Element: Air

Sign: 1. decan of Aquarius

Planet: Venus

Tree of Life: Geburah

Light: loss, failure, betrayal, conflict

Shadow: more superficial, less direct defeat, more of an annoyance

Lord of Defeat

The Five of Swords is also known as the Lord of Defeat. This title is derived from the card’s strong association with conflict, loss, and betrayal. The card represents a situation where one’s efforts have been in vain, leading to a sense of defeat and loss.


The transition from the Four of Swords to the Five of Swords signifies a shift from rest and recovery to conflict and defeat. It represents a change from a period of peace to facing new challenges and experiencing loss.


This tarot card serves as a reminder that not all battles are meant to be won, and sometimes, acknowledging defeat can lead to growth and understanding.

Joe’s Divine Guidance - Five of Swords in a Tarot Reading



When the Five of Swords appears upright, it indicates a time of conflict and defeat. You may have experienced a situation where you feel betrayed, let down, or even humiliated by others. 


This card serves as a reminder that not all battles can be won, and sometimes it is necessary to acknowledge and accept defeat. It can be disheartening and challenging, but through this experience, there is an opportunity for growth and understanding.

In its reversed form, the Five of Swords suggests that you are starting to recover from a period of conflict and defeat. The wounds of the past may still be healing, but you are finding the will and determination to move forward and make positive changes in your life. 


This card signifies a time of healing and transformation, where you are beginning to regain your strength and rebuild your confidence. It also encourages you to practice forgiveness, not only towards others but also towards yourself.

Mystical Symbolism - Five of Swords Thoth

Image of the Five of Swords in the Thoth tarot deck.

Hilt of Lowest Sword: The hilt of the lowest sword becomes a crown, representing a sense of defeat and brokenness in our spirit over challenging circumstances.


Green Serpent: Symbolizes a lack of renewal and transformation within ourselves, signifying a feeling of being trapped in a monotonous and unexciting life.


Fish: Represents a preoccupation with the past, hindering our ability to move forward and embrace new experiences.


Red Handkerchief: Symbolizes negative thoughts that reopen old emotional wounds and generate fear within us.


Rams Horn: Indicates a lack of creative inspiration and forward momentum in our current situation, making it difficult to progress.


Distorted Background: Twisted lines in the background symbolize the limitations and obstacles that restrict our clear vision and personal empowerment.


White Centre: Despite being suppressed, our spirit perseveres, striving to become visible again and overcome the challenging circumstances.

Tree of Life: Geburah and the Five of Swords

The Five of Swords is associated with Geburah on the Tree of Life, representing severity and judgment. This card symbolizes the harsh reality of defeat and the lessons that come with it. It reminds us that sometimes we face setbacks and experience losses in life.


Geburah’s influence in this card emphasizes the consequences of our actions and decisions. It reminds us of the need for discernment and judgment, as well as the importance of learning from defeat. The Five of Swords teaches us that even in defeat, there are valuable lessons to be learned and opportunities for personal growth and understanding.

Astrology Insights

The Five of Swords in the Thoth Tarot is associated with the planet Venus in the sign of Aquarius. Venus is the planet of love and beauty, and Aquarius is a sign associated with rebellion and logic. This combination suggests a conflict between emotions and logic, leading to a state of defeat. It encourages us to find a balance between our feelings and thoughts to avoid unnecessary conflicts and losses.