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Everyday Tarot Deck
Upright: Disagreement, competition, strife, tension, conflict
Reversed: Conflict avoidance, increased focus on goals
In the Five of Wands, five men wave around their wands chaotically without any regard for each other and appear to be in direct competition with each other and engaged in conflict. However, on closer observation, their wands are only raised and are not striking anyone. It is possible that they are actually enjoying themselves in this chaos with no real intent to harm anyone. The men wear different coloured clothes to symbolise the various backgrounds and belief systems that are held by the world’s populations.
NOTE: The Tarot card meaning description is based on the Rider Waite cards.
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Everyday Tarot Deck
In the Tarot, the Fives typically represent conflict and change, and this is no different for the Five of Wands. This card indicates that you are in the midst of conflict, tension and competition and it is impacting your ability to move forward with your goals. Rather than being able to work together with others, you are coming up against it and are constantly being challenged on your point of view. The trouble is that everyone is trying to express their point of view and opinions but no-one is listening, and so there is little progress. There is only conflict, and there is little or no value in the discussions that are occurring. Similarly, this card is representative of a group of people who are committed to an end but they cannot fully agree on how to implement this goal, as each has their individual agenda as to how to bring this to fruition. Aim to turn this into constructive conflict by allowing each person to openly share their thoughts but then listen to other people’s thoughts. Once everyone has been heard and all opinions have been considered, determine the best path forward.
Sometimes, this type of conflict and discussion can be very positive, such as in the case of group brainstorming and problem-solving. You need a positive environment where you can test your ideas and have them challenged, and improved, by others. You may benefit by establishing a working group, committee, or ‘mastermind’ group with other individuals who bring varying perspectives and experiences. Be open to this type of conflict and discussion as a positive contribution to improving the quality of your ideas and actions.
The Five of Wands often points to competition where you are up against a number of people of similar quality or experience as you. You may not be used to having to compete with others just yet, as you have built your success on your own but now it is time to truly experience what competition really means and requires. It is like the top student who excels at university, only to enter the workforce with a number of other high-performing individuals and is forced to compete for the top spot. Where there is competition, respect your opponent but stand up for your point of view. Fight the tendency towards frustration, anger, hate and prejudice.
The Five of Wands also encourages diversity and differences of opinion. You may be in a situation where you are dealing with people from different cultures and backgrounds, and may be struggling with accepting their way of living. Know that each person has something unique to bring to the table and that you will actually benefit by learning more about them and what they have to offer.
The Five of Wands encourages an enthusiastic approach to change. Change is coming, whether you like it or not, however your challenge will be in ensuring that everyone is on the same page and is focused on dealing with this change constructively and positively. Currently, there is scattered energy resulting from misdirected enthusiasm. Everyone has many ideas but no-one is there to bring them into one consistent path forward. Your role may be in identifying a clear strategy and purpose that can be implemented by all involved.
Sometimes, the Five of Wands indicates a personal struggle and conflict, either about external or internal issues that are causing a lot of tension and confusion for you. You have different opinions of your own about how you should approach your current circumstances and you have not really worked out in your own mind what your final stance is going to be. You may be trying to work through your personal point of view on a number of external contentious issues such as abortion, immigration, globalisation, or the environment, or you may be working through personal issues such as whether you stay or leave a particular relationship or job. At the same time, you have others around you who have strong views about what you should do and this, in total, is creating a huge amount of conflict, tension and disagreement. Just when you think you have a clear point of view, you are challenged on that view or you discover new information, and you change your standpoint again. This process is actually highly beneficial and will help you to come to a well-researched and well-thought out perspective. Know, too, that there is no ‘right’ answer, and whichever path you do choose, someone is not going to agree with it. So, you have to find the most comfortable option possible that sits best with you. It may not be 100% right for you but you need to choose whatever is closest.
The Five of Wands reversed can suggest that you have tendency to avoid conflict wherever possible. You may find that any sort of tension or conflict makes you feel quite uneasy and you wish it would just go away. So, you deflect a lot of that energy and just ignore the problem, if there is one. The trouble, however, is that in doing this, you may just be pushing some of your own concerns to the side, without really dealing with them or being assertive about them. Some conflict can be good, particularly if it is constructive and teases out the underlying issues in a way that then generates a better solution. Consider whether always avoiding conflict is the best way to go, or if you are finding yourself just compromising on what is important to you.
The Five of Wands reversed is like a sigh of relief after conflict and struggle. You are no longer up against so much competition and can just ‘be’. On more personal level, you have worked through your anger and hostility and you feel more secure in your relationships. You do not have to constantly prove yourself anymore.
The reversed Five of Wands can also indicate a realisation that you do indeed need focus to achieve your goals. You have come through a period of scattered thought and random ideas only to find yourself in the same place you were when you started. You now acknowledge that if you are to progress your goals further, you must focus your attention on your key priorities and stay committed to your goal without considering even more possibilities or opportunities.