The Wild Unknown Tarot - V Swords


This is probably one of those images that most people just don't like but I think it conveys the message of this card really well.

There's no colour here apart from a tiny bit in the border. The main image shows an earth-worm cut in 2. 5 swords lay scattered beneath it and the sword which appears to have done the cutting lies horizontally between the 2 halves of the worm.

So Swords are Air; they're about communication, thought and problems. They are tools as well as weapons, depending on how they are used.
Fives are about the self, also about problems that usually have an opportunity to learn a lesson to facilitate growth (related to The Hierophant V).

Looking at this image with the communication aspect of the suit of Swords in mind I get 'disconnect'... There is a huge communication failure, maybe to do with arguments (the image is a violent one), maybe just because the 2 people involved aren't connected or coming together.
Where thoughts are concerned I'm getting a similar message - there is a disconnect... It's difficult to come to a conclusion or a decision because something isn't gelling or connecting.
Because of the violence of the image and the severing of the earth-worm, I'm thinking this card could also be about one person defeating another or self defeat - being your own worst enemy.

I pulled this card in a reading yesterday and it had a more solid interpretation. It definitely showed disconnect and things not going well but the main message that I got was that my expectations were different and far removed from what I could actually achieve. There was / is a disconnect.

As a card of advice, this card says to me that the querant should put their own interests first but be aware of the damage that it's possible to do with that way of thinking so to be aware of the other person.. It's not always about winning and often the way that we win something or get our own way is hurtful to someone else or to ourselves.


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People often think that if you cut a worm in half, both ends will regrow and you'll have two worms. This is not true though. The tail end that doesn't contain the heart and brain will die.
So I'd agree with Sulis that this card could be about a disconnect of expectations.
It also makes me think of the phrase "cut your nose off to spite your face" - a self-destructive over-reaction to a problem.


This card keeps coming up over and over again for a specific person.
Someone who is trying by her selfish desires to divide a family.
So definitely a disconnect...a severing of ties and relationships.
She is trying to do this through manifestation as the actual means to do it are not available to her, hence the mental aspect Sulis talks about.
It remains to be seen if it will happen, but damage will be done if it does.
And possible failure to thrive will Nickigirl talks about the tail end dying if taken from the main part of the body.


Lark said:
Someone who is trying by her selfish desires to divide a family.

5 is the number of 'the self'... 2 arms, 2 legs and a head - pentagram shaped so I often see putting the self first or selfishness as a more negative view of this card.
I'll bet she's got a disconnect between her and the rest of the family too..


So strange those were her exact words..."I know this is selfish but I am putting myself first."
So a combo of self first with others seeing it as selfish...and yes, she is trying to distance/disconnect herself from the rest of the family.


Both halves of the earthworm appear to have a clitellum/saddle so although this looks like one earthworm cut into two halves I’m looking at it as if both parties lost their heads (pun for been the aggressor)… Looking at this card the separation was not clean cut but as torn both parties apart, the segment lines along the earthworm are also jagged implying danger and destruction. The bottom half rests over two crossed swords both with different hilts and with blades indicating different points in the argument/disagreement/jealousy etc as one blade is curved I’m wondering if this side as bent the truth… this half has not been able to let the argument go. Were as the top half rests on two almost parallel swords pointing downwards one smaller than the other, the tip of the earthworm facing the top of the card I feel this side wants to let this drop and walk away, call a trues. But as the tip of the bottom half of the earthworm also faces up it looks like it is in pursuit of its now submissive prey… The backs vertical lines are in disarray and bring with them ridged confusion and disorder.


I find this card both fascinating and repulsive. The "disconnect" Sulis talks about really nails it. There is certainly a severing, but it's not a clean cut, as Crystalwings pointed out. There are jagged edges and wounds that will take a long time to heal (if ever).

Something additional I noticed is that the blades of the two top and two bottom swords are facing opposite directions, emphasizing further the disparate views and positions.

Nickigirl's comment -- "cut your nose off to spite your face," a self-destructive overreaction to a problem -- sums it up perfectly for me.

Thank you all for making me give this somewhat repellent card a close look.


I have probably, a too close relationship with this card. It comes up often when I am doing something that benefits me, but may not benefit the other party involved. (Or maybe I only think I am benefiting...) Sometimes I am aware I am behaving this way, other times it is not so clear. So true, the disconnect Sulis mentions. There are a lot of great observations here!!

crystalwings, I never would have noticed it was two worms had you not said this.... :bugeyed:

Some additions from me....I am in 2D design class now and there is lots of talk about what vertical, horizontal and diagonal lines mean. Though this card is very active in terms of concept, the background has stabilizing vertical lines. It implies to me that the action has just happened, but is now over. This is totally in line with my experiences with this card.

The inclusion of brown (it's a color!!), and worms, really brings the energy to a standstill on this card. Here is a link to the color psychology of brown (in case someone feels like clicking) that has some ironic things to say in line with this card. Perhaps the choices of nightcrawlers and brown are more ironic than we think?? Does anyone know if brown is present on another card in the deck?


5 of swords - Wild Unknown

I like everything that has been said about the 5 of swords. The five swords going in many directions felt like someone that performs erratic actions because he or she is not clear on what he or she really wants. Ultimately this ends up splitting oneself in two. The guard on the hilt of the sword that seems to have cut the worm in two is an increscent moon which I see as an overactive mind. This overactive and incisive mind is what causes the split between the lower and higher centers of of energy in the body.

Someone mentioned that when worms are cut in half only the side that contains the brain and the heart grows and the other dies. From this perspective I see this card as using the intellect to cut that which does not serve us and has to die so that we can continue to grow. We will grow in places where the heart and the mind are fully focused on.


Everything said here is very interesting and add a new depth to my understanding of this card! Indeed one should not only see it as a bad omen simply because the picture is quite disgusting and disturbing ;)

I would like to add something. In French we have the expression "couper la poire en 2", which means "to cut the pear in half". I've looked it up and the equivalent in English seems to be "to meet halfway". So it's about making a compromise, sacrificing something to make the situation equal for everyone. Yet in this case it's like the intention was to make an equal separation, but the result is not the expected one. Clearly one side has it better than the other (the head part that can regenerates) and it was clearly painful (not a clear cut) for both parts involved.