Five of Swords
When this card shows up, it usually signifies defeat – and not an honorable defeat. Either you gave up without a fight, or you were cheated out of your victory by a shameless opponent. However, this card can mean victory… but once again, not an honorable victory. Your methods were cruel and unethical, and despite your arrogance over the conquest, you couldn’t even profit from it as much as you should have. (Observe the man in the image, who can’t even carry all of his spoils of war.) It’s a two-faced card, and can seem to mean very different things depending on which side of it you’re on. But in the end, no one has actually gained from this fight, even if you’re convinced someone has. Whether or not you come out on top, there aren’t any winners here.
(Since swords are associated with the mental, the best analogy I can think of would be arguing with trolls on the internet. It doesn’t matter what you say, you’re probably going to lose, and nothing good came of all your frustration anyway.)
Inversed, the Five of Swords is a sign of restitution or vindication – someone took advantage of you or insulted you, but that wrong is going to be made right, and the situation is going to be cleared up for you.