Five of Swords Tarot Card Meaning

Tarot, like astrology, has long been one of our favorite divination systems. Interpreting either takes practice. As you learn, we wanted to help you to quickly connect to the cards and use them in ways that are actionable and practical in every area of life. xoxo, Tali & Ophira

Co-authored by James Kerti

What does the Five of Swords tarot card mean?

The Five of Swords tends to emerge during a time of conflict. (The Swords come out, so to speak!)

This minor arcana card doesn’t weigh in either way on the outcome of the disagreement. Its primary concern is warning you about the battle itself. While you may well be able to prevail, you can anticipate that it’s going to challenge you or perhaps, have lasting consequences that you’re being too cavalier about.

Like other Swords, this tarot card may be hinting at communication as a path forward for working things out in the best possible way.

Lack of communication might be part of the problem. If conflict is coming to a head with someone in your life, give talking it through (and listening!) your best shot. Whether or not you’re able to find a resolution that everyone feels okay about, you may at least be able to lower the intensity of the disagreement.

What is the Five of Swords zodiac sign?

The zodiac sign of the Five of Swords is Aquarius

Five of Swords Tarot Guide

Keywords for the Five of Swords: Arguments, conflict, competition, hostility, stress, disagreement

Yes or No: No

Planet of the Five of Swords: Uranus

Element of the Five of Swords: Air

What does the Five of Swords card mean in a love reading?

As the Five of Swords points to disagreements and hostility, it’s not a card you like to see in a love reading. If you’re in a relationship, you may be at loggerheads with your partner, or perhaps you already are.

If the horseman of contempt is riding into your relationship, the Five of Swords tarot card advises you to slow down for a moment. Try to think about the situation more objectively. Are struggles in other areas of life making one or both of you irritable? And are you bringing that frustration into your partnership? If it’s possible that’s happening, do your part to stop projecting, blaming or engaging with your mate’s bad moods. (Including trying to comfort and caretake instead of simply allowing them be with their feelings.) Allow tensions to reset, perhaps by taking some space.

When there is a genuine conflict between you and your partner, the Five of Swords suggests doing your best to communicate from a place of mutual respect. But like many battles, there’s the potential that you may need to walk away if arguments get heated.

What does the Five of Swords tarot card mean for career, money and finance?

If you’re seeing the Five of Swords in a career reading, chances are there’s stress at work because people aren’t getting along. Competitive forces may be disrupting the harmony of a mission or someone on the team may be attempting to undermine you.

Under the energy of the expressive Swords, the culprit may be a lack of communication, a failure of leadership, or both—maybe even a lack of communication because of a failure of leadership!

The Five of Swords urges you to try to keep your emotions in check. Handle things as professionally as possible.

You may need to call in support from other people at work in order to defuse the situation. And if things get really nasty, walking away may be your best course of action.

How to read your birth chart

Your Cosmic Code
Learn how to read your birth chart and get to know each planet in it! Enjoy this insightful, fun, and self-paced course and discover WHY you're the person you are and how to direct your natural gifts and strengths.

What does the Five of Swords tarot card mean for health?

The Five of Swords is associated with stress and conflict. It can sometimes indicate struggles with anxiety when it comes up in a health reading.

It’s important to be cognizant of how difficult situations throughout your life can weigh on you. Stress can pile up in the body over time, especially if you tend to repress hard emotions.

The Five of Swords encourages you to step back from situations that raise your blood pressure or trigger emotions like anger, fear, or any “fight or flight” reactions. Are you feeling worn down? Don’t ignore your body’s signals. This is a time for treating yourself with the kindness that you’d show a friend who was going through a hard time.

Five of Swords Tarot Card in Reverse Meaning

The Five of Swords tarot card has more positive connotations when it arises in a reversed position. Its focus is on resolving the conflict so that you can move on. This battle needs to end—and it’s time to stop fixating on winning. The true victory lies in stopping the fight itself.

With this card in reverse, it may even be a warning: if you don’t work to end things as quickly as possible, they could escalate in a destructive way. You may need to accept an outcome that is hard to swallow. But you can trust that you’re preventing longer-term consequences. The Five of Swords in reverse suggests that you’ll feel peace again before too long.

Trust that you have bigger fish to fry and more important things to do with your life than to stay stuck in this dispute.

Is the Five of Swords tarot card a yes or no?

Given that the Five of Swords represents conflict, hostility and stress, it is generally a no in a yes or no reading. 

What does the Suit of Swords mean?

Swords are associated with air signs (Gemini, Libra, and Aquarius), which get things moving, acting as the winds of change. Air energy is communicative, and people with air signs like to connect and share ideas.

Select another Tarot card from the dropdown below to learn its meaning

Feature art by Diana Hlevnja