Wands’ Book of Love Extract

Extract Taken From The Wands’ Book of Love – Card Five

Below is an extract from The Wands’ Book of Love I am currently working on. This is my project for 2017. There will be Five Tarot Books of Love in total which will be available to purchase as PDF Downloads for personal study and exploration.

My aim in creating these Tarot Books of Love is to explore in detail, as many potential interpretations both Upright and Reversed, that may pertain to love, romance, relationships and sex. This compilation is a a combination of multiple approaches which digs deep into the imagery and associated meanings of each card. Although there is a huge amount of ground covered in my search for understanding in each card, this list is not exhaustive. There are many more avenues to investigate. The interpretations I have provided may spark more for the individual reader. The idea is to work with the Element, the Number and Traditional Interpretations, but to let your Creative Imagination take you further. Each card holds multiple archetypal scenarios, enough to create any novel, movie or box-set. Once you start to delve deeper and deeper, the more is discovered. In writing these individual books I have to step into the energy of the appropriate Element and work with it from one card to another. In this manner, a story unfolds as per the energy and theme of the Element. I am telling the Wands’s Story of Love through the energy of Fire. In understanding more and more about the Element of Fire in this manner, I have acquired an intuitive feel for it.

Writing about The Five of Wands has been challenging, as there is so much to say. I discovered there was more to be said about it in Reverse than Upright, which exposes the dilemma of Five. Upright it can be unsettling. When Reversed it’s like using a fork to pick up mercury. One moment you have it, and the next its gone again. It is a scattered energy when Upright, and unless it has settled in Reverse, it can become even more scattered.

I do hope you find the following of interest, and that it helps expand your understanding of the nature of Fire in Relationship Readings. I look forward to working on the Six of Wands. Although The Six of Wands is a dynamic card, it will be light relief in comparison to the Five.

Five of Wands – When the Going Gets Tough, The Tough Get Going?

5 of Wands Upright - Card images are © Copyright U.S. Games Systems, Inc.”

Pictorial Key To The Tarot (Arthur Edward Waite) Divinatory Meanings: Imitation, as, for example, sham fight, but also the strenuous competition and struggle of the search after riches and fortune. In this sense, it connects with the battle of life. Hence some attributions say that it is a card of gold, gain, opulence. Reversed: Litigation, disputes, trickery, contradiction.


5 – Disturbance and unease in a relationship. Unexpected events and issues. Fighting against Change.

Five – Blowing things out of proportion, Change, Fighting for/against Change, Disruption, Conflict, Feeling Conflicted, Competition for the one you love. Competitive Relationship, External Interference, Relationship going through a rough time. Incompatibility, Lack of Compromise, Fire-Fighting, External/Internal Demands, No Time for love/romance/your partner. Bickering, fighting, arguments and clashes of personality. Egos.  Difficult babies/children. Large families.

Yes or No Card? –  Yes, to good healthy competition. Yes to sticking with it.  Yes, to rising to challenge. No to petty arguments and rivalry. No to aggression. No, find order first. Too chaotic.

We have now reached the mid-point of the Wand’s journey through Love with Fire. Except for a mild bit of uncertainty, or hesitation in the Two, the Wands have had a clear run of it when Upright. Fire likes to travel and expand. It does not like to be held back or restricted. It is a positive forward flowing energy, that thrives on momentum and enthusiasm. From the Ace to Four, it has pretty much run unrestricted and bathed in the glow of everything working out. It has had its way most of the time. The sun has shone down on the Upright Wands, making them feel blessed and joyful. There was much to celebrate, with no issues to bother about.

The Five changes matters, and for the first time, Fire’s path is blocked or challenged. Fire will aim to go over, under and around any obstacles, if going through them seems tedious or unsettling. The jubilant and triumphant Fire is disturbed, and it is unsure how it will react. Fire in a healthy state will choose to work through the challenge or obstacle, before continuing on its path, as it is not a quitter.  It may take time to work it out, but it is the best way. Avoiding the challenge or obstacle may seem like a quick fix, but this challenge will be encountered again and again until it is acted on. Transitioning through Five for Wands is extremely significant. How they handle the issues thrown up by Five could determine how successful their relationship is in the long run. It is a very defining time for them. This is the first real dilemma they have come up against in their relationship. Although it may be causing a bit of drama, it is not dreadfully serious.  If they cannot successful work through issues at this level, how will they cope with even greater ones in the future.

Wands, driven by Fire are positive and optimistic when Upright. They should be well equipped to tackle Five and determinedly see it through. Relationships experience their first bump in the road and may feel rattled. Their foundations will be tested for signs of any weakness or fault lines. If a relationship has been built out of the Reversed Ace, Reversed, Two, Reversed, Three and Reversed Four, The Five has the potential to take it down. Incompatibility, superficial feelings, and loose commitment will be exposed by Five. This could mark the end of the journey for some relationships as they hit a defining rough patch. The Five will separate the wheat from the chaff in relationships. Only strong, positive, committed ones will be permitted to journey on in the Upright Aspect. Weak, negative or unhealthy relationships can continue, but they may fall from one Reversed Aspect to another. The challenge for relationships is to battle through the Five and emerge triumphantly the other side, or concede defeat and withdraw.

The Five of Wands can be a tricky card to read as it carries shifting energy. It really depends on the theme of surrounding cards and the querant’s issue. On one level, it is an assertive positive card, full of life and activity, but on another level, it is overpowering, aggressive and challenging, even when upright. Your reaction to this card may bring relief or panic as a situation blows wide open. One may not be sure if it would be best in Reverse as it does suggest a more balanced energy.

However, Reversed cards can bring in extremes of the upright energy. In this case, the Five of Wands is chaotic and challenging enough when upright. Why might we look for even more in the the Reverse? It is probably best to read both the Upright and Reversed interpretations when looking for extremes. In the Five of Wands a battle has already broken out, so we are in the midst of chaos. When it reverses, sides have either backed down or stepped up the attack. Whatever way you look at it, there is change and upheaval that cannot be escaped. Brushing issues under the carpet or attempting to look the other way will not work as the issue is already upon you. You cannot escape into the upright and make it all go away as something is up regardless of which direction the card is pointing. You might have to think on your feet as you try to work your way out. This is not a peaceful time. It will however be interesting, and it would be wise to sit up and take note of what is actually going on. Knowledge gained now will stand to you in the future as chaos does have a habit of taking us by surprise. When the going gets tough the tough get going.

Fighting Change 

The Five of Wands generally brings change in its wake. In its Upright Aspect, change is either embraced and viewed as an interesting challenge, or it is fought against and resisted. Your relationship may be changing and there is a lot of uncertainty about it. There has been a shift in energy which will bring couples closer together or drive them apart. Your relationship may have plateaued for some time, fallen into a way of being, just drifting along. Something has, or will happen, that could cause upheaval with the need for a fresh approach. One partner may have grown bored with the current trend and is taking steps to address it. This will leave the other partner on shaky ground as suddenly the relationship as they know it cannot be relied on. There could be a mad scramble to fix things in an attempt to bring it back to the way it was. This may not be the answer. Your relationship is in need of a reshuffle. Time to pull all those wands out and check for signs of dry rot or lack of growth. Some of them may be quite lifeless and in need of attention, sunshine, heat, and hydration. Some may need to be replaced. Reconstruct them in a manner which will facilitate revival and encourage new growth. Change is upon you. Try and be open to healthy change.

Goal Posts Keep Shifting

Here we find a relationship that cannot settle. It might suggest a romance that blows hot and cold, is on one day, and off the next. Couple’s cannot decide what to do with it. There could be temporary break-ups where partners are free to date others. Invariably they get back together again. Friends and family find it hard to keep up with the relationship status as it swings between current and ancient history, on and off. This couple probably need to swear off each other for a long period of time as they lack discipline and stamina in settling on one option or the other. They make it too easy to get back with each other.

Up Against Stiff Competition

Should you have your heart set on a certain someone, The Five of Wands might suggest you are not the only one. Whoever you are after is extremely popular and can have their pick of several potential suitors. You might be up against stiff competition and wondering what the odds are in beating the rest. It is likely you are comparing yourself to the competition to see how you measure up. You either feel you are in with a good chance, or should quit while you still have your pride intact. The competition in the Five of Wands is usually quite fierce, but evenly matched. Regardless, each suitor will have his/her strong selling point. It could be looks, personality, charm, humour, physique, style, job, or money for example. Everyone is in with a good sporting chance, but there can only be one victor. It will be the person with the x-factor who will win the heart. It is time to focus on your strengths, not your weakness. Showcase yourself in the best possible light. You are every bit as good as your competitors. Be bold, daring and courageous. If you think this person is worth fighting for, then go for it. Don’t stand around in the background waiting to be noticed, get out into the action.

Depending on surrounding cards, the Five of Wands could suggest playing the field. Like bees to honey, you might have several suitors in hot pursuit, but have not singled out one for special attention. In this case, there is no victor. Here we find lots of dating with various personality types. You are not yet ready to choose one over the other as you are having a good time and enjoy watching them fight for your attention. This card could also suggest you must choose between several potential partners. They all hold their own appeal, but you are at odds over which one will be most compatible. Speed dating might also be suggested.

When in pursuit of love, The Five of Wands could point to a Tomboy or Ladette type of attraction. Here we see an archetypal situation where females prefer to hang out with the guys. It may not seem appropriate to approach this person if you are interested. How can you tell if they see you as friend or suitor? You are fearful of upsetting the balance should you suggest a relationship and get it wrong.

Honeymoon is Over – Teething Problems

After the Four of Wands’ glory days; engagements, weddings, celebration has passed, couples can have a hard time of it coming back down to earth. The honey is over and it is back to reality. This can indicate a time of unrest, when you feel there is something wrong with having nothing to do, other than going to work and home again. You may be at odds about what to do next. It is at this stage recently married couples, or those who have moved in together, may experience some teething problems as they struggle with their new living arrangements and close proximity. Partners may get things wrong and make mistakes that could upset the other partner. In The Five of Wands, we find a couple who are working their way through some challenges, nothing major, but frustrating nonetheless. There might be some silly rows during this time as you find your way with each other, but unless there are further stressful cards in the reading, life should settle down. It is best not to take life, or each other, too seriously during this time.

Trouble In Paradise

In The Four of Wands, we visited a happy couple who seemed to be living the dream and had it all. This was a popular match and much effort had gone into having the perfect day. Everyone was invited to the celebrations and guests admired the happy couple, some feeling slightly envious of their luck and good fortune in finding each other. They were the golden couple; strong, committed, successful and ambitious. This couple were going to go far, and felt blessed by what life had delivered. They may have had the perfect wedding, the perfect house, perfect children to put in the house, perfect jobs, perfect friends and a perfect, to die for, lifestyle. In the Five of Wands their magic bubble bursts. Trouble has arrived in paradise and wiped the smiles off everyone’s face. We could deliberate forever about what has happened, but surrounding cards should give an indication.

This could be a direct result of any scandal that broke at the wedding, or a disaster that occurred. You may have found out something post-wedding that shows your partner in a new light. How did you not know before? As a couple, you may be working hard to put on a brave face and show a united front to the world. You are desperate to hold onto the success you had claimed and are distressed to find it all turned upside down and ruined.

The happy couple may not be speaking to each other. Rows or family arguments that broke out at the wedding or celebration, may still be ongoing. The bringing together of your respective families may have soured the whole day for you. It is now clear they are never going to get on. The post-wedding fallout might need to be dealt with. This is not a happy camp, and for the moment no one knows exactly what to do, or what will happen in the long run. Best to play it down as much as possible and keep private for the moment. It might all blow over allowing life to settle down as it should.


The Five of Wands can begin to highlight obvious incompatibility in a couple. This is usually a carryover from a relationship built on the Reversed Two, Reversed Three and Reversed Four of Wands. It can suggest early incompatibilities that were overlooked or ignored. The couple are unable to get on with each other, they lack common ground. A relationship may have continued in the belief it would somehow work out and any issues between a couple would naturally resolve over time, especially once married, or upon starting a family. At this stage, Five of Wands, incompatibility is obvious, not just to the couple, but to everyone around them. This is a couple who are rarely on the same page. Instead of their personalities complementing each other, they clash and can be like chalk and cheese. Some couples thrive under such circumstances, their differences making them more interesting to each other. They may have a fiery relationship which suits them both. However, in this instance we are looking at a couple who have little in common, other than incompatibility. Any issues from the early stages of the relationship have become more entrenched as they continue to rub each other up the wrong way. Habit typically keeps them together, with neither quite ready or willing to make the break. It is clear they would be happier apart, but they continue in this mode. It is not exactly a battle field, just a bad match. They may have been too hasty in progressing the relationship beyond its capability. This relationship should have taken its natural course with partners eventually heading their own direction. Somewhere they got stuck and didn’t aspire to anything better.  Their foundations are weak. The couple may lack an understanding of how rewarding a true relationship can be.

The above scenario can come about if the couple come from a similar background. They may have had no role models to follow. Their parents may have drifted into their own relationships, and, or marriage. They may not have taken compatibility into consideration. Relationships were not something you pondered over, they just happened. It was what people did, and you got on with it. There may be an understanding that partners are meant to irritate each other, not get on, or be at constant war. They might see nothing wrong with their situation and believe they are no different than any other couple. Marrying because of pregnancy, the traditional shotgun style wedding, can produce a couple who would never otherwise be together.

We can also find incompatibility that naturally evolves. A couple may have united at a time when they shared common interests and goals. People change and this cannot always be guarded against or prepared for. It just happens. A couple’s age at the time the relationship began could be where the problem stems from. If they were both very young at the time, it is likely their individual personalities had not fully formed or matured. What we think, feel, like, and dislike can change as we age. Interests we had in our teens may seem ridiculous or silly when we are in our thirties. Rebellious attitudes, and spontaneous behaviour of our younger years may have no place in our mature adult one. A couple can mature in opposing directions. Couples can fall out of love, becoming strangers to each other. The foundations of their relationship begin to shift and it is unclear whether they will be able to continue together.

Lack of Compromise or Cooperation – Opposition To Plan

In the Reversed Two, Reversed Three and Reversed Four of Wands we explored the challenges a couple face when partners are unwilling to make compromises. In the Five of Wands it becomes more blatant as partners fail to pull together. A lack of teamwork is evident in how a situation is being handled. Here we can see partners who are prepared to stand their ground, demanding things their way, and refusing to see each other’s point of view. Your partner may make his or her feelings very clear on a matter, leaving it closed to discussion or negotiation. He or she is not willing to make any sacrifice. Someone is not happy with what is being asked of them and refuse to cooperate in finding a workable solution. In the Five of Wands we are dealing with strong egos that will go into battle against each other. However, this card could represent a partner who is used to getting their own way all the time. Their needs and wishes have always been accommodated by their partner, but when it’s their turn to return the favour, they might not be so obliging.

In The Five of Wands you might discover your partner has been sabotaging your success if they agreed to something under duress. He or she may have reluctantly gone along with your plan. You may have agreed on some form of compromise, but it is not working out. Instead of supporting you in your endeavours, your partner is hoping you fail. They could make life deliberately difficult or put obstacles in your way. You will need to confront this head on. Thrash this out between the two of you as there is a lack of teamwork towards the agreed goal. This could arise out of a situation where emigration or re-location is concerned. Instead of trying to settle down and make things work, a partner could be keeping the atmosphere unsettled and stressful in the hope you will give up and go home. If you have coerced your partner into going along with your plans because you assume authority or control in the relationship, he or she will find their own way of striking back. Instead of pulling together, you are pulling apart and any success you hoped for may not manifest under such negative energy. Open the door to honest communication. Allow your partner to express their concerns and unhappiness. You might need to adjust or re-negotiate the deal.


In the Five of Wands we can find the commencement of battle during a separation or divorce. Here the legal team on both sides argue their client’s cases which are bound to be in total opposition to each other. At this stage of proceedings, there is little or no common ground, and proposals could be demanding or outrageous. It is certainly heating up as solicitor’s letters fly back and forth, each determined to get as much for the client as possible. Couples may be in mediation but use their appointments to launch attacks and vicious accusations at each other. No one can agree on anything. Each side will be seeking victory for their client but the real winners will be the lawyers or barristers who must get their hefty share before any monies or assets are divided. Often couples intend to part ways as amicably as possible. They start off determined to be dignified and ethical about the whole thing. If there are children involved, their aim is to shield them from as much upset as possible. Both have their best interests at heart. However, the game tends to change quite rapidly once solicitors are brought in on both sides. In the imagery, we can see the couple being directly influenced by their legal representatives, who declare they are either asking for too little, or offering too much. Their fiery energy can be infectious, igniting aggression between partners who now become aware of their entitlements. This can be a very traumatic time for couples whose lives will be dominated by ongoing proceedings. At this early stage, everything is thrown out on the table and up for grabs. No one knows for sure what will happen as the battle could go either way. This Five suggests the initial foray. In time, the pace of proceedings will calm down as both sides begin to see reason and sense. This is just the starting point to get the game underway.

The Five of Wands could appear as a sort of warning card if you are embarking on the path of separation or divorce. Its presence could be advising you to seek mediation if at all possible before getting solicitors involved. Mediation works to find a calm and organised manner in which couples can agree on certain key issues regarding their separation. Couples are given a safe space in which they can air their feelings, needs and wants, while a trained mediator (referee) oversees the discussions. Instead, The Five of Wands’ approach may be to throw a grenade in and see what happens, and who is left standing once the dust settles. The gauntlet is thrown down and war is declared. If you have the stomach for it, go for it. The fight is often dirty. You may think you know your opponent, your partner, but you may be in for a nasty surprise. Mediation is bound to be less painful and more dignified. If you can reach an agreement in this manner before approaching the courts, it will also be less expensive.

Terribly Conflicted

The Five of Wands in a spread, or on its own, could suggest you are internally conflicted about your relationship. You might not be sure of what you really want. Part of you might want to break up, while another part wants to stay and make a go of it. There is a suggestion of confusion and erratic swings of mind. Following on from the engagement or wedding energy of the Four of Wands, you might be in turmoil if you have got engaged or married. For the moment, your feelings may not be constant. They could change from day to day. There is a lot to consider and no matter what approach you take, the issue will not settle down in your mind. Should you, shouldn’t you? The answer in this case is not clear cut. If only you felt more relaxed about the situation. Perhaps you don’t want to get engaged. There is so much to consider, when really you should be happy. If only things had been left as they were. This has brought unwanted disturbance to your life.

Your partner may have asked something of you, to make a sacrifice perhaps. You just don’t know if you can comply. What does it mean for your relationship if you do, and what will be the implications if you don’t? How do you decide? This issue is likely to preoccupy your thoughts and make you feel uneasy and irritable. Energy has been stirred up and it appears to bring a sense of urgency with it. There is resistance to conforming to the wishes of your partner or the change it might bring about.

If you are still looking for love, you may find it difficult to define what you are looking for in a relationship or partner. Your needs may conflict or contradict each other. You might want a committed relationship, yet wish to keep your freedom and independence at the same time. You might hold great career ambition, but also want to settle down. How do you make it work? Can you have it all?

It is clear from this card you are finding it difficult to make up your mind about a particular relationship. It is possible you are adding to your confusion by allowing others influence your thought processes. The opinions of others may not be consistent. Some may say go ahead, say yes, while others might advise you to get out, or say no. Friends and family may be swaying you off course and making it impossible to decide. In the din of all the voices you must reflect inwards and think for yourself.

Tackling Personality Issues When Seeking Love

In the Five of Wands we come across the dilemma in meeting the right person for you. You have put yourself out there, socialised, joined clubs and taken up new activities, yet you still haven’t met anyone worth a second glance. You might have gone on dates when asked, giving him/her the benefit of your doubt even when you knew it was a waste of time. No one can deny the effort you have put in. You may be in despair and extremely frustrated. It is possible you have become negative about the whole process. You may have lost faith and think it all a complete waste of energy. Instead of being open and friendly, your energy may have become aggressive and unapproachable. You write off potential suitors without giving them a fair chance, because what’s the point? He or she is bound to be like all the rest.

It might be you who is blocking your chance for love and romance. Now this is a tricky area to deal with when reading for another, but if the querant is having difficulty in meeting someone, he or she may need to question whether it is something they are doing that is yielding poor results. The Element of Fire is responsible for developing and driving egos. The Wands Suit Upright demonstrate strong, healthy and assertive egos in general. It is typically in the associated number of the card where we find hints as to just how assertive the ego might be. The number five brings challenge, change and disruption. When we take into account the imagery of the card, along with its Element and Number, we could find an ego that is borderline between assertive and aggressive. An assertive ego can cross the line into aggressiveness when circumstances are ripe, or when there is a perception of threat. Therefore, your ego may be presenting an overly assertive/aggressive stance when a potential suitor approaches. You may not feel comfortable with being warm, polite and friendly, even if you naturally are. It might be a defence mode you adopt to make you look tough and independent.  Instead of responding warmly to the attention of another, your reaction could be rude or brusque. You could go on the attack as a method of playing hard to get. This unfriendly behaviour could be confusing to others. It might make them back off as they consider you too hot to handle. Look to surrounding cards to determine if an overly strong personality is causing issues. Reversed Wands’ Court Cards could be implying you are overdoing it with displaying your assertiveness and independence. Your potential suitors may feel you would not be interested in them, or are not looking to meet anyone.

Then again, in the Five of Wands, we do have the potential for coming on too strong when attempting to attract the attention of a certain someone. This is the opposite of above, but could result in the same outcome. Here we see an individual become larger than life as their personality is pushed to its limit. Acting out, being loud, rowdy or showing off when a certain person is around may make you look immature, and too much personality for one person. It could scare them off. This is typically found in younger adults, and teenagers. Where young Wands are concerned, Fire might find them showing off by driving fast, getting into fights, or doing something risky to show how cool they are. Fooling around or acting the tough guy/gal is aimed to impress, and catch your attention. This behaviour can be found in not so young adults too if their personality has not matured as it should. One way or another, if you find this potential interpretation relevant, it indicates a lack of balance and control. Its energy is disruptive. You need to closely observe behaviour to determine if any of it needs adjusting. There is no harm meant by this as Fire is simply being Fire. It is when the Five of Wands reverses that we discover how destructive it can be.

Following on from the above, we find a relationship where one side is putting in a lot of effort and the other very little. If you have tried every trick in the book to attract the attention of a certain person, it may be time to acknowledge you have done your best. You did expect to have to fight for attention, or love, but how much is too much? You have put up a good fight but cannot stay in this mode for much longer. You need a show of reciprocation now, a sign that you are still in with a chance. Are you sure this person is worth fighting for? If so, hang on in, but don’t let it drag on forever. This might be entertainment, or great sport for them, but it could become humiliating for you.

External Demands

The Five of Wands often appears when a couple’s relationship is being impacted by external demands. A relationship itself can be demanding, but when the strain is coming from an external source it must be brought under control.

The external demands in question vary depending on the circumstances. For one couple, it could be related to family obligations. Something may have happened within the family leaving you obliged to deal with it. This could consume a lot of your time and resources. Your own relationship may be neglected while you tend to the needs of others. Sometimes this is a temporary situation, the result of an unexpected crisis, or it may be an ongoing scenario. If this involves family on either side, a lot may be expected of you. Demands could eat into your free time or weekends. Your own house might be in chaos as you have precious little time to attend to it. It appears the needs of others are more important than your own right now. However, be careful to set limits on how much you can do, as others may take it for granted. They may see it as their due and your duty.

A Fiery Relationship – Love is a Battlefield

The Five of Wands often suggests a fiery relationship. The couple in question generally follow a certain behavioural pattern in their relationship and enjoy a bit of regular drama. In general, they are in good form and really know how to enjoy themselves and are very sociable. They are likely to put up with quite a bit of bad behaviour from each other. However, on occasions all hell breaks loose between them, and boy do they know how to row when it does. They are quite shameless and very loud. A minor situation can blow up into a tornado at lightning speed. The triggers can vary. You may not have responded to your partner in the manner they expected. A look you gave could be misinterpreted as an insult. Someone dredges up the remnants of the last quarrel and reignites it, a partner makes smart remarks, especially in front of others. Really anything can start it, but at times one partner will deliberately go looking for it, playing up until he or she gets the right response. The other partner knows they are being provoked and instead of letting it go over their head, come out fighting instead.

This fieriness can happen anywhere and the couple do not try to hide or conceal the row. Instead, they often perform best when in front of an audience. Dirty laundry is aired for all to hear with no holding back. They are likely to cause scenes and draw attention to themselves, especially if they have been drinking. Friends on both sides can join in, or rush to intercede. Accusations and insinuations are taken to extremes. If these are your neighbours it is likely you have heard them at it before, as they have quite a name for it. Scenes can be taken out to the front garden, with neighbours trying desperately to look the other way. They might throw objects at each other, or smash things on the floor. Phone calls will be made to friends filling them in on all the gory details, keeping the drama going.

Eventually the fire burns out and tempers calm.  There may be a period of frostiness between them, but usually they are back to normal in a few days. This relationship can be very strong, and has the potential to last once both partners do not take their outbursts too seriously. Different strokes for different folks. For many couples, a fiery relationship keeps them on their toes. The make-ups can be just as intense as the bust-ups.

A Fiery Partner

In this instance, the Five of Wands can point to a partner who has an aggressive streak in their personality. It doesn’t take much to set them off and there may have been some scenes in the past. He or she may not mean any harm, and if they come from a family where loud quarrelling was the norm, they may see nothing wrong with their behaviour. It is likely you have experienced some of their outbursts during the course of your relationship, but generally these are focused on others, not you. He or she is quick to get into an argument when out with others and you may have fallen into a habit of steering conversation away from potentially inflammatory issues. They walk a fine line between assertiveness and aggression. You may be used to their volatile personality but it does need to be watched.

A Funny Partner

The Five of Wands could suggest a funny or comic personality. Check for correlating cards, such as Wands Page or Knight, and the Fool. Here we have a naturally good humoured person who is up for anything and game for a laugh. The glass is always half full with this person. He or she is positive and upbeat, and always looks on the bright side of things. You are drawn to their wit and possible madness. He or she creates dramatic mayhem wherever they go, and always have a wonderful story to tell. This person will rise to any challenge and do the silliest of things. With a big heart and wonderful spirit your partner could be doing something wild and whacky for charity, or just for the sheer thrill of it. You never know what to expect from him/her next as they are always putting your heart crossways, either with fright or surprise.

A party animal, he or she will be first on the dancefloor and last to leave it. Mad stunts on the dancefloor could draw a large crowd who cheer and applaud the antics. Everyone says you must have the patience of a saint.  He or she is a crowd pleaser but also great fun when it’s just the two of you.

In the Five of Wands we can also find parents who turn up at children’s sport’s days to take part in games and matches. They enjoy getting involved and being part of the fun.

Petty Arguments

The Five of Wands often appears when you have got embroiled in petty arguments with your partner. This situation often occurs once a relationship has moved past its early stage. In the beginning, neither partner uttered a word that could possibly lead to an argument, or suggest there was something wrong with the other. It was all best behaviour and out to impress. As a relationship progresses and matures, couples drop their guard. They note aspects in each other. Some of these aspects might be cute or charming, while others may be annoying or irritating. If the couple has moved in with each other, or are married and over the honeymoon period, the less than attractive aspects of their partner can really get on their nerves. Things like leaving the toilet seat up, toothpaste squeezed from the middle of the tube, shoes thrown on the floor, empty milk cartons put back in fridge, or dark clothes mixed in with a white wash will not trigger World War III, but it might feel like it. Ongoing mild annoyances can give rise to excess irritation. Once the argument breaks, stubborn attitudes go into overdrive. The accused partner may make a point of exacerbating their behaviour just to annoy the other as their argument seems so ridiculous. Partners become huffy with each other and refuse to talk or eat at the same table. It becomes a matter of principle with them. Adults can start behaving as children. Petty arguments can be drawn out for an unreasonably long time. It is time for one of you to make peace and put an end to it. This is not a case of you having to step down, but the issue needs to be looked at in perspective. How bad is it in the grand scheme of things, does it warrant such reaction, can it be resolved, has anyone died as a result of it?  The Five of Wands can appear to suggest you are squabbling over nothing of any great importance. Time to get over it.

Difference in Culture

If you are in a relationship with someone from another culture, race, or religion you might be rebelling against their beliefs or traditions. This could lead to clashes and lengthy heated debates between partners, as both refuse to see each other’s point of view. If external family are involved, you might be under further attack. You have tried to fall into line, but it goes against the grain and you question everything. You might not feel it will work in such an environment.

Work Demands

The Five of Wands can suggest work related external demands interfering in a relationship. You, your partner, or both of you, may spend significant time at work. There may be a business to run or ongoing work related travel. Work may be brought home each day. There may be no cut off time from work. You might be studying for career advancement as well as working. There will be little time for your relationship and it is likely you sense this, but feel there is little you can do about it at present. If the couple is strong and have foreseen the issues facing them, they will survive. It is only a temporary situation, and for the moment they must get on with things, safe in the knowledge they have each other’s backs and are supportive.

Problems arise when work is allowed take over a couple’s relationship by becoming the norm. One partner may be spending too much time at work and is rarely home, or around when needed. Partners may pass each other fleetingly as they come and go to work, getting home late at night after everyone is in bed. Outings, breaks or other social activities may be cancelled regularly due to the growing work demands of a partner. This will be tolerated for some time as there is an understanding of mutual benefit from any additional work. It is when one can no longer rely on their partner to fulfil any promises, or keep their word because of work, the rot begins to set in. A partner gets used to regularly letting down his/her partner. In the beginning this may cause dreadful rows and upset, but as time goes on, resignation or indifference sets in.  A relationship can drift apart as partners no longer include each other in their plans or life. They might reside under one roof, but will eventually begin to live separate lives. If there are children involved, the parent with such extreme work commitments may lose connection with them. Where indifference creeps in, there may be a false sense of security as any arguments about work no longer occur. It is likely the affected partner has given up. This is a bad sign and can lead to an eventual break-up.

Fire Fighting

The Five of Wands may suggest your relationship or marriage is going through some rough times and it’s all hands-on deck. For one reason or another you seem to have been hit with one crisis or drama after another leaving you in a permanent state of Fire Fighting. After the trouble-free time enjoyed in the Four, life seems to have turned upside down and refuses to cooperate with you. It’s just one of those times when nothing goes right. You must be all things to everyone and just suck it up. You barely have time to catch your breath before the next problem hits. In fact, they all seem to come together. What is going on?  Anything could have happened and be happening. There may have been a sudden job loss. There might be a crisis on the building site of your new home. Workmen, may have caused damage through negligence. There may be unforeseen expenses, opposition to your planning permission, angry neighbours. A renovation job has gone totally overbudget. House appliances seem to break down for no reason, one after another, children’s school books and uniform bills run into the thousands. Your car dies in the middle of rush hour traffic. The part you need for the car, turns out to be more expensive than the car itself. The vet says your dog needs expensive surgery. The boiler is on the blink and it’s the middle of winter. It is hard to stay positive under such circumstances and you’re bound to be on edge and snappy. The slightest thing may start a row as you take your stress out on each other, possibly insinuating it’s your partner’s fault in the process. Someone must take the blame! There is nothing to do about it. Most of this will be out of your control. Everyone goes through the Five of Wands. Some, more times than others. Life seems to be hurling a lot at you and wish your period of bad luck would end. Take a deep breath and hold tight. One way or another you must battle on until you come out the other side. The Five of Wands often tests the strength of a couple. What doesn’t break a couple will strengthen them. The problems suggested by this card are not very serious, but can be blown out of proportion if partners allow them. You need to step back from all the mayhem. Are you making too much of a fuss? It could be worse.

Fire Fighting may also apply to ongoing arguments and rows that are linked to a certain hot top or contentious issue around a relationship. There is a bone of contention between partners. There may be a brewing problem with one partner continually losing the plot over it. It might be up to you to keep the calm and avoid further aggravation. The issue may be coming from within the relationship, or connected to it on some level. Family might be involved, even your children. The mere mention of this issue could ignite passionate feelings. It needs to be carefully contained and managed. With the right intervention, the issue can be diffused before it has a chance to explode. This isn’t going to be easy as you are likely to be dealing with an unreasonable partner. If the issue is linked to external family, it is best not to take sides. Instead try to mediate.

Bracing Yourself For Change

The Five of Wands brings change. The change associated with this card is often viewed in a negative light. Sometimes it is negative, but other times it’s not. If you have been given notice of the change or have sensed its imminent arrival, you may have time to put together some form of working strategy to cope with it. One way or another, life as you know it is about to change and it could be quite disturbing or unsettling until it is accepted. Many of us tend to fight against change as it disrupts our life and routines. Even positive change can be unsettling. Life is in constant flux, good times come and go, difficult times seem to last forever. We keep moving on with the energy and must work with what we have at any given time. Couples facing change approaching their relationship can either go about their business and try to ignore it, or sit down and discuss what these changes might mean for them, and how they will handle them. Then again, it might be down to one partner to deal with the change and take on the responsibility of it. The other partner may not believe they can cope with such change. We also have the possibility of both partners reacting to change in differing ways. We all have our own coping strategies. For one partner the change may be viewed as colossal, while the other partner does not see it as such a big deal. If partners’ approach to change clash, then prepare for trouble. It is unlikely you will see eye to eye and could get annoyed or angry with each other. As a couple, you are going through a life adjustment, that although not earth shattering, does have the potential to take its toll on your relationship if you let it. If you do have pre-warning, don’t wait until the change is upon you to get your act together. Pull together and decide what can be done.

Change can descend upon a couple overnight or within seconds. You might be in the middle of change before you realise it. There is no time to adjust or plan. You must think on your feet and work it out as you go. Tempers might flare as you enter a state of chaos. If you recognise your relationship in this, it is likely you are taking it out on each other. You may not be listening to what your partner says and vice versa. Fiery energy will be strong as egos ignite. There is no plan, just excessive activity. For the moment, you are not dealing very well with this change.

If you have allowed your relationship to slide into a rut, or have become laid back about your partner, The Five of Wands appearing will force you to wake up and take stock. Change may be vital to the survival of your relationship right now, even though you may not see it that way. Instead of fighting change, see how it might benefit you. It could re-energise your connection. At the very least it has stirred things up and made you act. Couples often emerge stronger after their relationship has been tested or challenged. They will fight to survive.

Stress Causes Lack of Intimacy

After the Loved up romantic feeling, and wedded bliss of The Two, Three, and Four of Wands, we now find a very different picture. Stress has introduced itself into the relationship. Stress may be coming from anywhere. It could be work-related, financially induced, because of children, family, large debt, or health etc. Wherever it has come from, its impact has affected the relationship. This does not mean a couple has fallen apart, or wish to leave. Stress has a habit of wearing out individuals with its constant presence. Ongoing stress, robs peace of mind, restful sleep, casual conversation, humour, intimacy and sex. Partners are worn down by stress, can think and talk of nothing but their stressful situation. It may seem hopeless as you sink lower and lower. feeling devoid of all energy. Partners need to reassure each other of their commitment and love during such tough times.

Taking On Too Much

External demands may also be of your own making. Wands love to get involved in clubs, organisations, committees and interesting projects. They tend to say yes to anything that catches their attention or interest. As a result, you may have taken on too many extremal commitments which are now out of control. If you volunteered your time, energy or skills to others, you might have underestimated what was involved. It is likely your time is not your own anymore as you dash out of the house each evening or at the weekend. You are needed here there and everywhere, your phone constantly pinging with requests for your time or input. You are trying to keep everyone happy, but your relationship might be suffering. Friends and acquaintances may think you wonderful as you help dig out their back garden or lay bricks for their extension, but your own home might need serious attention. Time to get your priorities in order. You need to politely back out of certain non-essential commitments as your relationship needs to be focussed on. You might find this very hard to do as you will hate to let people down. It may however seem to your partner that you have no difficulty in letting them down. You might think your partner understands and is accepting.  If you are in a relationship with such a person, it is likely you are quite tolerant if he or she has always been like this. It could be part of the reason you were drawn to them. However, if this behaviour is recent, it might suggest your partner would rather be out, than at home. You must ask why this might be?

No Time For Relationships

The Five of Wands can suggest you are too busy with your career to give time to relationships. You are socially active, but avoid getting involved with anyone. Your focus is not on romance, but getting ahead. You are extremely ambitious and have your priorities in order. Relationships must wait, for you are not prepared to threaten your career for one. In the Upright Five of Wands you make very deliberate choices. You understand that just like your job or career needs focus and attention, so does a relationship. You accept you cannot have both right now as one will suffer for the other.  You are not in a position to offer commitment to anyone. You are totally in love with your job, studies or career and need no more. Work could take you anywhere, at any minute. You must be free to go, without complication or recrimination.

Another aspect of the above situation is a temporary withdrawal from your current relationship, or seeking one. You may be involved in a very important work project that demands you to be on call 24/7. You are part of a team and your role is vital. You cannot allow external distractions to get in the way. You may need to be absent or unavailable to your partner during this time, or if single, avoid dating altogether as the two won’t mix. Here we see sports professionals who withdraw from the pressure and expectations of relationships during periods of intense training and competition.

The Five of Wands could suggest you are dating a professional sportsperson.

Dynamic Competitive Couple

In the Five of Wands, we find a couple who are in the chaos together and are quite competitive. They may enjoy outdoing, or scoring points on each other, but in a positive sporting manner. Being constantly on the go and signing up for things might be their vibe. Here we have a very active couple who enjoy being out and about. They could be very sporty with weekly commitments to training, coaching, rehearsing etc. There may be matches, marathons to run, mountains to climb, competition, or performances at weekends. They thrive on their demanding life, enjoy high energy and good health. They need to be doing something all the time as it makes them happy.  Game for anything, they will deliberately seek out challenge, and are rarely at home. This couple will have a strong relationship that is kept fresh and stimulating.

Get Moving and Have Some Fun!

If you are beginning to feel restless, or your relationship has become staid and stale, The Five of Wands appearing in your reading may be the antidote. Time to get active and fit. Join a club, group,  take up a sport together, or get involved in a community project. Something challenging and demanding is needed to light your fire.

The Five of Wands can be seen as irritating and annoying, but it also brings fun and harmless fooling around. With the constant demands of life; work, family and home, couples can lose their sense of adventure and humour. The appearance of this card in your relationship reading could suggest you have become too serious. It is high time you had a good laugh and get in touch with your inner child. Team activity is suggested in this card, so maybe think about a camping trip with the kids, or a day trip to an adventure/theme park. Challenge each other in games and unleash your competitive side. Don’t be afraid to get dirty or bruised. Outdoor pursuits are favoured. Do something crazy together that will make you laugh and feel young.

If you are planning a vacation together, why not consider a challenging trip. It might involve getting fit or going into training before you go.

Family Interference – Personality Clash

In the Four of Wands Reversed we were exposed to the often-delicate issue of family interference in a relationship. Now this interference may not have been intentional, as in the belief they were acting with good intentions. They did not see it as interfering, but simply as trying to help. However, we also ventured into areas of more deliberate interference, with certain family members going out of their way to stir up trouble or upset people. Jealousy or rivalry may be involved. In the Five of Wands the gloves are off, with family blatantly and unashamedly interfering in a couple’s relationship. Interference can happen on many levels. It may be considered minor or major, occasional or constant. This can be a difficult situation to manage, as generally you cannot exclude these people from your life, or alienate them with rudeness. It is best to keep some form of acceptable relationship with them, to keep the peace at family gatherings and special events. As mentioned in the Four of Wands Reversed, you can choose your partner, but you cannot choose their family. Not getting along with them could cause long-term issues for the relationship. You may find your in-laws annoying and couldn’t care less whether you see them from one end of the week to the next, but your partner grew up in this family and may not see things as you do. He or she may think it a personal attack when you find cause to criticise. Your partner may rant and rave about them occasionally. He or she will expect you to side with them or agree, but there is a very fine line between what is support and what is insult. The moment you step from sympathising with your partner, to offering your own critical input you are in trouble. Let your partner run down his/her family if they so wish, but don’t join in.

In the Five of Wands it appears everyone has access to your relationship and a say in what happens. This can be the result of a couple not laying down boundaries around their relationship from day one. If you have not asserted your privacy, family members could view that as an open invitation to get involved as they choose. They can take their family connections to the extreme and deem it their right to know what is going on. They may try to force their opinions on you and tell you what and how you should be doing things. They can interfere in the relationship itself, your lifestyle, the rearing of your children and the home you live in. They could expect you to run everything by them before making a decision. If you are subject to regular family interference, it is possible you have developed a system of ducking and diving rather than standing up to them. Instead of asserting your right to privacy, you begin to work around it by lying, fabricating stories or excuses, hiding things, omitting crucial details and exhausting yourself trying to avoid them. If this is your family, then you must be the one to deal with it. If the interference is coming from your partner’s side, then he or she must tackle it. If it is coming from both sides, it can get quite competitive as each family rush to claim the territory of your relationship. You must show a united front and lay down some ground rules. As a last resort, you might have to move further away, if close proximity is making it worse.

Of course, we must look at the area of interference when a relationship has not been endorsed by one side of the family. Your relationship or marriage may not be popular with everyone. Your in-laws could be quite frosty and unwelcoming if they don’t accept you. They could go out of their way to make life difficult for you. You might be on the receiving end of nasty comments or malicious gossip. They could find fault with everything you do, and even attempt to set you up for failure. They may attempt to poison your partner against you, or get him/her to question their relationship with you. This continuous battering can wear you down and cause tension between partners. Your self-esteem can take a hammering if you allow this behaviour to get to you. They are not going to make it easy. You have been playing by their rules up to now, trying to impress and pander to their whims. You might have to accept this will go on indefinitely unless you do something about it. Getting your partner to intervene on your behalf is unlikely to succeed, and could even make things worse. This is a battle. You must show them you are a worthy contender and are prepared to fight. Time to bear your teeth and stand up for yourself.

Family may also interfere in your life if you get embroiled in all their individual dramas. Some families thrive on such drama, every minor incident blown out of proportion, phone calls day and night, with regular updates and newsflashes. Like living in a Soap Opera, family members can be at each other’s throats, or take pride in running each other down. Fractious elements in families can upset the peace in a relationship and take quality time away from couples. If you have constant phone calls, texts, or visits from family members about family issues or dramas, it can take over your life. Family can invade a relationship and be very demanding. All conversation between partners may centre around the drama.

Following on from the above, we have the impact a relationship experiences due to family arguments, disputes and rows. A couple may be asked to take sides or get involved in the argument. Partners may not take the same side, bringing external family tension into the heart of their relationship. Family feuds can get out of control and last an unhealthy period of time. It is essential to bring some order to the chaos while you still can.

Let us finally look at a situation that is quite common, and also very sad. In this instance a certain family member may, or may not, realise how much they are interfering in the normal day to day life of a relationship. We might be looking at an elderly mother or father who needs, or demands constant attention. They may have genuine health issues you need to support them with. Even though it takes up your spare time, you are more than happy to give it. However, their health may be fine, but they encourage dependency on you. There may be an obligation to have them over for Sunday lunch each week, take them shopping, include them in all vacation plans or outings etc. An obliging and well-meaning couple can slip into this habit very quickly. (An example of this is a reading I did for a woman some years ago. She and her husband had returned from overseas and bought a house close to where her parents lived. Naturally, she delighted in being on hand to help them out and pop in for visits. One thing led to another and over the next few years as her parents aged, they expected more and more of her. They refused to get involved with any organisations or groups that catered for them, preferring to leave the work to their daughter. My client had a four-hour work commute each day, but was expected to call into her parents every evening. This meant she left her partner to dine alone. Her mother took over her weekends too, wanting to be brought shopping on a Saturday, and entertained afterwards. Her Sunday mornings were not safe either, with an early rise to get her mother and father to mass. They preferred an early mass to a later one. After mass each Sunday, they would ask where she was taking them? Each Sunday, she either ate with them, or had them over to her house.  I asked her why she didn’t explain to them how tired she was and how she also needed to spend time with her husband? She told me she hadn’t the heart to as they were elderly, but she raged and fumed inside about the unfairness of it all. Over time, her husband began to make his own plans and she realised how much they had drifted apart.)

An elderly parent can be difficult or indifferent to considering a couple’s need for privacy or quality time. They expect to be catered for and can get stroppy if they feel any resistance, using emotional blackmail, or pulling the old-age card to get their way. Having the constant presence of your mother or father-in-law wears thin regardless of how lovely, or old they might be. His or her needs and wants, exceed the needs of the individual partners, or couple, who are expected to make endless sacrifices on their behalf. The sacred space of the relationship is breached and hijacked. Neither partner can find a solution to the situation and so continue in this manner, emotions running between resentment and guilt. With regards to the above interpretation, I refer to elderly parents who abuse the hospitality and generous nature of their son or daughter, not parents who are obliged by necessity, ill-health, mobility issues or senility. For the latter, the Six of Cups would be more relevant.

Third Party Interference

Now we move on to a whole new level of interference. This time we are looking at outside interference which threatens the foundations of a relationship or marriage. Here we find a third party, attempting to breach the inner intimate sanctum. This is not an annoying sister, mother or friend, but an enemy. Depending on surrounding cards and the nature of the reading, The Five of Wands could suggest a snake in the grass, an intruder in your relationship. In the imagery, we see a group waving wands in the air. Are they attempting to construct something, or pull it apart? With the Five we have disruption, and must see this as a threat in a relationship. Someone may be working to actively deconstruct your relationship. At this stage, it might still be just a threat, but it does suggest trouble if you go looking for it. You or your partner may be exposed to the attention of another. You may have got too close to someone at work or on a social level. You could be playing with fire as you skirt around temptation. You might see it as harmless fun at this stage, but it does have the potential to blow up in your face. Your involvement in this situation is filtering through to your relationship making you feel at odds with it and your partner. Your partner is bound to sense a disturbance in the force, a shift in the dynamics of the relationship. You may be too eager to go to work, work late, or at the weekend. You might be spending too much time at the club or gym. You might be paying extra attention to your appearance before you leave the house, checking your phone too regularly, or mentioning someone’s name too often. Tread carefully as you could draw a lot of trouble and upset your way. If you are unsure of your ability to resist temptation, you must go back to the Four to re-confirm why you chose your partner. Check your foundations.

On the other hand, we might be looking at a situation where you are unhappy in your relationship, or just bored with it. You could deliberately pull at your relationship, tearing strips off it, wearing it down, diluting its strength. You want to test how far you can push your partner, how much he or she will take, before they react. The Five of Wands could suggest you are going looking for trouble. If you are looking for an out from your relationship, you might prefer to force it by courting sexual or romantic attention from others. You might take huge risks, as you wait to see how long before you get found out. You are playing with fire, and you know it. Alternatively, we find someone who has a fling in the hope it will shock their partner into sense or action, if they feel neglected or taken for granted. This is a desperate, attention-seeking tactic. Sometimes it brings a partner to his or her senses, but it could drastically backfire.

Interference from an Ex-Partner

Depending on surrounding cards and the issue at hand, The Five of Wands could suggest interference coming from an ex-partner or ex-spouse. He or she may not have let go and moved on. Your ex may hold a grudge against you or your new partner. He or she may not want to you be happy with someone else and refuse to accept you have moved on in your life. Your ex could pester you with unwanted phone calls and texts. He or she could turn up at your door, or workplace, and make a scene. You could be tracked on social media sites by your ex, or partner’s ex. He or she may post nasty comments about you on your page. There may be an attempt to reclaim their partner. This will cause tension and strain in your relationship. You must rise above it. If you let it get to you, their mission has been successful. If interference turns to stalking, you must notify the proper authorities and have it stopped.

Difficult Babies

Following on from the heart-warming energy of The Four of Wands, with engagements, weddings and announcement of pregnancy and birth, we now move on to the next stage. Reality hits hard for couples who have brought their precious little bundles home expecting to settle into domestic bliss as doting parents. All the celebrating and congratulations of the Four seem like a distant memory as sleep deprived parents pace the floor boards each night. Their precious bundle of joy has turned into a cantankerous, impossible to please, mini-monster. The Five of Wands can appear for new parents who are having a rough time of it with a young baby or child. Their nicely organised life has had a shocking makeover. If first time parents, the couple will have gone to considerable effort with preparations for their baby’s arrival. Baby paraphernalia and furniture showcase the perfect nursery setting, with soft lighting, baby monitors, cuddly toys, and machines that play soothing music. What more could a baby want? The answer is everything and nothing, but what they really want is, you, all of you, every bit of you!

It is likely you have a baby that just won’t sleep. It demands your presence 24/7. You can’t get anything done, the house is a mess, and you too. You are exhausted and at your wits end. The only thing you seem to get any use out of is the baby monitor that rips you from your dreams 4, 6, 10 times a night with its heart-stopping shrill noise. And then there is the endless puking and nappy changing at all hours of the morning.  You and your partner are bewildered and probably strained with each other. You believe the baby should be taken up each time it cries as you cannot bear to hear it so upset, but your partner may believe the baby should be left cry for longer in the hope it will drift back to sleep. You think it cruel while your partner thinks it sensible as it might be the only way for everyone to get some sleep. In the Five of Wands we see parents trying to cope with such challenging changes. We also see issues between parents about the approach to dealing with the difficult baby. You might be accused of spoiling the baby and giving it bad habits. You might want to take it into the bed. Your partner may insist it stays in its cot. There may be petty disagreements made worse by exhaustion and sleep deprivation. Certainly, it is a tough time for new parents, but the good news is it will eventually pass and hopefully life will settle for everyone. No couple is ever truly prepared for the changes a baby can enforce in their relationship and life. You must go through it to fully appreciate it. Up until now, a couple has been able to make choices about their life. Do stuff or not, take an interest or look the other way, sit and talk or watch a movie, go out or stay in, go to bed early or stay up, have a late night and sleep on the next morning. All that goes out the window when a baby arrives. The baby can’t be sent back, so you must get on with it. You never realised it would be so difficult. Somehow or other you must struggle through like everyone else does.

The Five of Wands can also suggest older toddlers, children, or teenagers that are proving hard to manage (check for Reversed Pages). With the Five of Wands we find a lot of pent up energy, restlessness and constant movement. This could be suggesting boisterous children – especially boys, children who are constantly getting into scrapes or taking dangerous risks. You could be worn out racing back and forth to the Accident and Emergency Department, breaking up fights in the playground or being summoned to the school for your child’s unruly behaviour. On the other hand, we might be looking at a child with a hyperactive disorder such as ADD or ADHD. Hard to manage children can put immense strain on the strongest relationship. You may clash at the most stressful times and disagree about the correct management. Your child could cause issues with neighbours if he or she is acting out in the neighbourhood. Teamwork is vital but everyone may be at odds with each other in the family.

You may also be struggling to raise children on your own, or have a partner who clashes with their personalities. There may be little peace at home.

A Large Family

On a lighter note, The Five of Wands in a relationship reading could suggest your desire to have a large family. If you were an only child, you might have experienced loneliness growing up, and do not wish that for your own child. Alternatively, you might come from a large family yourself and appreciate the blessings of supportive siblings. You may plan to have several children and therefore actively seek a lively and boisterous family life. The more the merrier as far as you are concerned. It should be presumed however, that your partner is aware of this and is in full agreement.

The Five of Wands could suggest having several children in close succession. Check for Pages, or the Empress in surrounding cards. You may want to fill the house with nappies all in one go. Your children are like the steps of stairs with little age difference between them. Many couples take this route. They get all the tough early years of rearing out the way. In this manner, children have instant built-in friends. There is less to be bored about.

For parents, The Five of Wands could mark the time when children take their first steps into the real world. They must find their own way without constant parental supervision. This can suggest children going into a Crèche environment, starting Montessori or Junior School. Young children do not have a great reputation for sharing. Everything is ‘mine’. This card shows kids having to fight their way through with others who feel and act the same. This is a difficult time for parents who can feel upset by such behaviour. It is a learning stage for children, and unless bullying is going on, it is wise to let them get on with it. On the outside, it might look unruly, but this is how kids will eventually make friends.

Falling In With The Wrong Crowd 

The Five of Wands could suggest the potential for your child or children to fall in with troublesome groups or gangs. They might not be dangerous or delinquent, but they could be troublemakers. It might be one kid, in particular, or a gang of them. Your child may go along with them to be accepted. These could be children from school, or in the local area. It would be wise to keep an eye on your child’s comings and goings as this group are quite rebellious and defiant. Keep on top of cheeky talk, and cocky attitudes in your child, and act before it gets out of control. Schoolwork may suddenly become uncool. It’s a slippery slope after that.

Now the Upright Five of Wands, although irritating and annoying, generally looks worse than it is. However, it walks a fine line between harmless skirmishes or unruliness, and bully, heavy-handed behaviour. If Reversed Pages appear in your reading, you may be looking at a child displaying bully type behaviour, or is being bullied. The bullying involved may be seen by others as just  ‘kids being kids’, but it could have the potential to develop in to something more serious. We see more evidence of this when The Five of Wands Reverses, but it can happen in the Upright too.  Keep an eye on things and intervene if you think behaviour is getting out of hand.

If you are an anxious parent, you may be over-protective. The Five of Wands could be suggesting you allow your child or children to go wild on occasion. A few bumps and bruises won’t hurt them. If your kids spend too much time sitting in front of the television, on their phone, or playing video games, it is time to act and insist they get some physical exercise. Encourage them to play sport, or just run about in the open air with their friends. Perhaps book them into summer camp.

Troublesome Step Children

In The Three and Four of Wands Reversed, we explored the issues and challenges experienced in a relationship when step-children become involved.  In the Upright Aspect, we looked at a happy situation where any children were accepted, welcomed and embraced. There may have been a period of adjustment, but in general, life settled down into a new norm. Some step-children lived with the couple, while others lived with the other parent and were only seen for visits. However, in the reversed aspect we examined the many ways in which step-children can disrupt, or test the strength of your relationship. Taking on someone else’s children can be a daunting task, especially if they resent your presence and disturb the closeness between you and your partner. The Five of Wands brings us one step further, past the stage where most people involved have tried to be reasonable and obliging. In the Five, we find a showdown with step-children and step-parents who have been trying their best to make it work. Lines are crossed and blatant bad behaviour is no longer tolerated. We could be looking at a hell of a row between children and adults. All niceties have vanished, with open warfare declared. Now this will be very upsetting, and partners could turn on each other if tempers are completely lost.

This meltdown has been brewing for some time, and in a way, it had to happen. The Five of Wands may be the catalyst for positive change. Before a situation can calm down, it may have to heat up. It looks like everyone is talking or screaming at the same time, hurling accusations and insults. Children turn on adults and each other. Adults turn on children and each other too. Blame is flung from one corner to the next with no one prepared to backdown. Eventually this fire will burn out. Those involved will likely scatter to their rooms, slamming doors behind them. Step-children could demand to move out or be taken home. At least the air has cleared with everyone openly declaring their hostility or dislike for each other. There may be no reason at all for such animosity, but at least it is out on the table. Open and honest communication can be birthed after such a row, with all sides feeling they may have gone a bit far. If this situation is handled properly it could herald a breakthrough if the issues and grievances aired are addressed. The whole thing could come down to misunderstanding, miscommunication, fear and unexpressed sadness or anger.

If there are two sets of step-children involved, The Five of Wands could suggest they do not get on, or their personalities clash. They could go out of their way to be nasty to each other, as they fight for supremacy. Older children, teenagers, and young adults can be just as badly behaved as the younger ones. Step-children could blame their Step-parent for breaking up their family, even if partners had already been separated or divorced before they met.

A relationship can become strained if step-children pick at it constantly. A couple must stay strong and show a united front. If there is a chink in anyone’s armour they will spot it immediately and go for it. In the Five of Wands, step-children can ruin a perfectly good time, outing or vacation with stubbornness, cheek, and sulky faces. Nothing you do can please them. If you are getting married, they may seek to disrupt or dismantle your plans, and be awkward about everything. As this is a Minor Arcana card, it suggests a transitory period of change and adjustment. Keep fighting your way through it. Comfort yourself in the knowledge that you are not alone in your present circumstances. others have gone through and survived this baptism of fire.

House Building/Renovation Issues

In the Four of Wands we found a couple investing in their home and enjoying domestic bliss. Much attention focused on finding the perfect house and making a beautiful home out of it. Some couples were prepared to renovate or build, and under the positive energy of the Four, were sailing through without any problems. In the Five of Wands the smile is wiped off their faces as the first problems surface. Now the Five of Wands doesn’t typically deal with serious issues. The challenges may not be as big as people are making them out to be. On first glance, or discovery, you might freak out, but a solution can be found by staying calm. Running around like headless chickens will get you nowhere. Problems or setbacks on the home-front brings work to a halt, and momentum is lost as you work to sort them out. You might discover, dry rot, leaking pipes, structural weakness or planning issues. You could run out of money or didn’t budget accordingly. Your house could be turning into a money-pit. You probably did not see this coming and have no contingency plan in place.

If you are hiring a team of builders, check their credentials to make sure they know what they are doing. The Five of Wands can showcase what will happen if a building job is not overseen by a Project Manager. Hiring several independent tradespeople with great qualifications will come to nothing unless you have someone who will pull it all together. It looks like no one is in charge and everyone doing as they please or see fit. A bit like hospital departments, their medical teams will only deal with their own speciality, and show little interest in what’s going on in the rest of your body. In the Five of Wands we also find disgruntled builders who are not happy with your bossy attitude towards them. They could rebel by slowing down or not showing up at all. It is best to develop a good working relationship with your builders, but also let them know you are in charge. If you are not paying close attention to your lovely home build or renovation, builders may make certain decisions on your behalf. You may not be happy with them. It is important to keep control and your eye on things. Builders could also damage existing structures or underground piping.

The Five of Wands could suggest you are living in a building site if you have been overly enthusiastic about your DIY abilities. It all seemed so achievable. Walls came down easily with the sledgehammer and you just got carried away. The momentum is lost with the first sign of problems. You might not be able to sort them yourself, but will not admit defeat. As a result, you get used to the mess you live in with missing doors, half-plastered walls and exposed wiring. Jobs go on the long finger and remain unfinished. You might not have the time to complete the projects, the skills, enough money, or have lost interest. This situation can cause stress between partners and ultimately leads to nagging.

Issues With Neighbours

Another aspect to consider in this card is the possibility of neighbours opposing the plans you have for building or renovation. If you have not got off to a good start with them, they could throw many spanners in the works when the Five of Wands appears. There could be arguments about land barriers, access rights, or view obstructions for example. Neighbours might see you as blows-ins intent on destroying their area. Time to foster good relationships with your immediate neighbours. Invite them over to inspect your work so far. Inform them of any early morning construction work and noisy machinery. Pre-empt any potential objections, and diffuse them before they become an issue.

Neighbours From Hell!

The Five of Wands can also highlight the dilemma of discovering you have moved in beside rowdy or disruptive neighbours. This is everyone’s nightmare when deciding on a house to buy or rent. Neighbours can be disrespectful. Ongoing noise, comings and goings at all hours of the day and night, rows, loud music, kids screaming at each other, parents screaming at the kids and each other, cars being revved in the driveway, and constant slamming of doors may have your nerves on edge. Your lovely new home may lose its appeal. The Five of Wands can appear as a red flag when you are considering purchasing or renting a certain property. If peace and calm is what you are looking for, then you won’t find it in this house. It would be wise to visit or drive by at various times of the day, night and week to determine what goes on and how busy it gets.

The Five of Wands could also suggest you feel out of sorts with the area you have moved to. You might not be fitting in as you had hoped. You may discover you have little in common with your neighbours and are finding it difficult to make friends.

Room for Kids

On the other hand, the Five of Wands could be confirming your desire for a lively, bustling neighbourhood. You might be happier in a town or city environment. Peace and quiet may not be your thing. Residential areas or estates with gardens and plenty of room for kids to play and roam are favoured. Rural areas or detached houses might seem desirable in theory, but are not practical for your needs. Give much consideration to everyone’s needs before committing.  The Five of Wands could also suggest you are beginning to throw out some ideas about upsizing if your family is starting to expand, if the pregnancy association of the Four of Wands is relevant.  Your current accommodation might be getting too cramped. Everyone is either excited about the proposed move or dead set against it. You won’t be able to please everyone.

Five of Wands Reversed – I’m Tired of All The Fighting

5 of Wands Rx - Card images are © Copyright U.S. Games Systems, Inc.”

5 rx  – Change and upheaval beginning to settle. Being open or opposed to change.

Yes or No Card? – Yes, to finding a solution, or calling a truce. It’s not as bad as you make out.  No. The battle has only started.

The Challenge With Five

We have reached the mid-stage of the Wands’ journey through relationships. Because it is a Five, it brings change and upheaval. What was steadily or rapidly built on from the Ace through to Four, now has the opportunity to self-destruct if allowed, or desired. We look at all The Wands waving in the air, both in the Upright and Reverse. Was this a Pentacle; the symbol of earth, security, stability and endurance? Can we work out if it is being constructed or deconstructed in either aspect of this card? If it has been deconstructed or taken a hit in the Upright Five, by either external or internal forces, it becomes a matter of grave concern when Reversed. It really must be decided what the best thing to do with it is. Don’t sit back and think it will work itself out. If the Pentacle needed modification, updating, or strengthening due to maturing changes in either partner, or circumstances, then it might be chaotic until the right arrangement is found. It will get there eventually once effort and teamwork is applied. But, the Reversed Five brings us to extremes, or is heading that way. If the Pentacle was damaged in the Upright, unless effort has been made to repair or strengthen any weak areas, it might ultimately give way under the stress. So, we could be looking at a rebuild, and resettling, or the figures in the imagery could take on the form of a demolition team. Surrounding cards and input of the querant should assist when applying interpretation.

With Fire being the governing element in Wands, there may be a presumption that matters tend to take care of themselves simply from sheer momentum. If we are experiencing a rough patch in a relationship, the Reversed Five of Wands can lull us into a false sense of security when we latch onto the more benign aspects of the card that pertain to issues being resolved, disagreements being settled and interference disappearing. Don’t be fooled by Five, and do not underestimate its powerful force, both for good and bad. We tend to look at harmless skirmishes when Upright, nothing major to worry about. In the Reverse we may be biased towards only seeing resolution or compromise. We may choose to ignore its less than benevolent potential. We breathe a sigh of relief as we anticipate the passing of the storm. However, only sometimes does life fall into order without our input or effort. Typically, it needs to be helped along. Yes, issues in relationships may appear to ease when you ignore them, but this does not mean they are gone and will not reappear. You know better than that if you are being honest.  It takes effort to keep a row going with a person you spend a lot of time with. Sometimes we decide to step over or around the issue just to break the ice and get back to normal. Unless there is resistance to this, both partners will drop it and go about their business, relieved the nasty stuff is out of the way. Then we get a false sense of having dealt with the problem, allowing the Five of Wands to appear Reversed. It’s over we think, but have we dealt with the issue? If not, the relief may only be temporary, the issue bound to resurface in a conducive atmosphere. Thus, we can be hurled back into the ever-growing, familiar combative state of the Upright Five, each time the flames growing larger and the heat intensifying. It takes the proper use of Fire to give us the backbone and stamina to induce the necessary changes needed to overcome repetitive challenges in our relationships. Do not rest on your laurels when you see the Five of Wands Reversed. Observe closely the surrounding cards to truthfully determine which aspect is relevant in your relationship.

A metaphor – In The Five of Wands Upright, the figures may have disturbed a beehive (trouble), causing the bees to swarm in attack (confrontation). The Wands are used to ward off the bees as no one wants to be stung (fire-fighting/defensive). The figures aware they have stirred up trouble must battle their way out and survive (panic/knee jerk reactions). They could also decide to repeat this process, safe in the knowledge they can come out unscathed each time. How many times can they get away with it? (repetitive behaviour, not learning the first time, inviting trouble).

In Reverse, the five figures have found safety as they shake off the last few bees that have become entangled in their clothes and hair. This could have ended disastrously, but they had the sense to act before it was too late (swift action taken to get out of, or end trouble). Then again, they may have observed the beehive in advance and had the foresight to anticipate trouble ahead. This gave them sufficient time to change direction, thus avoiding any confrontation and unnecessary pain in the first place (Deal with it before it becomes a major issue). However, if reckless or thoughtless, they could choose to throw their Wands at the hive, their aim now to provoke a reaction, or destroy the hive the bees worked hard to build (thoughtlessly burning down your own house! Shooting yourself in the foot!).

The Swan Effect

The Five of Wands Reversed can suggest a misrepresented relationship. The couple in question may be going through some relationship issues or personal problems they wish to keep private. Their outward appearance and behaviour may bely their true state. They feign a calmness or togetherness for the benefit of others, or children involved. Only to the observant eye would one see something not quite right. They may be acting normal but below the surface there is turmoil, anguish and disruption. Their relationship may be in serious trouble. This could apply to just one partner. This could herald a sudden departure, leaving everyone aghast. No one saw it coming or would have guessed, as there were no obvious signs of trouble.

Internalising problems

In the Upright Five of Wands we found a confrontational scene. The five battling figures in the card are positioned in the centre of the scene. No one, stands off stage or in the wings. They are upfront and not afraid to assert themselves. They appear to be quite vocal too. If they have issues, they want you to hear them. If they disagree with you, you will be told quickly enough. When the Five Reverses their problems or issues are large as ever, but they retreat inside with them. They choose not to tell you. This might suggest keeping problems to yourself in a relationship. Perhaps you are not yet ready to discuss them with your partner.

Feeling More Certain

In the Upright Five of Wands you were unsure of what you were looking for in a relationship or whether you wanted to continue in a current relationship, or give deeper commitment. You may have been struggling with a proposal from the Four of Wands, which forced you into considering your feelings and the future. In the Reversed Five of Wands we see the aftermath of the internal turmoil. You have battled this out in your head, gone over and over the arguments, both for and against. You now feel more settled and assured of the direction you wish to head in. You stand on firmer ground now and are confident about doing the right thing. You now know what it is you are looking for in a partner and can make sound judgement. This might result in breaking away from a relationship, or making a firmer commitment to one. You might also change tactic or strategy in your search for love if previous methods no longer serve your purpose. You could back away from certain social groups or friends if you feel they do not resonate with your new frame of mind.

The Return to Stability – Battle is Over

The Five of Wands Reversed often heralds the return of stability in a relationship after a period of chaos, uncertainly or upheaval. As a couple, you are not out of the woods yet, won’t be until you reach the Six of Wands, but it looks like you are heading in the right direction. There is bound to be a sense of relief after all the stress and trauma.

If your relationship was going through a rough time, effort will be made to find a solution. In the Upright Five, we have couples divided and in opposition. Stubborn attitudes create a deadlock. Partners go head to head as their love turns into a battle field. The domestic bliss and stability of the Four, lost in the uproar. Indeed, the energy of the Four seems very away. In the Reversed Five, the couple have not lost sight of the Four of Wands. They still remember it. It is what brings them to their senses and opens the door to communication between them. Something has shaken their relationship, their marriage, but it hasn’t necessarily shaken their love. Regardless of the battering, their foundations are still strong. Love brings them back, not by fighting against each other, but by fighting for the survival of the relationship. They have too much to lose.

Now is the time for communication and compromise. Everyone’s grievances need to be laid bare. Honesty is the best policy as partners express their unhappiness to each other. Partners begin to listen instead of shouting back. Egos on both sides back down as the urge to get back on track takes over. Enough energy has been wasted and now what is left must be used constructively. Partners pull together and begin to cooperate in making things work. It is all about give and take. Control and force will not work. Neither will obligation, duty, or resignation. The energy of the relationship had become scattered. The common ground of the Three and Four of Wands dug up and laid waste. Somehow you have seen the light and are finding your way back to each other. You made a good team before, and can do it again. This may have been your first major row or battle. It has left you scared of losing what you cherish. Understand there will always be battles to fight, disagreements, fallings out, but if the foundations of the relationship are strong, they will endure. Your relationship has been tested and survived

Introducing A Referee

In the Reversed Five of Wands, you may have reached the stage where one, or both of you realise the need for outside professional help. You may consider Marriage, or couples counselling as a way forward. You don’t want to give up on each other, but you might need someone to guide you through the issues. Counselling will help to acknowledge and respect each other’s opinions and feelings. Petty ongoing arguments can be settled, with a new understanding and approach going forward. Unresolved issues that were carried forward from the Two, Three and Four of Wands must be dealt with once and for all. There may be some painful revelations, but this is part of the healing process. Terrible misunderstanding and miscommunication may be responsible for much of the trouble. In this aspect, both partners work towards the same goal. This will not work if only one partner is making the effort to address the issues. It must be teamwork. Intentions need to be set with standards to work towards. The couple should be motivated and eager for a successful outcome. It can be done with the right ingredients.

Because this card is reversed we must always look to surrounding cards for hints as to which aspect is in play.

Calling Full Time on Your Relationship

In the Five of Wands Reversed, it may become clear that you are fighting a losing battle as far as your relationship is concerned. It may have started off with great promise but as time went on you discovered growing incompatibilities between you. At first, they were mild annoyances or irritations, then progressed into critical remarks, and nit-picking. Now they are the cause of endless arguments and bad vibes. Yellow cards have been issued on both sides. Not wanting to throw the towel in too soon, you made a conscious effort to turn things around, but alas you cannot keep the quarrels at bay. The last incident was the final straw which warranted the issuing of the dreaded Red Card. Game Up. Even allowing for the ‘extra time’ awarded to sort things out, the game/relationship has gone to full-time and someone needs to blow the whistle.

End of Chaos – Coming out the other end – Surviving

In this aspect of the Reversed Five of Wands, we find a return to normal life after a period of chaos. Chaos could have been experienced positively or negatively, but it is likely to have caused major upheaval for everyone concerned.

If you have been working on a house build, renovation, or redecoration, you are beginning to see light at the end of the tunnel at long last. This time relates to the final snag lists being completed, the last few builders or tradesmen finishing off, or packing up equipment and tools. You are so glad to see the back of them. Even though the big clean up and organisation has yet to happen, you now have the place to yourselves once more. The dust can settle, and there certainly is plenty of it! Time to sweep up, make several trips to the recycling plant and wash all the surfaces down in preparation for enjoying your new environment. This is the last push now, when fiddly bits need to be attended to before you can declare a job well done. Paint touch ups may need to be done, along with smoothing off some rough edges here and there, but its nearly time to take back, or own your space.

If you have been living under stressed circumstances while work was being carried out, The Five of Wands Reversed sees you acknowledging you couldn’t go on another week. Children cooped up on top of each other, boxes and belongings all over the place have nearly been the death of you. It is all coming together very nicely as a sense of calm descends. Now you can enjoy putting everything in its place and restoring order to your home once more. If you have been working on your garden space, you are beginning to see it take shape. Soil is levelled with plants and shrubs in place. Patios have settled, just waiting to welcome some planters and garden furniture. It has all been worth it.

For the couples who emigrated or relocated, we find you in the final stages of unpacking. Your new accommodation begins to look like a home at long last. The sense of just arriving has passed and you can get on with living. Any worries or issues you had during transit are behind you. Your removals truck may have not have run to schedule, leaving you without a seat to sit on, or a bed to sleep on for days, but it eventually arrived, drama over. The electricity that wouldn’t work, the tap that wouldn’t turn off have been fixed and you can manage to get through a day without crisis. Well done.

For couples moving into a new-build home, the date approaches. You slept in your car for two days outside the show house to ensure you secured this beautiful homes from plans. You met others couples doing the same. These very people will be your new neighbours. You have watched the houses go up from scratch, picking out tiles and selecting paint and fire surrounds. The house is nearly ready for hand over, just the snag list to be completed. Time to get organised for the big move in. You can’t believe your luck as you share invites with your new neighbours to be. Lots to look forward to after all the hard work. Great team effort has made this possible.

Couples who have been living with family while saving for a deposit or during their house build can also look forward to restoring some order in their life. What seemed impossible from the outset, has worked. You all managed to survive and feel blessed with such strong support. You couldn’t have done this without them. It was touch and go at the beginning but you pulled together and got on with things. Having to stay with others and having others to stay with you can put people under immense strain. Everyone will be glad to reclaim their own space.

Settling Arguments Truce

In the Five of Wands Reversed, any arguments that have caused strain in your relationship will be settled or a truce called.  Everyone is tired of the tension and the momentum of argument has faded. Partners agree to disagree, or agree to let it go. Perhaps you have forgotten what the argument was about at this stage. All have lost interest. Hands are shook, hugs are exchanged and bygones become bygones. It is now water under the bridge. A storm in a tea cup, a set-to or to-do about nothing. A lot of hot air really, even though it seemed major at the time. However, it was good to get it out of the system.

For couples who thrive in fiery relationships, the Reversed Five of Wands highlights the calm after the storm or bust up. It usually takes a bit of time for heels to cool, but you are getting there. Until the next time that is.

Having to Prove Your Worth

In the Upright Five of Wands we find five able bodies individuals who are not shy about coming forward. Each think themselves to be better than the rest, and are out to prove how worthy they are. Possibly there was a battle for someone’s heart or a determination to make a relationship work. In the Reversed Five of Wands a sense of relaxation sets in. You no longer have to prove your love or commitment, as your actions have spoken for themselves. The battle is over, and all should feel secure within as any lingering doubts are removed.

Because this is a Reversed card, we must also look at the extreme of this. In this case a partner may be under either external or internal pressure to constantly prove their worth. You might only be as good as your last major effort. If the pressure is coming externally, it may be your partner who facilitates this attitude if you find it hard to keep him/her pleased. You might worry about him/her leaving you, and so wear yourself out trying to impress or do things for them. Your partner could be emotionally needy, or enjoys seeing you jump through hoops on their behalf. There might however be an underlying lack of self-worth driving you to keep pushing as you are unsure of your value in the relationship. You might be looking for acknowledgement or praise from your partner. It is unlikely to be forthcoming if they are not aware of the massive effort you are making on their behalf. In relationships partners do things for each other all the time. It does not always warrant a fanfare or round of applause. It is naturally expected. External pressure could also be coming from your partner’s family if they are experiencing any doubts about the match. You might have to try even harder to live up to their expectations.

The Sad Clown

The Five of Wands can also appear when you have a partner with certain personality issues. This time we are looking at a partner who has a tendency to embarrass you with their behaviour in front of others. He or she just can’t help acting out or making a show of themselves. They may try too hard to make others laugh, with everything having a practical joke aspect to it. He or she just can’t sit down and behave. They need to be the centre of attention and certainly draw enough of it to them. In the early stage of the relationship, it didn’t really bother you, but now their silliness or fooling around has worn thin. You no longer laugh at their jokes but view them as sad and pathetic. You grimace when the antics start, thinking, oh no, here we go again. Everyone thinks your partner great fun, and highly entertaining, but at times you see them trying to avoid your partner, not get seated beside him/her, or turning direction once spotted. It is only possible to cope with small doses of this personality as it is exhausting to be around. Typically, this personality only appears once an audience has gathered. He or she plays to the crowd. When your partner is not in entertainment mode, his/her personality can seem flat or depressed. Playing the clown can be a mask that is worn to cover personal insecurity and low self-esteem. This is a person who needs constant reassurance from others, to be told how great they are, how well they are liked. Acting the clown gets them the attention they seek. Any attention is better than none at all.

Depending on surrounding cards, and especially if a Reversed Court Card appears, The Reversed Five of Wands could suggest manic behaviour which could raise concern for the mental and emotional stability of the person. The highs go into overdrive, the personality too bright and intense. There seems to be energy to burn as they keep going and going. The person may seem a bit crazed and out of control at times. The lows when hit could be very dark. Manic behaviour could trigger after a break-up, rejection, or if there is a sense one’s partner is about to leave or has fallen out of love. Caution is thrown to the wind releasing unpredictable behaviour.

Losing to The Competition

In the Upright Five of Wands we explored been up against stiff competition for the one you love. In the Reversed Five of Wands, competitors have become territorial which could lead to a punch up or brawl. Jealousy and rivalry could get out of hand.

It is important to be magnanimous in victory and gracious in defeat. Sadly, when this card reverses you are most likely the one having to admit defeat. You have tried your best, but in this instance, it is not enough. Perhaps it was not meant to be. You were a worthy opponent and thought the prize worth fighting for. Do not beat yourself up over the loss of this potential relationship. There may have been incompatibilities. You might not have been suited, or perhaps they made their choice superficially.  You had built yourself up to securing the heart of a certain person, but it is not to be. He or she has chosen one of your opponents and it is best to leave them to it. It has happened to us all.  Move on in search of a relationship that has the capacity to develop into the Four of Wands. Your time will come. Nothing ventured nothing gained. Your pride has likely taken a heavy knock, but you will rally round. It is no reflection on you as a person. If you are in doubt, reflect on how you handled your approach. Was it appropriate, inappropriate, too subtle or way over the top. Did you come on too strong, or play hard to get. Lessons will be learned. Dealing with rejection if you are a sore loser can be a bitter a pill to swallow. Let it go and allow this couple find happiness with each other if it is meant to be.

Wasting Your Energy

Following on from the above, The Reversed Five of Wands could suggest you are wasting your energy pursuing a certain relationship. You may be advised to quit while you are ahead as it becomes clear you are not getting anywhere. Something may have happened to shed light on the subject of your heart’s desire which was not obvious to you before. The person in question may not be over a previous partner, or is only seeking a rebound relationship. They may not want what you want. The timing may be off, or too many obstacles to surmount. Your energy would be best spent elsewhere. Perhaps you should back off the whole relationship or dating thing for a while. You may need to focus on your exact needs as they are too scattered.

Settling for Second Best

The Five of Wands Reversed is often related to losing and the disappointment that follows defeat. Running with this interpretation in relationships, we might find a person who never quite gets over the loss of a previous partner or potential one. This person is held up as the ‘Ideal’ partner, the one you should never have let go of, or the one that got away. He or she reflects on this relationship, or potential relationship as the one with the strongest Four of Wands links. It is this person they should be with. Only he or she will make them happy. However, this person may be lost to them. He or she could be in a long-term relationship with another, or married with family. The loss cannot be accepted gracefully. With, their perfect man or woman now out of reach, they may have settled for another rather than be left alone. This relationship can be very successful, but deep down, comparisons will be made with the other. The glow may not be as brilliant, the intimacy not as intense, the love not as deep. This person possibly holds on to momentos of the ‘other person’ when really they should have been disposed of. It is unlikely their current partner is unaware of their secret feelings if the relationship is strong and respectful. However, you cannot fully give your heart to another, if you have allocated a huge chunk of it to someone else. The song by Adele, Someone Like You, is about a woman who turns up at the door of her ex, to find he is married and settled down. She had never got over him, and in turning up at his door expected to find him feeling the same. She reassures him that she will be fine. However, she tells him she will find another relationship, with someone like him. She is afraid to be alone. If she cannot have him, she will try to find someone like him, but it will not be him. In her mind and heart, she will be settling for second best, the next best thing, that will ultimately fail to live up to his/her predecessor.

Lowered Expectations

The danger in the Five of Wands Reversed when it refers to not securing a relationship with the one you want, or not being able to hold onto it, is the tendency to lower your expectations. An injured pride can damage self-esteem which leads to a sense of unworthiness. You had set high standards for any potential partner. You held certain criteria for those you would seek to share your heart with. However, you doubt all these values now in the wake of such a setback. Maybe you had set your sights too high, entertained grand ideas. You might be thinking negatively about meeting the type of partner you had hoped for. You might believe he or she is out of your league. If you have had significant set-backs in this area, it could lead to you lowering your expectations in a desperate bid to secure a relationship. A relationship based as such will only lead to unhappiness in the future as blatant incompatibility surfaces. Unlike having to settle for second best, you now deliberately go out in search of it. You might even seek someone from the third/fourth best category if you feel devalued enough.

On the other hand, you may have set unrealistic high standards and expectations, which has resulted in ongoing disappointment, as no one has yet come close. You may want it all, which could get you labelled as ‘high maintenance’. If you are having no luck with securing the perfect relationship you may need to review your expectations of who might be considered ‘Best’. What are you looking for? Your Second/Third Best list may be more practical and attainable. Friends and family may be aghast at the offers you have turned down. This is about lowering unrealistic expectations, not devaluing yourself.

Can’t Take No For An Answer

In the Upright Five of Wands we found strong healthy competition in the pursuit of love. There is an understanding between competitors that not all can win, but each will put up a good fight. When a winner is declared, they will shake each other’s hands and wish the victor the very best of luck. Depending on the surrounding cards and issues at hand, we could be looking at a person who cannot, or will not accept a loss, a rejection, a refusal. He or she has had their love spurned by another. Instead of retreating with dignity, this person keeps up the fight in the belief that persistence will win the day for them. Now this can be healthy, and indeed may be all that is needed to convince the other and have them change their mind. Again, see how the cards lie. However, if persistence is more like pestering, we have a problem. Are you being pestered by a spurned suitor? Have you done everything in your power to show your disinterest? Does she/he keep coming back at you like a bluebottle or wasp? Is it beginning to get to you? This can be quite challenging as you are dealing with a dysfunctional ego. An ego that cannot accept it is being rejected. It may take time for this person to finally get the message as the normal avenues are not working. Don’t allow this behaviour to go on indefinitely, even if you think it cute or amusing, as it has the potential to become unpredictable the more it progresses. Also, you need to think hard about whether you are giving any signs of hope to him/her if you are enjoying the unsolicited attention. The merest smile or expression could be misinterpreted. He/she needs to understand they continue to battle in vain.

Competitive Relationship

In The Five of Wands Reversed,we can find a couple who compete with each other. Competition can be found on many levels. The couple in question are likely to be individually ambitious, but have deep held insecurities. Whereas partners should be happy for each other’s success, it can be a problem if one partner moves too far ahead of the other. The partner who feels left behind will attempt to thwart their partner’s success, or out do it. Career success is a typical area where partners can be competitive with each other. Competition permeates to all levels. If one partner gets a new car, the other partner will need to get one too. Tit for tat situations can arise when partners must match or be rewarded with something their partner has got or done. Scores are kept and tallied to check for imbalances. For example, a partner wants to go on a golfing weekend with his mates. His partner is not happy about it, cannot be gracious and tell him to have a good time. Instead, there must be something in it for her? He is allowed go on the weekend on the condition he hands over a wad of cash so she can go out with her mates while he is away. Another example; one partner heads off for a quick drink after work and doesn’t bother letting the other partner know. What was meant to be one drink, turns into several and he/she forgets to text home. The partner at home, has clocked the misdemeanour and will use it as leverage when they do the same later that week. Getting one up on each other becomes habitual as partners cannot relax and let things go. Competition becomes unhealthy. Deep insecurity could be the root cause of such rivalry.

Babies Begin to Settle/Getting Worse

In the Upright Five we found new parents struggling with cranky babies that wouldn’t sleep, eat, or settle in the early days. Exhausted, sleep deprived parents were at their wits end. In the Five of Wands Reversed we begin to see light at the end of the tunnel as a sense of order returns to your life. You are probably more organised now and into a routine. Baby is too, or you have discovered the cause of his or her distress. It is usually a process of elimination driven by desperation that has led to eventual success. You tried this and that, then removed things one by one, changed baby formula, bedding, lighting and even your perfume as your obsession for sleep grew. Bedtime had become a battle and possibly feeding time too. Somehow you have managed to get through the nightmare and are feeling more like yourself. Yes, you still don’t have a minute, the housework never quite done, baby puke on your work suit, and can’t remember when you last sat down to a proper dinner. But hey, baby is sleeping through a block of hours now and it seems like heaven. Once baby is happy, so are you.

As the Reversed Aspect brings us extremes we could still find restless or fretful babies that won’t sleep. You might have a baby with reflux, or one that sleeps all day, but wide awake all night. If this has gone on past the three-month stage, you are probably worn out and not getting much enjoyment out of parenthood. Your relationship is bound to be under strain as everyone is cranky. There could be rows with your partner over how the situation could be better managed. Resentment might set in if one of you is doing the bulk of nigh-time feeds.  The tiny little mite in the crib or cot has turned your world upside down. You beat yourself up, thinking you are not a good parent, but this is quite common. Some babies just don’t sleep, or eat. You will have the opposite problem when they are teenagers. Then they will sleep on till late afternoon, but you will be insane by then. Surrounding cards may give some clues as to what the problem is.

Hyper Active Conditions

The Reversed Five of Wands can also suggest a child that is more than just active or rowdy. In the Upright Five of Wands we found boisterousness. In the Reverse, we could be looking at Hyper-Active behaviour. A Reversed Page of Wands or Swords in surrounding cards might back this up. You are finding it increasingly harder to control your child. He or she is constantly getting into trouble at school, or out in the neighbourhood. Schoolwork could be suffering; their attention span minimal. Their thoughts might be scattered or fixated. Your child’s restless erratic behaviour is likely causing tension at home. We might find a parent who cannot accept their child’s condition, reacting aggressively to their behaviour. Ranting and raving at the child, or lashing out will not help as the child is not doing this deliberately. He or she is probably aware of their condition, but are helpless to control it. Children with attention deficit, or hyperactive conditions need strong parenting. A stable secure home and reassurance of how much they are loved. If you and your partner, or spouse, are finding it difficult to cope, you need to find professional support and help. Look to surrounding cards for clues as to what might help as you will need to focus their energy in a constructive manner. If you find Sword cards, we could be looking at a child who needs mental stimulation. A subject of interest to channel their psychological processes. Cups could point to artistic or creative pursuits. Introduce them to music, especially an instrument. Pentacles could suggest physical activity, health, and animals. He or she could develop a passion for horse-riding or growing their own food. Pentacles can be obsessive collectors so maybe a coin collection for example. Wands may be advising challenge and bravery. Extreme sports might be their focus, pushing beyond the limit.

Not Little Kids Anymore

The Five of Wands Reversed can also represent the time for couples when they suddenly realise their children are no longer babies, but are growing up. They are not as demanding and can occupy themselves without constant supervision. You don’t even know where they are half the time. Your home life is calmer and you might be getting some quality time with your partner or spouse again. Your house may seem smaller as the kids get bigger, and even smaller again when their friends call around. You recall fondly or nostalgically their early years and now think it not as bad as you made it out to be. Selective recall. Part of you misses having young babies or children around. You are losing the control you had in the past and probably worry about them out and about in the big world. You can’t be there to fight their battles, or protect them from upset and hurt. They must fight though life in their own way, know when to be assertive or defensive, when to hold on, and when to let go. They will learn from their mistakes in the school of life, just like everyone else. You have prepared them well by providing a stable and secure background. Your love and pride in them has strengthened their self-confidence and self-esteem. They will be fine.

Aggressive Children

The Five of Wands Upright shows us tough kids who like to play rough. To the onlooker it can appear worrying or startling. Only if surrounding cards suggest something more sinister, would you associate the Upright Card with anything other than kids being kids. It is usually harmless play. Kids need to find their own way in this situation, unless they are suffering stress because of it. When the Five of Wands Reverses, we must look a little further. It can suggest, children acting tough, but all in play, or good sport. Games can get a bit out of hand and many times it ends in tears, but it’s all part of hanging out with the other kids, engaging in sham fights and pretend games. However, if surrounding cards give cause for concern, the Reversed Five of Wands could be highlighting archetypal bully behaviour. There is usually a ring leader, presumably the figure dressed in red in the imagery. He or she has a gang that follow their lead and carry out orders. They suggest trouble and need to be dealt with. It may be your child caught up in the gang, or the ring leader, but they might be the one who is getting bullied.

The Reversed Card brings in the covert aspect. This gang, or bully child is clever enough not to draw attention to themselves when authoritative adults are around. They could act friendly or helpful, but once no one is around, their personality could change rapidly. If your child is caught up in this behaviour or a victim of it, you need to act rapidly. Children who are bullies tend to observe this behaviour at home. We must look back to the Reversed Four of Wands to find the root cause. In the Reversed Four of Wands we found unstable families, neglectful parents and broken homes. A broken home does not indicate a bully personality as single parenting is very much the norm now. Once children are loved, protected, and given a secure, stable home, they will turn out just fine. There are always exceptions to the rule of course and we can find bullies coming from very nice backgrounds. Children can become bullies if they fall in with the wrong crowd. They may seek acceptance from an apparent elite or popular group, going along with their bad behaviour, just to be one of them. Your child may not tell you what is going on if they fear reprisals for snitching on the gang or bully. You need to be observant if you have suspicions in this area. Take action, before it goes any further.

We can look at this card from another perspective. If you live in an area where there is a lot of delinquent behaviour, you may feel up against it as you try to protect your children from exposure to such negativity. We now see you as the figure in red, making a stand, eyes in the back of your head, trying to keep track of what is going on as you ward off the bad influences. You might feel you are fighting a losing battle, but what are you supposed to do? How do your rear your child with a thread of decency when so many want to take it from them?  There may be aggressive interaction between neighbours about children. Parents of the culprits may be in denial, believing their child beyond reproach. This could cause stress in the family, with the more reactionary parent wanting to teach someone a lesson. It could get out of hand. Living close to towns or cities can be an issue as your children are likely to be out and about more.


In the Upright Five of Wands we explored possible issues with step-children in relationships. When this card reverses, we see a lightening of tension for all involved. A halt is called to ongoing battles as children and step-parents begin to accept each other’s presence. It may have felt like pulling teeth, with children having unnatural energy to sustain hostility or negative attitudes toward you. It may have been you who did not gel with them. You could have felt threatened by their presence, or resentful of their special relationship with your partner. Thankfully, the situation has moved on, and whereas you might still be walking on eggshells around each other, it is a great improvement on where you started. Effort still needs to be applied as this is a very delicate environment. One step wrong and you could be back to square one. Communication with your partner’s ex, the mother or father of the children, has become more civilised. You can just about tolerate each other’s presence. If both of you had children from previous relationships or marriage, we see them settling into companionship and even friendship. They are no longer as wary of each other. You see them play or hang out together without issue.

As this is a card of extremes, the situation may be more entrenched with step-children stubbornly refusing to budge in any direction towards you or their step-siblings.  They say they hate you and blame you for their misfortune. They are locked into battle with you and it is wearing you down. Their aim is to break up your relationship in the hope their parent will return home. For them it is quite simple. Get rid of you, and life will return to normal. You might concede defeat to the children and consider leaving your partner. This is not what you signed up. Older children, even adult ones, can try the same tactic. They should know better, but their minds are closed. They refuse to accept their parent was not happy in the relationship with their mother or father. They don’t care about anyone’s happiness but their own.

If your partner’s ex has not moved on from their break-up, he or she could be the driving negative force behind step-children’s behaviour. He or she could poison their children’s mind towards you, and even suggest ways to upset you. If there is a legal separation or divorce in process, the children may be over-exposed to dramas going on between their estranged parents.

In the Reversed Five of Wands we are also looking at a step-child being ostracised from the family group if you and your partner have had other children together. This might only be in their head, but we could also find the step-parent deliberately treating this child in a non-inclusive manner. This attitude may only appear when the child’s real parent is not around. This child could feel like an outsider. The other children, could single out their step-sibling for nasty treatment, or gang up on them when no one is around. This situation has grown out of the Reversed Four of Wands. There may be a sense of not accepting a child or not wanting one.

There may be a change of heart for those who had decided against having children, or vice versa.


In the Upright Five of Wands we might find a couple who rebel against the wishes of the family. Their relationship may not be well received by family, yet they fight against this attitude. They are committed to each other and will not be dictated to by family. There may be cultural or religious differences between families. There might also be a class, or social divide. In the Five of Wands Reversed this relationship can go one way or the other. It depends on the surrounding cards in the deck to determine which way it will be. If the couple are persistent and prove to the opposing family that nothing they can or will do can separate them, there is a good chance all the opposition will die down. Family may learn to accept and give up the battle. Life will settle down for everyone once a couple’s commitment becomes obvious. However, the objections, obstruction and hostility may be too much too bear. There may be threat of being ostracised or disinherited should the relationship continue. In this instance, The Five of Wands Reversed could suggest a partner conforming to the wishes of his/her family in favour of ending the relationship.

Also, returning to the Reversed Four of Wands when we looked at a relationship that was entered for strategic financial gain or power, The Five of Wands Reversed may highlight the realisation of this. Family objection or interference may have been justified. Perhaps you should have listened instead of rebelling. This card in reverse can also warn of entering a relationship with another just to spite your parents or family. This could backfire on you.

Control – Play by My Rules

We now look at a less relaxing aspect of this card in reverse. This time we reflect back on the battle of wills in the Upright Five of Wands, when we had two strong egos determined to stand their ground. It was a competition to see which one would prevail. In the Five of Wands Reversed, we see an unhealthy situation begin to develop. It has been decided who is superior, who is in control or command. It may be a self-appointed victor, who takes charge in the relationship. He or she lays down the rules for the other. The relationship is run and directed by one partner, with the other bending to oblige. Here we see the tendency of Fire in Reverse to seek power and domination. In this aspect, we find the dominated partner becomes submissive. He or she conforms to the will of the other. This may be out of fear from previous experiences, but it could also be the result of conditioning.

The power dynamics in a relationship could be set per your culture and, or, religion. The ‘husband’ may be assigned greater power than the ‘wife’ who must obey and follow his lead. The wife’s feelings, opinions, ideas and needs must reflect her husband’s, not contradict them. Depending on how willingly you accept this determines how well the energy of this card sits with you. If you agree with this tradition then all is well, but if not, you will find it claustrophobic and restricting. There can only ever be one person in charge, and it is usually the same person. The other partner in the relationship or marriage doesn’t get an equal chance or say. Their personality could be smothered under the burden of conformity and deferring to their partner. Ireland not too long ago had this tradition upon marriage. The woman vowed to love, honour and, obey her husband. The woman became her husband’s chattel. He was permitted to beat her as he saw fit. Thankfully the women of Ireland have risen and become empowered, but there is still work to be done where equality in marriage is concerned.

As referred to earlier, conformity may be down to fear if there were unpleasant consequences experienced otherwise. This can relate to either male or female domination in relationships. You might have learned the hard way after attempting to assert yourself. You are afraid to challenge your partner or stand up to him/her. What is it you are afraid of? Have you been threatened or hurt? Are you concerned for your children?. Would you consider your partner a bully? Do you keep this to yourself? The Reversed Five of Wands often brings about an intimidating scenario where one side gangs up on the other. Gone is the sham fighting of the Upright Five. In its place, we have the potential for violence. Because this is a very physical card, where we see brute force being used and a show of strength, in Reverse, this could be used as a threat unless the other side comply. In this manner, it becomes easier and easier to control and intimidate the other partner, as the bully drains him or her of strength and power. Bullies tend to pick on individuals who are not entirely secure in themselves. In a relationship, a bully will subtly erode security in their partner leaving them vulnerable and weakened. The bullied partner lacks self-belief and an understanding of how abusive their partner is if this behaviour has become the norm. They may also feel too fearful to get out.

Avoiding Confrontation – Internalising Issues

Now we can look at the varying aspects of avoiding confrontation. In the Upright, we find a confrontational scene as egos fight for supremacy. Each step eagerly into the battle, not afraid to stand up to assert their rights. Each feel as important, if not more important, than their worthy opponents. They may appear to battle, but there is a healthy respect for each other among this bunch. Each may want to get their way, have their opinion heard, or advice taken, but they will undoubtedly expect it to be challenged or opposed by the others. They expect it might get heated, loud and unruly, but no one fears an actual personal attack. Each will give as good as they get, and hands will be shook at the end of the day. They actively engage in confrontation, and will do so, time and time again as necessary. It is the only way to move things forward, settle disputes, or have your rights respected. Sometimes you must assert yourself if no one is listening to you, or taking you for granted.

In The Reversed Five of Wands, we find a different way of being, thinking and acting. Now, we see a partner, or partners, who avoid confrontation or conflict as they do not handle it well. This is normally learned behaviour from childhood. You may have been discouraged from speaking up if you were shouted down or ignored in the past. You may equate assertiveness with getting in trouble, aggression, or not being liked. When this flows into your relationship, there is likely to be one partner who struggles in this area, thus allowing the other partner lead or dictate the relationship without check. You may inwardly seethe and feel humiliated about aspects of your relationship or traits in your partner, but you cannot vocalise them. You might get your feelings trampled on regularly, taken for granted, or treated in a dismissive manner. Your partner may embarrass or insult you without reprisal or reprimand. Avoiding confrontation can run to many levels in a relationship. You may be confused between assertive confrontation and aggression. It is likely you feel weakened or anxious when another confronts you. Instead of rising to meet it with assertiveness, you perceive yourself under attack and retreat, possibly saying anything to defuse the situation rather than have it get any worse. You can also apologise for things you have not done, or for upsetting your partner in the first place. Fear of confrontation is often linked to a fear of not being liked if you assert yourself.

A shy, quiet, or timid personality could find it very difficult in a situation where confrontation or assertiveness is required. Bringing this into a relationship can lead to imbalance. If one is aware of this trait in their partner, it can be taken advantage of and manipulated. A shy partner should be gently encouraged. Bad behaviour and neglectful treatment go unchecked which only leads to further abuse. The non-assertive partner feels too weak or anxious to do anything about it. He or she can become a people pleaser to avoid confrontation.

Avoidance of confrontation can come about if a partner fears for the future of their relationship should they be assertive enough to raise a certain issue. One may be suspicious of their partner having an affair, but do or say nothing. He or she works hard to look the other way rather than confront their partner with their suspicions. Their partner might admit, and then what? Be outraged, leave? That is too much to risk. If nothing is said, then it might all go away of its own accord. Bad behaviour or affairs are allowed continue as the introverted partner suffers in humiliated silence.  This shows a lack of Fire in your personality. Fire owns its space and is self-assured. When confronted, it will respond. Fire is respected by others. The lack of Fire may suggest a lack of self-respect.

Confrontation avoidance may be mutual. Both partners are fearful of stepping on each other’s toes or rocking the boat. Issues that need to be dealt with head on, are avoided. At best, they are alluded to. The conversation is automatically steered away when it strays too close for comfort, like in the Suzanne Vega Song, Marlene On The Wall, ‘we skirt around the danger zone, and don’t talk about it later’.  Some things are best left unsaid. There is a resigned acceptance of a dysfunctional or unbalanced relationship, as neither partner wants to deal with it.  They may not yet be prepared for the consequences.

An Aggressive Partner

The Five of Wands Reversed in a relationship can suggest a partner who has aggressive tendencies. Check for Reversed Court Cards. You may be involved with someone who has a temper they find hard to control. It doesn’t take much to set them off. You probably hide a lot from your partner, or warn children not to disturb their mother or father, when you sense a bad mood coming on. In the Five of Wands Upright, your partner’s bark is usually worse than their bite, but in the Reversed, it is unnerving when they go off on one. Aggression may be shown in the home. It may be directed at you, or your children. A fear builds and you may be living on edge, wondering what mood will surface from day to day. When angry, your partner could smash things in the house, or deliberately break something you hold dear.

Aggression may surface at social outings, especially when alcohol is consumed. He or she could tend to get into flaming rows with other people if a conversation goes the wrong way. Dining out in restaurants could be a nightmare, if your partner likes to loudly complain and behave rudely to staff. There is always an issue, be it slow service, standing in a queue at a checkout, or pulling into a car-park space. It is as if they are not happy unless they have something to get angry about. He or she can make out the whole world is against them. They are always in the right, with everyone else in the wrong.  In the Five of Wands we are looking at an argumentative person, who may or may not have the potential for physical violence. In the Reversed Five there is a stronger likelihood of violence, such as punch ups and brawls. Under the influence of this card, your partner may have a large chip on his or her shoulder, with deep insecurity, and a low self-esteem which is hidden behind a mask of anger and aggression.  Check surrounding cards for further evidence.

This person could benefit from anger management counselling before his or her problem gets totally out of control, or damages the relationship beyond repair. However, getting him or her to agree is quite another thing as the mere suggestion of counselling could set them off into a rage. You may need to call in some family/friend support to tackle this with you.  Contacting a support group may be beneficial.

Anger Management

A fiery aggressive partner whose temper is quick to flare, may seek the help of an Anger Management Therapist if they are conscious of the effect it is having on their relationship or family. There may have been an incident, as seen in the Upright Five of Wands, when a situation got out of hand. An incident may have occurred where a partner lost control, had a meltdown, or over reacted in a negative manner. This may have frightened all involved, including themselves. There could be a lot going on. Possibly financial stress, pressure at work, heath, relationship, or family issues. When such tension builds in a person, they may seek to supress it in order to function. However, when there is no room left within, it may take only a small matter to trigger a sudden blow up. This explosion could catch everyone off guard as the incident did not warrant such a reaction. One minute you are dealing with a partner in an everyday row, same old, same old life struggles (typical Five of Wands stuff), and then the tone or attitude suddenly changes. Many members of the family might get involved, your kids too. This has been totally unexpected. The partner in question is acting out of character. This behaviour has the potential to get worse unless help is sought. It could destroy all you have built. It becomes apparent that one partner is under terrible duress and far from normal. The signs were probably there for some time.  In the aftermath of the blow-up in the Upright Five of Wands, the person involved confronts their issues in an effort to get their temper under control. He or she wants to stop this behaviour before it progresses into something much worse. Family counselling may be necessary if behaviour has affected the stability of it.  The family must pull together now.

Not Wanting to Get Involved

This time in the Reversed Five of Wands we are looking at the opposite aspect of interference. Now we might see a situation develop in a relationship where friends and family stand by and do nothing. They may be concerned about getting involved in other people’s relationships or business. They may keep an eye on the relationship from a safe distance, observing from the side-lines, not wanting to fall out with either side. They might be leaving the couple alone to get on with things and sort it out. Depending on the situation this could be a good idea, but if there is cause for concern, then someone may need to step in. Their reluctance may be based on the fear of making a situation worse, or the consequences greater should they get involved. There is also the common issue of making an issue real once action is taken or words spoken.  Again, this can be based on a long-standing tradition especially were married couples are concerned. You might be told to mind your own business or accused of invading their privacy should you offer advice or assistance.

In extreme situations where one partner may be suffering at the hands of the other, there may be a reluctance to intervene if there is a fear of it being taken out on the vulnerable partner. You might have been given a clear message to ‘back off’. Friends and family stand by helpless, watching the train wreck of a relationship unfold. Look for Reversed Court Cards and severe Swords.

Family may take matters into their own hands and deal with an errant partner. Their aim is to teach him/her a lesson or issue threat.

External Interference Diminishes or Accelerates

In the Reversed Five of Wands we find you getting on top of a situation where family have been guilty of interfering in your relationship, life, home, or childrearing. Hopefully this has come about because the novelty has worn off, the offending parties have re-located, or moved on to something more interesting. However, there may have been a complete melt-down if pressure became too great. Whatever has happened, the result is those involved have been put in their place. You may have to be overly assertive to get your message across, but at last it’s been heard. Indeed, some family members may have had it shouted in their ear as they needed convincing. Now, boundaries are drawn and parameters set. Not everyone will be happy with this arrangement but it isn’t possible to please all. You might have ruffled a few feathers here and there, but they will get over it. For sanity’s sake, and your relationship, this had to be done. Now everyone knows their place as it has been spelt out clearly. Perhaps a warmer relationship will develop between you all, now that order has been restored.

In the Reversed Five, you insist in-laws agree to disagree with you where the rearing of your children is concerned. They have had their day, with their own children. Now it is your time. You have tried to be nice or inclusive, but eventually something had to be said. This is all good news.

Reversed cards typically deal with the extreme aspects of the Upright one. In this case, any external interference you were experiencing has become worse. You feel totally taken over and invaded. You have lost control, and any ground you sought to claim. They are well aware of their victory and will continue to push for more as you become putty in their hands. This situation should have been nipped in the bud, but it is likely you were trying to take the softly, softly approach. They were your partner’s family after all. However, you may have a fear of confrontation or lack assertiveness. If this has become too much for you to bear, it will severely impact your relationship. If you feel dreadfully intimidated by them, you may think the only option is to escape. That might mean leaving your relationship. However, this may be their goal if they were unhappy with the initial match. Do you wish to concede defeat to them, or come back fighting?

If you have been experiencing interference or intrusions as per the Upright Five of Wands, the Reversed showing up may act as a warning if it is still going on, or if certain people are outstaying their welcome. Interference has gone on too long at this stage. Unless you act now to whittle it out, it has the potential to develop further and infiltrate other areas of your relationship. It will be more awkward to deal with, more obvious to others, and embarrassing for all, if you wait until it has flowed over into Reversed Five of Wands mode. Habits will have formed which will be hard to break without offending others.

Third Party Interference Kicked Into Touch

A situation that had developed involving a third party’s involvement in your relationship has been dealt with or disappeared of its own accord. You or your partner had allowed another person infiltrate the inner sanctum of your relationship. There has been a battle but it may not have been in the open. If you were getting dangerously close to someone, or had already given in to temptation, The Reversed Five of Wands suggests you may have come to your senses and acted. Thoughts of what you stood to lose from The Four of Wands has made you withdraw rapidly. You came very close to ruining everything if your involvement had been discovered. Perhaps some comments were passed by your partner, alerting you to their suspicions. There may have been a definite confrontation or accusation. You may not have realised how obvious it had become, the potential impact it could have. Deep internal conflict is often suggested by the Reversed Five of Wands. You may be confused about the nature of your feelings for this other person and why it happened. There could be a sense of panic about you as you work hard to disconnect.  This might involve you excusing yourself from certain activities, avoiding a certain person, deleting phone numbers/email addresses or social media contacts. You might have to distance yourself further by looking for a new job, leave a club, gym, or group, as you seek to disentangle yourself. Behaviour is modified accordingly. You have had a close call and will need to be careful of this tendency in the future. If you believe problems in your relationship have led to this, they obviously need to be addressed as it is likely to happen again.

Fire is magnetic and will be drawn to those who give it the right attention or flattery. Your personality may be predisposed to flirtation. You may find it hard to resist its allure and the illusions it creates. You enjoy the high it gives and the break from the everyday aspect of your own relationship. Flirtation offers the buzz of first love, the tantalising sexual attraction which may seem lost to you when in a long-term relationship. These involvements ideally keep you from accepting the responsibility of a relationship. You get to enjoy all the highs without having to deal with the lows, yet also have the background comfort zone of your partner or family to go home to.

Indiscretion Discovered

We must also look at the Reversed Five of Wands from an alternative aspect in this case. If there has been a secret involvement, it may have been discovered and revealed. There could also be a confession from the guilty party.  A storm has hit the relationship and the couple must navigate it together or separately. The fall-out from the revelation has caused immense upheaval, upset and dreadful rows. Depending on surrounding cards in the spread, The Reversed Five of Wands could indicate a move towards negotiation as tempers settle. The couple now rest in the eye of the storm. Here they have a chance to take stock of their situation and decide if there is anything worth salvaging. The guilty partner needs to decide if there is a desire to repent and fully recommit. The injured party must decide if they can forgive and ever trust again. The storm may have torn down the structure of their relationship, but are the foundations still intact? If they are, then it can be rebuilt. As a couple, the strength of your relationship and depth of feeling for each other has been sorely tested. Can it endure? Has it got what it takes to survive? Can all involved move on from this bad time and look to the future? It will have a long-lasting effect on the relationship, but others couples have lived to tell the tale, their relationship eventually strengthened by the trauma. If this is a once off indiscretion, there may be hope. If not, your relationship may have fallen into a repetitive cycle of inappropriate behaviour, repent and forgiveness, followed by re-offence.

The eye of the storm only offers temporary relief and calm. You can move back into the fury and continue with blame, rage and guilt, or can hang on and fight through to the other side where the storm will ease as it moves into the past. Therefore, the Five of Wands Reversed can suggest either the calm after a storm, or the intermittent calm before an even greater one. The ground may not feel very steady under your feet even if the tremors have stopped. You must work to bring your relationship out of this this disturbing energy for everyone’s sake. As long as it stays here, anything can happen

Silencing a Threat  

In The Five of Wands Reversed, you may choose not to confront your partner and go straight for the interfering third party instead. You might discreetly seek them out, and quietly but firmly tell them to back off. This may be enough to call a halt to the entanglement if there is a fear of it becoming public knowledge. Reputations may be at stake causing a frenzied retreat.  It might be enough to scare to their senses, those involved in the dalliance.  It is possible you are aware of your partner’s weakness in this area from previous experience and know that he or she will always come back to you. Instead of causing upheaval in your immediate environment, you maintain business as normal, while repressing the feelings you have about ‘the inconvenience’, ‘nuisance’, or ‘irritation’. An air of normalcy can be maintained, a lid kept on the entanglement, not letting anything slip in front of others. You may fear losing your status as the ‘Golden Couple’, having ‘The Perfect Marriage’, ‘Living The Dream’, ‘Having it all’, or epitomising ‘The Successful Marriage’ from the heady days of the Four of Wands. There is likely to be an unspoken frosty understanding between partners that the secret has been, discovered and dealt with. Vocalising the issue makes it real and generally demands action to be taken. This is an avoidance tactic. Calm may be seen on the surface, but underneath a fury rages with unexpressed distress, anger, hurt and resentment.

Pretending Not To Know Each Other

In this instance, we have a situation where one person pretends not to know another person, or does not like them. Why? Because they do not wish to draw attention to their connection. They may deny knowledge of each other, or show disdain. They might deliberately sit at opposite ends of a dinner table, or exit different doors to avoid association. If you are involved with someone you shouldn’t be, or wish to keep a new relationship secret (especially work-related), you might adopt this tactic. It is trickery, foolery. A sham display of disinterest or indifference. This can add to the exhilaration of a new relationship, or affair! Very James Bond style!

Conceding Defeat to The Third Party

We now must address the situation if Third Party interference has not been avoided or dealt with. He or she, has gained, or been granted access to the in the inner sanctum of the relationship in a takeover bid. Now we have the Wands thrown right into the middle of the beehive, like a grenade into the heart of the relationship. The consequences will be intense. The hive is damaged as the Queen Bee is shocked into awareness. There is a contender to the throne. It may have come out of the blue, or had been threatening in the background for some time. There is an immediate loss of stability, security and happiness as the hive (relationship/family unit) has taken a direct hit and the future becomes uncertain. It is doubtful the hive can be repaired as it lies smashed on the ground. Someone has let this happen, facilitated the destruction of all that had been built and established. Perhaps both partners share the blame, if avoidance tactics were used, or there was any fear of confrontation. A situation has been allowed run unchecked and has now become a reality. You may have thought it would pass over or would eventually run out of steam. A partner may come clean about an affair, not in the hope of forgiveness, but to announce their departure. He or she has chosen the third party over the one they committed to. Even if there is no marriage contract, this will be very hard to take. You may have children and an established home and life. If you are married, you might feel this the ultimate betrayal, your life destroyed. There is nothing left to fight for in the relationship as your partner declares their love for another. The relationship has gone past the point of return. You may have left it too late to act.

Burning Your Bridges Behind You / Mending Fences

For the partner who decides to leave, it must be accepted that Fire is driving the actions. Be sure you are not acting in haste. Before you decide to come clean, you must be prepared for the consequences. It is likely you will burn your bridges behind you. There may be no going back should your current Fire lose its heat. Think twice, and twice again before you light this fuse. Think of what initially attracted you to your partner in the Ace, what drew you together in the Two, what plans you made in the Three and how you committed to each other in the Four. Are you ready to walk away?

If not, there may be something left to salvage. You could pick up the scattered Wands and at least attempt to mend some fences. It may not work but at least you have tried. Fire does not like to quit.

Preparing For The Real Battle – Irreconcilable Differences

In the ruins of a broken relationship, another fight emerges. This time it is for justice, revenge and compensation. In the Reversed Five of Wands a bitter bill must be swallowed. The relationship has been deconstructed by a partner and another party. The other partner may be completely innocent, a victim, undeserving of the fate that has befallen them. However, there may be some culpability or responsibility to own up to. There is always a third side to any story in a relationship between two people. There is partner one’s version of events, partner two’s version of events, and then an objective third version of events. Both partners will try to push their own story. They will defend their position to family and friends based on their version of events. Each have their own agenda. Outsiders must be objective in their evaluation of the situation, but can they, if biased in favour of one partner or the other? Someone must take the blame. Lines will be drawn and sides taken. There will be some who can read between the lines and arrive at the third version of events, but this might take time.  Does it matter who said or did what? Will it make any difference if love has been lost? Can anything be salvaged out of this mess? Once the shock waves have receded, both partners will seek to return to their corners to regroup and decide on the battle plan ahead. This Reversed Aspect of The Five of Wands needs to reflect on the Reversed Four of Wands, as this is where they will find the underlying cause of their demise. The original foundations need to be checked, for there you will find fault lines.

We must also note that there may be no third party involved at all. One partner may want out for any number of reasons.

In the aftermath of a broken relationship or marriage, emotions are raw with pain and loss. Even the partner who brought it to its knees feels awful and under constant attack, a pariah banished from decent society, even their own family. Anger, revenge, bitterness and resentment can develop after this stage. A partner can become cold and rigid in their stance. The status of the relationship, as in, short-term, long-term or marriage determines what will happen next. If we are looking at a short-term relationship, the Reversed Five of Wands suggests couples splitting as they fail to survive a rough patch, or incompatibilities drive them apart. If we are looking at a long-term relationship, there may be more involved. You could have a house together, children, assets, finances, pets, mutual friends. How is it to be distributed, who gets what, who deserves, who doesn’t? Marriage or Civil Partnerships complicate the process even further, as spouses may have deeper legal binds between them.

Separation/Divorce – Arriving at a Settlement  / Battle Becomes Entrenched

In the Upright Five of Wands we looked at the possibility of legal representation in the case of separation or divorce. Cases were presented on both sides by legal teams determined to secure the best settlement for their client and a hefty fee for themselves. Everything was up for grabs as demands became unrealistic and totally unfeasible. The aim is to go in asking for everything on one side, while the other offers very little. We looked at attempts for mediation between warring couples who could not be civil to each other. No one was prepared to compromise or concede. We also saw couples who had sought an amicable break-up only to be influenced by acting solicitors and lawyers, to become more ambitious in their demands. Now in the Reversed Five of Wands we see either a settlement being made or accepted, or an intractable situation where couples dig their heels in and refuse all attempts to find compromise. The battle either calms down or becomes more entrenched. There may be huge issues at stake such as major finances, child access or custody, properties, business etc. It might be quite complicated, with a lot of areas to consider.

Ambulance Chasers – The Drama of Divorce

The surrounding cards, will give indications if a couple going through separation or divorce can arrive at an agreement or settlement. This may take some time and will depend on the personalities of both partners, but also on the influence of family and friends who may exert a strong influence over them. The initial stage of a break up or legal process tends to attract ‘ambulance chasers’ to the ongoing drama. Family members or friends, fuelled by spite and the need for swift justice, may be ruthless in their influence as they rush to the side of the abandoned partner. They may not be practical or rational in the advice they give and could negate any progress a couple are making towards reaching a settlement. This is well meaning, but misdirected external interference. They all want to help ease your pain by punishing your partner. It can be hard for them to understand that emotions are rarely taken into consideration from a legal point of view. Legal representation doesn’t really care who did or said what. The law is the law and in most societies, it will be brought down to fairly divvying up finances, assets, family home and the maintenance of any children involved. Just because your family see him or her as the perpetrator doesn’t mean the courts will strip them bare to punish them for been unfaithful. Of course, this really depends on the legal system you are governed by. If the Outcome card seems balanced and positive, it gives a good indication that the Reversed Five of Wands is suggesting an amicable settlement.

Custody/Access/Maintenance Battle

Depending on surrounding cards especially if we find Pages, the Five of Wands Reversed could suggest a custody or access battle for children between partners. Yet again with the Revered, we can have extremes at play. Because the Upright Five is about confrontation or conflict, the Reverse could suggest couples arriving at an agreeable arrangement where children are concerned, or an outright denial of access rights. We could also be looking at a separation or divorce that has the potential to head that way if partners begin to use children as sticks to beat each other with. Partners may be refused access to their children as a form of punishment and control. The innocent children are used as pawns and may be deprived of developing a proper relationship with the estranged parent. If the situation has become fixed, the Reversed Five of Wands can suggest an intense battle to assert legal rights, especially if Sword Cards, Justice or Judgement appear in the Reading.

Depending on the situation and the querant’s input, The Reversed Five of Wands could suggest a parent who has been denied access or custody to their children if he or she is deemed a threat or danger to their safety. Surrounding cards need to be explored for signs of Reversed Court Cards, vulnerable Pages, and certain Sword Cards such as the Five and Ten, or Reversed Six of Cups. In extreme cases, Cards such as The Six and Seven, of Swords in a custody/access battle could suggest a plan to run away with the children. The Outcome of the battle may not be in your hands. You may feel very vulnerable and helpless as you seek to protect your children.

Dirty Tactics/Play

The Reversed Five of Wands can suggest using dirty tactics as leverage in a separation or divorce. You may be painted into a corner by your partner if they have unfair advantage over you. An incident from your past could be maliciously used against you to sway a court ruling or order. If Pentacle cards lie close by, there may doctored accounts or financial statements produced to imply lower income or inability to pay maintenance. Money may be filtered into a secret account. Full financial disclosure is not forthcoming. The partner involved may have a nasty streak, does not want to do the right thing or take responsibility. However, they could be acting on their legal counsel’s advice. Family and friends may also be a driving force, supporting and encouraging behaviour, especially if there is a lot at stake, finances, business or asset wise. If you have been the one to instigate proceedings your partner may actively work to ensure you get as little as possible, regardless of any legitimate claim you may have.

In the Reversed Five of Wands we might also see resistance to paying maintenance for children born out of the relationship.

Only In It For What You Can Get

In relationships, this card could highlight a person who manipulates their partner to get what they want. There is a hidden agenda or motive which is deceptive and devious. This may be a self-serving partner who has no scruples. Scratch behind the thin veneer and you will find blind ambition and selfishness. He or she has a tight grip and seeks control. This relationship can be deconstructed rapidly by anyone with a keen eye and strong intuition. It just doesn’t feel right. This person may be eager to portray a socially engaged look when they are in company. They can be very touchy feely with their partner, but the body language is all wrong. It looks too contrived or territorial. Their smile when it appears, stops at the mouth and fails to reach the eyes.  There is lack of interest in the ordinary person, but will magically surface when in the company of powerful influential people. He or she can orchestrate dismissal or removal of those close to their partner through coercion and persuasion if they feel their territory or motive has been discovered or under threat. They hold the true power in the relationship even if they appear submissive or yielding in public. They do not fight their battles in the open. Instead they play dirty, coming in on your blind side, sneaking up from behind. He or she will rip your heart out without a second thought. This behaviour belongs in the halls of power, fame and politics. It worked well for courtiers in the royal courts over the centuries. It was built on connections and placing yourself in the right spot at the right time. Keeping your friends close, and your enemies closer still. The Reversed Five of Wands with suggestive Sword Cards could highlight a warning about a potential partner or the motive of a current one. What do your friends think of your partner? How well do they get on? How friendly have they become?

Partner Not Getting On With Your Friends

In the Upright Five of Wands we find the normal melee of interaction between your partner and your friends. Rarely does a partner come without the baggage of at least one or two close friends. Often, there is a large group of friends to get to know. Initial meetings with friends of your partner can be awkward as they are privy to their history and knowledge of any exes. Socialising outside of one-on-one dating generally involves being in the company of friends on either, or both, sides of the relationship. In the Upright Five everyone tends to get on with, or at least are prepared to suffer each other’s company and presence when thrown together. There may be a few personalities that cause irritation or annoyance to either partner. These are the friends of either partner deemed to have a negative influence or air about them, the troublemakers, the interferers. However, your friends offer their loyal support for your relationship, and respect your partner.

In the Five of Wands Reversed, we can find a situation where there is a distinct dislike or distaste for your partner’s friends. It may be the other way around, with your partner’s friends not liking you. You might dread going out with them, or having to sit in their company. The Reversed Five of Wands suggest they are either dead boring, or too rowdy. Depending on the situation, they could be exerting a negative influence on your partner. You are working hard to strengthen your relationship and spend quality time together, yet these friends seem intent on upending it. They throw a spanner in the works every time something good is coming up for you and your partner. Your partner is perfect once the friends are not around, but you observe a change in their attitude towards you when they are. They seem hell-bent on ruining everything and you probably get tense if you know your partner is out and about with them. There could be a battle for control between you and your partner’s friends if they believe you are trying to steel him or her from them. You are trying to settle your partner down, but this lot are making sure you don’t. It’s a battle of wills.  They seem to go out of their way to lead your partner astray, especially when he/she is supposed to be with you. You just can’t trust them.

Now you must look at this situation clearly to determine who is right and who is wrong. The Reversed Five of Wands can portray immaturity when it comes to sharing. Maybe you are not prepared to share your partner with anyone, wanting him or her all to yourself? Their friends may see you as too controlling, to clingy, too needy. They might accuse you of trying to change their friend into someone he or she is not. If many of their friends are single, they could feel a group threat if one of them enters a relationship. It may not be personal. Then again, they may have genuine cause for dislike if you are not being friendly, or treat your partner in a disrespectful manner. They might see a change in their friend for the worse, not for the better after getting involved with you. This applies the other way round too. Your Friends, may think your partner is bringing you down. It is clear you don’t get on. If your friends display a lack fondness or warmth towards your partner, you need to find out why. Sometimes friends are reluctant to pass a comment or show concern if they feel it won’t be well-received. They may not want to interfere and leave you to it. Friends may discuss issues they have about your partner with each other, but not with you. They don’t want to fall out with you, or hurt your feelings. You may be the last person to find out.  However, in the Reverse they might very well voice their feelings and objections in the belief they are acting in your best interest.

Bad-Ass Friends Alert!

We must also look at the issues of partner’s friends from another aspect. In this case, we have an individual, or group of nasty, no good friends. If this bunch make your toes curl and raise your hackles, you must ask what it is your partner sees in them? How bad are they? In what way are they awful? If their personalities stink, or you are uneasy being out with them, what does it say about your partner?  This card could act as a warning about moving further into a relationship with a personality that moves in circles you are not comfortable with. On their own, they may seem great, but how sure can you be that he or she is not like them? They might be one of them. The person you want to get involved with, or already have, may be portraying a front at present. This might be because they really like you and want to impress you, but can it be sustained? What are they like when you are not around? Check surrounding cards for more insight on the nature of personalities your partner or potential partner is friendly with. The Reversed Three of Cups, Five of Swords and Reversed Courts, could highlight a bad influence; groups of people you really don’t want to get mixed up with. It could be heavy drinkers, drug-takers, troublemakers or criminals.

A Wolf In Sheep’s Clothing

The Reversed Five of Wands can suggest someone is trying to ruin your relationship, or your chances of securing one. You may not be aware of this situation as you believe stuff just happens. The campaign may be focused against your partner, or the person you are interested in forming a relationship with. Whoever is behind this, may want the same person you do, or just doesn’t want you to be with anyone. He or she could be jealous if you seem better positioned than they are in the romance department. You have an enemy, but he or she has not shown their face. Neither do they intend to. They prefer to work behind the scenes, not appearing too obvious. He or she can extract information from you indirectly, or listen in on conversations you have with others. They can misrepresent you to your partner, or misquote you. He or she can alter the facts to make a perfectly ordinary situation seem questionable. They may come across as gushy and pally when you are upset, so you probably do not suspect them of any underhand wrongdoings.  They could make suggestions to you, or plant certain thoughts or attitudes in your mind. When things go wrong, they might encourage you to focus the blame in a certain direction, or even towards yourself. They may foster a pessimistic attitude in you towards your partner, making you doubt his/her feelings for you. This person is calculating, smart, and enjoys stirring things up in your love life. They might say they are happy for you, but they are not.  They may be annoyed with you for proceeding with a relationship they advised against. A controlling personality, they will want to be proven right.  He or she exerts too much of an influence over you, while pretending not to. They are not on your side, even if they are standing by it. They want to see you fall. Check for the Seven of Swords, Reversed Courts, or Reversed Three of Cups, Reversed Four of Wands, Ten of Swords, Reversed High Priestess/Magician, Moon etc. if you have suspect a traitor.

Walking In Your Partner’s Ex’s Shadow – Not Being Accepted

The Reversed Five of Wands can also highlight the drawn-out battle to be accepted by your partner’s friends if he or she was in a long-term relationship before they met you. This means you are walking in a dead man/woman’s shoes and no one will feel easy about the situation. Friends of your partner were used to their ex and may treat you as an outsider or usurper. They might forget your name or call you by the ex’s. They feel uncomfortable in your presence and possibly wary. They don’t know what to do with you. They might think you only passing through, or a temporary set-up. If you are the third party behind the separation or divorce, they could be bitter or cold. Even if you came after the split-up, they might think it a ruse. They might see you as a predator, someone not to be trusted. They may be loyal to your partner’s ex after knowing them for many years. They might blame you for his or her misery. It is likely under this energy you are shunned, the conversation stilling when you enter their company, backs turned to you, as they exclude you from their group. It will be hard to make friends here as they are not welcoming. You might have to expect an uphill battle ahead of you before any thaw sets in. Give them time as they likely think the two of you will not last, that it is a fling or passing affair. You must prove your worth to them. If they see your partner, their friend, blossom in your company over a period of time, they will acknowledge the benefit of your presence, even begrudgingly. Their fierce loyalty to the ex will diminish in time as they get to know you. A natural acceptance will eventually come if you deserve it. With Fire, there will be an eagerness to be liked and accepted, but you cannot force this situation. No matter what you do to be accommodating or charming, it is unlikely to succeed right now. However, it will be noted and stored for future recall if you last long enough.

Only With You When You Are Winning!

In relationships, the Reversed Five of Wands can alert you to a snake in the den. There is one among a group or circle you move in who appears to be in your corner, offering support and encouragement, but cannot be relied upon when it matters. This could be your partner depending on the circumstances of your relationship; how and why it was formed. This person will seek out a relationship with the strongest force on the winning side. However, they will be quick to desert or switch camp if they sense your star is in descent.  There is an organised strategy here which could involve running with the hare and hunting with the hound. Reversed Court Cards, the appearance of the Five, Seven of Swords, Ten of Swords, Reversed Pentacles, Devil, could suggest a person involved in a relationship for mercenary reasons. Money, power, status or fame could be the lure, not love. He or she does not have your best interest at heart. Self-interest drives them. He or she will only hang around as long as the going is good for them. Do not expect them to stand by, or support you when the going gets tough. This pertains to archetypal relationships born out of the Reversed Ace, Two, Three and Four of Wands. Love and compatibility have not drawn this couple together. Possibly one is deluded by the feigned love of their partner. This is often seen in celebrity relationships or marriage where the couple in question would never otherwise be attracted to each other. Here we have aged movie or rock stars with partners old enough to be their own child or grandchild. Once as there is money, fame and access to the upper echelon of society, age, looks, appearance or behaviour is of no consequence. He or she will stay around once you remain important, but will be gone and hooked up with another, the moment they sense your popularity or influence is declining. This relationship is unlikely to stand the test of time.

Marriages of convenience, or marrying for status or position may come with a hefty price. Feigning love, passion and true connection to your partner becomes increasingly difficult. You must work hard to maintain the façade. You are never fully present and must supress or internalise your true feelings. You could appear like the graceful swan in the presence of your partner, or in public, but deep inside you feel a rising state of panic. You may be drawn to another, but cannot give up all that you have acquired.

Focusing on Relationship/Career

In the Upright Five we found difficulty in striking the right career/relationship balance. Your relationship was suffering because of work commitments. You had taken on too much, or never seemed to be off-duty. The lines had blurred where work was concerned and you were taking your partner for granted by presuming they were understanding. In the Reverse, depending on surrounding cards, you are addressing this issue. Something may have happened to shake you into awareness. You have now chosen to delegate some of your work to others. You might reduce the amount of overtime you do, stop taking work home at the weekend and take the time off you are due. You could arrange a break away with your partner to re-experience the Four of Wands intimacy.

The Reversed Five of Wands can also suggest the reverse. You might need to focus on your career right now instead of relationships. A current relationship, or the chase after one, may be distracting you from your work. Your mind is not on the job and you have let things slip. If you are part of a team working on a project, your lack of contribution may be noticeable. Re-stabilise. This Reversed card could suggest you are choosing to stay out of the dating game until you have achieved your career goals. Yes, you will still socialise with your friends, but are determined not to get involved with anyone.

Celebrity Couples and Paparazzi Issues

For celebrity couples, the paparazzi’s interest in you may have waned. You may choose to cooperate with them instead of fighting back. However, they could have some potentially damaging information about you or your partner which could ruin reputations should it get out. You may be trying to restrain the press/media or hold them at bay. Lack of privacy could be affecting your relationship.


After the rush of love and passion from Ace to Four, we now find a couple whose sex life has diminished somewhat. This is often a natural progression as a relationship moves away from the heady intense stage and settles into more of a routine. In the beginning, you couldn’t keep your hands off each other, but now you can’t remember when you last touched, let alone kiss. This could be a direct result of the Upright Five if babies or children have entered the picture. You may be too exhausted to think of sex. Sleep is what you crave, not your partner. The patter of little tiny feet often gets in the way of a sex life, or is the un-doer of it. In general, committed couples will work their way through this, eventually finding the way back to a sex life post-baby.  However, the nature of it might change. It is less likely to be spontaneous. Fire prefers to be free in this area but restrictions are now in place. You might have to work around children’s bedtime, or schedule it into a ‘to do’, or ‘try to do’ weekly/monthly list. You rarely have time alone, or the energy for that sort of fun.

This card could suggest you have lost the fun side to your relationship and should strive to get it back. You are letting the troubles of life get in the way. Ongoing rows and quarrels may erode intimacy. Relationships need to be worked on, but should not feel like hard work. Studies indicate that couples who make time for sexual intimacy tend to fare better in the long run. They are happier and more content with each other. They are better equipped to deal with issues in the relationship as they arise. If you do not make time for sex in your relationship, or make excuses each time the subject is broached, your partner may weaken in the face of temptation elsewhere. It is important to remain connected to each other, and spend time doing non-domestic related activities. In The Four of Wands, much time was given to setting up home, starting a family, and settling in. Now you might be too settled, or spend too much time in the home. You could also be spending too much of your free time with in-laws. You need to rouse yourself into action. If you are married, avoid falling into the old married couple archetypal lifestyle. Surprise yourselves, and those around you. Set out to reclaim the buzz you used to have in your relationship. Set up boundaries around your ‘us time’. Do something together, get out into the fresh air and move. Try hiking or biking, or take up running. Set about planning an unusual trip away. Join a drama club. It is also important to make a sustained effort with your appearance. If you have let yourself go in this area, do something about it. This applies to both male and female. Complacency can set in when a relationship becomes long-term or after marriage and kids. Dressing to impress, keeping your hair washed or beard trimmed, will make you feel good too. Get fit.

The Reversed Five of Wands can suggest either an over-active or underactive sex life. You either have to beat your admirers off, or madly wave to get their attention. It’s a feast of famine. You are getting a lot of sex, or none at all. A partner may surprise you with their sexual appetite or leave you disappointed. There may be intimacy issues. The Reversed Five of Wands could suggest you are not interested in sex, or that it is not high on your list of priorities when it comes to finding the right partner. It can also highlight a partner who avoids sex if the attraction has waned. Sexual incompatibility follows on from the Upright Five. You may prefer a more gentle, romantic approach, with lots of foreplay while your partner prefers a hot frenzied one. There could be lack of communication between partners. The Reversed Five of Wands could suggest you are sexually inexperienced in comparison to your partner.

If this card falls with the Five/Seven/Eight of Swords, Reversed Courts, Devil etc. you could be looking at a situation where someone is forced into having sex, or is raped. This could be an assault by an individual, but more likely a group.

In the Five of Wands we are also looking at multiple sex partners. This could be someone who has had a lot of ex’s – history! You may also be worried about your partner sleeping around, or being unfaithful. Check for Reversed Courts. You might be aware of your own inability to resist temptation. Depending on surrounding cards, the Reversed Five of Wands could suggest unprotected sex. In the Upright, there is defence, but in the Reverse, guards are dropped. You might not feel you need protection if you are in a long-term relationship, but he or she may have a sexual history prior to you. The Reversed Five could suggest a negligent attitude to contraception.

If you have discovered you are pregnant, you may be unsure who the father is if you have several partners.

If you are recently out of a traumatic separation or divorce, you might feel a loss of sexuality, especially if your partner left you for a younger person. You may have reached a stage in your life where you believe you are over the hill, and no longer attractive to the opposite sex. You might be interested in meeting someone new, but are anxious about the physical side of things. This wasn’t an issue when you were younger but suddenly it is a big elephant in the room where dating is concerned. With low self-esteem, you think it impossible to compete with those you deem, younger, better looking and fitter than you.

You may also have reached that stage in life where your interest in sex begins to wane. Anxieties over virility or being able to achieve orgasm may bring stress to your sex life. Sex becomes a battle instead of enjoyable. You might be trying too hard and overthinking the process. If you can let go and go with the flow instead of against it, you might find a more relaxed sex life. Getting older doesn’t mean the end of a sex life. Sex is not just for the young. In later life, sex can take on a new meaning for you in relationships. It may not be as energetic, or athletic, but it offers strong connection and commitment between you and your partner.

On the other hand, you may be trying to hold onto your youth by masquerading as an aging playboy, or playgirl. You might believe you are as young as the person you are feeling or sleeping with. You refuse to grow old gracefully.