Fueled by misinformation
Can expose new truths.
In many Tarot decks, the central image of this card is a figure picking up swords. It looks like a post-melee shot, like the aftermath of a fight. And it looks like it didn’t go well.
Traditionally Swords are a gloomy suit in the Tarot. Interpretations vary from reader to reader, of course, but for a long time Swords were usually understood to be the bearers of bad tidings: illness/injury, loss, curses, general bad mojo. Like, bad things were fated to happen when a Sword appears.
Today, however, more Tarotists allow for the interplay of free will. Myself included. I align the Swords with classical element of “Air” and the qualities associated with mental processes and conscious choices. For me, Swords are all about refining communication skills to strengthen – or evolve – life philosophies. Especially when “bad” things happen – we still have choices.
The Five of Swords is an opportunity card, actually. It does seem to appear around a minor loss or misunderstanding, but more importantly, it announces the potential for the discovery of deeper insights when a first try doesn’t succeed. Sometimes we start a project without enough resources, or make a rash choice based on rumors, or try to put together a piece of ikea furniture without the instructions – and then we are surprised when it does not go well. But if we go back and check our sources (or ask more specific questions or consult an actual map, etc) we discover an error or a gap in our knowledge. When we uncover the misunderstanding, we can shift our way of thinking to move forward towards success. This is the chance to rid ourselves of limiting beliefs and expand into wisdom.
This card does not augur a loss. It suggests a win – if you do some more research, if you get more specific. Instead of feeling like a failure, call your first attempt “an experiment” and go back to the drawing board. Retrace your steps and cross-check your references. Interview more experts and ask more specific questions. Let go of assumptions, instead reach for a depth of understanding. Follow the directions. Make an actual plan. Then try again.