Five of Swords

Upright/Well Dignified: This is not an easy card to look at when you’re trying to accomplish something. Even if you do get things done, you’re most likely not going to be satisfied with the results as it isn’t going to feel like it was worth all the time and energy that you spent. It often feels like the effort has been for nothing, or to maintain a status quo that you aren’t really happy with anyway. This card is sometimes referred to as the “Lord of Defeat” and it isn’t hard to see why. Often even if the situation didn’t have to be a “no-win”, this is probably how it will end up.

There is also the definite possibility that you will be defeated in one way or another. Much like the reversed three of Wands, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that this particular defeat is only short-term and isn’t going to hinder you all that much in the long term. More than anything, it’s probably going to act as a probable learning curve. The important thing is to remember that mistakes and the occasional defeat are parts of life and to not get hung up on what’s going on.

A defeatist attitude is also warned of here, where even a success is a defeat based on the ability to recognise a success when it comes. This sounds kind of odd, but many don’t see their own gifts, nor how they’re capable of being used in the long run.

Reversed/Ill Dignified: The first thing that springs to my mind when seeing the five of Swords reversed is “Why are you stopping? The battle isn’t over yet!” There are points where you may want to give up and go home. Sometimes it’s a good option, sometimes it isn’t such a great option. The thing that is being pointed out is that the option is there and you’re tempted to take it. While it might initially feel liberating, the five of Swords talks about the “us against them” mentality that comes with conflict and highlights the detail that “they” won because you gave up. Long story short, you have the option of possible defeat by fighting on, or definite defeat by giving up and going elsewhere. A Gung ho attitude might not always get you where you want to go, but a defeatist attitude will consistently get you nowhere.

As a card of self-interest, the reversed five might be asking you where your interests truly lie in this particular endeavour. Are you really making the effort for your own sake or are you making it for someone else’s gain, with no reward for you? Sometimes, that’s fine, but this is one time that you won’t even get the recognition for your energy being put into the project. That’ll be going elsewhere with no mention of you whatsoever, so there might be a warning here about somebody trying to take all of the glory for your work, or the work of a team that you’re a part of. There is the possibility of betrayal here, so be mighty careful around some people. There have already been conflicts with them, so you probably have a good idea of who they might be.

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