Sacred Circle,  Swords

Journey into: 5 of Swords

Written by: Emma Sunerton-Burl

Continuing her series, Emma Sunerton-Burl looks into the cards of The Sacred Circle Tarot, by Anna Franklin and Paul Mason, published by Llewellyn:

I look at the card and see that there are three strong swords from one direction and two broken and battle beaten swords in the other. In the background the sky is all pinks and purples and looks like a cloudy, but spectacular, sunset. There is a mallow plant in the foreground and Avebury stones in the background. It seems remarkable positive in imagery as I look at it; traditionally 5’s are very much about the struggles we have and difficulties we face particularly in the suit of swords.

I walk into the card.

I notice first the breeze in the air and the feeling of twilight about the place – it seems that the day is about to end and as it does so, reflection on what the day has been about occurs. It feels a peaceful time and that difficulties can be looked at and assessed for what they are – solutions found and resolutions made for the future.

I see the mallow flowers at my feet and ask them what they represent.

“We are the bright optimism for the future. Things don’t have to be as black or difficult as they might have first appeared; we are the hope, in every challenge, for change and a brighter new day. We represent the love that is available if you take the time to look for it in the situation you are in.”

“I see yes – you are bright and you seem almost unreal in your shape, fairytale like, but bold and bright despite this.” I say.

“Yes hang onto your ideals and your dreams even if they seem unreal at present – they are the guiding light for you.” They reply.

“Thank you for your comments I understand your meaning.” I say and am pleased to hear their message of hope.

Then I turn to the swords above me they are slightly in front but still appear ominous, looming and very powerful. I allow myself to rise up to look at them head on and ask of them what they represent. They tell me:

“We are the swords that overcome the difficulties; we are the strong ones. When the going gets tough then the tough get going – this is us. We represent rising to the challenges that present themselves. We will not be held back because of our shortcomings but rather we will overcome the difficulties our shortcomings present to us. In many ways it is like we are protecting and looking after the broken swords as they try to take over our position. We see them as no threat in real terms yet know a boundary and confrontation is necessary to help them not get out of control. You can liken this to the part of ourselves that has the messages, and ways taught from childhood, that are destructive or no longer valid in current reality; the hurt parts of ourselves that try and defend themselves but inadequately in the current time. At the time they were developed these parts of us were good fighters. We, the strong swords, take over from the old and show how the new can work – the pain is no longer there; we are strong and can be decisive and clear in the present day, seeing what is here now without the overlay of the past experiences inappropriately affecting our choices.”

“Wow thank you – I do understand what you are saying here. It is like you represent overcoming old patterns of thought and conditioning in the present and in some way healing the broken within us.” I say.

“Yes that’s it. As you allow the new to take over the old can heal.” They reply.

“Thank you. This is relevant for me in my home life right now. I also would see that the word defeat is more about defeating our sabotaging or self destructive patterns by clear thought and direction – would this be right?”

“Yes indeed.” They confirm for me.

I look to the stone in Avebury Circle, a precious stone. I go towards this and touch and then hug it – I feel from it great strength and feminine solidity. There is a sense of peace and of all being well at all times – even if we experience struggle, this rock can contain our feelings and worries, it is stable and long lasting.

“Do you have a message for me?” I ask.

“Yes, as you feel, I am strength and solidity, the idea that there is no rush that in time things will change as they always do, and to allow yourself to rest in times of struggle, do not always be striving to move it on – allow your body to rest and your mind to rest. Then you will have the strength too to listen to, and yet contain, your feelings as you make decisions about how to move forward. I am here; lean on me; give me your troubles; I will hold you and you will learn to hold yourself and know all is well at a deep level.”

“Thank you that is wise advice indeed. I can feel your peace within a storm even.” I say.

I look up to the sky and ask for its meaning in this card.

“I am the ever changing sky,” It replies. ”dawn to dusk, weather and clouds, sunshine and rain all comes from me. I am the emotions and the changes that occur so rapidly and frequently. Here I want to show you that love can be accessed at this time; that all is not lost even if it feels as if all is over. It is sunset and, yes the day rests, yet another day will rise tomorrow and as it is red sky at night it will be shepherd’s delight tomorrow. The weather will be fine and your emotional issues will find resolution as you let go of this day and rest, awaiting the new one to dawn. All is well. Allow the circumstances around you to subside and anticipate the joy to come and the cycles of our lives shift from one to another. You are not defeated; you are becoming strong and more and more of yourself. Give yourself love at this time and allow the love to keep you warm through the night and influence your new day.”

“Thank you I will.” I am surprised at the positivity in this card – it feels so peaceful and accepting of how things are and allowing of circumstances to change.

“I feel very uplifted by your message here.” I say.

Then I ask the card elements as a whole: “What if you are reversed?”

“Well, then we are suggesting you are resisting the end of the day – you don’t want to look back and consider what has come before and you are not wanting to move on. There is a feeling of stuckness. You fear movement forward and have overdone the security of the stone – even the stone is weathered and changes come when they are needed. To right the card allow yourself to let go of your old ways of seeing things, allow the possibility of change and give yourself love as you step into trusting of the unknown that a new day brings. It is almost like you are staying up too late and depleting yourself of the resources you have to deal with the situations you are in and avoiding doing the work of looking at things how they are. Open your eyes and things will be come clear and your strength will return – nothing that is truly you, can be lost. Have courage and faith – do not believe you can be defeated and you won’t be. Your goals may not work out as you intended, but there is a win for you if you allow yourself to adapt to circumstances as they present themselves. Remember to hope and to dream and the card will right itself and show you its treasures in your life.”

“Thank you all again.” I say.

I feel very privileged to have travelled here – somehow this card seems to have been dying to talk to me and yet I haven’t heard it in quite this way before. Truly I feel I have been given a gift.


Emma welcomes any comments on this article or the visualisations you do following this method. Email her on

Emma works as an intuitive psychic tarot reader and runs one to one online training courses on reading with the Thoth tarot deck using a unique blend of intuition and psychological techniques. This has now been extended to working intuitively with RWS style decks too. She also mentors other professional and non-professional tarot readers. She offers visualisation MP3 downloads for intuition development, tarot readings F2F, telephone or distance, and healing – see her website for details: 

Emma has a Bsc in Psychology and is a trained counsellor, counselling supervisor and trainer. She integrates this experience in her Tarot work, and in her self-written training courses for personal development, Tarot, and Tarot mentoring.

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