I’ve written interpretations for every card in the Wild Unknown Tarot. As the box of the deck states, there are no rights or wrongs. These are simply my perspectives on the tarot card meanings. I hope you find them useful!
Click here for a directory of all posts in my Wild Unknown series.
Creator’s keywords: self destruction
Carrie’s keywords: criticism, betrayal
Begin or deepen your tarot studies with
Foundational Tarot, my free video course!
Join the email list for instant access.
Five of Swords Tarot Card Meanings in the Wild Unknown
A worm has been divided, a grim black sword has pierced this creature right through the center. Two additional swords pierce through the top half of the worm, and two through the bottom half. It is am image of maliciousness and ill will.
The suit of swords deals with communication, logic and thoughts. In all suits, the fives show challenges or discomforts posited by the suits. In the Five of Swords, we see the way people sometimes cut down others – and themselves – through fighting, hostility and spite.
This card can hint at environments that are wrought with power struggles and questionable ethics. We are all human, and we all succumb to the influences of pettiness, harshness and aggressive behavior from time to time. Being aware of these patterns is necessary, as it is the only way to transcend them.
The Wild Unknown gives the keyword “self destruction” for this card. Although we do sometimes face ugly behavior from outside sources, it is true that many of us dish it out to ourselves. This card can ask you to examine your self-talk and your choices. Pay attention to the influence of your inner critic. If you aren’t treating yourself with respect and honor, that is the place to start.
Five of Swords Tarot Card Meanings in General
In the Waite-Smith tradition, this card shows a human figure holding three swords. Two more swords are sprawled on the ground behind him, while two other humans are visible in the distance. There is a sense that the person holding the swords has “won” some type of confrontation, but at what cost?
Humans like to be right, and if you don’t check yourself you might value being “right” over all else. The desire to “win” can cause us to betray our values and principles if we let it. When someone’s main motive is to gain power or to show dominance over someone else, it is a red flag.
The Five of Swords also speaks to one of the harmful effects of the ego, manifesting in the form of sabotage. Sometimes that sabotage is external, projected out onto others. Other times, we sabotage ourselves.
In a reading…
This card can ask you to balance your own needs with the needs of others. Is there a way that everyone can win in this situation? Do not react and lash out in an auto-pilot manner. Instead of becoming your own worst enemy, become aware of destructive tendencies and change your approach.