Five of Swords – A Tarot and Music Discussion


Sometimes learning to read Tarot is a real struggle! I mean learning 22 major arcana card and 56 minor arcana cards can be daunting! Seriously, learning medical terminology was less work. Generally, we learn things better when we can see or make connections. I have had a Tarot deck for 20 years now, and still struggle with some of the cards. As I have collected more decks, I’ve also found that the meanings can be expressed and interpreted in a multitude of ways. So begins my journey.

Music has been a major player in my life. Songs trigger emotions, transport us back to moments in time, and are basically the soundtrack to life! Why not connect each tarot card to a song? A few months ago I began doing just that. These posts have been evolving over time  I hope you will decide to join in on the conversation!

Just a special note: When writing these I consult a number of decks. Some are traditional Rider Waite system and some are not. My first Tarot, Legend The Arthurian Tarot, has Wands-Air and Swords-Fire. Honestly, this has always made more sense to me than the much more common associations of Wands-Fire and Swords-Air. So occasionally these other traits have influenced my choice.


An often dreaded card in the Tarot, the Five of Swords typically symbolizes defeat. Most often due to our own actions. This is a card of learning one’s limits and discovering the result of rash behavior. This card demands we examine our motives and accept constructive criticism.


  • Self Destruction
  • Defeat
  • Loss
  • Failure
  • Greed
  • Lack of Self-Control
  • Valuable lessons not to be repeated
  • Accepting one’s limitations
  • Opportunism
  • Desire for Power
  • Injured Self-Esteem
  • Regret
  • Pain
  • Discord


Sober – Tool

This is a song of deep regret and frustration. Tool’s lyrics portray the self-destruction of one who has made poor choices and feels he sabotages everything he touches. Phrases like “worthless liar” and “imbecile” are aimed at himself and show how little self-self esteem he has. Obviously in pain, he takes every opportunity to get what he wants and then regrets it later. This powerful song is a perfect representation of the Five of Swords energy, in my opinion. Raw anger and frustration permeate every bit of this song as he sings his sorrows and issues a threat.

Trust in me and fall as well.
I will find a center in you.
I will chew it up and leave,
I will work to elevate you
Just enough to bring you down.


Enjoy this discussion? Check out this other Music and Tarot post: Strength – A Music and Tarot Discussion

Music & Tarot – 5 of Cups

Five of Cups (Chalices/Vessels)

This card commonly represents difficulties, loss, grief, disappointment, and everything that surrounds those feelings.  Usually depicted as a downtrodden figure.


  • Disappointment
  • Grief
  • Sorrow
  • Sadness
  • Loneliness
  • Failed or unmet expectations
  • Let down
  • Emotional regret
  • Relationship falling apart
  • Unfulfilled hopes and dreams
  • Partial loss


Torn – Natalie Imbruglia

I chose Torn because she sings out her disappointment and frustration with her failing relationship. “Well you couldn’t be the man I adored” and “illusions never changed into something real” both speak to the let down of expectations not being met. The lyrics are full of pain and frustration. In a way she is grieving the loss of her dreams which I think really embodies this card.

Tell me about your song choice.

“I’m all out of faith
This is how I feel
I’m cold and I am shamed
Lying naked on the floor”

Natalie Imbruglia