Steampunk tarot (Moore) - Five of Swords


I like it when a card has more than one character, as it does give more variables to choose from when looking for an interpretation.

here we have a street scene, and it appears to be night time, with the only light being readily available from the nearby street lamps. Therefore all characters are dimly lit, with only one of them being partly lit. So straight away, we sense the unease. We are often fearful of what we cannot see clearly. Therefore all characters seem to be watching each other fairly carefully. Or are they?

The best dressed character is standing in front of a wooden cart of sorts. There are three swords embedded inthe card. He is looking rather dapper in his well taylored clothing including a tall top hat and red coat. His waistcoat and studded shirt add to the appearnace. He has a large beard also. Therefore we can only see his eyes and ears, so it would be difficult to clearly read any facial expression.

In front of him, a woman appears to be handing him a sword. Is a purchase being made? Somehow I don't think so. There is no indication of a trade taking place. Behind them both we see another gentleman with a sword in his hands also. Yet the way he is holding the sword is different to that of the woman. She seems to have a submissive grasp, whereas he has a more intimidating or aggressive grasp. Has he just stolen the sword from the grouping on the barrow, or is he looking to attack the gentleman should the opportunity arise?
I think either could apply, and if you felt one scenario were applicable, it would shed light on which direction to take with regards interpretation.

I guess in a reading there are many angles to consider. The issue of having to watch your bak at all times. The issue of accepting a loss and being gracious in handing over the spoils. The issue of someone looking to take from you, or looking to sneak upand cut you down so to speak.
Certainly if I were to read the well-dressed guy as being a key figure he may have become too complacent or arrogant and not aware that victory should be assumed with dignity. Otherwise the loser may well feel the need to carry out a form or revenge.


I see the the man in red as a peddler, the cart displaying his wares. Has he ripped the lady off? Perhaps she has come back to confront him but has brought a companion back with her as support. The defeater becomes the defeated and vice versa.

Holly doll

Steampunk tarot - Five of Swords

This really started me thinking... The imagery in some way reminds me of a bullfight (abhorrent) - the red coat & those wielding the swords. Bull's horns are normally "shaved" before they go into the arena = the 3 sword tips embedded in the machine.
Although the peddlar looks prosperous in his red coat & top hat; smug as if he has bested his opponents - the opposite may be the case. The woman may appear submissive - however she could be diverting "the bulls" attention from the person with the sword about to harm him.

Just a thought...