Wednesday, March 17, 2010

The Five of Swords

Tonight we had roller derby practice but I was off my game. I felt so out of it. I am happy to report that I passed my written exam with a "grade" of 100%. Now I just have to pass the skills tests! Apparently I should have paid attention to my tarot card of the day as I did feel pretty defeated today in more ways than one. Then I totally sucked at derby practice and just could not get it together! Today's tarot card is the Five of Swords. This card suggests that my power today lies in the upper hand. I can outwit or outlast and I choose my battles wisely. This puts me in a superior position. I know when it's time to hold, fold, or walk away. I am a survivor and am not easily defeated. I am empowered to gain the advantage by turnabout and by virtue of fair play. But we can find ourselves back in the thick of conflict with the Five of Swords. The image on the card and its many variants is that of a victorious man and two defeated opponents, and in this symbolism we see more of the typical duality of the Swords suit. When this card appears it usually means that you are defeated - cheated out of victory by a vily and cunning opponent. But sometimes you are that victor, the one who has defeated your opponents through the use of your mind. Whether the victory was an ethical one remains to be seen.
But let us return to the theme of defeat, which is the primary meaning of the Five of Swords. This is perhaps why the card is so unwelcome in readings; it shows that, despite your best efforts, you are likely to be beaten. But the Five of Swords is not only about being defeated and disappointed because of that defeat. If you allow yourself to become disillusioned after such a loss then you are on the path to greater ruin. Take defeat, learn from it, and then try again to succeed. It has been said that a good man will be beaten, and accept losing - but a great man will be beaten, then go back and win. When the Five of Swords appears and you feel that you are on the winning side this time, there is still a warning to heed. Arrogance and pride often come hand in hand with a difficult victory such as this, and you must be careful not to think you are invincible. You have overcome a challenge, and you have the right to feel proud, but know that there will be other foes to face and that some of them will eventually defeat you. Declaring your invincibility is an invitation for someone to prove you wrong. If your victory was won through cheating or unethical conduct, beware of an attempt at vengeance.
An interesting facet of this card is revealed by symbolism in the scene. It shows a man with two swords lying at his feet - the spoils of his victory. But he already had three swords, and his trophies really represent nothing more than a hollow victory. It is plausible that the two "defeated" men were really not defeated at all; they simply laid down their arms and walked away. They either knew they would lose, or they knew winning would be a pointless exercise. And by choosing not to fight, they are really the winners here, because he who knows when to fight, and when not to fight, will be victorious. So, yet again, the cards seem to be on target.

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