Wednesday, May 14, 2014


Today's post is a follow-up exploration of the Five of Swords (5S). This version is from The Golden Tarot of Klimt:

The above 5S amuses me every time I see it, while I find at the same time that it works as a 5S. She's not playing fair; showing her bare butt can be read as a sign of disrespect. And she may have amassed all five swords by distracting others with her sexuality, more questionable tactics. Lastly, I wonder at the nearness of all those sharp edges to her vulnerable skin, especially as she's not even looking in their direction. Caution even as she claims victory would be well advised, me thinks.

Here's the 5S in the Steampunk Tarot:

The Steampunk 5S above is another unusual version, yet it does seem that man in the red coat is about to attain all the swords, an action common to many Five of Swords designs.

And here it is in the Victorian Fairy Tarot:

The issue of bullying and cruelty is highlighted in this above fairy rendering. (Those poor hedgehogs are just trying to find something to eat!)

And for comparison, here's the Five of Swords in the well-known Rider/Waite/Smith deck:

THE FIVE OF SWORDS: There's only three left of the Tarot's 78 traditional cards that I've not done at least one thorough post about here. I'm still waiting to collect more than the two or three "meanings" I've got for those three before posting. In the meantime, I thought I'd make an additional post about the 5S as I've amassed many more thoughts on it since last writing about it. As synchronicity would have it, the 5S is a highly appropriate card for me to be looking at right now. Though the hostilities and skirmishes it often references are mostly internal, with various aspects of myself stepping into and out of the conflict at any given moment. As I transcribed the notes below I wished I had drafted this post several weeks ago. Some of what is suggested might have saved me a bit of trouble.

MEANINGS/INSIGHTS/READINGS FOR THE FIVE OF SWORDS, SOME LESS COMMON OR EVEN QUIRKY -- Please note: The below is not intended to be an exhaustive exploration of this card; a quick google will produce a wider variety of takes should you not be familiar with it. (Given my heavy reliance on projection of my feelings and experiences onto the cards, I recognize that I may very well reveal more about myself here than I do about any particular card. However, this is exactly my point: I use the cards as a path to self-discovery and healing. I hope what I post here that comes out of that process will be useful in some way to other seekers.):

-- Cutting yourself off from something or someone that is actually good for you. Possibly out of self-disgust, buried under angry denial.

-- Holding on to old behaviors and understandings at the expense of important relationships.

-- The narcissist. He's not getting what he wants so he takes all his toys and leaves the game. Spoiling it for everyone else.

-- To the world he looks as if he wants to be alone and likes all his "stuff" (literal and/or metaphorical). But he lives in secret anger and resentment that he's not more acknowledged and appreciated.

-- One of the best ways to disarm a verbally pesky or hostile person is to keep your feelings and thoughts on the issue politely to yourself. Don't give them anything to latch on to.

-- Someone who's often left "holding the bag" because people readily project a lot of their own feelings/thoughts/motivations on to them. Mostly because they're rather different from just about everyone else.

-- Walk away (either literally or metaphorically) from this situation before you're fully triggered. I.e, don't give the other(s) the satisfaction of provoking you so that you act out their anger.

-- Someone who's clinging rather tenaciously to their own view of things right now. Even at the cost of pushing others away.

-- You're not the unassailable fortress of solitude you'd like to think you are. You're human and fallible, and subject to a need to establish human connections.

-- Someone around you may try to steal your thunder, to take credit for what you have said or done. Is it really important that you get credit? Or can you just let it go, and recognize that it's more their issue, than a problem for you.

-- Not a good situation you've gotten yourself into. Go now while you can still leave with your head held high and with all that you brought to it.

-- Reclaiming aspects of one's self and one's life. While trying to get comfortable with the loneliness it generates as one also lets go of unhealthy relationships.

-- If you're feeling guilty it's because you're not used to choosing to take care of yourself in the face of others expectations and demands. Better to feel a little guilty (which will fade) than to suffer the rancid effects of your resentment if you give in to pressure (subtle or otherwise) from others

-- You tend to push others away out of fear of rejection over some conflict with them. But most others accept conflict (if finding it no more enjoyable than you do) as a part of what it is to be in relationships.

-- An attempt to establish one's independence from others expectations and demands. And over doing the withdrawal due to inexperience in so doing. (I.e., an overcompensation.)

-- Retreat is a useful tactic sometimes. This may be one of those times.

-- Be careful you don't pick up others negative or mistaken attitudes right now in your desire to be flexible and open.

-- Be sure you don't take on too much at this time. You may feel intellectually well-prepared, but you are not emotionally equipped to cope right now.

-- Reclaiming your sense of self from some others whose opinions you've been taking way too seriously.

-- Accept that nothing goes exactly as we want it to. Nor will it ever. It's not a defeat to embrace this, but an empowerment. It frees us into the always changing, ever creative possibilities of the moment.

* * * *
'til next time, keep enjoying The Tarot, in whatever ways it comes to you in your life,

[aka: Patricia Kelly]
****If you wish to copy or use any of my writing, please email me for permission (under "View my complete profile")**** SEE ALSO: United Haiku and Tanka Society (UHTS) (charter member); Roswila's Dream & Poetry Realm for Tarot poetry; Roswila's Taiga Tarot for taiga (illustrated tanka); Trying to Hold A Box of Light for digital photos only.

Labels: ,