MANIFEST YOUR BEST YEAR YET
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Everyday Tarot Deck
Upright: Conflict, disagreements, competition, defeat, winning at all costs
Reversed: Reconciliation, making amends, past resentment
In the Five of Swords, a sly-looking man picks up three swords from the ground, while looking over his shoulder at two men who are walking away with a sense of sadness and loss. Two more swords lay on the ground, as if a battle has been fought and lost. The sky is cloudy and tumultuous, indicating that not all is well despite the battle seemingly being over.
NOTE: The Tarot card meaning description is based on the Rider Waite cards.
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Everyday Tarot Deck
The Five of Swords appears when you have had a falling out, disagreement or conflict, and you are walking away with a feeling of sadness and loss. You may be feeling upset, angry and resentful. You may have exchanged heated words and said things that you now wish you could take back. There may be 'bad blood' and a general feeling of 'icky-ness' that relations have turned sour.
Even if you won the argument or came out the apparent victor, you are quickly realizing that you have lost as much as, or even more than, your opponent in the long run. You may have lost trust, respect or even dignity in the battle, and you have isolated yourself from others. As you try to pick up the pieces and act as if the conflict is now in the past, others have now lost faith in you and do not want to be around you. You will need to make a decision about whether your point of view is so important to you that it is ok to put your relationship with others in jeopardy, or whether you can compromise and try to see eye-to-eye with others.
The advice of the Five of Swords is to pick your battles. You may be tempted to fight every conflict to ensure you get your way, to prove that you are right, or to defend yourself when you are feeling challenged or threatened by another person. However, most experts agree, choosing your battles wisely is a much better way of life than battling out every disagreement. Not only will picking your battles lead to a more peaceful existence, it is also more likely to strengthen your interpersonal relationships.
The Five of Swords can often indicate that you feel you are in competition with others on the path to success, rather than in collaboration. You see others as threats to your own success, and so you seek to win at all costs so that you are not taken down in the process.
If you have been engaged in a conflict and you can feel it taking its toll, the Five of Swords is an invitation to apologise and make amends. The longer you brood over the conflict or the more you try to prove you were right, the more challenging the relationship will become. Be ready to say that you were wrong and make amends. There's no point trying to prove how right you are. Just let it go and move on. Look for common ground with those who have been fighting with, or seek forgiveness so you can move forward.
On the other hand, the Five of Swords may point to defeat. It shows that, despite your best efforts, you are likely to be defeated or come out as the loser. If you allow yourself to become disillusioned after such a loss, then you will find yourself on the path to increased ruin and torment. Accept your defeat, learn from it, and then make sure that next time you succeed. Be smarter and wiser as a result of your loss.
The Five of Swords reversed represents one of those times when you've found yourself trying to argue to the end, only to realise that you'll lose no matter what. You've been pushing and pushing, but whoever is on the other end is not listening. And no doubt they feel the same. You're both fighting to win, at the expense of the other person. And when you're in this mode of operation, you end up feeling awful – win or no win.
As a card of conflict, tension and disagreement, the Five of Swords reversed shows that you want this period of fighting to be over so that you can forgive and forget, and then focus your energies on more constructive activities such as restoring your relationship back to normal. The conflict is becoming upsetting now, and you realise that there can only be losers in this battle. You just want to put this behind you and move on.
At times, the Five of Swords reversed can indicate a conflict in your life that you have tried to walk away from but which continues to follow you. For example, there may still be an ex in your life who is making things difficult and who may be preventing you from moving on to new relationships. So long as there is conflict, tension and raw emotion at play, avoid this person or situation.
Similarly, the reversed Five of Swords can suggest that an old wound has been re-opened and you are experiencing fear and tension associated with that memory. You may be particularly worried that history might repeat itself or that you could be hurt again. Aim to forgive and forget so that you can indeed move on.
There may also be some residual resentment following a recent or past argument with someone close to you. You have had some very challenging and heated conversations together, and you still harbour some negative emotion from these discussions. This may still be unresolved and unaddressed and this in itself is impacting your ability to create a harmonious relationship.
The Five of Swords reversed suggests that after a period conflict, you are ready to move forward with your life and create positive change. Bring your energy back within and ground yourself. Come back to that beautiful, soulful person you are and ask yourself, how can I help create a win-win solution here? There may be a compromise, or it might even be that it's best to step away right now and move on with your life. This is your opportunity to apologise, ask for forgiveness, and make amends so that you can move on and create a more fertile ground for new ideas and collaboration.