Conﬂict, self-interest, discord, betrayal
Gemini, Libra, Aquarius
THE CARD’S STORY BY: ANASTASIA SMITH
Bishamonten looks upon the defeated and retreating form of Hachiman in contempt. He swings his chain of swords won from the battlefield in wild abandon, razing down friend and foe alike in his rage. In the background the monastery he came to protect burns under an angry sky, an ill omen that all is not well and this battle may be won for nothing. Th e Five of Swords represents the Pyrrhic victory. You may have won the battle, but the cost has far outweighed any triumph you could hope to gain.
THE CARD’S MESSAGE BY TRISH SULLIVAN
Lost in the heat of battle, Bishamonten continues to rage, soldiers at his feet, his enemy slinking off in defeat. His actions are futile now, but still he fi ghts. What has this victory cost him? What has it cost others? Th e monastery he was to protect has gone up in flames. You could claim victory in this situation. Fight dirty, mean, or even just smarter, and you could win, you know it. But before you charge in, focusing only on what you stand to gain, think. Consider the cost. Do the ends justify the means? Will your “victory” hurt those you love? How much will this fight cost you? Be careful that this argument doesn’t lead to more tension, rather than bringing resolution. Yes, you may win the battle, but lose the war.
MYTHOLOGICAL ASSOCIATION: BISHAMONTEN
Bishamonten is a consummate warrior and protector in Japanese mythology. He is depicted wearing armour and is the god of fortune in battles, but is not the god of war. His roles include protection of sacred sites, and of the righteous, as well as defeating evil. But for all his virtues, some legends suggest that he can be brutal, careless even, of those who may be hurt by his endeavours. It is this side of him that suggested his legend would be a perfect fit for the Five of Swords.