4 swords with the 5 of cups.


I recently hung out with a friend of mine that I haven't seen in a long time. We had a falling out and had been on bad terms for a while but decided to put our differences aside and have dinner. The dinner went really well and I enjoyed seeing them. I wanted to know what their feeling were after our meeting and so I did a general reading based on our night together. In the feelings position I received 4 of swords and 5 of cups. 4 of swords I've always seen as like a "timeout" card. They are taking their time and trying to figure out how they feel about me but the 5 of cups I see as a card of regret and remorse. Do you think this person possibility feels bad about our past? The outcome of the spread was super positive. I received Knight of Cup paired with the 6 of cups which I take to meen a message of love coming from someone from my past past. I really want to get another perspective on the feelings aspect of this spread. How would you read the 4 of swords paired with the 5 of cups as someone's feelings toward another.


Moderator Note

Hi Wheeler5,

Please edit your post to either provide interpretations of the outcome cards or remove them if you're really only interested in the feelings cards.


Hi Wheeler5,

Please edit your post to either provide interpretations of the outcome cards or remove them if you're really only interested in the feelings cards.

Okay it's been updated!


I agree with the definition you've given the 4 of Swords, but the 5 of Cups, rather than having a positive meaning, indicates that they're not forgetting the hurts of the past. Reading those two together, I get the picture of someone who hasn't overcome the painful memories of the breakup so they're taking a "once burned twice shy" position.


Another Bizarre Idea

Q: How is this person feeling about the relationship?

Four of Swords: Don’t just sit there ...

Five of Cups: Don’t dwell on the past ...

... and rather than ask the cards what’s on someone’s mind ...

... ask that person. :-D

As always, take what works, and ignore the rest – but I have found, sometimes, that when clients ask for readings about what’s on someone else’s mind, it’s interesting to read the response not as a picture of the other person’s thoughts, but as a message for the person asking the question.

Good luck with the relationship!


Perhaps the Thoth title of "Truce" for the 4 of Swords is relevant to the situation; your reunion has an "offering an olive branch" feel to it. The olive branch has been used as a symbol of "peace restored" in some mundane cultural settings. I often see the 4 of Swords as one of the "stuck in neutral" cards, along with the 2 of Swords and the 8 of Swords; this is probably because the even-numbered cards represent an impulse to preserve balance, while the odd-numbered cards are more about actively seeking it. Here, the 4 of Swords could simply mean a shared desire to bury the hatchet as a prelude to breaking the impasse.

Which brings us to the 5 of Cups. All of the Fives drive change as a reaction to any stagnation apparent in the preceding Fours, and it's sometimes of a chaotic nature; here it implies "unfinished business." (The "truce" connotation for the 4 of Swords has always given me the impression of an "armed truce," with both adversaries carefully minding their borders.) The last time I had the 5 of Cups in a relationship reading was for a woman who was brooding over a messy break-up. What really stood out in the RWS version was the two apparently full cups behind the figure and the bridge over the river in the background. Both of these suggested that all she had to do to recover from her funk was turn around and notice the full cups, pick them up and head off across the bridge to a better place. It suggested a way to salvage what was left of her self-esteem, and I told her it meant that while she would have to leave a part of herself behind, she should just "take the best and leave the rest."

In her case, the card was followed by the Page of Cups (which showed her ex - who had appeared in the past position as the increasingly self-indulgent King of Cups - trying to renew their connection by reinventing himself in an earlier incarnation, but she wasn't buying his overtures) and the 3 of Cups, which implied that her social network could help her get past the roadblock. In your case, the two following Cups also suggest a kind of emotional salvation.