The Five of Swords is not the most cheerful of cards. In most depictions, it shows a scene of conflict where the apparent “losers” walk away from battle while the “winner” stands there wondering if victory was worth the sacrifice.
The card carries an important lesson: backing down isn’t a sign of weakness but a decisive action requiring self-awareness and self-reflection. A knowledge that sometimes, the fight isn’t worth it. In other words, conflict is great in our stories, but in our real lives, not so much.