The five of swords shows a triumphant victor of several sword fights holding in his left hand two swords resting against his shoulder with a third sword held in his right hand but planted in the ground at his feet. There are an additional two swords lying on the ground next to him as he watches a second figure walk away from the scene toward a third figure in the distance. There are scattered clouds in the sky and a large body of water with land on the opposite shore of the one where this scene has taken place.
There is a challenge issued by the one holding the swords, an invitation to fight. If the five of swords appears in your reading, it means that there is a conflict/challenge in your life that seems to be inviting your response. The message of the card is, “The way to win is not to play.” The wise choice here is to refuse to rise to the bait and walk away without picking up a sword.
My dad used to say that there are only three questions that need to be answered in a situation like this, “Am I right? Does it matter?” and only if the answer to both of these is yes, “How far am I willing to stick my neck out to prove it?” Wisdom dictates that we all choose our battles and preserve our resources for when they are truly needed.