Visconti-Sforza Tarot (Cary-Yale 1466): Five of Swords
Swords were typically depicted with curved blades in ancient tarot decks to distinguish them from staves. They correspond to the playing card suit of Spades, (in Italian, spada means sword). This suit represents the element Air, and the social classes of Nobility and Military. Swords are considered a Masculine suit. Swords typically represent intellect, reason, mental clarity, and the sciences. They may also represent conflicts surrounding the questioner.
The Fives typically concern negatives such as loss, conflict, strife, struggle, disagreement, disappointment, defeat, sorrow, regrets, and unwilling or unnecessary contributions. Fives may also represent change, renewal, positive struggle, amassing or consolidating forces, and progress.
Conflict. Tension. Loss. Defeat. Win at all costs. Betrayal.
This card suggests overconfidence in victory, potency, or ample preparation. Hubris can be an invitation for enemies to prove you wrong. It may suggest achieving victory by immoral or underhand means. The questioner may have lost sight of what is right or regard any means as a valid route to an end. It also suggests unwilling or unnecessary contributions from losing parties. This is the defeat card in the deck.
Reversed Meaning: Open to change. Past resentment.
This card represents despair and resentment after a defeat, a retreat from a failed battle, uncertainty, or the opening of old wounds. It may also represent a willingness to change and learn from past mistakes.