The Card of the Day: The Five of Swords (Reversed)
The Five of Swords warns not to take on more than you can handle. Its message is that of pacing yourself. Less gets accomplished (not more), when you are spread too thin. Procrastinating will not help you manifest your dreams, but neither will inundating yourself with the present task (which is the opposite extreme). The Five of Swords encourages you to get organized in your thinking and break the task down into smaller pieces that can be accomplished over time. This will aid you in replenishing self-esteem and personal power.
Is there a huge task looming in your mind that is giving you anxiety? Are you already so overwhelmed with current tasks and “to-do” lists that it’s hard to see how it will all get done? Do you feel spread too thin?
The Five of Swords depicts three squires, all trying to secure the job of assisting a brave knight. The two squires in the background are defeated. They are focused on the sea, the element of water, which is a symbol for their “feelings.” They couldn’t handle all five swords at once, and the knight’s horse, and the knight’s armor, and the knight’s demands, and, and, and........... Aggghh! It’s just too stressful! They quit!
A fresh breeze blows through the hair of the squire in the foreground. The brisk winds are dispersing the gray clouds in the sky above. This symbolizes the element of air, which in turn represents reason, logic, and intelligence. This squire finds that he can easily complete the tasks required by getting organized. Instead of seizing all the swords at once, he will collect only the amount he can carry. He can come back to the other two heavy swords lying on the ground once he gets the first task completed. In this way, he will do each task well.
The Five of Swords advises you not to waste another minute resisting your tasks with avoidance, exasperation, or procrastination. Get organized in your thinking! Pull out your calendar. Partition off one sacred hour a day, for seven days, to plug away at the task. Keep your commitment to yourself. Once it’s in the calendar it must be done! This is a sacred contract with your integrity and will systematically help you regain self-esteem. If something comes up in life (as sometimes happens), schedule a make-up hour to keep your commitment to yourself. Open yourself to the fresh breezes of action, to break up the grey clouds of indecision.
As you keep your commitment to yourself a strange thing will happen. You will look forward to working on your task, because confronting it will continue to make you feel powerful. You can achieve your dreams, but first you must schedule the time to work on them.
The Five of Swords also warns you not to take on too much of other people’s issues. You may have to let others do their own work, without your coming to the rescue. Maintain healthy boundaries.
When the Five of Swords appears reversed it carries a similar meaning to the upright position, but to an even greater degree. Often this card appears when there is a looming deadline or heavy expectation placed on the self to succeed. This card also appears when you have been pushing hard for something over and over, only to feel like you are hitting a wall. Events may feel overwhelming so you must pace the tasks in front of you, to avoid a burn out. Learn from the mistake of the discouraged squires in the background of the card. They tried to collect all the swords at once and were quickly overwhelmed by the weight. Instead, do a bit of the task now, leave it, and schedule consistent times to come back to finish the task gradually. Patience and consistency will help you win, don't get flustered or overwhelmed.
The Five of Swords reversed can also represent times where your energy feels scattered and unfocused. Perhaps you’ve been getting burnt out lately. What can you do to restore a sense of calm and clarity? What could you give yourself at this time to feel better?
The Five of Swords reversed asks you to take control of your stress level by taking control of your time. Be patient with yourself and stop cracking the whip over your own back. Break up larger tasks into smaller ones. Often, our best work emerges from taking breaks, taking our time, and returning to projects rested and clear-minded. If your thoughts are muddled, then there may be emotions that need to be heard right now.
The task before you will not prove to be as overwhelming as the other big trials you’ve faced in life. You’ve got this!
If this resonated with you…
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