The Five of Swords is all about sneak thievery and sabotage. Whether it’s an item that is stolen, trust that is broken, or nasty backbiting—malicious talk behind the seeker’s back, it’s a card that signals mistrust, and rightly so. Often, however, it may be someone that the seeker does not suspect. The slanderous bi-otch may show up in the spread as a court card. It can also signify a situation that is not of high standing or of divine purpose that may be introduced to the client by someone whom he or she trusts.
When the Five of Swords is reversed, the seeker’s name is cleared in some way. They are deemed trustworthy. The cat has been let out of the bag and the betrayer has been spotlighted in some way. Blame and guilt is removed from the seeker. This card, depending on the surrounding cards, like Temperance for instance—a healing card, can mean that the seeker has forgiven past assholishness dished out by another party.