THE FIVE OF SWORDS, LORD OF DEFEAT

Venus in Aquarius, Mars in Geburah

   Your ally presents a mirror of conflict. The figure in the foreground holds three swords and smirks at the other figures who have turned away in defeat, while two other swords, too sharp and heavy for the victor to carry, remain on the bloodless ground. A storm has occurred, but the clouds are breaking up, and the water in the background, though still choppy, is growing calmer. In this mirror, you may unexpectedly see yourself as either the victor or the vanquished. You may believe for a moment that you have triumphed but then realize that instead you have lost. In this mirror of the surface mind, you might turn from winner into loser and back again. A fight tends to result in at least one winner and one loser, and the loser often attempts to undermine the winner in a cycle of conflict that continually leads to instability (a characteristic of both Venus and Mars on the lower planes). Your enemy eventually becomes a mirror of yourself in this vicious cycle. In the final analysis, all involved lose because the battle causes fear, disruption, and suffering, which only ends when you step away from the mirror, going deeper to the sources of the conflict (a self awareness characteristic of Aquarius).

Invoke the Goddess (Venus).

CORRESPONDING COLOR: Bright scarlet.

QUALITIES: Understanding that conflict leads to a cycle of instability and suffering, which only ends when you go deeper to the sources of the conflict.

POSSIBLE ADVERSARIES: The Ravens of Dispersion (Venus). The Burners (Mars).

Go to the next challenge.

RELATED PATHS:

Swords:

The Four of Swords.
The Six of Swords.

Connecting paths:

The Chariot.
Strength.
Justice.
The Hanged Man.

Astrological association:

The Empress (Venus).
The Star (Aquarius).