The title for today's article comes from a quotation by Malcolm S. Forbes.
Don't let the outward appearance of today's card frighten you, this is a subject which is relevant in everyone's lives and must be examined at one time or another.
Defeat, or more specifically the fear of it, has the power to turn us into prisoners within our own lives.
Fear is crippling, constricting, confining, and keeps us in a position where we cannot move forward to manifest our dreams and goals. What's important to remember here is more often than not, this fear of defeat is completely self-imposed and seldom based on current reality. Chances are something is occurring presently which resembles a painful memory from the past, which isn't all together a bad thing. The only real defeat is failing to learn from our mistakes.
Fear is a primal survival mechanism, intent upon keeping us from harm's way.
But what about those times when the fear is based on memories of a past trauma we do not wish to repeat? Today's card represents a fear of history repeating itself, or an event which could end up with us being hurt again. The hope is that we're capable of learning from past mistakes in order to avoid similar situations in the future, and that is the message which today's card brings.
The Five of Swords (Defeat), being astrologically based on Venus and Aquarius, speaks of facing an emotion-based decision and the resulting fear which is stifling the decision-making process. Essentially there are two fears being held in the mind – one is a fear about a new relationship not working out, or two, having a fear of moving in a new direction that is emotionally important.
Of course it's emotionally important – this is the quality of your life we're talking about here!
The arcane symbolism inherent within the five pointed star indicates the self (mind, body and spirit) in balance with nature (earth, air, fire and water). When turned upside down, as seen on the Five of Swords, it is an indication that the individual is not in balance with nature; therefore, experiencing a distorted view brought about by fearing defeat. The turbulent background demonstrates the manner in which fear of defeat has become constrictive in the individual's life, clouding perspective in such a way that alternatives are not immediately evident. The hilt of each individual sword indicates the major areas in our lives where this constriction is happening: the sleeping snake demonstrates a lack of renewal and regeneration; the ram indicates an inability to move in new directions; the red handkerchief represents an old fear tied to the past, and this same fear is symbolized by the Pisces-hilted sword. Pisces being the astrological sign which represents the past, the Piscean age, or that which is old, yet memorable. Basically, fear has us looking at things from a distorted perspective, which is symbolized by the sword with the crown placed upside down. The crown is a symbol of expanded awareness, and here it is upside down, indicating our awareness is currently skewed. Do not despair, my friends, where there's a will, there's a way! Notice the white light in the shape of a star? This is the greater aspect of who we are, our authentic selves, trying to break through the fear that has clouded our mind with negative thinking about the past and the future. This light will lead us to clarity as we look for the all-important lessons found in past experience, to help guide our path as we move towards our dreams and goals.
If you are currently struggling with a fear of defeat, take the time to look back over a period of five months, five years, or even as far back to the age of five. Consider any similar situations which resemble your current circumstances, think about what decisions you made then and whether or not they lead to success or sorrow, and make your current choices accordingly. As always, if you would like to know what the cards hold for you, do not hesitate to schedule a reading .