Five (V) of Wands

Five (V) of Wands –

Competition, Egos, Battles

5 of Wands Upright


Conflict, Chaos, Commotion, Unruly, Boisterous, Struggle, Inner Struggle, Lack of Cooperation, Lack of Control, Challenges, Feats, Opposition, Territory, Battles, Skirmishes, Pettiness, Quibbles, Rows, Disagreements, Sparring, Egos, Defensive, Agressive, Assertive, Conflicting Personalities, No Common Ground, Lack of Team-Work, Pent-Up Energy,  Adrenaline, Frustration, Restleness, Impatience, Dissipation, Petty Problems, Irritations, Bothersome Trivialities, Rough Play, Sport, Games, Competition, Going for Gold, Sales, Brainstorming, Bright-Sparks, Strikes, Picketing,


Card Imagery Description

It was all well and good finding stability in Card Four, settling into a new life, new job, new home and even all that lying around on holidays, parties and happy-clappy get-togethers but where the Wands are concerned it was bound to wear thin afer a while. Going with the flow and happily doing what everyone else is doing is not their style at all.  As the energy of Number Four is wearing off, the Wands people may get a little restless and complain that nothing seems to happen anymore or that they lack excitement in their life.  They badly need movement now.

The approaching energy of Number Five lights a fire in their belly once more and they are no longer content to just sit around and be part of the scenery.  Instead the Five influencing their Fire hurtles them into seeking change even if they aren’t consciously aware of it at the time.  Any change, whether positive or negative, will more than likely be viewed as a welcome challenge and one not to be missed.  Regardless of all the effort this change, upheaval or disturbance will cause, it gives the Wands their Raison d’être. They are at their very best when life calls upon them to be daring, brave, gutsy, unflinching, determined and highly competitive.  In fact, the Wands will view any form of upset, change or upheaval as a competition, lusting after battles to feed their fearless, assertive and ultimately superior qualities.

With the Five influencing this element, battles can range from minor skirmishes to all-out war on the flick of a coin or the roll of a dice.   A lot of energy has built up and needs to be released.  They are up for the game and challenge of any change that is coming their way.  They see this period as a very defining time in their lives.  This is a test of their own personal strength and they will keep up the play until the final whistle is blown.  Then when the dust settles, whoever is left standing will be crowned champion and win the ultimate prize. So let’s get the adrenaline pumping.

Even before we enter the scene in the Five of Wands,  we can hear the noise of raised voices and the clashing of sticks.  What are we about to walk into? Should we make a hasty retreat as it all sounds a bit mad, if not dangerous.  As the imagery presents itself to us we begin to lose our fear and instead watch with intense curiosity a group of five different people running around, waving sticks in the air whilst shouting at each other.  Our first impression is that we have walked in on some sort of conflict but some of the group are laughing as their sticks make noisy contact.  On closer observation, we notice that no one is actually being hit with the sticks.  There are no injuries, no signs of blood and no bodies scattered on the ground.  What is going on?

Maybe they have been set a team challenge.  Have they been given Five Wands and asked to construct a certain shape structure with them in less than two minutes? Are they trying to construct a Pentagram (five pointed star)? Are there other groups, not seen in this picture, but around them who have been challenged likewise?  Is there a prize for the winning group?  There seems to be a mad panic to get the Wands to take form.  If they had taken 10 seconds to brainstorm before they started they may have an idea of how to complete the challenge in time.  However, they don’t appear to be sharing much information.  They should have picked a team leader before they started as they seem to be getting nowhere except exhausting themselves in the process.

The men on the battlefield all  wear different outfits of varying colour which is very significant as this symbolises their different mindsets and personalities.  There is definitely no uniform or team colours here and therefore no common ground between them.  Whatever the situation, argument or challenge is they all appear to have different approaches to how it should be sorted. Everyone is shouting at the same time making it impossible to hear what any of them individually have to say.  With over-inflated egos, each tries to force their view, opinion or idea on the others in an attempt to gain supremacy. Each thinks they know best and are darned if they will throw in the towel and listen to what anyone else has to say.  There appears to be an awful commotion going on as each fights and challenges the other to get their own way with Wands being thrashed wildly about.

The Green Earth beneath them could possibly be a sports pitch but there does not seem to be any Captain in charge of the team.  They all run after the ball at the same time with no one left covering the rest of the field.  However, this may all be a practice or warm up before the real ‘game’ or ‘battle’ begins as they limber up and find their stride. Let the Games Begin and may The Best Team Win.  It’s too late for nerves now as the men go out to fight to the bitter end.  They will need to have plenty of stamina to run the course.

Someone may indeed get hurt here but the adrenaline is running so high that it would be some time before any of them would notice or feel the injuries they sustained. They all appear to be at odds with each other. Examined closely they appear to enjoy this battle and throw themselves in enthusiastically and whole heartedly.  However, this can not be allowed go on for ever. It is fine for this group who may be getting an adrenaline rush out of it but for those who like a quieter more structured environment it would be very wearing and stressful to be around them for any length of time. Imagine having to go into your work environment with this group every day.  Even worse, what if they were your family, friends or neighbours?  There would be little chance of getting any peace or cooperation out of them at all.

The green expanse of earth beneath their feet is also symbolic of the territory each fights to protect or maintain. There is plenty of land around with more than enough space for all but they fight over the same patch regardless.  They may see this plot as the best land so all are determined to secure it.  Once they have they will then go after the unconquered territory in the background for there is always another battle to fight.

The balance and teamwork of the Four has vanished and it is everyman for himself now. This is all well and good, but as we view the imagery, these Five men look like a group of unruly children whose boisterousness often gets out of hand and has a habit of ending in tears. Petty conflicts and disagreements may escalate into open hostility and more serious battle if someone doesn’t step in and calm the situation down once and for all.  They are like a classroom full of 10-year-old boys whose teacher has stepped out for a few minutes to take a phone call.  It may take some time after the teacher’s return to restore order and control once more.  It is a case of too many chiefs and not enough indians.  Everyone is full of their own importance.  Someone needs to take charge of this situation, but who?

There must be one among them who has the foresight to see that they are all getting nowhere behaving as they are.  Surely there must be something they agree on.  If they could find some common ground to work from then that would indeed be a start.  Whichever man it is will have to be made of strong stern stuff and very assertive but not forceful.  He will not be dealing with a group of easily led or swayed people for he is dealing with people like himself.  He has to come up with something that the others have not thought of.  He knows that the group is full of bright sparks, who have great ideas and plans.  He can only imagine the great things they could do if they were to put their heads together and work as a team instead of whingeing and back biting.  They each have wonderful qualities and talents to bring to the table.  The creative possibilities of this group is endless but the competition between them fierce and the pettiness of their quarrels and complaints worse still.  There is nothing else for it but comprise has to be made all round.  Everyone will have to listen to what the other has to say without interrupting or disagreeing.  They will all get their turn to air their grievances, speak and be heard. When that is done they may be surprised to learn that there are many commonalities in their ideas and outlooks although it may have to go to the common vote in the end. Some people may have to back down on getting all their ideas passed in favour of letting others have an input too but it is the only way forward as nothing is getting achieved. A peaceful end can be brought to the battle and he who manages to achieve this will undoubtedly emerge as the leader of the group.  If he has been fair to all, then he will gain the respect, support and loyalty of the others who will happily work under his guidance.

The clear blue sky symbolises the need for peace through communication.  There are no clouds in the sky so the situation is not as bad as it is being made out to be.  The battle looks worse than it is and those involved in the commotion may even be confused at this stage as to what it is all about.  They just got caught up in the drama of it all and kept going.  There may be nothing to fight about at all except battle for battle sake. The expanse of Green Earth beneath their feet reminds them that much can be built on if they put their heads together.

There is another aspect to this Five as the battle and conflict depicted in this card may not be externally visible but rather come from within.  There may be an internal struggle and too many demands causing a dissipation of energy.


When the Five of Wands appears in your reading, that is unless it is in a past position, it is best to prepare for struggles, opposition and a rough ride.  Everyone seems to be out to upset or annoy you and even the Universe seems to be working against you. You may just want to be left alone to get on with things or finish a particular project but are constantly coming up against petty problems and setbacks. Frustration and impatience will be evident.  Not too much importance should be attached to these upheavals as they generally are minor and only temporary.  If you have slept it out, got soap in your eyes in the shower, burnt the toast, got a flat tyre on your way to work, knocked over the bosses coffee during a meeting and then realised you had left your wallet at home after loading the conveyor belt in the supermarket with your week’s shopping then you are experiencing the energy of the Five of Wands.  It is just one of those days from hell and tomorrow is bound to be better.

The Five of Wands can highlight a group or team of people who are not working together. There is lack of co-ordination and team spirit but plenty of adrenaline and racing pulses. Everyone has their own idea of how things should be done. No one is prepared to listen to what the other has to say and in their own self-important world believe that each has the best way or idea.  You are bound to be caught up in power struggles and will need to keep a steady head and your cool.  Competition is key here and even though you believe you will come out on top, so too, do many others. Keep your eye on the prize and accept nothing less than gold.

The Five of Wands often suggests a situation of too many chiefs and not enough Indians. There is bound to be a lot of top-heavy egos to deal with and plenty of hot air.  This leads to a lack of productivity and growth.  Time and energy is wasted and dissipated due to a lack of communication and strong leadership skills.   The key here is to find some sort of common ground to work from. You will have to think of something that will appeal and benefit all or a solution to a problem that takes everyone’s issues and gripes into consideration.  This will put you in charge but you will have to show those involved that you are the best person for the job and that much would be gained by following your lead.  The thing is, no one wishes to compromise in this situation so you have a tough battle on your hands.

The Five of Wands can typify on-going family arguments and conflict.  The Christmas dinner or family get-togethers that always end in rows with family members shouting the same old insults and accusations at each other year in and year out, then doors banging as the offended and disgruntled storm off in disgust.  Many families operate in such a manner and the only way forward is for one member to find a way to pull them together and call a halt to hostilities or at least a ceasefire until matters can be sorted.  To the onlooker it may appear ridiculous, petty and childish and the energy of The Five of Wands would agree.  Generally, the problems are not as important as the people are making out them to be.  It is just that it has all got out of hand and they continue to fight just for the sake of it.

The Five of Wands in your reading can sometimes highlight someone who has a tendency to draw negative attention.  This person is prone and known to pick fights and loves getting embroiled in arguments.  Not matter what your opinion is their’s is always going to be the opposite and will be on the attack as soon as you open your mouth.  You must not let yourself be talked down to or belittled by this person.   Someone may have it in for you so stand your ground and prepare to defend yourself.  You must prove to be a worthy opponent.

In a Relationship spread the Five of Wands indicates a fiery relationship. Both partners are kept on their toes with great competitiveness within the relationship. This couple may have few commonalities, they may live separate lives, each with their own friends and interests.  This does not mean to say that the relationship is bad or wrong for the Wands people depicted in this card cherish their freedom and individuality.  One thing that they definitely will have in common is their love of a good, hot-headed row every now and then if their relationship gets a tad boring or dull.  There is bound to be lots of thrills and excitement in the relationship even if intimacy and romance are low on the list.  The relationship implied by The Five of Wands can suggest a sporty couple who enjoy the outdoors and lots of physical activity.

In a career Reading the Five of Wands can indicate an intense and challenging work environment full of excitement and enthusiasm but can also suggest  a tense competitive work environment where there is little teamwork.    The individuals may be responsible for this atmosphere but it’s quite likely that it is being encouraged and sustained by the nature of the work involved, so we see may sales-related careers represented by the Five of Wands. If applying for a particular job it would suggest that there is a lot of competition for the job or promotion you are after.

If this card comes up for you in a career reading it tells you that even though the going gets rough at times and competition is constant and fierce, you do have what it takes to succeed.  You must rise to any challenges thrown at you and not be undermined by the competition around you. Stand your ground and let the best man win. It might easily be you.  The Five of Wands can symbolise the effort put in to  fight your way to the top of the career ladder.

In the workplace, a group, team or work colleagues may be undermining each other instead of working together for the common good.  Workers whose grievances have not been dealt with by management may rebel against company policy by striking and picketing.

If you are going to a job interview, then prepare yourself for questions in relation to dealing with groups and teamwork that will highlight your leadership skills.  Preparing for intense questioning in these areas may tip the scale in your favour as this will be a vital part of the job spec.  Make sure you have examples to give your interviewers of how your handled groups of staff in the past or lead projects to a successful outcome. Try not to brag or show off as this would make you unpopular and will not foster good staff/management relations if they were to hire you.

The Five of Wands in a business reading can also suggest that a brainstorming session may be a good way to move a project out of a rut.  Bring everyone around the table and let them go for it.  It indicates that there is a lot of creativity around you and some impressive inspirational ideas that could greatly benefit the business.  Let everyone thrash their ideas about and see what comes out of it.  Everyone will be more than eager to prove themself but be careful not to pit one against the other.  You will have to maintain firm control in this situation and let everyone have their say. You will be surprised by what comes out of it. It will also release new energy into the work environment.

The Five of Wands can sometimes represent sporting occasions.  The Wands type love any type of sport where they can get stuck in and release some of their exuberant energy. Bumps, cuts, bruises or broken bones will not deter them and the rougher the sport the better. Rugby is a typical Wands type sport as it involves lots of tumbles and challenges and therefore a legitimate opportunity to play rough. Competition can be healthy but be sure you play by the rules.

Very often the conflict represented by the Five of Wands comes from within.  The stress of being pulled here, there and everywhere by the constant demands of partner, family, work, friends, clubs, children or study is internalised leaving you feeling as if life is just a constant battle.  Your mind may be all over the place with ideas, plans, people to see, phone calls to make and lists of things to do.  You have to ask yourself if it is possible that you are bringing a lot of this stress on yourself by overdoing things and taking on too much.  You may have too many fingers in the pie all at the one time. It may be a sign that you have lost sight of your goal and are running in too many different directions.  Time to get back on track and get your priorities in order.

On a very simplistic level you may be going through a period in your life when you just feel at odds with yourself.



5 of Wands Rx


Cooperation, Compromise, Common Ground, Solutions, Teamwork, Order, Communication, Control, Discipline, Productive, Focused, Peace, End of Conflict, Harmony, Full Scale Battle, Looking for a Fight, Hot-Headed, Lack of Competition,  Losing, Cancellation of Sporting Event, Physical & Nervous Exhaustion, Battle fatigue, Fear of Confrontation or Controversy, Shyness, Feeling Intimidated, Internalising Problems

When the Five of Wands Reverses, the constant battle and conflict has left everyone exhausted and fed up.  Sticks and weapons are laid down in an attempt to reach a compromise. People start listening to each other’s opinions and take on board how others do things.  With the reversal brings an end to a period of conflict and stress. All the minor details and tedious issues have been sorted. Focused and composed, you are back on target and have your goal in clear sight once more. If the problem has been internal, then you begin to prioritise and learn to say no to the constant demands of others.

On the other hand conflict and animosities may escalate with unpleasant skirmishes and angry clashes. If no one has stepped in to sort this situation out then the battle may indeed get worse as frustration reaches fever pitch.  It may have to get really bad before any attempt is made to find a solution.  Legal intervention may be called in as neither side wish to back down or compromise.  Then again you may be drawing unnecessary challenges to yourself by being too hot-headed and self-opinionated.  Are you deliberately looking for a fight?

 If involved in legal matters, do not drop your guard.  Your opponent may very cleverly be trying to give you the impression that they are ready to reach an agreement or concede defeat when their real intention is  to lure you into a false sense of security before going in for the kill. You may think you are now just dealing face to face with your opponent but they could easily have the rest of their group lying low on the other side of the hill.  Tread very carefully.

In the Upright version of this card we see bodies flying all over the place but when it is viewed in reverse, the lower part of their bodies, as in their legs and feet appear to find some sort of order.  The men now line up in an organised manner and we eventually see a team begin to form.  However, the Five of Wands Reversed can highlight the cancellation or postponement of a sporting event or losing to the opposing team.  In the extreme aspect of this Reversed Five we also see the soccer hooligans who deliberately stir up trouble wherever they go.  Surrounding cards would need to support any interpretations regarding this aspect.  For example look for the Reversed Knight/Page of Wands, Reversed Knight/Page of Swords or Five of Swords

When the Five of Wands Reverses it can suggest that a once volatile or erratic relationship has now settled down and developed into something more stable. Calm and harmony is introduced or restored and the need to compete with each other is replaced by respecting each other’s individuality and personal success.  Independence is kept but not at the price of intimacy.  A freshness is retained within the relationship. On the other hand and there always is with Reversed Cards, problems and conflict within the relationship may intensify. There could be explosive arguments and vicious battles. If marriage is involved then it may be time to get the counsellors or mediators in an attempt to salvage it or bring it to a mutual and fair conclusion. However, things may have gone a bit further than that. Barristers and solicitors may be doing your battling for your as they thrash it out in a courtroom of law. Again, look for supporting cards such as Justice, Queen or King of Swords and Judgement.  

In the workplace, The Five of Wands Reversed can herald the end of a dispute or period of conflict. Workers pull together and put their differences aside to get a job done or a project completed. Trade disputes get resolved or mediators are called in to settle disagreements and find a solution. It is time to go back to the Four of Wands to find stability and restore team spirit and morale.   Common ground has eventually being found and lines of communication opened. What have you done or what have you promised to get everyone to listen to you and follow your way of doing things? I do hope you based it on reality, that it is feasible and are in a position to deliver that which you promise.

If enquiring about a job interview it very much depends on the cards surrounding the Reversed Five of Wands to determine whether you have  won or lost the battle to secure a new position or promotion. The Reversed Five of Wands can also suggest that you fear competition and shy away from any controversial issues or subjects.  You also fear confrontation and prefer to internalise problems rather than bring them out in the open.

As with all Reversed Wand Cards, we may be looking at the physical results of the hard work and effort required to reach the top or to stay at the top.  Maintaining a constant level of excitement, enthusiasm, challenge and competition will eventually take its toll on the human body. You may think that the constant rush of adrenaline will keep you going but all it does is over-stimulate your nervous system and put too much pressure on your organs, especially the heart. Constant exposure to stress may result in physical and nervous exhaustion.  You may be suffering intense fatigue but keep going in the fear that others will see it as a sign of weakness and move in on your patch.

***When we next encounter the Wands in Card Six we shall discover who, if anyone indeed, has won the battle or will they all be lying on the ground worn out with smashed Wands scattered here and there? We shall have to wait and see.  

Back To Lesson 7

Aces Intro    Twos Intro   Threes Intro     Fours Intro  Fives Intro  Sixes Intro  Sevens Intro Eights Into  Nines Intro Tens Intro

Ace of Wands    2 of Wands  3 of Wands  4 of Wands   5 of Wands   6 of Wands   7 of Wands  8 of Wands 9 of Wands   10 of Wands

The 78 Cards – Detailed Study Version (Card Description, Keywords, Upright & Reversed Meanings)

The 78 Cards – Shortened Version (Keywords, Upright & Reversed Meanings)

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Copyright © 2006-2013 Vivien Ní Dhuinn
  1. What’s up friends, howw is all, and what you would like to say on the
    topic of this post, in my view its genuinely amazing for me.


  2. I had a card reading for my self about opening a new business as I don’t want to work for someone else for the rest of my life….
    The spread was very good and quite positive, when I asked what I need to do in order to understand what kind of business I can start the V wands came out and I’m actually not able to interpretate the meaning in this case.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Davide,

      Thank you for your enquiry. My first gut reaction to this is that you more than likely have a very entrepreneurial mind that is excited about several options or ideas you would gladly pursue. There may be a sense of well I can do this and I can do that and oh I could do the another while I have the first two going. The potential is infinite. There is great energy in this card but also some warnings. You are to be applauded for such motivation and enthusiasm in seeking to be self-employed. It is not for everyone as it does entail having to be able to multi-task and think on your feet. You have to be competitive and determined to succeed and triumph as you are not the only one who is seeking success such as yours. You will have to learn to stand your ground and prove that your are better than the rest, and be fearless in the face of opposition and competition. High energy is certainly required of you in this case and you must be able to trouble shoot and deal with obstacles that come your way. The path to the top is pitted with failed attempts and those whose star burned too brightly too soon. You will need to pace yourself and keep some energy in reserve to last the full journey you wish to embark on. Now even though the above seem littered with warnings or advice, the real warning attached to this card is to avoid sticking your finger into too many pies at once. You need to prioritise starting off. Excited as you may feel right now, rein yourself in until you have done sufficient research which will help chose the best path for you to follow. Pick projects that you know you can bring to conclusion. Look at the long-term view and decide if you can sustain it through ups and downs. Dismiss anything that will prove too boring after a short while. With this card being a Wand you will need a business that keeps you on your toes and moving, travel, sales, sport, conflict management, PR. You will thrive on daily challenges but may have to brush up on your teamwork skills. The business will need to have the capability of expanding. How many others need to be involved? If you hate dealing with the boring administration side of things, or finances, then get help in these areas. Neglecting them in the early days will not do you any favours. Go and read The rest of The Wands, especially 9 and 10 for these cards will explain the fall out from The Five if not handled properly from the off.

      I am sure you have not just decided to work for yourself without some idea of what it is you want to do. Then again, if the 5 of Wands is a representation of you, you might be open to all suggestions and opportunities. Separate the ones that are covered in fairy glamour from the ones that hold true potential. Nothing boring, sedate or predictable though.

      Hope this helps.



      • Hi Vivien
        what can I say, wow! and thank you.
        the card represents me in full.

        I really need to do more research and to come out with some good idea I think it’s a question of time and good luck without mentioning timing.

        I was wondering whether you are doing card reading for others obviously not for free, the reason why I am asking you is because it’s difficult to be partial when doing the reading of ourselves.

        Thank you again.



  3. What are the meanings of 5 of Wands in the past position? You mentioned several times it is different but I couldn’t find the specifics.
    I enjoyed your descriptions and look forward to reading more.
    Best wishes,


    • Hi Mer, thank you for your enquiry. I had a read through the Five of Wands and yes, I saw where I mentioned the Five of Wands being different for the past. I am sorry if I caused confusion by my wording. This may be the wording you were referring to. ‘ When the Five of Wands appears in your reading, that is unless it is in a past position, it is best to prepare for struggles, opposition and a rough ride.’ What I mean by this is that if the Wands is in the Past it would not suggest that a period of struggle was ahead, but that one had gone through it at some stage in the past. The cards generally carry the same meanings for Past,Present and Future. I get a lot of emails asking me about what a particular card would mean in a particular position e.g. Past, Present, Future, Surrounding Energy, Advice, Outcome. The meanings very much stay the same with the differences between them coming down to how you refer to them. For any card, the past something that happened, the present something that is happening, the future something that will or might happen all carry the same meaning. So if we take the Five of Wands as a card for struggle and chaos, it still holds its meaning regardless of what position it appears in. When we see any card in the past, the energy and meaning of the card was applicable in the past but not necessarily the present or future. It is an energy one is moving away from and not towards. However, if similar cards appear in the present and future positions then it is a past influence that has been carried forward. If the Five of Wands is in the past and the following cards are more settled and calm then its influence has gone and as a reader you would not be warning of a period of petty trouble ahead. It has already happened. I will aim to do a post on this as this query pops up all the time. Once you know the meaning of the card you can apply it to any position or period of time. I do know that some of the cards can be tricky to adapt to several positions. Once again sorry for misleading you with the wording and I see how it might have read.




  4. Hello! I wanted to thank you for all your work! This is the best website I have ever found! I’ve been learning how to read Tarot for the last few months and been using only your site! You give so much detail into each card and so many possible solutions. I appreciate YOU very very much and just wanted to express my gratitude! Have a blessed day!



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