Image – The Wheel of the Year Tarot
Wounded warriors trudge through the mist, grizzled and tired. The atmosphere is wet and cold, foggy and dim. The man in the foreground carries two swords — those of fallen comrades, for the other men in the frame carry their own weapons. The mists are dismally gray, but they give the men protection from unwanted eyes, a small blessing as they move to safer ground.
Meaning: The 5 of Swords
This card is the long walk home after defeat. The battle is lost, the wounds fresh. Fives are cards of conflict, so this card can indicate a sense of conflict still in action. The battle is over, but the war still rages. And in the heart and head of each warrior, conflicting emotions and new experiences struggle for purchase in the spiritual center of each wounded human being.
This is not a happy card – but even in defeat, all is not lost. These men live, so this is a card of lessons learned and knowledge hard-won, to be used in the future. In the moment these men are living, though, the wounds are fresh and the scars will be deep. The men struggle on through the mists, their direction uncertain. There is still work to be done. As my colleagues at KEEN.com observe, “the 5 of Swords is both a beacon of hope and a dire warning.”
Advice for you: The 5 of Swords
Check your moral compass. Has it faltered a bit? As the querent viewing the cards, you look on as these men emerge from the mists, from the position of one who sent them in to battle. Are you conducting yourself in ways that are self-serving, or have you misjudged a situation and so suffered a defeat? Are others paying the costs?
It’s time to look clearly at yourself. No matter what deck you use, this card can indicate selfish and misguided activities – look to the other cards in your reading for insight into what self-centered actions are influencing your life right now.
Be brutally honest with yourself as you explore this reading. You have a chance to perceive your own activities more clearly and to change the outcome while you still can. We as human beings have the blessing and the curse of free will. Only you can adjust your course.
Questions for you: The 5 of Swords
Are you conducting yourself in ways that are self-serving? Are others paying the costs? What will it take to point your moral compass back to your own True North, to act in the world and in your relationships with real integrity again?