V of Wands/5 of Fire: The Struggle

Five of Wands

The Five of Wands is all about the struggle.  Fives are contraction cards.  The progress we’ve made in the prior wand cards moves backwards to an extent.  In this case, there’s disagreement, competition, or conflict.  

One of the most interesting things about this card to me is the different outfits all the figures are wearing.  This is a reflection of different points of view, different beliefs and different backgrounds.  While there is a battle vibe to this card, if you check carefully, no one is actually hitting anyone else.  There is some fun in the competition – kind of like a sporting event.

Upright meaning: You’re facing some conflict or competition and it’s preventing you from progressing on your path (a contraction from the progress made from the Ace to the Four of wands).  The success of the prior Four of Wands was a result of teamwork; now that’s being replaced by infighting within the group.  The men of different backgrounds and beliefs are having a hard time communicating.  Everyone is sharing ideas, but no one is listening.  The card encourages us to stop and listen to others around us.  If you notice this happening in your life, take the opportunity to facilitate conversation and make sure everyone’s voices are heard.  Be open to and enthusiastic about change.  A “loss” of this competition will really be simply relinquishing the obsolete.

Reversal: Are you avoiding a conflict or ignoring problems?  By avoiding a disagreement, the inevitable is simply being pushed down the road and prevents better ideas and solutions from reaching the surface.  Alternatively a reversal can mean a period of conflict has passed; now new opportunities are being presented.

The five of wands reminds us of the value in diverse opinions.  It’s a reminder to listen more than we speak, to be open to change, and to be willing to let go of the old to make room for something new.


look for joy in the competition

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