illogical confrontation

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Intro: Five of Swords Tarot Card Meaning - illogical confrontaion

Tarot Alley uses the Rider Waite type of deck for our meanings, symbols, interpretations, etc.

When determining the Five of Swords tarot card meaning, you should consider that it’s a Sword card and a Five. The Suit of Swords represents knowledge and intellect. Fives represent confrontation and resistance.

In this way, we can determine that the Five of Swords represents an illogical confrontation. This is a choice to stand up for what you want, believe in, or think is right, but you’re not using all your reason, rationality, or logica when doing so.

Take a look at the Rider-Waite Five of Swords displayed to the left (or above).

What is your first impression?

What happened here? Why is the front figure holding three swords? Where are the other two figures going? Who do the swords on the ground belong to?

There’s no right or wrong answer here, just your interpretation.

Astrology: Venus in Aquarius
Element: Air
Numerology: 5 (resistance, confrontation)

Common Symbols

  • Stolen Wands: commonly there’s a figure holding multiple wands and these are believed to have been stolen. Theft represents a lack of integrity.
  • Thief/Victor: the figure holding the wands is clearly gloating. This represents hostility and selfishness.

Keywords & Concepts

  • Hostility
  • Irrationality
  • Selfishness
  • Self-Preservation

The Five of Swords for Personal Growth

Affirmation: Even as I care for myself, I am mindful of the needs of others.

You can’t win at everything so you should think in terms of how you want to win, and how you want to lose. Both are important and you should strive to make conscious choices in both situations. Be a good a person in both victory and defeat.

Ask Yourself:

  • What does your recent behavior say about you?
  • How do you behave when you win? What does that say about you?
  • How can you do what’s necessary without making others feel defeated?
  • What’s the difference between selfish action and acting in your own best interest?
  • What would happen if you broke some rules?

Interpreting the Five of Swords

Generally, the Five of Swords represents an illogical confrontation. You are fully invested in something (what you want, what you believe in, what you think is right, etc) and you are not going to back down from that, no matter what happens!

This is a selfish, emotional, illogical time. You want what you want, and how it affects others just doesn’t feel important right now.

The Reversed Five of Swords

How you read reversals is a personal choice. You can ignore reversals and read them as if the card is upright (this is what I often choose to do) or you can interpret reversals as variations of what they would mean upright. There are 3 common ways to read reversals: as a negative interpretation, as an opposite interpretation, or as a block on the upright interpretation. Check out How to Read Reversals for more information.

Typically, a reversed Five of Swords represents a harmful confrontation. Upright, the Five of Swords is selfish. Reversed, it goes beyond selfishness to actual harm. Some examples include:

  • Taking advantage of others
  • Intimidating others
  • Acting unethically
  • Starting fights
  • Goading others into violence and irrationality
  • Ignoring rules and agreements
  • Gloating over your victories

Examples of the Five of Swords

Specific Interpretations

Specific situations are the general interpretation (from above) used for a specific situation (love, career, etc). There is no need to memorize these (or even look them up) if you understand the general interpretation. However, here are some basic interpretations for some specific situations:


You aren’t thinking clearly right now so maybe you should step back and take a breathe. You need to take care of yourself but you should also try not to hurt those you care about.


Sometimes a person’s success causes failure for another. It happens. What’s important is how you deal with it.

When you’re the successful one (congrats), be humble! Gloating doesn’t look good on anyone.

When you’re the one experiencing failure, don’t despair! Pick up the pieces and move on to the next thing.


It’s easy to be spiritual when things are going well. How does your spiritual path deal with suffering? inequality? adversity? These things are a fact of life and you can insulate yourself from instability by thinking about them in advance and making some plans.

the Five of Swords Tarot Card Meaning

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The Five of Swords tarot card meaning is all about illogical confrontation. The fives bring an instability that gives way to irrationality. What confrontations are affected in your world?

Once you feel comfortable with the Five of Swords tarot card meaning, check out the next card in the tarot deck: the Six of Swords Tarot Card Meaning.


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