Artist: Ben Larsen
Website: None given
Deceit, self-interest, defeat, bad blood, conflict
Artist’s Interpretation & Card Meaning
“My card is the Five of Swords. I read into the meaning and symbolism in the card and decided to use pirates as my subject matter. I was working on a mural at the time which was for a pirate-themed water park in Northern Virginia, and didn’t want to have similar pieces. I went with a more modern pirate and from there the rest just fell into place.
The figure in the foreground is standing proudly holding the swords of his captives, while two more swords sink the to the bottom. He is gloating and prideful. He has risen victoriously, but as he stands proudly, the waves behind him are forming and the clouds are moving in. His victory may prove to be short-lived.”
A contemporary pirate stands at the front of his ship, defeated enemies behind and blindfolded in the back. In one hand he holds his sword, the instrument of his victory, in his other the swords of the conquered. Two others have been tossed aside. This battle over, he looks ahead to his next, not seeing the towering waves dangerously rising up behind him. His entire focus is on his ambition to overcome, not on the truth that the war is not over. He has won the battle, but at what cost?
This card illustrates a conflict where winners and losers are not clear-cut – winning isn’t everything. Did you win the victory, but lose the moral high ground? Did you win an argument with brute force and ignorance, ending up along because of the way you dealt with it?
Astrological Association & Element
Air / Gemini, Libra, Aquarius
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