I’ve been working with the Bonefire deck recently, where previously I worked mainly with the RWS deck. In the latter, the Five of Swords seems a bit ambiguous—is that person in the foreground collecting the swords for the others, or is he stealing them while their backs are turned? The Bonefire Five of Swords seems a little more straight forward— two tattooed, brawny men duking it out over a woman, pursuing their own self-interest. The one tattooed with the name and number of the card just landed a solid blow on the jaw of the Tao-tattooed guy, meanwhile the woman in the background gazes at the sunset with her back to them. Probably just as well, or she might decide to write-off both these guys. Maybe she already has, and maybe they’re fighting over which one of them to blame.
Maybe the bearded one felt entitled to ingratiate himself into an existing relationship, and and what we are seeing is the release of the Five of Swords guy after putting up with so much for so long. Let’s stick with that vibe for a moment, because I feel like that’s what this card might be saying this morning. This is what happens when you let people walk all over you for too long while you rationalize, make excuses, and put others ahead of yourself. You know that it happens all the time in a variety of different contexts. Then one day, WHAM! All that pent up frustration finds an outlet.
It’s OK to be selfish. If you can’t take care of yourself, how can you take care of anyone else? You’re not a martyr—That would be the Ten of Swords. But being selfish doesn’t need to be taken to the literal extremes seen here. There is a great amount of scope for balance between being a doormat and flattening someone into a doormat.
Sometimes we can get to a Five of Swords point because we are not communicating our truth effectively. We gloss over what we think, believe, want and/or need. Why? Fear of rejection? Not wanting to rock the boat? Assuming what the response will be and not wanting to have to deal with it?
You can only be who you are. You can try to be who you’re not, but the ruse will fall apart at some point and no one will be happy, especially you. There will be times that this will rock the boat, and at those times you might need to ask yourself if you are a minor actor in someone else’s drama, or the leading character in the story of your own life.