Rider Waite Smith, and Thoth
Occult Name: The Lord of Defeat
Five of Swords in timing: Five weeks; or from January 20th - 29th
Qabalah: Geburah in Yetzirah
Astrological: Venus in Aquarius
Reading with Playing Cards: Equivalent to the Five of Spades
The Five of Swords, RWS Card Meaning
The Five of Swords, Thoth Card Meaning
The image of the Five of Swords, Thoth card, shows the swords in an inverse pentagram formation. Four swords are straining, and the lower one, the fifth, is missing a large piece; this is mental activity run amok. The inverse pentagram is used to symbolize evil on this card, despite the fact that Crowley did not see any symbol as accurate in doing that. The lowest point of the pentagram represents spirit; it has been beaten down and is now the weakest sword. Gone is the rose of the Rosy Cross, so prominent in the Four (symbolic of, for just a few things, social peace and harmony, expanding awareness, silence, and man harmonizing his base nature with his spiritual nature); the swords have dismantled it and turned it upside down--its petals worn like a perverse trophy.
The environment is rife with negativity here in Mars (Geburah) in Yetzirah; it breeds ugliness, such as malintent, fear, loss, poverty, jealousy, greed, dishonor, etc. Amicable Venus and Aquarius, cannot be true to their nature in this setting.
The Five of Swords Dignified or Upright
- A loss of stature amongst one's peers in light of actions taken.
- Suffering, hardship or blockage, has been brought about through previous actions.
- Focusing upon one's own needs, and at the same time exhibiting a disregard for others.
- An omen portending of a result other than what is desired.
- Harsh words spoken, ill thoughts or intents conveyed.
- Malicious gossip, slander, and false accusations.
- Spiteful actions, or an attack.
- Causing frustration to others.
- Malicious intent.
- Loss or defeat.
- Anxiety and stress.
- Facing a problematic issue.
- Taking action that will lead to failure or loss.
- Doing as one must to bring a situation to a end.
- A degrading experience.
- Acting out destructively.
- Being afflicted with an illness or condition.
- A terrible or horrific situation or event.
- Speaking or acting out of prejudice.
- Abusive behavior; poor or inexcusable behavior.
- Feeling that one has been taken advantage of.
- Feelings as if everyone stands against you.
- Self-defeating thought.
- You're facing someone that has power and knows how to use it effectively. It's unlikely that you'll gain the upper hand.
- There's something quite important to you that you've been waiting for, but it has been totally forgotten about by the person in charge of it; or it could mean that the person is far too busy to attend to it, and that their blockage has become yours as well.
- Serious miscommunication. It's a hassle to get your point across; it may seem that one or both sides are always on the defensive. Or a faulty dynamic in communication; no matter what you say or how you say it, in conversations, if you win you lose and if you lose you lose.
- A situation that has you feeling that you need to prove something, that you're in danger of losing somehow.
- Harsh words spoken by the querent have been repeated to others, who are not pleased.
- Someone has demonstrated concern and offered help; but either they had no such intent, or their concern was temporary.
- Smart and witty, but with no verbal filter.
- Giving up, or has already given up.
- Grave misunderstanding.
- Pursuing unrequited love.
- Tempted by perversion.
- Ill fortune.
The Five of Swords Ill Dignified or Reversed
- By and large, the meaning of this card remains the same ill dignified; but the energy may be weaker, stronger, delayed, or in a future tense.
- Deep sorrow.
- Grieving someone's death.
- Funereal proceedings.
- A burial vault.
- In facing failure and moving on from it, one is heading towards success.
- A phase of utter loss, that will lead on to other phases which will lead the querent to where they need to be.
- In a matter of misunderstanding or during an altercation, acting or speaking on behalf of another.
RWS image is a Wikimedia file from a 1909 deck originally scanned by Holly Voley http://home.comcast.net/~vilex/
Thoth image copyright (c) US Games Systems Inc.; AGMuller; O.T.O.