Five of Swords

Tarot Card Meaning
Five of Swords


The Five of Swords represents conflict, defeat, and the consequences of unchecked ambition. This card often appears when you are experiencing disharmony, and it suggests that victory may come at a great cost or result in hollow success. It encourages you to consider the repercussions of your actions and whether the outcome is truly worth the strife.

Key Symbolisms

  • Scattered Swords: Symbolize the fallout of battle or conflict, indicating damage or loss.
  • Solitary Winner: Depicts a figure holding multiple swords, often appearing smug or indifferent to the losers, highlighting themes of selfish victory and the isolation that can come from it.
  • Stormy Sky: Reflects the tumultuous nature of the situations depicted by the card, suggesting ongoing unrest.

Upright Meaning

Drawing the Five of Swords suggests that you may be engaged in a conflict where even "winning" could leave you feeling empty or isolated. It advises reassessment of your strategies and motivations in disputes, asking you to consider more cooperative approaches or even to withdraw from a no-win situation. The card warns of the consequences of pursuing victory at all costs, suggesting that the price may be higher than the reward.

Reversed Meaning

When reversed, the Five of Swords can indicate overcoming conflicts or learning from past mistakes. It suggests moving beyond previous disputes and finding resolutions that don't involve further strife. This position encourages forgiveness and reconciliation, advocating for healing after unnecessary battles.


The Five of Swords is often associated with Venus in Aquarius, highlighting the tension between personal desires (Venus) and the greater good or group dynamics (Aquarius). This astrological pairing emphasizes the struggle between individualistic pursuits and collective harmony.


The number 5 in tarot is typically associated with instability, challenge, and change. In the context of the Five of Swords, it underscores the disruptive and often negative changes resulting from aggressive or unethical actions.


  • Reevaluate the costs of your victories and consider more ethical or cooperative strategies.
  • Avoid conflicts that lead to hollow successes or that isolate you from others.
  • Seek to resolve disputes through understanding and compromise rather than conquest.
  • Reflect on past conflicts and learn from the outcomes to improve future interactions.

Yes/No Meaning

  • Upright: In a Yes/No reading, the upright Five of Swords generally suggests a "No," indicating that conflict, betrayal, or a hollow victory may hinder progress. It advises focusing on resolving disputes, avoiding unnecessary conflicts, and considering the consequences of your actions before moving forward.
  • Reversed: When reversed, the Five of Swords suggests a "Yes," indicating that resolving conflicts, seeking reconciliation, and moving past betrayals will lead to positive outcomes. It supports actions that involve healing relationships, letting go of grudges, and finding peaceful resolutions.