Five of Swords: a fight with no winners

I looked above and there were black kites flying in the sky. I’ve never seen birds of prey in this neck of the woods. In Japan, black kites are known to hang around the seaside and steal food off unsuspecting folk who don’t know any better. So what are they doing here, so far away from the ocean? Strange… indeed. 

Milvus_migrans_-Japan_-flying-8
Image courtesy of Nubobo

It’s become a morning ritual of mine to go to the forest nearby and do yoga for 30 minutes a day. It’s greatly improved my physical and mental state. The worries and stresses of daily life still haunt me, but I’m slowly learning to manage it. There’s something therapeutic and magical about being in the forest. 

I find a flat spot and lay my mat out on the brown earth that’s hard yet soft. It’s been a tough week. One where I’ve had to make very difficult decisions. Face some hard truths. Do things I’d rather not. Make necessary but painful decisions about who stays in my life and who goes. Embodying the energy of the Suit of Swords is not something that comes easily to me. When the choice is between preserving yourself and destroying another: what do you choose?

For some, it’s a decision that comes easily, but to me – it feels heavy. Like I’d rather just avoid the situation altogether – but it’s too late for that. Although I didn’t begin the fight, I’m left with no choice but to end it. 

To me, the Five of Swords energy is all about a situation where there are no winners. You’re faced with fighting a battle where you know that no good will come out of it. You have two choices; and neither of them are particularly pleasant. But you still have to fight that fight and make those tough choices or you will sink. 


This month, I’m having a whole heap of transits to my 7th house: commonly referred to as the house of partnerships. Many astrologers have dubbed it the house of marriage, but to me, it’s so much more than that. I’ve always thought of the astrological houses as a kind of axis. The 7th house is directly opposite the 1st house: otherwise known as the ‘Self’. So the 7th house is pretty much anyone who is not you. Yes – whilst this can certainly refer to your partner, the 7th house also governs work partnerships, one-on-one friendships and even the public at large. To me, the 7th house governs any scenarios where the ‘Self’ is independently forming a relationship with a person or a group of people.

When I wrote about the Chariot, I talked about how important it is to choose your friends wisely. After all, the people we surround ourselves with have considerable influence on us. I also talked about how I’m beginning to think that there are only two kinds of people in this world – people who bring you down and people who raise you up.

But when it comes to partnerships, I’ve seen an entirely different dynamic play out. And I’m not just talking about our personal relationships here, but also our professional ones. And the dynamic I’m talking about is: the passive-aggressive one. One person leads, the other person follows. One person gives, the other person takes. And the most toxic of them all: one person dominates, the other person submits. One person bullies and the other person gets bullied. 

Again and again, I am shocked by how little thought goes into making some decisions that will follow us around for the rest of our lives. People make decisions that hurt or diminish others without quite realising the backlash that is on the horizon. So many people make irreversible decisions that will impact them and those around them. And then they live their lives with the blinkers on thinking that everything is going to magically be okay. So many people are simply not prepared for the consequences that will follow. 

I look above again, and I notice that there’s a kite sitting on the tree directly above my head. In fact, him and his friends have surrounded me. They never come here. What are they doing here? I’m not a fan of this bird of prey; they’re known to attack even wounded humans. In ancient Egypt, kites were identified as a sacred raptor of Isis. It’s a fierce bird: unafraid and willing to do what it needs to survive. Deep down, I know that that is the essence of the Suit of Swords – being unafraid of doing what needs to be done to ensure your survival. 


When you have to choose between self-preservation and destroying another – you must choose self-preservation. And as I accept this hard truth, I feel it – the ground shake beneath me. Ah yes… an earthquake. Another one. I’ve been here long enough that I’m no longer fazed by it – but it’s the first time it’s happened to me outdoors. That’s why all the kites were here. They sensed it before it happened. In ancient times, some animals and birds were believed to be able to foretell such events. Science has discredited the validity of this… but it doesn’t change the fact that there is some truth to it. 

I walk away from the forest with a heavy heart. I am a Pisces after all. It brings me no pleasure to fight this fight or to use these swords. But if I don’t wield the sword, the situation is going to get out of hand. I must cut my losses now. If I keep investing in or ignoring a bad situation, things are only going to get worse.

It has been a hard week. I need sleep and time to recover. 

Till next time. 

Author: Dipa

Tarot Tales from Japan

4 thoughts

  1. Sorry to hear / read about your tough week. Colleagues, partners and bosses who tear you down out of jealousy are no fun. In my sane moments, I remind myself that something must have happened to make them that way, they’re stuck in this mode.

    Had a boss like that. And coworkers. No fun at all. To put it very politely. Hope it ends soon. Mercury was supposed to stop being retrograde last week, so what gives? It’s been really weird here as well.

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    1. Yea, I think there’s always a reason why people behave the way they do, but how many times are we going to keep justifying it? Sometimes we should just see things in black and white; in right and wrong…

      There are a whole bunch of other transits going on at the moment, too… Urgh!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I think that’s one of the good things about being an old soul Gemini. As Gemini we get bored easily, do we walk away. As old souls we know just when to do it.

        Is how it would be in a perfect world. Though, it tends to be the opposite. We don’t walk away, because we’re entertained. And we care too much, because we know everybody hurts.

        If it’s inevitable, you could always kill them with kindness. But then you’re a much better person than I am. Ten minutes on a park bench with what has to be one of the most evil people I’ve ever encountered, because she’s the acquaintance of a friend’s mom (who is one of the sweetest souls), I can do. Spending time with people I don’t like or trust, it takes a lot of energy and power. And that’s not always handy.

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  2. Your words about the toxic relationship based on submission really hit home. It’s fascinating to read such an insightful blog post. You’re yoga routine sounds beautiful.

    I hope it was interrupted by the recent typhoon.

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