Photo courtesy of Cardarium.
Five boys appear to be grappling and competing in a game. The intense look etched on their faces reflects the seriousness of the game. The boys are holding long wands and clanging them together. There is no malice here, but a definite heaviness in the air between them. What could they be fighting for? Is this a game? Are they having fun? All of these questions are appropriate when looking at the card's depiction, but what does this card really mean? The five of wands can usually boil down to some keywords and factors, but before we can explore the deeper meaning of this card, we must understand the components that create the meaning.
In this article, we will be discussing and dissecting the important meanings of this card and how it can be used in different situations. There are a few significant topics that must be understood before even getting to the card itself.
In the past articles we’ve discussed on the blog recently, the numerology of the numbered card has been an important part of understanding the meaning within your reading. Since the tarot deck is closely related to playing cards, we can compare the suits in the tarot to the suits in playing cards. The numerology of the ‘pip’ cards is important to give the card basis, adding more to the complexity of the card and why it’s showing itself in your reading.
The number five is ruled by the planet Mercury, the planet of communication, and is considered the winged messenger of the gods. The number five is also associated with the sign Leo in the zodiac chart, who shows vigor and excitement when facing new life experiences. This number wants to accomplish and attain all that is handed to them. The natural state of five is the need to be around many people at once. Although the number five is eager, it doesn’t always mean they’re reliable.
The suit of wands is one of the four suits within the tarot deck. This suit is associated with the minor arcana which has to do with everyday events. The suit of wands is usually associated with primal energy, spirituality, inspiration, determination, strength, intuition, creativity, ambition, expansion, and original thoughts. Many people have attributed these types of energies to the fire signs of the zodiac. This suit can be a powerful card in a tarot reading and can usually symbolize a person’s creative potential.
Since the Rider-Waite system traces far back in time, there have been many associations attached to the card over the years. The traditional meaning or name of the card is “The Lord of Strife,” which can directly be translated to the lord of bitterness. The specific timing of the card is set between July 21-30. The major arcana card that it’s associated with or pairs well with is the strength card, regarding the zodiac. When it comes to the planetary association, it’s connected to the sun's major arcana card. The optimal season for this card is summer or can represent summer.
As with many of the other cards within the minor arcana, there can be a lot of reasons why this has come up in your reading today for you or for someone else. There are a few positions we will be discussing as well as different tarot spreads. These are a few of the spreads we will be going over:
The upright position when pulling out the five of cards can seem like a more positive connotation but because of the heavy and chaotic energy this card holds, it is the opposite. The reason this card is making itself known is to remind you that love and relationships are not a competition and should never be treated as one. There shouldn’t be a need to do so and if there is, then this card is giving you a warning sign.
In the context of a relationship, there shouldn’t be a need to like there is competition between you and your partner. It could be bringing up the fact that this competition is being solely created by you, causing problems between you and your partner. This is the time to remember that your partner is not your competition but your teammate.
The upright position on a career spread can be a little tricky because of the work environment. In working environments, there are many opportunities for you to show the higher-ups what you can do. Of course, there will be a sense of camaraderie as well between you and your coworkers. The most important thing to know is how to balance it. This card is telling you to be careful when getting competitive for a new position or title because it can ruin friendly coworker relationships in the work environment. It can cause you or the other person to become angry or offended.
The card is telling you to appreciate your team and how you work together rather than trying to focus on only yourself. There is space for everyone to grow when the relationships between coworkers and superiors are healthy. The productivity will become higher and everyone will be pleased in the long run.
We have talked about career and love tarot spreads, but what about a general reading for yourself or someone else? There is a lot to unpack with this card but we must address the biggest complication with this card: unnecessary competition. There can be a healthy amount of competition in your life because it helps you reach goals and once those are reached, create new ones. There is a fine line between letting these competitions aid and guide you or destroy you. There doesn’t have to be only bad connotations with this card because it can be a healthy type of competition.
There is nothing wrong with fighting for what you believe is right, just make sure you have those priorities straight before you try and pursue them. This could also mean that you have a team of people willing to push you to your limits so that you can achieve your goals. These types of people will be crucial during this time of your life.
There are different meanings for this card when it’s in reverse and in regards to relationships and love. When the card is upright, there is a lot of unnecessary competition between you and your partner, but when it’s in reverse there can be a time of ease. There are fewer complications that you and your partner are facing, and it is because you or your partner have been working together. There is no reason for your partner to be your competitor, instead when this card is pulled both of you become excellent teammates.
There is an indication that there are no other parties trying to involve themselves as competition in your relationship, but beware of that being a possibility. If the relationship is strong enough, you will see that an altercation like that can be solved easily between you and your partner.
This card can be tricky when it comes to being upright or downturned because this card has both aspects embedded within it already. Although this card is usually indicating that there is unnecessary competition in the workplace. There can be someone wanting to tear you down because they view you as a competition. The good news is that this card is indicating the end of a competition between you and a coworker or supervisor.
This card really illustrates the hard work you’ve been putting into the competition, and it’s recognizing you as a winner. There are many chances to welcome new competition as well. This can be between you and a coworker, or you and yourself.
You’re being congratulated on the hard work that has been done to achieve this goal. Out of many obstacles, you've overcome a big challenge. It’s giving you a chance to live a little and let loose because you’ve done your part in this competition and it has turned out to be fruitful. The universe is telling you that you don’t have to worry about this situation any longer.
It’s also a reflection on you and your work ethic. Whenever this card appears to you in a spread it can be exciting to realize that your hard work has paid off. You are working without any competition right now and it can feel like a nice break.
After you’ve finished your reading, what has this card helped you achieve and understand? While this card is a part of the minor arcana, it’s a powerful and important card to look at when it decides to make itself known. What experiences have you had with this card and what lessons has it taught you?