"Two rayed hands each holding two swords nearly upright, but falling apart from each other, right and left of the card. A third hand holds a sword upright in the center as if it had disunited them. The petals of the rose (which in the Four of Swords had been re-instated in the center) are torn asunder and falling. Above and below the symbols of Venus and Aquarius.
"Contest finished, and decided against the person, failure, defeat, anxiety, trouble, poverty, avarice. Grieving after gain, laborious, unresting, loss and vileness of nature. Malicious, slandering, lying, spiteful and tale-bearing. A busybody and separator of friends, hating to see peace and love between others.
Cruel yet cowardly, thankless, and unreliable. Clever and quick in thought and speech. Feelings of pity easily roused but unenduring. As dignity.
The Five of Swords is Geburah in the scale of Yetzirah. It is Martial Severity in the Formative, Astral World. Geburah is in its most severe and destructive aspect in the element of Air, being cut off from the purifying influences of the King and Queen scales. The Five of Swords is one of the most disruptive cards in the entire deck. Here the usually balanced relationship between Mars and Venus has gone haywire. Venus in the airy sign Aquarius flounders in sentiment and indecision. The Sword of Geburah slicing through the Astral World completely overpowers the germinating powers of Venus, shattering the Rose of Peace. The result is complete failure and defeat.
Here the flashing colors of yellow and violet, indicative of the element of Air are predominant. Three angelic hands are again displayed to signify the destructive wrath of Binah, as the Dark Mother. The four balanced swords of the preceding card have now been shoved aside by the large Sword of Vengeance in the center, whose point pierces the benevolent sign of Venus. The rose of five petals is shredded and cast to the winds. The background color is bright scarlet, the color of ¿eburah in the Prince scale. This pigment is a mixture of orange and red, the King and Queen scale colors of Geburah.
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The pathology of the poet says that the undevout astronomer is mad the pathology of the very plain man says that the genius is mad and between these extremes, which stand for ten thousand analogous excesses, the sovereign reason takes the part of a moderator and does what it can. I do not think that there is a pathology of the occult dedications, but about their extravagances no one can question, and it is not less difficult than thankless to act as a moderator regarding them.