Oh hey! It’s me, the Five of Swords!! (Queue the collective sighs of annoyance and disappointments)
This is quite the card and I love all the depictions that I see for the Five of Swords card in different decks but before I get into it, I’ve got to talk a little bit about Venus and Aquarius. I’m going to briefly explain the astrology of Aquarius’ traditional ruler to give context to how I am viewing the play of Aquarius energy and how it blends in with Venus. And for more about the lovely Venus, who is full of yearning towards harmony, beauty, pleasure, and experience, you’ll want to check out my last blog here.
I spoke a lot about Venus and what she represents and how she comes alive in the tarot card of the Empress. It’s a beautiful read talking about the coming together and the unification of opposites in the Four of Wands where Venus meets Aries, the Empress meets the Emperor.
Stars, and Worlds and Earth links
Without getting too deep into more planets as I think they could fill another blog easily, let’s talk about Aquarius’ traditional ruler Saturn to show the flavor of the energy in the Five of Swords. Saturn is not known for his pleasantries and is often seen as a harsh teacher, teaching one responsibilities and practicality. And so, with Venus here trying to express herself through
Aquarius it isn’t hard to fathom how she can find herself going sideways with this more serious like influence. Aquarius is known to be a forward thinker, a future thinker and visionary, and one who looks at the world in ways of how to improve circumstances, as a whole, collectively. Although on the contrary Aquarius is also known as the sign of individualism, which inspires quite the hilarious earthly drama, as they want to be a part of the band, yes, but also beat to the beats of their own drum! Saturn in tarot is represented by The World card while Aquarius itself is represented by The Star card.
I feel the expansion playing out in these two cards. I can see what the life, soul, seed, and purpose of what Aquarius itself is here to do in this world. There’s a sensation of bringing tradition, of bringing tradition of divinity into the world and allowing it to run wild, run, run free, run untamed, you know, as untamed as the oceans, as untamed as the roots of a tree, as untamed as different places, and terrains, far and wide. The Star card can be seen as a representation of bringing the ethers from above down into the earth. And what is the world? It is the earth. It is the earth that we sit upon so here we can see and witness divinity and this star link of Saturn- Aquarius.
The Pleasure of Pain in the Five of Swords
Swords cards in tarot represent the element of air and are connected to the mind, to thoughts, and communication. In many of the depictions of the Five of Swords, we can see a common theme; one party reaps the rewards and benefits while other parties suffer. It feels cutting. It cuts right through the air; Aquarius sees the vision and wants to move swiftly. And it doesn’t always do so in a harmonious way. It wants to. It wants to because it believes that it has this ability to benefit all in how they think and what they know to be.
Many times over Aquarius can find themselves a winner but, to their detriment, the only winner amongst an empty sea when everyone else has decided to walk away to soothe their egos. I love the imagery of the 5 of Swords in the Slow Tarot deck because this drive to do the right thing and find the best solutions can find itself in defeat, on its back, with an angel who’s blade that lacks mercy presses up against your tender voice box.
When the mind wreaks havoc it can become difficult to listen to the voice of reason and the emotional body can become compromised, stimulated beyond its capacity. So, in Venus wanting to experience all things the 5 of Swords can bring out the headache of overthinking, thus creating unstable wave patterns of frequency in the mind, making it harder to know clearly and move swiftly in any direction as air does.
Now, as much doom and gloom as that sounds, it’s also true that Venus is doing her best in Aquarius. If anything, Venus gets to experience different perspectives outside of her own. Two of my favorite lines in the little white book found in Aleister Crowley’s Thoth Tarot Deck says this about the 5 of Swords ‘….the condition shown is intellect weakened by sentiment” and “typifying intellect enfeebled by sentiment”. So, do we neglect one way for the other?
No way! I feel like defeat comes in when the sentiment is left out and the energy changes into an ego driven reward system. The good thing about having sentiment mixed with this intellect is that you find ways to create balance between the hyper fixation of fixing and end goals and can actually feel into the power of slowing down, thinking things through, for the benefit of the self and others. You can find yourself present in the knowing better, instead of thinking you know better.
In the Light Seer’s tarot is an image of a man holding his hand to his head. He looks like he’s not having a good time. Someone else behind him is having an obvious great time with their arms spread out in victory. If the man just opened his eyes he could see what’s behind him, in front of him that his opinions aren’t the only valid things. That even perched on his own shoulder is the magical crow who are known for their wisdom and their magic and could distill some clear sight.
The allowance of a different perspective and different ways of seeing brings a sense of mercy back to a place where knives, daggers, rough words, and harsh tones run amok. Bigger picture thinking is a beautiful necessity of the five of swords. And that’s where we encompass that Venus energy that sings through this card.
We can very much limit ourselves in the five of swords, but with that Venus energy infused we understand that Everything is welcome, can be welcome. Everything inside of us as well as everything outside of us. And we need only get out of our own way, right? This never-ending pursuit can be reframed into never-ending stories and templates to uncover, to be shaped, enjoying, and celebrating the differences in life.
My Recent Experience with the Five of Swords
In hindsight I can laugh now and think, man, 5 of swords energy, it’s a real doozy. But when you are in the thick of it all it can feel like being pricked with hundreds of cactus spikes, death by a thousand paper cuts style. Essentially my nails were digging into my tightly closed fists feeling like little daggers maiming my flesh enough to make me cry out. It hurt; physically, mentally, and emotionally because boy oh boy I wanted to and did; cry out several times.
Though this isn’t the first piece of writing I’ve ever shared with the public it is part of my firsts I’ve ever officially written. I could not get here to even brainstorm, summarize or write down my thoughts and was plagued by the deadline of getting this done and presenting it to my business peeps to work their magic of sending it through the internet ethers. I indeed found myself in my feels, spinning, drowning, out of sync with the flavor I wanted to put out to be tasted and savored by my audience. The filet mignon I imagined became a barnyard trough.
Dramatic, I know. I decided to drop it for the moment as I headed to a retreat this past weekend with a beloved somatic therapist mentor I’ve had the pleasure of meeting and working with since 2021. I told myself I would find my inspiration to sink back into the beauty of flow and abundance of expression after and eureka it worked. We were encouraged to be without our electronics and to take in the bountiful surroundings in the Catskill mountains of New York State, unplugging and being with ourselves and our environment.
My need to encompass all of my thoughts, realizations, and words about Venus in this one blog had become so overwhelming I had sacrificed her quality of joy, of life, and of pleasure, When I was able to be slow down, stopped trying to win at finishing this blog, I allowed things to unfold within and around me naturally. I saw just how much I had disrupted my cravings for a 5-star meal with ingredients that weren’t even edible.
Five of Swords Inspired Tarot Spread
Leaving it here with a tarot spread I created for the Five of Swords energy I’m calling I Must Win Spread. If you have your own tarot cards that’s great but don’t feel obligated to go and purchase any. You can get any tarot app to help or use this 5-card tarot generator I found online Random Tarot Cards (dragonbanecreation.com). That website shares meanings of the cards and this one you can choose that shows the Rider Waite version of the tarot cards Tarot Card Generator – Generate a Random Tarot Card (generatorfun.com). Make sure to change the set to 1 and options to five cards.
Before pulling your cards or using the online app make sure to set the intention by speaking out loud or in your mind the name of the spread and the questions so that you can connect your energy to the cards for the best possible cards to come out for you!
I Must Win Spread
- What must I win at all costs?
- How is this need to win detrimental to me?
- How can I infuse more harmony into my pursuits?
- What changes when I am open to resolutions?
- What results from my changes in perspective?
P.S With Love
Everything that I talk about and speak about is for you to take with you and consider. If it offers you a different outlook on life, or further solidifies a belief that differs from my own, I will always consider that a win. I like to think about outcomes, probabilities, possibilities, and when I share I am offering you a way to see the world from my own lens. What you take or don’t take from my shares are your gifts to be had. Consider life, remember to choose, and decide to dream.
**Quotes used in The Pleasure of Pain in the Five of Swords section come from pages 28 and 45 of the little white book of Aleister Crowley’s Thoth Tarot Deck.**
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