• Master Astrologer, Poet, Author, Artist, and Teacher

The Five of Swords

The Five of Swords

The Five of Swords 150 150 John Sandbach





Saturn rules obstruction and so can the earth element. And so the Five of
Swords can be an extremely obstructive card. 
This means it’s all about what’s in your way.  And, of course, the thing that is always in
your way is you, even when it seems to be something outside you.

    I feel that this card, more than any other, signifies the
kabbalistic principle of resistance. 
Resistance is the limiting, confining or obstructing of a being for the
purpose of giving it something to push against. 
For as you push against your challenge your magnify your own light, you
grow spiritually.

    It is wondrous to me that the number of this card, 69, is 3
times 23, and 23 is the Ace of Wands. 
The significance of this is that behind the rigidity and limitations of
this card we see that it is a way of relating to or connecting with (3) a new
cycle (Ace) of creative energy (Wands, which are the element fire).

    69 adds up to 15, which is the Major Arcana ruled by
Saturn.  The fact that both the arcanum
number of the card’s planetary ruler and its place on the Tree of Life (the
fifth station) are both signified by Saturn emphasizes the Saturnity of this
card.  And if we subtract 15 from 69 we
get 54, the four of cups, meaning that the way to utilize this card to the fullest
is to maintain a positive, enthusiastic, and hopeful attitude toward the
obstructions and lessons it may be imposing on us, no matter how hard they may

    This card can signify stoppage, stillness,
non-movement.  It makes me think of a
mountain.  Sometimes a good way to handle
it is to wait, to become contemplative, to do into the silence and just be for
a while.  These can be marvelous
antidotes to frustration.

    Certainly the card is asking you to be careful,
cautious.  It’s really good to move
slowly now, to become more passive and observant.  This card is working to bring spirituality into
the physical world, and often when this happens the world does not understand
or believe that what it is witnessing is of a spiritual nature.  The card can mean the hiddenness of
spirituality, and how a loss might actually be a gain, or a seeming tragedy
might be a blessing.

    In terms of 69 adding to fifteen, this is the second term in
the 15-cycle, meaning that this is the first time after the number 15 that we
encounter 15 again, and two always signifies refining and perfecting.  So 69 is about refining and perfecting (2)
our spirituality (15), which, given the current spiritual status of our world,
tends to strongly go against materialism and all its beliefs.

    A great way to support the energy of this card is to get rid
of things you don’t need, to clear debris from your life.  It can be good now to disengage from
connections that are bringing you down or which are no longer serving your
evolution.  We might say that “no” is a
great keyword for this card.  It can
signify economizing, dieting by both eating less and change what you are
eating, applying more discipline where it is needed, etc.

    And of course, the Five of Swords is compelling us to look
at what is truly practical,  which often
turns out to be different from what many people think it might be. 

    For instance, if our primary reason for being here is to
reach enlightenment, then meditation is practical.  If we see that the principle of karma is
real, then we can see that it’s practical to not automatically respond with
hostility when someone pushes our buttons, that it’s practical to give away money
to homeless people, and practical to go about spontaneously sparking laughter
and love in others.  As we do these
things we are bringing into the world that bright Ace of Wands energy I told
you of earlier, and serving the highest purposes of The Five of Swords.   

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