The Five of Swords is one of the Tarot cards that warn us against using excessive force to attain what we want. In this card, there is a win, but it has come at a cost. It’s very likely that we have wounded people along the way to our goals, and it’s vital to examine this and make amends.
5 of Swords Meaning
The five swords indicate failure, defeat, loss, and a no-win position in a conflict. It may reveal that there are people you were counting on, who have abandoned you. This is being abandoned or let down by people or organizations you thought had your back.
This is a deep sense of turbulence and an internal and external storm. You just might have screwed up or others might have screwed up and as a result, you have all lost. This is a battlefield.
Some ideas didn’t work, while others did. You may have to leave some people behind, as well as some ideas that you thought were brilliant and workable, but you need to move on now. This might also mean that whatever course of action you’re considering, you won’t win. That’s just part of life.
5 of Swords Reversed
The reversed Five of Swords denote continuing on after a loss or a refusal to accept a defeat. This might be you or someone else pursuing after a broken love affair, a lost career or idea, and an inability to recognize that you won’t win.
This can suggest a desire to move on or a refusal to recognize that something has come to an end. This could also signify that you’re continuing to promote an idea, relationship, or course of action that’s simply unsustainable, but in general, it signifies it’s time to move on.
Stop and leave. It’s no longer the best course of action. If you have Four or five Swords reversed, you must leave the battlefield unless you have lost and move on. You may need to turn your back on others or abandon a long-held belief or notion.
Stop battling, it may be inviting you to investigate why you lost in a more clinical manner, to debrief the experience and unpack so you can understand what happened, but it’s time to move on, so take your toys and leave.