The Five of Swords (Venus in Aquarius) is an arcana that often speaks to conflict, competition, and defeat. In this particular reading, the two figures in the background who have turned their backs on the dropped swords and are facing the water are focusing on emotions of the past may represent a sense of being stuck in old patterns or unresolved issues.
As such they are “out of alignment” with the airy suit of swords in which they are depicted, just as Venus is debilitated in Aquarius. They may be experiencing regret, guilt, or a sense of loss related to past events. This emotional baggage may be preventing them from fully engaging with the present situation or taking advantage of opportunities that are currently available.
The Mercurial Opportunist
On the other hand, the hermetic figure in the foreground, whom the artist has placed with his head against the dusky sky, is drawing on the air element of swords which suggests a more proactive or opportunistic approach in harmony with the prevailing element.
This figure appears to be taking advantage of how the situation played out during the day and is seizing the opportunities that have fallen his way, even if it requires some degree of ruthlessness or cunning. The air element is associated with the mind, communication, and intellect, suggesting that this mercurial opportunist is using mental acuity to gain an advantage in the situation.
Moon in Leo Square Venus & Uranus in Aries
With the Moon waxing in Leo, there may be a sense of heightened drama, ego, and pride at play, which can exacerbate the feelings of loss and defeat associated with the two figures lamenting by the waters of bitterness.
The Moon is square to Venus conjunct Uranus in Aries, suggesting that there may be sudden and unexpected changes or disruptions in your relationships or creative pursuits, which can also contribute to feelings of conflict and defeat if you let them.
Saturn in Aquarius
However, today is Satur(n’s)day, and Saturn happens to be in a long transit of Aquarius, which can assist us in this context. Saturn in Aquarius indicates the need for structure and discipline to manage the challenges presented by opportunities that arise as much as to maintain control where emotional excess threatens to sabotage our progress. It may be a time to accept limitations, let go of what isn’t working, and focus on creating a solid foundation for future growth.
The Fecund Fives
In this way, the Five of Swords suggests a tension between the past and the present, and the need to let go of old emotional baggage in order to sieze occasions as they present themselves. Like the other fecund Fives, the Five of Swords can be seen as representing a moment of crisis that contains within it the seeds of growth and transformation. It may be difficult or painful, but it also offers the opportunity to learn, adapt, and emerge stronger and wiser on the other side. Remember, the liturgical arcana for the fifth week of Lent is the fifth card of the Upper Arcana, the (5) Hierophant, who raises his right hand in benediction.