Five of Swords Tarot Card Meanings

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Five of Swords Tarot Card
Meanings and Keywords:


Conflict and defeat.

Winning at all cost attitude.

Tension and betrayal.

Unhealthy competition.

Personal attacks.

Being lied to.

Bullying. Being harmed by others.

Being in trouble without doing anything wrong.


Unresolved conflicts.

Fighting about nothing.

Inability to defend oneself.

Symbolism in Five of Swords tarot card

The irregularly shaped clouds symbolise a time of conflict. The two swords on the ground symbolise the defeat of the two people walking away. The two swords pointing upwards in the man’s left hand symbolise the man’s competitive nature. The sword in his right hand is pointing downwards and symbolises the imbalance between the conscious and the subconscious that leads to tension and betrayal.

Five of Swords tarot card and Astrology

Venus (Empress) in Aquarius (Star)

Five of swords tarot card meanings upright

Five of swords in a general reading

Five of Swords tarot card denotes defeat and betrayal, conflict and unhealthy competition. Words will be hurtful, lies will be told and your weaknesses used against you. If this card shows up with the Justice card reversed someone might try to get you into trouble by lying and making false accusations. If this card shows up in a love reading, someone is not quite what they seem, unless of course, they are being obnoxious. Because this is the card for obnoxious people and situations.

Five of swords in a love reading

In a love reading, Five of swords tarot card denotes betrayal and abusive relationships. If the Seeker is single Five of swords can denote dating the wrong people.

Five of swords in a career reading

In a career reading, Five of swords tarot card signifies unhappiness in a career. Five of swords can also mean work involving damage control, internal investigations, police, and army careers.

Five of swords as Feelings

Five of swords as feelings speaks of the Seeker feeling angry and possibly resentful about situations in their lives. The seeker could be holding on to old anger and have revengeful thoughts. If you are asking how someone is feeling about you, Five of swords can mean this person is feeling very resentful and bitter and is brooding.

Learn what Five of swords tarot card means in the Grand Tableau. 

Personality types in Five of swords tarot card

Five of swords tarot card indicates someone who can be quite the bully and most certainly a handful. This is someone very competitive who wants to win at all costs, especially if it means making others fail. They love getting people into trouble and they go out of their way creating drama and conflict. Things get very uncomfortable when five of swords people are around. They live by the sword and die by the sword so to speak. They believe if they don’t get others, others will get them. They long for what they can not have and their dreams turn into delusions as their reality is pretty rotten (due to their behaviour). This is someone who is very good at pretending to be your friend, will find out your weaknesses only to use them against you.

five of swords tarot card meanings

Five of swords tarot card meanings reversed

Five of Swords tarot card reversed denotes conflict and arguments remaining unresolved, often dragging on indefinitely. People might be nice to your face but not behind your back. There is no resolution to conflicts as there are no winners. The reason behind arguments have been lost a long time ago and people fight about nothing.

Note to the reader. Five of swords often shows up reversed when the seeker does everything in their power to avoid conflict as they are certain they will lose. If someone picks on them they timidly back off. Help your clients find healthy ways to stand up for themselves. 

Personality types in reversed Five of swords tarot card

Five of swords tarot card reversed indicates someone with internal conflict and inner anger, but with too much fear to openly express how they feel. They have a victim mentality and are convinced everyone are against them. This is someone who feels defeated and hopeless due to their lack of self-realisation. Their dreams seem distant and there is no happiness in day-to-day life. They come across as spineless and weak, and few people respect them. They often hide behind much stronger people who take advantage of them in return for protection. On their own, they are unable to handle themselves very well and are only considered someone when in a group. Deep down they feel worthless and useless.

Five Of Swords Tarot Card Combinations

Some important tarot card combinations including Five of swords:

5 of swords + The Fool: A dangerous person. 

5 of swords + The Magician: Toxic tongue. Being nasty. 

5 of swords + The Empress: Neglect. 

5 of swords + The Hierophant: Hypocrisy. 

5 of swords + The Lovers: The wrong choice. 

5 of swords + Justice: Crime. Assault. 

5 of swords + Temperance: Bad temper.

Five of swords + The Sun: Difficulty raising children. 

5 of swords + Judgement: Being haunted by a bad event. Post-traumatic stress. 

5 of swords + Three of wands: Unhealthy habits. 

5 of swords + Five of wands: Fierce competition. 

5 of swords + Nine of wands: Being taken advantage of. 

5 of swords + Ten of wands: Performance punishment. 

5 of swords + Ace of cups: Jealousy. 

5 of swords + Three of cups: Betrayal. 

5 of swords + Seven of cups: Internet trolls. 

5 of swords + Page of cups: Emotional blackmail.  

5 of swords + Two of pentacles: Disruption in the flow. 

5 of swords + Three of pentacles: Workplace bullying. 

5 of swords + Ten of pentacles: Unhappy family.

5 of swords + King of pentacles: A brutal business. 

5 of swords + Ace of swords: Getting revenge. 

5 of swords + Seven of swords: Dangerous lies. 

5 of swords + Ten of swords: Being stabbed in the back. 

5 of swords + Queen of swords: Bitterness.

5 of swords + King of swords: A tyrant. 

Five of Swords tarot card meanings summary

Five of swords tarot card shows up in your reading when the seeker is unable to get what they want and need. Help your client to see other options as they most likely feel stuck and helpless. Be careful who you trust when the Five of swords tarot card shows up. Look at the other cards to see where the conflicts stem from. The best way to deal with Five of swords energy is to detach from all drama. Once you become uninterested in people’s drama they simply fade away. Situations will, as a result, start to brighten up. 

Learn the Meanings of the Suit of Swords Tarot Cards Here.

Learn the Meanings of Five of WandsFive of Pentacles, and Five of Cups. 

Learn the meaning of the number 5 in numerology. 

11 thoughts on “Five of Swords Tarot Card Meanings”

  1. Hello Inger, Thank you for your site, I do come here a lot…
    I am so confused though with this outcome .I asked about a man in my life whom I am good friends with. I think we have a really amazing friendship. We are attracted to each other but he does not seem to come forward as much as he has just come out of a long term relationship.

    What will happen the next time i see him (which will be in a few days)

    I received

    The Lovers
    5 of swords

    Now the 5 of swords did get me, I got my hopes up with the first two (lol) But how would you read 5 of swords..


    (also how much do you charge)?

  2. hello
    i would like to ask about timing in tarot.
    i asked when an event going to happen and i got : 5 of swords, 7 of swords and page of sowrds.
    your help will be greatly appreciated
    thank you

  3. Hi, Inger,

    Thanks for your insight, I do like your interpretations and often find reading comments helpful too! This time I’m confused about 5 of swords. It’s a pretty disappointing card to get, but can it also mean fear of commitment and being hurt? How would you read in a question of what someone is expecting from a friendship, if all other cards (and spreads re that person) are positive?
    Thanks :)

  4. Actually I thought it’s always better to look at these other cards, so The Magician showed as the near future of this friendship, in the same reading, and King of cups as how they see me. In the position of a challenge I pulled 9 of cups and I’m wondering if I can read it with 5 of swords as an inner battle and also fear of leaving their roots, safe nest, losing their independence? Or maybe they expect me to be more direct, bluntly honest?
    In another reading when I asked what should I know about this person, I got 8 of pentacles, Ace of swords and 2 of cups, which I guess should be clear. Once I also pulled The Magician as their feelings towards me, so again, not sure how to understand 5 of swords in this context.

  5. Hi Inger

    I need your help. I’ve got new job but after 2 months being here, I’m not happy and I realize this organization has different culture and values with mine. Even now I have conflicts with few peers who talked about me behind my back and my boss likes judging me & butting in into my private life. I took this job because I just had lost my job and needed money. So, I really want to quit but I’m still tied to my contract until July 2018 and there’s a penalty if I quit during the contract. Unless, I don’t pass the assessment which is conducted every 3 months. I joined this organization in August this year. On the other hand, few months ago I got job offering from different organization and I just did the last stage of recruitment process. I worry if this organization want me to join soon. I pull 3 cards and I got 3 of pentacles, The Fool, and Five of Swords. I’m concerned with Five of Swords. Can I know when i will be able to move out from my current job based on Five of Swords? If I have one year contract, how should I interpret Five of Swords in terms of timing?

  6. Hi, Anthony. I feel you should move to the organization that aligns more with your values. 5 of swords shows up to tell you that where you are now is a no-win situation so even if you play by the rule, they will most likely play rough anyway, so the best thing is to do is to get out of there and into the new role.

  7. Decideding moment= I got five of coins
    Relationship =I got ace of coins
    Will = Igot three of Wands
    Conscience = Igot three of cups
    Consequences = I got five of swords
    Explain please

  8. Hi. I haven’t seen this spread before and I am not sure what you asked the cards. I can only answer you in regards to the cards you showed me. If you are worried about the five of swords cards as consequences it relates to the five of pentacles as deciding moment. The cards most likely are warning you not to make a decision you will regret that could cost you financially. When you get repeating 5s in a reading, it can mean you desire change, however, the time might not be optimal yet.

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