this case, you lack self-esteem and dignity.

If you are single, do not pay attention to the opinions of third parties. If you have decided to be alone or to go out with someone completely out of the ordinary, remember that you are in charge of your own life.


The physical discomfort that you have been feeling is related to your tendency to victimize yourself and refuse to enjoy life as it is. Changing your attitude so that you are attuned to abundance and forgiveness will help you heal emotional and physical wounds.


This is a time of collaboration between you and your team. They will be able to resolve the conflicts of the past and work in an atmosphere of harmony and mutual respect. Productivity and profits increase.


The economic difficulties that you have been going through are going to be resolved little by little. There will be agreements and positive negotiations for all investors. Expect a time of prosperity when working in a group and leave your egos aside.

The Five of Swords In A Yes Or No Question:

In numerology, 5 is a number of mysteries and discoveries, of truths that come to light only to a chosen few. In the Suit of Swords, this pursuit of knowledge is connected to pride, vanity, and ego. Although victorious, our skillful swordsman in the Five of Swords Tarot card has been left alone with no one to celebrate his victory.

This “victory” is associated with separation or a breakup that leaves you both vulnerable and reluctant to look for a new relationship. In his vanity, this character treasures the material aspects of life more than the spiritual ones. He has a long way to go to find the truth.

That spiritual loneliness warns us that the answer to any yes or no question in which the Five of Swords Tarot card appears is: No.

Five of Swords Tarot Card Keywords:

Upright: Egoism, cruelty, bullying, hostility, conflicts, abuse, violence, fights, inequalities, defeat, weakness, lack of scruples, separation, manipulation, loss, theft, defamation, stress.

Reversed: Uncertainty, the discovery of a betrayal, blackmail, conquest, bittersweet victory, lack of consideration, desolation, isolation, traps, scams, sadness, immorality, rejection, lies, shame, retreat.

Five of Swords Imagery and Symbolism:

A swordsman with a wicked smile holds three swords. We can also find two more swords lying at his feet. Luxuriously dressed, he celebrates the victory he has just achieved. His two defeated opponents flee towards the horizon, lamenting their fortune walking towards the sea in shame.

The gray clouds in the sky warn of storms, and the sea waves seem stagnant and without significant movement or little fish jumping out of the water. The number 5 is associated with pain, mysteries, and lunar changes. The scene conveys vanity, sadness, and loss. Somehow his ambition has led him to win everything he wished for, but with a cost.

There is a feeling of abandonment. The winner’s eyes show revenge and self-centeredness. The dark sky, which is full of gray clouds, tells us that reconciliation is essential for the sun to shine again on the horizon. Sometimes by losing, you can also find success. That is a hard and bitter lesson that we all have to face at some point. Belief in yourself and hope are the best tools for you right now.

Important Card Combinations:

To fully understand the message of a card, it is essential to observe the accompanying cards in the spread. The difficulties posed by the appearance of the Five of Tarot card upright or reversed will have a negative connotation that can change when a positive major trump appears next to it.

Five of Swords combined with The Devil:

This combination indicates infidelities, betrayals, and love deceptions caused by lust, addictions, and ambitions.

See the Devil card meanings.

Five of Swords combined with the Wheel Of Fortune:

There could be unexpected betrayals, drastic changes, or unimaginable treasons committed by someone close to you.

See the Wheel Of Fortune card meanings.

Five of Swords combined with the Five of Wands:

This combination is an indication of discords and conflicts of aggression and violence

Five of Swords with The Sun:

There is a possibility of resolving disputes through communication, or there could be a lie that comes to light.

See the Sun card meanings.

Five of Swords with The Magician:

Be wary of your enemies and distrust your friends. The ultimate trickster is going after you with evil intent.

See the Magician meanings.

Rider-Waite images used with permission of U.S. Games Systems, Inc., Stamford, CT c. 1971 by U.S. Games Systems.