5 of swords – beware your pride

Crowley, Balbi, Barbara Walker, Marseille
Crowley, Balbi, Barbara Walker, Marseille

My favourites of this lot are the Marseilles one, as I find the interleaving of the swords very pleasing to the eye and the Barbara Walker one, for its rich symbolism. The martyrdom of Odin, hung from the Yggdrassil, in order to get the secret knowledge previously only held by women. He descended from the tree with poetry, runes, the gift of prophecy and many more wonderful presents for humankind.

That’s the positive twist of this potentially negative card: many rewards await for those who can accept life’s setbacks with sacrifice, patience and faith. Just as the days are becoming longer and winter, coming to an end.

Ah, the infamous 5’s… they are all about strife, annoyance and adversity. I can see that there is something positive about all this upheaval, it’s something necessary to break the statu quo marked by the 4’s and their tendency to write things in stone.

But the one we are talking about today even more so. There are plenty of fights, specially of the dirty variety, when this card turns up. Scheming, double intentions, manipulation (the venerable Bene Gesserit teachings come to mind)…  Vatican City may well be a very good representation of these energies at the moment, don’t you think?

It is just as well that it’s one of those cards that is always referring to “someone else” and never us or the consultant. It is: “They will be angry because…”,  “They are waiting for me to fall..” , and so on.

And that’s the second point I wanted to make with this post, what to say when the cards are not pretty? It’s important to make the difference between reading for ourselves and reading for others.

So, if reading for ourselves:

As a firm believer that what we encounter in the physical reality is a reflection of the energies we send forth*, I think that, regardless of whether it’s true that strife, opposition and malevolence may surround us and we’d better be prepared for it (that’s the usual intention of gathering intelligence, isn’t it?), it would be an ideal time to make an internal examination of the motives behind our actions:

  • Are we doing this thinking of the greater good or just because it’s more convenient for “us”?
  • What part of ourselves is being so selfish?

When reading for others:

– The consultant is embodying the “5 of swords” energy: They may be in denial (or not necessarily), unfortunately this kind of people wins too many times. Maybe something along the lines: “Beware your pride” or “Remember to be kind when you win” I’ve been pondering on this a lot lately, on how we can skew them to a less selfish path, but I haven’t got any satisfactory answers. Maybe I’m just reading too much into this card: being the bad guy is a karmic path as valid as any other.. At the end of the day, it’s just the 5 of swords on its humble own. Maybe when in company with the Devil or the Hierophant…

– The consultant is on the receiving end of the “5 of swords”: Be extremely careful as an impresionable consultant may fall in the “self-fulfilling prophecy” trap. Tell them to protect themselves as best as they can, to watch their back and to rethink their approach to the matter in hand. It’s not time to be naive.

*In respect of this, there is a powerful and really easy meditation to do, go and check it out: Ho’oponopono. Such a beautiful name!

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