The Five of Swords is something most of us prefer not to see: Defeat! The ruler of the decan is warm and loving Venus, who likes harmony and bringing things together. But we are in the rough-and-tumble destructive world of the Fives – Mars energy – in the sign of Aquarius, ruled by the other malefic, cold Saturn. Who would have guessed that the combination of the lovely Star (Aquarius) and loving Empress (Venus) would result in something so unpleasant? Location, location, location! They just aren’t in a nice neighborhood; the Fives are a rough part of town.
777 lists the magical image of the decan as “A man with bowed head and a bag in his hand“. The bowed head can be an admission of defeat, or a head bowed in prayer. Perhaps he is a monkish fellow, pacific to a fault. The bag in hand makes me think of the Fool, trump of Air. Aquarius is an air sign after all, despite all its association with pouring waters. The bag is ridiculously unsuited to the task he has put it to, gathering up five swords, perhaps from the wreckage of a battlefield. The rose of Venus lies tattered, scarlet red upon the snow, like blood. The raven (Aquarius) pierces (Mars) the egg of the dove (Venus), while the freezing rains of late January pour down from a windswept sky.