The Five of Swords tarot card often means a conflict is coming or is already here. It’s likely to be an unequal and unfair fight, but remember you always have options. You can choose to fight, or you can walk away from the situation and learn from it.
Obviously, the second option is best, and if you choose to fight, it will probably end in defeat. Even if you do come out on top, this unfair fight will leave you with a hollow victory and you’ll lose much more than you hope to gain.
You’ll likely lose trust, dignity, or respect if you engage in this battle, so make sure to choose your next move carefully.
When you see the Five of Swords card reversed, it can mean you’re ready to move past the period of conflict and tension and want to forgive and forget.
You want to focus your energy on more positive things, like rebuilding your relationships. You might have some residual pain, but you’re ready to put the past behind you and move forward.
Still, this can be tricky, and if you’re holding onto negative feelings or leaving things unaddressed, it can come back to bite you.
This reversed card can also show that you’ve recently reopened an old wound, and you’re feeling the anxiety and pain that comes along with it all over again. Instead of fearing that pain again, address the concerns that you left unresolved last time.
Work to make amends if necessary, or change your perspective to see the situation in a new light. Remember to take the time you need to ground yourself and practice self-care, so you can focus your energy on the positive and keep looking forward.
Reading this reversed card using the “blocked/restricted” meaning
Okay, so now let’s talk about how to read your reversed Five of Swords card. First, you can use the “blocked/restricted” reversed card meaning. When you read your cards like this, you look for an obstacle standing in front of the card’s upright meaning.
So for the Five of Swords, this means something is blocking your disagreements. Maybe you’re afraid to express yourself because you don’t want to cause a conflict, but keeping things bottled up inside is hurting you in the long run.
Say you pull the reversed Five of Swords thinking about your friend group. You get together with a group of girlfriends each week to take a class at your gym.
There are five of you, and one of the girls usually takes care of scheduling. But for the past two weeks, they have left you out of the text thread, so you didn’t know which class to go to.
The girl who should be handling the invites always seemed to not like you, and you’re afraid if you ask your friends what’s going on, you’ll cause drama. You hate conflict, so you’d almost prefer to just drift out of the group.
But you were really enjoying the classes and you got along with the rest of the girls. Here, the reversed Five of Swords tells you to speak up for yourself. Your other friends probably don’t know what’s going on, and they don’t know why you haven’t been showing up.
And maybe you’ve been left off the text thread accidentally. You never know what’s going on until you communicate, so reach out to your group to see what class is coming up next.
Even if the one girl doesn’t like you, that doesn’t mean you should give up on an experience you enjoy.
Reading this reversed card using the “opposite” meaning
Another way to read your reversed Five of Swords card is using the “opposite” reversed card meaning. When you read your cards this way, you look for the opposite of the card’s upright meaning.
With the Five of Swords, instead of conflict and disputes, you have peace and alliances. Things are going well, so take advantage of the good times while they’re here.
Say you pull the reversed Five of Swords after going through a tough year with your family. Your parents got divorced recently after being together for over 40 years. You also split from your husband and even though your life is going very well, it’s caused some tension.
Between the two divorces, the whole family has been thrown in different directions. But during the summer, both of your parents booked trips to visit. You felt very stressed about seeing them because of everything that happened, but both the trips went smoothly.
Your parents were just happy to see you and be a family again. Here, the reversed Five of Swords tells you not to overthink things.
Even though tensions were strained in the past, it sounds like everyone is ready to move on. Don’t dwell on the tough times or hold grudges; instead, look forward to how you can build a new life with each other.
Reading this reversed card using the “worse” meaning
You can also read your reversed Five of Swords card using the “worse” reversed card meaning. When you read your cards like this, you take the card’s upright meaning and put it in a negative light.
For the Five of Swords, this means you’re going through conflict, but maybe you’re stooping to a low level and losing more than you could gain.
For example, you might pull the reversed Five of Swords card when thinking about your job. You work as a waitress at a diner, and there’s another waitress who’s worked there for many years.
She’s really close to the family who owns the place, so she has some influence over the staff. You also have a great relationship with the owners, but your co-worker always makes things difficult.
When you’re on the same shift together, she leaves messy dishes in the kitchen and doesn’t do her side work. She also says little things about you behind your back to the other staff.
Here, the reversed Five of Swords tells you not to stoop to her level. You can tell management about the side work to make sure it gets done, but don’t engage when people tell you the negative things.
This woman has other problems going on if she needs to lash out at you. People will see you’re not the one causing the issue over time and will respect you taking the higher ground.
Reading this card using the “no/not” reversed card meaning
Finally, you can read your reversed Five of Swords card using the “no/not” reversed card meaning. When you read your cards this way, you put a “no” or a “not” in front of the card’s upright meaning.
So for the Five of Swords, this can mean “no unequal fights” or “no bullying.” You may think your opponent is being unfair, but maybe you need to take a step back and see where you can compromise, too.
For example, say you pull the reversed Five of Swords card thinking about your relationship with your boyfriend. The two of you have been dating for over a year and it’s going very well.
You bonded over your love of the outdoors, and you often spend weekends camping and exploring local hiking trails. The relationship has always been pretty casual, especially since the two of you are in your mid-40s and have been through your share of breakups.
You’re okay taking things slow, but lately, you’ve been craving more of a commitment. You want to know you have a steady partner in your boyfriend, so you suggested moving in together.
He’s hesitant but has expressed how content he is in the relationship. Here, the reversed Five of Swords card tells you not to press him too hard. It’s only been a year, and people can be very committed while living in different homes.
Sometimes, having their own place makes someone more comfortable committing because they know they’re not losing their freedom.
Try offering a compromise for now, like keeping some things at each other’s places. He’ll come around to more in time, but for now, try to compromise and enjoy each stage of the relationship.