By representing four stylized swords across which passes the accurate image of a large sword, flesh colored, the Five of Swords symbolizes breaking through the thick layer of the material 4 through forceful mental activity which draws its power from the vital energies and giving access to a state of being on a higher plane.
As indicated in the previous card, the “Self” was interior, and the Five of Swords manifests it on the exterior. In effect, the branch has disappeared and nothing remains but the four exterior flowers (now a little more open), indicating contibutions from the card, directed outwards and offering mitigations, hopes.
The point of the sword, passing through the circle formed by the stylized swords, after having been enclosed in their interior, marks the transition from the quarternary plane to another plane. From a psychological point of view, it shows the phase where the Sword, redirecting its activity outward, takes on a clearer design by comparison with the exterior; in other words, the Five of Swords symbolizes an awareness, through Being, of its own individuality, through communication with the Universal.
The blade and the hilt of the central sword, flesh-colored, indicating as in the Three of Swords, its activity and the fact that it is firmly grounded in the physical; the yellow guard shows that an intelligent Will presides over its action in the material world in order to direct it towards the spirit, and the red hilt indicates that the mental activity of the Five of Swords draws its reserves from an already-refined matter.
The shape of the pommel and the swords in semicircle have the same meaning as they do in the Three of Swords, and the same meaning for the guards andhiltsas for the Two of Swords.
Meanings As They Relate To The Three Planes
MENTAL. Willed, clear thought. Decision. Comprehensive understanding of events.
ANIMISTIC. This card is less animistic, because it addresses the intellectual aspect of a psychic question. If it is a matter, for example, of a union, there will be a marriage based on reason and not out of impulse, because the activity of this card, coming as it does after the Four of Swords, implies an effort alongside a passivity which leads to a sacrifice of the animistic.
PHYSICAL. On the road to success. On a path towards results. Power of action over accessions.
INVERTED. Obstinacy, heaviness, obstacle, because the point enters into the ground and finds itself stuck. Matters difficult to negotiate. Very serious halting.
In its Elementary Sense, the Five of Cups represents the decision which Man makes to plough through the difficulties which are presented to him through his crystallization in the world of the elements.