The Five of Swords shows us an evening scene in which the sun is setting and casting a blood-red light over the sea while two figures lament a loss. Meanwhile, a cloaked figure, gathers up five swords that have been scattered or dropped, quite possibly in a skirmish that took place earlier in the day.
The two who are bewailing their fate are depicted against the background of the bloody sea; all they can see is the loss and disruption they have experienced. One looks out at the sea, overwhelmed by the unceasing negative self-talk of the mind, while the other is lost in a sea of negative emotion and lamentation.
However, the cloaked figure is framed by the airy element of the sky, which, though cloudy, continues to radiate solar light as he collects up the five swords. His cowl cuts down his peripheral vision and he is not distracted from his task. As such, his self-composure recalls the meditation I read in The Daily Stoic this morning:
our power over our own mind and our power to make our own decisions can’t be broken – only relinquished.Ryan Holiday & Stephen Hanselman, The Daily Stoic, p. 268
The hermetic figure in the Five of Swords reminds us to stay focused on the task we have set ourselves and to gather up the scattered weapons that we have at our disposal but have let fall due to discouragement, setback or sheer distraction.
In this context, Dr. Elliot Adam offers some useful insights into the Five of Swords in the video below:
This week I have been reading the second section of High Performance Habits by Brendan Burchard in which he talks about how we often juggle too many projects or ideas without any “unifying trajectory” which causes us to lose our power (remember this week’s arcana is (11) Strength ) and become lost in a sea of meaningless activity.
One solution he proposes is to “chart your five moves.” He asks:
If there were only five major moves to make that goal happen, what would they be?Brendan Burchard, High Performance Habits, p. 196
It is in the light of his advice, to break any important project into five major steps, with a specific time limit for each step, and to get rid of all the other distractions, that I read today’s Five of Swords. In my case, one of my important projects is to create a membership site to help people create online marketing funnels using reputable tools and services. However, over the last few months it feels as if I have dropped the swords and fallen into a bit of a funk. However, this week, by reading High Performance Habits and meditating with the inspirations of the 11th Week after Trinity and the arcana that have been revealed each day so far, I am feeling a new sense of inspiration and am indeed “gathering up my swords.” Specifically, I am starting to work with tools such as AuthorLab, which I subscribed to this morning, that will get the job done at a higher level of professionalism than I have managed hitherto.