Inspiring Enchantment & Illumination with Tarot & Intuitive Guidance

Tarot Card of the Week, Sept. 10-16, 2018: Five of Swords

People will forget what you said,
People will forget what you did,
But people will never forget how you made them feel.
Maya Angelou

Boy am I ever sorry to have pulled this one today. After all, even the renowned Rachel Pollack calls the Five of Swords “one of the most difficult of the reasons some people find the Rider pack too negative.”

I try not to be prejudiced, and I know there are positive aspects to this card.

But at this moment, while my husband John and I are busy preparing for a monster hurricane that is bearing down on us, I really must admit I am unhappy to see it.  And because our emergency preparations take priority, I fear I must keep this week’s post uncharacteristically brief, my dears.

As you can see, the sky is stormy, with jagged, threatening clouds (I mean in the card, and not actually here… yet!)

The man in the foreground gloats as the others retreat in defeat, perhaps even humiliation. At his feet are their two swords, the spoils of his victory. Yet he bears three already – a deceitful advantage that tells us his victory is less than chivalrous.

Although unpleasant, this card happens to most of us, sooner or later. Are we going through some particularly sharp challenges these days?

Because this card is in the suit of Swords, these difficulties would be focused on communication, truths and lies, perception, propaganda, and attitude.

The question is, who do you identify with?

The Losers – For Now

Do you feel more like the two figures near the water, who have suffered a painful loss? Yes, they had more manpower.

Like, for instance, a majority vote.

But the smirking winner was more heavily armed, perhaps due to some kind of trickery, almost certainly some unfair or technical advantage. Like, say, hacked emails or votes of the electoral college.

Despite one’s best efforts, this card unpleasantly indicates that we may lose out to someone who opposes us.

Have you been defeated or cheated by a wily and cunning opponent?

Do you feel you have suffered a downfall because of someone’s cowardliness, manipulation, or malice? Perhaps now is the time to walk away while you can. But do not despair, or give in to bitterness. Learn from this setback, and remember that tomorrow is another day.

The Winner … at the Moment

On the other hand, this card may also be for those who see themselves as the winners. Perhaps you feel you have won an important battle, in which the odds seemed against you.


If you wish to hold onto your advantage with any longevity, it would be wise to be a gracious, generous winner. The arrogance and pride we see in this character sow the seeds for a bigger war yet to come.

How completely must you see your enemies laid low, in order to feel emotionally satisfied? Is this victory ethical?

Gloating, humiliating, and taunting those you have bested is vulgar behavior unworthy of real champions. Besides, it only serves to strengthen your opponent’s resolve to fight more fiercely next time.

People, political parties, and nations may be, at some given moment, the most powerful, with the biggest weapons. But only weaklings bully their adversaries. And when they do, it almost always (eventually!) comes back to haunt them, often resulting in an unpleasant, deserved payback.

This week, be mindful to act with graciousness and diplomacy. If you must disagree with others, do so with compassion, wisdom, and a sense of respect. Wield your power with fairness and sensitivity.

After all, your words and your deeds may fade from memory, but people do not forget how they were made to feel.

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • September 10, 2018, 8:13 pm Nígeala

    Beth, I’m so sorry that you and your husband are having to deal with a hurricane so soon after your surgery (not that there’s ever a good time for a huuricane). And I’m wishing you and everyone on the East Coast well and safe through the storm. I’ll be following the hurricane’s progress very closely as I have family and friends in several places (I live in Seattle.)
    Wishing you all much love and light,

  • September 11, 2018, 9:34 am nofixedstars

    interesting to hear that some think the RW tarot is too negative; i feel like most older systems of divination and cartomancy have a certain amount of “negative” images/symbols by design, as life isn’t all shiny-happy, and people are complex. your interpretations seem very well-balanced, even when it’s the swords (admittedly not anyone’s favourite suit)…

    we are doing storm prep too, although we are not likely to be in the worst zone of impact. not looking forward to this at all! hope things go well for you.

  • September 11, 2018, 12:01 pm Beth

    Thank you for all your prayers and good wishes, my friends. We are dashing about, trying to prepare, and trying not to think about getting stranded out here in the woods, if the roads wash out. Or worse.

    Hoping all of you, too, will stay safe, dry, and healthy! ❤️

  • September 12, 2018, 9:47 pm Nígeala

    Hey, Beth. I’m feeling very concerned about Hurricane Florence. How far inland are you? I know you must very busy getting ready, or even evacuating, but could you just let us know that you, your husband, and fur persons are safe and secure somewhere? And also, for others of you who are in the danger zone (I’m in Seattle but I lived on the Gulf Coast of FL for ten years.), do please let us know that you’re in a safe place too. The combined danger of 3-4 feet of rain plus storm surge and >100mph winds hanging around for days really can not be overstated. Guys, give a Capricorn woman with Moon in Pisces a break (worry is my middle name- lol), and let me know you’re ok. I’ll be thinking of you all, and following the news, and I’m burning candles and sending out energy for your safety.
    Love and light,

  • September 13, 2018, 10:41 am Beth

    Beautiful Nígeala –
    Today, I have posted a more complete update for you, and for all who have so kindly sent their love and concern.

    Thank you for your loving care.

  • September 14, 2018, 8:13 am donna

    You certainly give us thoughts to ponder. Our current political climate reflects this card.