Wands’ Book of Love & Sex – Five Reversed

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/Upheaval Settle. Open/Opposed To Change. Solutions, Compromise. Defeat/Conceding Defeat. Truce/All Out War. Reconstruction/Destruction/Annihilation. Seeking Stability. Calming/Settling Down. Clearing.

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 can bring 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.

An analogy – In The Five of Wands Upright, the figures may have disturbed a beehive (trouble), causing the bees to swarm in attack (confrontation). The figures use the Wands they carry to ward off the bees as no one wants to get 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!).

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 Three/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 have not worked or 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.

Change Is As Good As A Rest

The changes battled over or resisted in the Upright Five have proven to be for the better. You hate to admit it after putting up such opposition, but really it has worked out just fine. You did throw the head, and tantrums too, becoming dramatic and hysterical about what you were going to do. Change may have been forced upon you, out of your control, or encouraged by another. On reflection, you can see why change was needed. How dull and predictable everything had become. You realise you weren’t living at all, merely existing and certainly not developing your potential as you should. You see it as a blessing now and not before its time. You are a new person, with a renewed sense of purpose. You also feel stronger in yourself, more capable and more tolerant of life when it goes out of control. Problems encountered now are seen as challenges which are there for a reason. Life has new meaning and you are thankful for how things turned out. You have cleared out a lot of mess in your life, leaving only the worthwhile things behind.

Rebuilding A Damaged Relationship

In the Five of Wands Reversed we can find the aftermath of devastation as a couple scavenge to salvage something from the wreckage of a damaged relationship. They stumble through the ruins of their life together, wondering if there is anything left standing, anything that can be potentially rebuilt. In this interpretation, they discover bits and pieces of their shipwrecked relationship washed up on the shore. They have managed to withstand the force of the storm and wonder if they can be fixed, put back together or mended. They might only have the skeleton of their relationship to work with and it is uncertain if it can be reconstructed successfully. If there is mutual hope and conviction, the couple in question could begin to rebuild, but it might be wise to avoid replacing what was there with a similar structure. A storm levelled it before. It could potentially happen again. It might be best to build something that is more flexible and adaptable to their current needs. In the imagery we see an attempt to do something rather than admit defeat. They must at least try. There might be children to consider so great effort is made to save the situation.

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 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 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.

Resisting settling

Due to the extreme aspect of Reversed Cards, this Five might also be highlighting the desire to perpetuate ongoing instability or disruption if you are opposed to settling issues, finding compromise or resolution. You may be pushing an agenda that is causing distress to others, but serves a certain purpose for you. You may be looking for a way out of a relationship, and aim to bring it about by being as awkward as possible. You thwart every attempt your partner makes to create a nice environment or atmosphere. You may have a sneering attitude to everything and enjoy seeing how you can upend everything at will.

Resisting settling into a relationship or location could be the result of fear of commitment.

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 list 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.

Order Returning On The Domestic Front

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 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 has been fixed and you can manage to get through a day without crisis. Well done.

Final Snag List

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 home from plans. You met other 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.

Reclaiming Your Own Space

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.

Neighbours – Fitting In/Belonging

In The Upright Five of Wands, we looked at the unsettling stage of transition that must be endured after a change of address or relocation. You may have struggled to make friends or were too busy with sorting things out to make the effort with neighbours. Children might have been uprooted from schools and separated from friends, leaving everyone in limbo land. When you did attempt to reach out, you were often met with resistance or wariness. Sometimes you tried to hard and scared them off. In the Reversed Five of Wands we see you move out of that uncertain stage. You now have the names and numbers of a few neighbours on your cell phone, have been invited for coffee, drinks and dinner locally, and the staff in the local grocery shop know you by name. Your children have bitten the bullet and ventured out from under your feet to interact with kids on the street. They seem to be happy and thankfully settling into their new school. You are beginning to fit in and have a sense of belonging.

Neighbours – Keeping Your Distance/Pulling Back

In the Upright Five there was a desire to get to know your neighbours and be part of the community. You wanted to be accepted, to fit in, to belong, under the energy that built from the Four of Wands. For many this naturally came about as friendly neighbours welcomed them to their new home and included them in local activities and social scenes. For others, the dream in the Four of Wands shattered when they discovered the neighbours from hell where living next door, or that the neighbourhood was not as pleasant as they had expected. Some were driven to distraction with noise pollution or undesirable gangs hanging around. The Wands’ attitude in the Five got some of them off on the wrong foot with neighbours if they were inconsiderate or insensitive to local protocol, tradition, or hierarchy. Local neighbours and the wider community may have had issues with your planning and building, seeing you as blow-ins and disruptive.

Now, in the Five Reversed we see you either decide from the start to remain aloof from your neighbours, or pull back from earlier interactions with them if issues have arisen. In the former option we do not see the close engagement of the Upright Five when players were eager to be in the thick of it, close up and personal. In this instance, you know everyone’s business and they know yours. There is little privacy and everyone has an opinion on your coming and goings, and how you live your life. Village, small town or neighbourhood gossip is part of the way of life and you can assume you are being talked about when not in the company of others. You attend coffee mornings, join groups and classes where you learn even more about each other while forming firm friendships.

In the latter instance, you have no intention of getting to know your neighbours as you hate that kind of stuff. People dropping by without invitation or holding you up at the grocery store with trivial conversation is something you would rather avoid. You might adopt a curt and brusque tone with people when they attempt to communicate with you, wanting to make it clear you do not wish to engage. When you must respond, answers are brief and direct eye contact is avoided. You might live in a house that is separate from those of your closest neighbours. It might be detached, on its own land, behind closed gates. On the other hand, there might just be a wall or fence separating you, but it might as well be miles away. Neighbours at this stage know you do not seek them out and see yourself as either above them or different to them. They may take a disliking to you because of your withdrawn stance or think you weird and strange.

Secondly in the latter instance, you might have beaten a hasty retreat from your neighbours after a disturbing incident, argument or revelation.  A neighbour’s building or planning application could raise objections which will make it awkward for you to be around them. There might have been a major showdown or shocking behaviour at a house party. You might have acted inappropriately with a neighbour or discover an indiscretion between your partner and a neighbour. It might be that you got drawn into your kids’ rows, resulting in neighbours rushing to the defence of their own kids. The kids may have stood by, shocked as their parents got stuck into each other. Then again, you may be trying to keep your children away from undesirables in the neighbourhood which will cause tension between families. The situation has become intolerable with neighbours. You might consider moving on.

Financial Control Restored

In the Upright Five there may have been issues with employment. You, or your partner may have lost your job and were struggling to find another. Living on one salary, or social welfare has been a nightmare, with just not enough to go around or pay the bills. If you had rent or a mortgage to pay, it would have been a daily struggle to keep afloat. Now in the Five of Wands your determination and tenacity has paid off. Employment has been secured and even though it will take some time to catch up financially, the worst is behind you. The intense pressure is off and you can begin to breathe once more.

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 shaken, 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.

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.

Giving 100% To Both Career & Relationship

The Reversed Five of Wands could find you embarked upon the impossible task of giving 100% to both your career and relationship. You are confident you can do both. You may be putting yourself under this pressure, or it could be coming from your partner if they are demanding and lacking in understanding. You are working hard and playing hard; on top of your game career-wise and also out and about at all the right places with your partner, doing this and that. There never seems to be a moment to sit down and take a breath. They are pulling at you in work but you are equally pulled at, at home. Once everyone else is getting what they want, you think you are managing to pull it off. However, you will not be able to keep this up indefinitely.

On the other hand, this could reflect how things used to be for you. The chaos and bedlam of the Upright Five, trying to be all things to everyone at the same time is something you can’t or no longer want to do. In the Reversed Five of Wands, you take a step back for the daily rat race and take a long hard look. Where are you going in all this? What are you getting out of it? Areas of your life that were out of control are now resolved as you find a more practical approach to conducting your life. You can’t be in the thick of it all the time, and others shouldn’t expect you to be either. It should be permissible to take a break every now and then, time off. Not everything is equally important so you must prioritise and attend to things in an orderly fashion, not all at the one time. Both work, and your partner, must realise you are only human and not expect so much of you. However, you probably created this high dependency on you in the first place, by taking on everything they threw your way. You don’t have to play every match or game. Some, you can sit out.

Wanting To Quit The Rat Race/Reconstruction

As a couple, you may also be thinking twice about the impact your high achieving lifestyle has on you individually and as a couple. Both of you seem to be going non-stop in the race to the top, and what is considered achieving the ultimate success. You may have bought into a lifestyle that demands a lot of you. It is not possible to stop or slow down as others would take advantage and rush to overtake you. You are earning a lot, but are already thinking about getting your new pay rise, or promotion. Enough will never be enough. Regardless of the high income that may be coming in, it doesn’t really spread that far once you pay for all your expensive trappings.

The Reversed Five of Wands shows a deep level of nervous exhaustion set in. You must keep going because you have to, not because you want to. There are too many balls/wands in the air for you to stop or slow down. If only you had the time to enjoy the fruits of your hard labour, but are rarely at home and barely see each other. The evenings find you speechless with exhaustion, and you drag yourself to all the functions you must be seen to attend. However, something is shifting in this imagery. There is a desire to stop and change. You are not happy and need to explore your options and think of a new way to live. The change you think of introducing in the Five Reversed could be radical. It could find you stepping off the treadmill, checking out of the rat-race and leaving it all behind. You might try something completely different, out of the ordinary and unusual. It will mark a sharp contrast to how you have been living up until now. You could decide to downsize or open your big house to Airbnb for example. You may relocate to a foreign country, buy a vineyard, open a guest house or glamping site or turn your much-neglected hobby into a business. You could step from being an executive of a multi-national corporation into producing your own jam or teaching fly fishing. You are not looking to change your old life for something boring and traditional, but rather channel your energy, expertise, skill, and possible savings into something that interests and stimulates you. God you need to feel connected to life again and jump eagerly out of the bed each morning, to have a raison d’etre. Leaving the rat-race behind will be life-changing. The road ahead will be pitted with challenges and obstacles but in a way, you are hoping it is. You see it as an adventure and a chance to be who you are meant to be, not just one of the crowd. Your radical change in lifestyle could find you draw media attention as people become fascinated by your aspirations, courage and sense of adventure. If you can do it, then maybe others can too. You could start a new trend.

End of Season For Sports’ Personalities

If you are in a relationship with a sportsperson, or sports personality, the Reversed Five of Wands could simply mark the end of the competing season for them, allowing you more time to spend together. You might have been parted for some time during training and competing but now there is a sense of vacation atmosphere as you enjoy each other’s company again. Alternatively, the Reversed Five could suggest retiring from competition. The Seven and Nine of Pentacles, could see you hang up your boots. The nature of your involvement in the game might change. Instead of being on the pitch, you now stand on the side-lines shouting instructions to the players or sit on the panel analysing the play. You can still be involved without being actively involved. If the Reversed Six of Wands appears close by, you could be forced out of the game due to low rankings. Whereas once you were on top of your game, clearing up on prizes and titles, you now fail to make the grade as bright young things take over. It is not possible to stay at the top indefinitely. Everyone gets their turn. If The Reversed Chariot or Ten of Swords appears, it could be injuries sustained from the sport that decides your future for you. Goal posts shifting in this manner can impact your relationship as the role you used to have is no longer clearly defined. It will require a time of transition as both of you get used to your new status. You may no longer draw the public attention once enjoyed. You might feel at a loss, a has-been, unsure of what to do next. You might suddenly be around all the time which could take some getting used to.

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.

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 gracefully concede defeat to the victor, or become territorial and aggressive. There could be a punch up or brawl if jealousy and rivalry 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 or Six 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 to them, 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 mementoes of the ‘other person’ when really they should have been disposed of. It is unlikely their current partner is aware 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 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 and overly-idealistic expectations, not devaluing yourself.

Can’t Take No For An Answer/Fighting On

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. In The Reversed Five we see them following through on these rules. When a winner is declared, they will shake each other’s hands and wish the victor the very best of luck. Combatants will pat each other on the back and share commiserations now there is nothing left to fight over. They each walk away from the battle field and get back to their own life and business. They may however take up arms against each other in the future as they are all attracted to the same personality type or look, but for now it is over. All is fair in love and sport and these figures bear no hard feelings towards each other.

Then again, depending on surrounding cards and issues at hand, we could be looking at a person who cannot, or will not accept a loss, a rejection or refusal when The Five of Wands appears Reversed. They have had their love spurned by another. Instead of retreating with dignity, they keep up the fight in the belief that persistence will win the day for them. The game is over, the victor has won the prize/heart, and the other competitors are expected to leave the pitch in an orderly manner. Except there is one who insists on staying, even after the spectators have left and all lights turned off. For them, the final whistle has not blown. Perhaps they did not hear it, or maybe chose to ignore it. It is not over for them. They will continue in their efforts.

Now this can be healthy, and indeed may be all that is needed to convince the other of their mistake in selecting the wrong champion. Perhaps the victor had an unfair advantage, or used dirty tricks to scoop the prize.  If they can just show them the error of their ways, and that they would be a much better choice, the subject of their desire is sure to change their mind. We do see this scenario play out in movies and books all the time. Look to see how the cards lie. This person is either justified and has great confidence in their chances, or is delusional and desperate. It is all or nothing now, so they enter a new battle with even greater determination than the last. They certainly are persistent.

Becoming A Pest

If persistence is more like pestering, we have a problem. Are you being pestered by a spurned suitor? If they have managed to get your number you might be receiving constant texts or calls, your social media pages may be flooded with comments or private messages, your email inbox under bombardment. They could also be staking out the places you hang out socially in the hope of seeing you. How did they get your personal contact details? Perhaps you handed them over, thinking it harmless and fun to have such an ardent admirer, or were they extracted by other means? Have you done everything in your power to show your disinterest? Do they keep coming back at you regardless, 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. In their eyes and mind, they see themselves in a wonderful relationship with you, and with you crazy about them. They insist they are the only one who can make you happy and you just need to let them in so they can prove it. 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 sign of hope to them if you are enjoying the unsolicited attention. The merest smile or expression could be misinterpreted. They need to understand they continue to battle in vain and must go away.

Learning From The Mistakes Of Others – Their Loss, Your Gain

On another level, we might find you holding back on making a move until the path is clear for you to do so. In this interpretation, we see you standing on the side lines, an observer. It is unclear which side you support and where your interest lies. You maintain a poker face throughout as you watch the combatants on the pitch battle it out for the heart of someone special. You remain impassive as they exhaust and wear themselves out in the chase. They are all so predictable and way too obvious. They are undisciplined about knowing when to make their move. What no one knows is that you are also an interested party. You have not given yourself away and in doing so retain an element of surprise. You watch and wait for your moment, closely observing the reaction of the person to their ardent suitors. You can tell which ones are favoured and which are not, who’s making a mess of it, and who is wasting their time. One by one you see them fall and get carried off the pitch after exhaustion, rejection and injured pride. No one is watching you which puts you at a distinct advantage. They don’t see you as a likely competitor. While they are caught of the back foot, looking the other way, compromised or disadvantaged, you will step in. Your presence will be like a breath of fresh air to the person who has grown tired of the regular attention. They may look upon you as their rescuer, their hero or salvation. You have come to save the day and them. Watching from the side-lines before making your move has taught you a lot. You know all the right things to do, and how to make the best impression. You have learned off the backs of your fellow competitors who did not know of your existence. You were the invisible player who walked among them scavenging on the mistakes they made. When you eventually stumbled upon the loose or dropped ball, you were swift to seize the opportunity. Their loss has become your gain and they didn’t see it coming. There may be shock and surprise all round.

Fighting Imaginary Competitors/Territorial

In the Upright Five of Wands we found competition for the one you love, or being chased and pursued by several admirers. Competition was real and you were up against it. In the Five of Wands Reversed, we see someone battling imaginary opponents. They are not real but a figment of a paranoid imagination. This card could be highlighting a worrying aspect of a personality that believes everyone wants to make a move on their partner or spouse. They misinterpret glances, smiles and friendliness as deliberate flirtation and seduction. Any contact, such as shaking hands or embracing is believed to hold sexual connotation. This person watches their partner closely for signs of collusion. Ugly, embarrassing scenes can occur if there is perceived breach of private territory. They might accuse others of making a pass at their partner, or hold their partner accountable for encouraging it. The Reversed Seven and Nine of Wands also signal over-wariness, paranoia and the need to be defensive and protective. They think everyone is out to take what they have. There is no peace in going out with this person as what they feel is not real love, but control and obsession. Their jealous talk and behaviour may have seemed endearing in the early days, but now it is wearing you down. You must be on your guard at all times when out and about, on the phone, or in general conversation, as you might say something that will give rise to suspicion. You must also watch how you dress as you don’t want your partner thinking you are trying to impress anyone else.

Not Declaring/Concealing Interest

The Reversed Five of Wands can highlight a situation where you deliberately conceal your interest in someone. This may be a temporary phase while you observe and take note, or it could be indefinite. You may be watching at a discreet or safe distance, enjoying getting to know the little things about them; how they talk, walk, laugh, sing, dance, get angry or upset. You stand in their presence, one of the crowd around them and take it all in. You will not make a quick move as in the figures of the Upright Five might, preferring to bide your time until the right moment arrives. You display a discipline and cautious constraint not seen in the Upright.

Then again, you could be drawn to someone who is forbidden to you; is in a relationship or marriage with someone else, is much younger or older than you, or perhaps of the same sex. Your interest in this person may also be deemed inappropriate by those around you if it suggests anything unconventional, non-traditional or controversial. You may have to settle for worshipping from a distance as you cannot declare your interest or make your feelings known to this person. In the imagery, we see you mix with and encounter this person on a regular basis as you go about your day, week and life. It always makes your day when you see them, but you are careful not to give yourself away. In this manner, you internalise your deep feelings for this person. You know that it would not work, or be wrong to pursue it. Perhaps you feel out of your league, punching above your weight, delusional, too late, or simply wishful thinking? You could go through your whole life concealing this secret from all, never fully allowing yourself to love another. It is something you battle with constantly but would rather this than not see them at all.

Overly-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.

This also applies in the Upright Aspect. When Reversed, we can find extremes of behaviour and attitude towards each other. There can be a level of exhaustion or overdrive when everything and everyone in life is seen as a competition or challenge. Such behaviour is addictive and points to a deep sense of insecurity about self-worth.

Quashing A Competitive Partner

From another aspect, we could find a situation where it is discouraged and frowned upon should the partner who normally stands in the shadow of the other, step into the forefront for any reason. This person genuinely deserves praise and congratulations for what they have achieved, but must downplay it so as not to ruffle their partner’s feathers. It may not be okay to draw attention or importance away from them. You may have secured a fantastic job, gained a much enviable promotion or achieved personal acclaim. Your partner could make light of success and make out it is of little consequence. This could make you feel apologetic about making such a fuss as you rush to prop up their ego. Then again you may want to beat them across the head with a stick. There is an attitude of ‘Know your place. I will not have my partner/spouse competing against me. It makes me look bad.’ You might have to look elsewhere for your applause.

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 shaken at the end of the day. They actively engage in confrontation, and will do so time and time again if 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 to speak up or take action. Bad behaviour and neglectful treatment going unchecked only leads to further abuse. The non-assertive partner feels too weak or anxious to do anything about it. They fail to declare their true feelings, hoping that others will intuitively pick up on them. They can become people pleasers who aim to avoid confrontation at all costs.

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. They may be suspicious of their partner having an affair, but do or say nothing. They work 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. It’s just the way it is. They may not yet be prepared for the consequences.

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.


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 spread to determine which way it will be. If the couple are persistent and prove to the opposing family that nothing they say or do will 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 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 their family in favour of ending the relationship.

Beating Yourself Up – Self Blame

In the Upright Five of Wands we looked at behaviour where blame for every issue and woe is always directed externally; at your partner, family, friends, boss, work colleagues. You were never at fault in anything and refused to even remotely acknowledge any responsibility for your issues. Now in the Five of Wands Reversed, the tables have turned and blame flows in the opposite direction. In this instance, you blame yourself when anything goes wrong in your relationship. Even when you have definitely done nothing wrong, you convince yourself it was something you did that made it happen, be it your attitude, tone, words or actions. Whether you are led to believe this through conditioning from your partner, or up-bringing, you place the sole responsibility firmly in your own lap each time. Your personality may be naturally that way inclined if you beat yourself up over every little incident in life. You might over-analyse your role in every event and pick fault in how you handle situations and people. You volunteer to be the whipping boy in your relationship; apologising for things you are not guilty of, or not being a good enough partner.

Family & Friend Predictions Come True – You Were Warned!

Also, returning to the Reversed Ace, Two, Three and 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. They were right after all and you were too blinded by love, too foolish and too stubborn to see it.  Perhaps you should have listened to them instead of rebelling against them. You now know they had your best interests at heart.

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. They could be right in the long run.

Not Wanting to Get Involved

This time in the Reversed Five of Wands we are looking at the opposite aspect of the kind of interference referred to in the Upright Five of Wands. 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 them a lesson or issue threat and warning. We might find a vigilante approach.

Pretending Not To Know Or Like 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 contempt. 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, indifference or disdain. This can add to the exhilaration of a new relationship or affair! Very James Bond style!

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 extra 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 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 to 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 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.

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Indiscretion Discovered/Eye of The Storm

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 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 they 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.

Tidying Up Loose Ends/Deliberately Burning A Bridge

In the aftermath of a failed relationship, fling or affair, The Five of Wands reversed will want to sever connections and tie up any loose ends. Unlike the Upright Five that left them flying loose, the Reversed Five does not want to revisit this situation again. The game is over and it is best if nothing is left behind. This could find you deleting numbers on phones, deleting email addresses, unfriending a certain person on your social media page or even deleting your profile. You do not want to expose yourself to any further interaction and will go out of your way to avoid bumping into this person. You are taking back control and this might involve a last communication or meeting where you lay it out straight that it is over for you. You might have to be very firm.

If you have been living with someone, or even married the need to completely disconnect might be quite strong. You will be sure to clear your home of any reminders and return all personal items to your ex so as not to give any reason for further communication. This is a total deconstruction of what you had. Once loose ends have been tidied, there will be little trace of what once was. You are certainly burning this bridge behind you.

Conceding Defeat to The Third Party

We now must address the situation if Third Party interference has not been avoided or dealt with. They have 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 fierce. 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.

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 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 matters that were carried forward from the Two, Three and Four of Wands Reversed 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 miscommunications 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.

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.

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. It has ended scoreless with both sides feeling deflated and defeated.

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 belie their true state. They feign a calmness or togetherness for the benefit of others, or any 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. It 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. Surrounding cards will highlight issues that are being concealed or assumed dealt with.

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 they 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.

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.

Separation/Divorce – 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.

Custody/Access/Maintenance Battles

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 being nowhere near that with 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 In Court Battles – Stooping Low

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 from the relationship.  In the Reversed Five of Wands we see individuals prepared to stoop very low in family courtroom battles. When once friends, become enemies, the play can get very dirty and underhand. A win is win, irrespective the cost or stress to the other side.

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 friendliness and interest in the ordinary person, but it 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?

Only With You When You Are Winning!

In relationships, the Reversed Five of Wands can alert you to a snake in the grass. 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 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.

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 them. 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 them 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.

Growing Tolerance/Intolerance of Others

The Reversed Five of Wands can depict tolerance or intolerance depending on surrounding cards. In the Upright Five we found the fight or battle to secure change but this was very much on individual terms. Egos fought for their rights, their own needs and may have cared little about how securing them might affect others. They were intolerant of those who disagreed with them or voiced opinions that did not match theirs. Now in the Five of Wands Reversed, we could see a growing tolerance for the rights or needs of others. There is acknowledgement that others are involved and need to be taken into consideration. We might find a partner who was quite dogmatic and belligerent begin to lighten up and open to the requirements of their partner. It might be a simple case of deciding not to battle over something anymore, allowing their partner an instant or easy win. ‘Whatever will make you happy’ etc. You may have been expecting a fight or confrontation, but they have rolled over and let you have your way.

The Reversed Five of Wands brings a mellowing and an attitude of live and let live. What’s the point in fighting about everything? Perhaps it is time to let everyone get on with what they must do. Weapons are laid down or traded in for something mutually beneficial. In this interpretation, we could see the end of family resistance or opposition to your choice of partner or spouse. After throwing everything at you possible, the fight has gone out of them and they acknowledge your choice. ‘If he or she makes you happy, then who are we to say otherwise’ they declare with hands held in the air for surrender. They may never develop a close relationship with your partner or spouse, but they will learn to tolerate them.

On the other extreme, intolerance may become extreme, turning hate-like in its approach. Nothing you can do or say will make them think otherwise. Their minds are set and rigid. The Hierophant speaks of rules and regulations that are not up for negotiation or debate. It is his way or the highway. He cannot or will not make allowances or judge on a case by case basis as his rules are entrenched and fixed. He takes the higher moral ground on everything and looks down on others.  He sits apart from the lives of normal everyday people, issuing decrees from his elevated status.

An Aggressive Partner

The Five of Wands Reversed in a relationship reading 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 their 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 their problem gets totally out of control, or damages the relationship beyond repair. However, getting them to agree is quite another thing as the mere suggestion of counselling could set them 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 in The Five of Wands Reversed. They acknowledge they need help. 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 them self. 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. 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.

A Passive Partner

Dealing with extremes in Reversed Cards, we now must address the possibility of a lack of Fire when Reversed. Here we see someone who is always prepared to turn the other cheek. They are either seriously laid back or reluctant to cause a fuss. They allow people to jump ahead of them in queues, have a problem complaining about poor service or returning items that are damaged or unsuitable. They might be full of talk about what they will say or do, but it never amounts to anything. When you point out to them something they need to act on, they tell you to leave it be, that it’s fine. They will suffer an under or overcooked piece of meat in a restaurant rather than send it back, they might even eat a meal they hadn’t ordered rather than cause a scene. You might have to sit back and watch as someone insults, ridicules, or treats them brusquely. It is you who roars out the car window when another driver steals the parking space you were just pulling into. You may feel the constant need to nudge them forward, to egg them on when they hang back and dither. You are enraged when they fail to speak up for themselves or put themselves forward for a work promotion you know should be theirs. It is almost like having a child that needs to be constantly encouraged. Your partner never raises their voice at you, even when you push to provoke them. You should be happy to be with someone who does not yell or roar, but at times you yearn for the Upright Five of Wands and would love to see them get incensed or passionate about something.

A Reformed Character

In The Five of Wands Upright we looked at party animal behaviour, a cavalier attitude to sex, playing the field and sexual conquests. Now in Reverse we see a growing distaste for the life you have lived up until now. This could simply come down to growing maturity as you move past the crazy stage of your life and seek something more settled. Great effort may be made to distance yourself from the old you and the crowd or circles you socialised in. You may be trying to sober up, clean up your act and get your head together. No one can keep that life up indefinitely. You might have tired with casual sex and transient partners, preferring to seek a certain special one. However, there may be a draw towards severing all sexual contact for a while, staying single until you are in a better place. Like an ex-smoker, you could become a reformed character. You might seek seclusion and the quiet life which is bound to raise quite a few eyebrows. Something may have happened to bring the change about. Your absence on the social scene may be noticeable; bouncers at nightclubs may ask of your whereabouts, but there is also a very good chance no has noticed. Life in these circles moves on quite rapidly. It might take a while for those around you to take this new you seriously. They could think it just a temporary break, that you will be back to your old tricks in no time. They may be right, but then again, this could be the start of a very stable time in your life as you leave your wild days in the past. If you are seeking a committed relationship with another, your old reputation may linger for some time. You will need to prove you have changed.

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. They 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. They just can’t sit down, talk calmly, or behave normally. 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, that is when they are in the mood for it. When they are not, you see them avoid your partner, not get seated beside them, or turn 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.

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.

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 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 they are 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 their awful friends are not a reflection of your partner’s true personality? 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/Four/Seven of Cups, Five of Swords and Reversed Courts or Devil, 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.

Keeping It In The Group/Hierophant

In the Upright Five of Wands we found five individual figures thrashing it out over issues, a person, or differing opinions. There was little loyalty to others as it was all about ‘me’ or ‘I’. A close group attitude was shunned in favour of doing your own thing and going your own way. Even if you were in a group, there was little teamwork. No one really had your best interests at heart and you could forget about anyone been discreet, keeping stories under wraps or refrain from dishing the dirt on you. Gossip, rumour and scandal spread like wildfire causing much unnecessary damage at times. Now in the Five of Wands Reversed, the tables have turned. The Hierophant has arrived and seals up all the cracks, weak points and gaps of the group. He blackens out the windows, seals the door and padlocks the gates. The group stay confined inside and others can only guess what they do, say, think or feel because they are not telling. Unlike the Upright Five, they are tight and close ranks. Everything must stay in or with the group. No one can break rank and disclose their secrets or truths. It must be kept in the group. Nothing can come in or go out without the vetting of the Hierophant. There is a code of honour or understanding connecting to being each other’s alibi when needed. All for one, and one for all.

In this manner, we see a group of friends, work colleagues or family members circle the wagons when issues arise. They will do, or say what is necessary to protect one of their own. Where relationships are concerned, you could find a group of friends concealing the truth about your partner’s whereabouts and what they got up to. What goes on on tour, stays on tour. They will blatantly lie and deny anything you confront them with. You are not going to get any answers or truth from this crowd. This group can keep major secrets from getting out by suppressing them, hiding them, or throwing the suspicion in another direction. They are tight-lipped about anything you tackle them about. In a separation or divorce, you could find a group of friends, family or colleagues colluding with a partner in order to hide money, assets, business, property or land from the other partner. They are as thick as thieves and will obstruct any attempts you make at revealing what they are up to. They can also collaborate to cause the downfall of another by forming a strategy for the deconstruction of their life. They could make life difficult for them if they have sufficient power. Of course, surrounding cards in the spread would need to support this theory. The Five, Seven, Eight, Nine and Ten of Swords, Reversed Courts and Tower, Reversed Magician, Reversed Ten of Pentacles could point to a group out to bring someone down. Other cards could apply too.

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 their 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.

Dousing Wild-Fire Gossip

In the Reversed Five of Wands you have acted to stop the spread of any gossip about you in The Upright. You may track down the source and offenders who are eagerly passing it around. You might call them out or name and shame them. Often confronting the culprits with their actions, brings a speedy stop to the gossip, but it could also fan the flames if they see you are overly concerned about what they are saying. There is no smoke without fire in their eyes, so they could go on the hunt for more information. You might have to come out publicly to set the record straight or admit to details you know you cannot hide. Often the truth or facts are boring in comparison to the gossip, which might send people on their way and onto something else. The whole thing should die down in time.

Trolling Increases/Eases Up

Issues with troll-like behaviour on your social media profiles begin to lose their grip or intensify in activity in The Reversed Five of Wands. Surrounding cards will determine in which direction it is heading. Anger over a relationship you had entered could have provoked the assault if there was someone unhappy with the situation. There might be an ex or a disgruntled fellow competitor who lost out to you. You became the target for their revenge. In attempting to bring you down or destroy your reputation they hoped to feel better about themselves or the unhappy outcome. The ultimate desire was to ruin the relationship, to break you up. Interest has waned in the Reversed Five. This could be down to you not ‘feeding the troll’ – refusing to respond or retaliate. You might have chosen to ignore them or block them from your page. Where once there was a constant barrage of nasty comments, only the occasional one appears and even at that it has lost its fire. You may also have reported the incidents and the perpetrator has been issued a warning or barred from the network. Order will soon be restored as the troll has lost its power over you and is not getting the reaction it sought. It was awful while it lasted.

If trolling has intensified, action must be taken to stop it. This will not be resolved by tackling the situation yourself. You can block contacts, but this troll keeps finding a way in and has others on board in their hate campaign too. You might need to inform the authorities or threaten legal action. If the troll/s are allowed to run unchecked in the hope they will get bored and move on, they may view your casual approach as an invitation for even further abuse. We might also see escalating trolling if you decide to hit back. You know you shouldn’t feed the troll, but you really want them to have a piece of your mind. Once you respond to any of their comments, they have succeeded in their quest and know they have got to you. If you know the person involved, we could find a tit for tat situation, or taking it out onto the street. An online war may launch between the two of you. You might confront this person/s and call them out. There could be ugly scenes and showdowns. You need to tread very carefully here. You could end up being the accused and not the victim if you totally lose the head.

Pretending To Be With The Crowd/Social Climbing

In the Five of Wands Reversed we could see a situation where it is assumed you are part of a group, circle, crowd or gathering. You seem to know everyone and mingle easily. You are great at working the room, being seen at all the right places, but when closely observed appear to be very much a lone wolf. People might know of you, recognise you, briefly acknowledge you or greet you but other than that you are an unknown quantity. They all think you are with someone other than them, part of the group at the other end of the room, or belonging to the gathering you just walked away from. You seem to laugh and smile and be at ease, so no one questions your presence. This card could suggest you are trying to work your way into a social circle/scene that is not naturally open to you. If you pretend to be with or part of the crowd, then you might be accepted as one. If you were to ask for entrance or acceptance, the answer would likely be no. You are using your initiative on this one. You certainly look the part, but this could be carefully constructed to appear so. You could be wearing a full month’s salary on your back just to get in the door. You are an outsider, an interloper who is keen to climb the social ladder.

Celebrity Couples and Paparazzi Issues/Waning Interest

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.

In the Five of Wands we found five figures the centre of attention. They had drawn a crowd, had people cheering them on or booing and heckling them. Celebrity individuals or couples were chased by the paparazzi, the darlings or the media or the creators of scandal and gossip. It was all good. Attention was sought through self-promotion on social media, YouTube videos, signing up for reality shows or fly on the wall documentaries, landing a date with a celebrity or securing a relationship with someone famous. The Upright Five brought an air of exhibitionism and the desire to be wooed and followed by the mass in search of fame and fortune. Publicity was everything. The energy created by the five figures was hot news, and no matter where we looked, it was hard to avoid seeing, reading or hearing about them. Now in The Five of Wands Reversed, interest has waned. Their fifteen minutes of fame has expired and the crowd has moved on to something more current. Taking this back to a personal level, it could leave you deflated, your self-esteem on the ground. There may be a publicity stunt pulled to grab the headlines once again as you become desperate to claw your way back. You might decide to sell your story or release sensitive images. You may have thrown too much into the whole thing, got carried away, or became arrogant about your popularity. The competition sneaked up when you dropped your guard and has taken over. Possibly someone you thought of as nothing, or dismissed as irrelevant is making a move, their star on the rise as yours falls into decline. They are after the same spotlight as yours. It is a cut throat business after all. Here today, gone tomorrow. A someone and then a no one. Hard to take. Might be best to step back and lay low until you come down to earth and take stock of your life.

In the Five of Wands Reversed we begin to see the spiralling downfall of celebrities or reality show stars, who are simply famous for being famous. They may have no substance to them or any great talent but have been trading on their superficial fame. We might find scenes at nightclubs, drunken falls getting out of taxis, outrageous behaviour or character smears from the tabloids. The fire that burned brightly around them for all but a brief time, either burns out or the flames turn and badly burn them instead. The crash is not far away and there could be a tearful collapse or aggressive outburst as nervous exhaustion and tantrums takes over. The crown that will fall in the Reversed Six has already slipped in The Reversed Five.   A stint in rehab or just behind closed doors might be called for.

Not Able For It Anymore – Party Days Are Over

On a lighter level, The Reversed Five of Wands could be bringing home the fact you are not as young and fit as you used to be. Your party days may be a thing of the past, your stamina to dance the night away, a distant nostalgic memory. In the imagery, we see you hit the dancefloor at a wedding or party. They are playing the songs from your glory days and you want to dance. You throw yourself about on the floor, puling all the moves that you were known for. However, it all seems a bit stiff or sporadic to those who sit watching. Your hips don’t work the way they used to. Your legs are going for it, but your upper body is like a poker. You repeat the same jerky moves over, and over again. The younger crowd watch on laughing through their hands, embarrassed by you Mam/Dad dancing display of dinosaur moves. As you close your eyes and lose yourself to the music, your imagination sees something very different. You are back in the mad days again; rocking, head banging, pogoing, gyrating and letting your hair down. You will feel it in the morning though and might need a visit to your chiropractor if the old back gives you gip.

Wasted From Partying

The Reversed Five of Wands finds you beginning to feel the effects of late nights and too much partying. In the Upright Five you are unstoppable and need little fuel to run on. You can go on the tear or batter for days without need for much sleep or rest. You are like a sponge with alcohol, soaking it up without suffering too many ill effects. You can eat at all hours of the morning, downing kebabs, pizzas and fries when you should be eating breakfast. You manage to function in work or college and you feel in control. Now in the Reverse, hard living has begun to take its toll, or you are simply getting too old to handle it. Now it takes you a week to recover from a not-too-late night. Hangovers floor you and have been the cause of you not turning up to work some days. Your body feels wrecked and you look haggard. Your stomach can’t cope with spicy food anymore, well certainly not at 4am and your weight is something you must worry about as the scales show it’s on the up. What has happened to you? If the Reversed Three of Cups lies close by, it reinforces the implications.

The Reversed Five of Wands could act as a warning that your body is not able to cope with the continued onslaught and disrespect you are showing it. It has stood you well for much time but now it is reacting and perhaps you should listen to it. It is not possible to keep pushing and pushing without something giving. Perhaps it is time to cut back on alcohol or take a complete break from it, pull back from excessive socialising and spend some down time away from the constant madness. Buy a good book and get into it. Take up some gentle exercise and go on a detox diet. You have probably been spending considerably on funding your social life and this needs to be addressed too. It is likely you could do with stabilising your finances instead of frittering them away. Time to live the quiet life for a while. You might consider a whole change of scene. The healthy option needs to be chosen.

In the Five of Wands Reversed there might be an effort to battle against this changing tide. If it’s the weekend, you must be out. Going to bed early on a Friday or Saturday night is for sad, old people. You do your best to keep up with the drinkers and possibly drink extra in the hope it will keep you going. For veteran party animals, getting old, or even tired, is a bitter pill to swallow. They may feel they’ve lost it altogether. Then for some, it is a natural progression, or a complete reversal. We might see the ones with the worst partying reputation become reformed characters; teetotalers, early to bed and early to rise, the first to leave the dance-floor or party, or worse, not turn up at all. In fairness, they have done their bit for society in this manner, been there and done that. The heels on their party shoes have worn out. They need to be put away in favour of something more comfortable. Time to hand them over to the younger crowd who have the energy for it all. Heave a big sigh of relief.

Human Right’s Activist

In The Upright Five of Wands we would find very strong ideas about the right to abortion. We might find this group waving banners and posters at a protest rally as they march in favour of the right for women to choose, or are dead set against it. There could be aggressive interaction with opposition as all sides believe they are in the right and the other, totally wrong. The imagery in this card could also highlight the need to fight for Gay Rights. You might be an activist attending rallies and protest marches where you stand with others to fiercely support human rights. You believe in the strength of numbers and that everyone has a responsibility to stand up to blatant bigotry, misogyny, inequality and the violation of human rights. You value your right to freedom of expression and intend to exercise it wherever necessary.

In the Five of Wands Upright we explored being an activist for human/gay/abortion rights on all levels. When the Five Reverses we find either a more open mind to beliefs on all sides, or an entrenched and angry stance. Where abortion is concerned it is not that you sit on the fence or need to take sides, but feel there are valid arguments on both sides. You are neither pro nor anti-abortion, but are opposed to any ruling that seeks to restrict the freedom of another. Everyone is an individual, their situation unique and relevant to them alone. You do not stand in judgment over what others must do when faced with crisis. You are not about punishment.  In your mind, there can be no fixed or rigid approach, no law or rule that is applied to all, either for pro or anti. You may cause uproar when you express your views on social media posts, drawing a deluge of abuse from either fixed side when you throw out hypothetical situations or play devil’s advocate. You don’t run with either the hare or hound but keep a middle ground and insist on the right to have your own opinion.

When we go to the other extreme, we find a growing intolerance for any side that does not agree with you. You may align yourself with more radical groups attached to a  cause. Groups that are not opposed to inciting or introducing violence to drive their point home. Such groups are well organised and their presence at rallies or protest marches usually involves skirmishes with the law and possible damage or vandalism. They use social media to spread their propaganda and arrange rendezvous locations for starting disruptive action. They are a mob, not normal activists – bigots, homophobic, misogynists, racists etc. They do not want or encourage peaceful rallies but rather cause trouble. They can launch personal attacks or assaults on individuals they view as leaders or supporters of the opposition. They do not respect the rights of opposing marchers and will be involved in hate speech and attacks. When they team up with The Five of Swords, they can become radical extremists capable of mass acts of violence.

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Fertility Strategy

In the Reversed Five of Wands, you begin to accept the struggles you are having with conception and think you might be approaching it the wrong way. You may decide to remove the pressure that has become associated with conception, by not trying so hard. You realise how stressful it has become and could decide to take a step back for a while. Instead of watching, waiting, and trying to organise your sex life around key times and dates; checking temperature, ovulation etc. you choose to let it go and see what happens naturally. Pushing and forcing the issue has not worked, so perhaps a more spontaneous approach could make the difference. In the Reversed Five, we find you let your grip of control go as you realise sheer determination and tenacity is not enough in this case. This is hard for you to do as you have always achieved anything you set your mind to. If you have been in a head to head battle with your medical care team, you might find they are now open to working with you in the Five of Wands Reversed. Your persistence has impressed them.

Also, the root cause of problems around conception might become clear in the Reversed Five. You can now focus your attention on sorting them out, or getting the right treatment, which will improve your chances of conception. You feel more settled as a result and less panicked about the situation. You might have to wait a while but are confident of eventual success. For some, discovering the underlying issues may result in realising everyone was looking in the wrong place. There may have been a perception that problems lay with the mother’s reproductive system, when in fact it is her partner’s.  This will involve a change in approach and treatment strategy.

The Reversed Five of Wands might also highlight how defeated you feel if your efforts so far have proved unsuccessful. You might be coming around to thinking it will never happen, and if so, how you will deal with it. As a couple, you might have to rethink your next step. If you are still determined to have a child, you may have to look into the process of fostering or adoption. These are big things to contemplate. It is best to take your time and not rush into anything. There is still a chance you could conceive. You might be giving up too soon or are becoming negative in your outlook.


The Five of Wands Reversed will either bring positive signs of success after several failed cycles, or there will be a growing sense of defeat as you begin to accept it is not happening for you. Surrounding cards will highlight which aspect dominates. In the Reversed imagery, we find players or combatants tire of the battle, or become more determined. They have not yet left the playing field so it might just suggest you are not feeling as positive as when you started out. This does not imply you will not succeed, but that it’s not happening as fast as you expected. You feel the odds are stacked against you. IVF treatment is expensive and the worry might not be with not been able to eventually get pregnant, but how many cycles of treatment can you afford before the money runs out? You can only stay in the game while you can pay your way. Again, there is every chance you could conceive naturally, as often happens with couples after ending treatment. It might have to do with the intensive hormone treatment finally kicking in.

Adoption & Fostering

Where adoption or fostering is concerned, The Reversed Five of Wands could find you eventually getting closer to success. After what seemed like a never-ending battle, the agency officials inform you that everything is in order. You have completed your side of things and have nothing more to prove or do. You will still be on edge as you are not home and dry just yet.

Alternatively, you feel you are getting nowhere, that nothing is ever going to come of it. You have reached a stage where you are ready to walk away from the whole process as it has taken too much out of you.

If you had been successful in adopting or fostering a baby or child in the Four of Wands, the Upright Five may have highlighted the transition stage of settling in. Everyone involved needed to get used to the new arrangement, just like any couple brining a new baby home. It might have felt strange and chaotic as you worked hard to find a routine. Now in The Five of Wands Reversed we find a routine kicking in as you become more relaxed. Baby or child needed to stabilise and so did you. Any initial issues should be easing out as you get to know each other. If adoption or fostering involved an older child or children, there may have been opposition or resistance to their new home or family. It could have been extremely stressful for all. Any atmosphere of them against you, is now diminishing as teamwork and cooperation is sought on both sides. The Pentacle begins to take shape offering stability, security and protection. It is a win, win situation for all.

Looking from an extreme aspect, we could also be dealing with ongoing issues from the Upright Five if older children are involved and they bring emotional or psychological baggage from their early years. They may not be so easy to accommodate and are argumentative and disruptive. This is not the happy family picture you had imagined. Great patience is demanded of you now as you work hard not to retaliate or fight back. The children involved are insecure and will need to experience much love before they can learn to trust you.


The Five of Wands Reversed could imply fostering children or adolescents who are known to be troubled. These children will not find suitable homes easily as they might bring great challenge to their foster home/parents. They could be delinquent, psychologically/emotionally/physically scarred. It will take more than a nice warm bed and good food to reach their tortured souls. At war with the world, and deeply angry and upset, they could act defiantly or aggressively, making life difficult for everyone. There may be several runaway attempts or clashes with the law. As an individual or couple, you were aware of these possibilities when you agreed to foster. You want to help and make a difference to their lives. This card can show you are made of strong stuff and very resilient. Where others in this Reversed Card gave up on these children, you refuse to quit and will do what you have to do. You are a warrior soul and these children will thrive and flourish in your care, even if they fight you on every issue. The children you foster have never experienced stability or constancy in their lives before but they will find it with you. This card does not see you as a push over, but firm and determined. You are not afraid to stand up to them, but not in the Upright Five manner which seeks to beat them into submission.

On the other hand, the Reverse Five could imply a situation out of control. You might have considerable issues with certain foster children that have failed all attempts to resolve. This child or children may be causing severe disruption in your home, to your lives, for other children in the family. They may be a danger to themselves or others. You might have to admit defeat here and give up. There is a sense of great defeat at not being able to save this individual/s. You have tried your best.

Also, the Reversed Five could find children placed in foster homes that are unsuitable to their needs or result in making their lives worse instead of better. They may not be getting the care they need. Check surrounding cards to determine which aspect is at play if fostering is relevant to the reading.

In both Upright and Reverse, The Five of Wands could highlight the need for children to be placed in foster care if there are aggressive situations at home or in their environment.

Delaying Pregnancy Until A More Stable Time

In the Five of Wands Upright, we explored the scenario of attempting to get pregnant in the midst of uncertainty, instability or transience. Your living arrangements may have been topsy-turvy or temporary in nature. You might have been travelling a lot with work or moving from one contract post to another in varying locations. You were finding it difficult to get pregnant and couldn’t understand why. Not being able to safely and happily nest was one of the possible causes, as deep down you did not feel secure in such chaos. Now in The Five of Wands Reversed, you begin to think this could have something to do with it. As a result, you might decide to hold off and wait until your life is less chaotic and uncertain. You are beginning to face how the reality of constant change and disturbance during a time as important as pregnancy may not be in the best interest of both mother and baby. You need to think about how extra tired and emotional you will feel, the possibility of not being well, the strain of having to pack up or move on while heavily pregnant. It might be too much. You might prefer the idea of staying in the one place for the entire pregnancy. Waiting until you have that place and feel comfortable in it, is a good place to start. Mother Nature may then take its course if it feels all is well.

Beginning To Enjoy Your Pregnancy

For those who experienced a particularly challenging early stage of pregnancy with morning sickness, fatigue, fainting and other such inconveniences, The Five of Wands Reversed will typically show you coming out of it. Hormone levels are beginning to stabilise. You are not feeling quite as bad, and thankfully your energy levels are picking up. Now you can begin to enjoy your pregnancy as you should without it feeling it an assault on your body. Unfortunately for some, this card could suggest you are not out of the woods yet. You still feel awful and there seems to be no let up on it. You might be one of those unlucky women who experience nausea and other conditions throughout the whole pregnancy.

Hormones Settling Post-Childbirth – Or Not!

If you are post childbirth, the Five of Wands Reversed could be pointing to your hormones beginning to stabilise after the initial baby blues. It takes time for the apparent battling in your system to ease, leaving you feeling less beaten up and under assault. Slowly you are beginning to return to pre-pregnancy levels and are aware of your increased energy levels and ability to cope with everyday stress. Surrounding cards should show positive signs in this area.

For some however, the Reversed Five of Wands could show those disturbing hormones still out to cause mayhem. In the imagery, we see the game is over, full time has been called, yet the competitors stay on the pitch and continue battling it out. You think your hormones would fall into line, understand, and accept they must leave, let everyone get some rest – but they are not done yet. It is very tiresome for those who are forced to stick it out with them. If hormones do not fall into line when they should post childbirth, or if too many of them continue to display shows of strength, it could lead to severe imbalance which could trigger a form of depression such as post-natal depression. These errant players/hormones may need some professional encouragement and assistance to go away and give everyone a break. Cards such as Reversed High Priestess/Empress/Moon, Four/Five of Cups, Reversed Queen Cups, Reversed Seven of Wands, Nine of Wands, Reversed Two of Pentacles, Four of Swords, Eight/Nine of Swords could support this potential theory if it is relevant to the querant.

Pregnancy Exercise/Strenuous Job

Where exercise is concerned, The Reversed Five of Wands could find you overdoing it, or not doing any at all. You might be trying to keep up with pre-pregnancy exercise regimes which could put strain on your muscular-skeletal system. The Reversed Five could see you having to leave the field of activity after pulling something or hurting your back. This could leave you sitting on the bench, not being able to exercise at all. You might be under the influence of celebrities who barely gain weight during their pregnancies and bounce back into shape within days of giving birth.

Then again, it could be your job that is strenuous or very physical. In the Upright Five of Wands you manage to keep up, but as pregnancy continues, it gets harder and harder. This could force you into early maternity leave. It is something you worry about. Ensure your employer is aware of your pregnant status and make the necessary allowances for you. You won’t win any prizes for toughing it out and saying nothing. You need to take care of yourself and know your rights in the workplace during pregnancy.

Depending on surrounding cards, the Five of Wands Reversed could point to an issue in the workplace with your pregnancy. You may be employed in quite a physical job, and had expected allowances to be made for your pregnancy. However, in this instance, your employer may have no intentions of cutting you any slack. Their attitude to you may be if you can’t do the job, they will have to get someone else. This type of scenario could come about if you are an undocumented worker or immigrant who must put up and shut up with what is asked of them in the workplace. Who do you complain to, and where else are you to get money? This might find you pulling the same long strenuous hours right up to childbirth with pressure to return as soon as possible if you hope to keep your job.

The Five of Wands Reversed could also suggest your approaching maternity leave as we see your workload begin to decrease. Not as much is expected of you now as your final days roll in.

If you consider pregnancy an illness or incapacitated state, you might avoid exercise altogether. Instead of staying active and eating healthy, you sit or lay around all day, eating for two and ‘minding yourself’. You blame your increasing weight on pregnancy and a big baby. You believe the weight will disappear after birth, but unnecessary weight gained during pregnancy is notoriously difficult to shift afterwards. It tends to stick and attract more. Don’t allow yourself to fall into bad shape during pregnancy. Stay active and fit – walking, swimming, cycling, or yoga might be the way to go.  Watch what you eat. Eating for two is a myth.

On the other hand, pregnancy could trigger health issues for you or perhaps you discover you have a delicate pregnancy. Most forms of exercise might be off limits to you. This is a situation that is forced upon you, not a choice of your own making. You must do what is best for you and the baby, and not take unnecessary risk or chance. You will have to rely on others to fetch and carry for you.

Coming Around To Unplanned Pregnancy/Making Your Decision

In The Five of Wands Reversed, we might find a coming to terms with an unexpected or unplanned pregnancy that threw you into internal and external chaos. We had explored this possibility in the Upright Five when you were caught off guard. You might have considered yourself too old, past it – safe to go without contraception. You might have already raised a family, had gone back to work on were focusing on creating a career, embarking upon study, or setting up a business. Perhaps you just wanted to kick back, do your own thing, travel, whatever. You were probably freaked about the risks associated with a late pregnancy. You may have had health issues that would be seriously affected by pregnancy. The discovery of a pregnancy had you running scared in all directions. The advice from doctors, family, friends and partner may have been terribly conflicting or contradictory. You might have been torn between taking your chances or seeking advice about a termination. You were in a terrible predicament. What were you to do, where could your turn, what would be best and safest for all.

Now in the Five of Wands Reversed, we see the storm inside and around you calmed down. Your mind is more settled as you gather your thoughts. You have battled this one out and beaten it to death, over and over and over until you thought you would go insane. The fog of panic has cleared and with it comes either acceptance and resignation as you decide to take your chances and feel positive about the pregnancy, or come to terms with what you feel you must do, and that might be termination. Whichever decision you make, must ultimately be yours. You can get all the advice from those in the know, authorities on the subject, concerned and interested family and friends, but it is your body and your life. You have been clear with everyone, that your eventual decision is what you want, irrespective of what others think, believe or feel.

Depending on surrounding cards, and the Reversed carrying extreme aspects, we might also be looking at giving in, conceding defeat to any external pressure regarding your pregnancy. It might suggest you prefer to leave the decision to others, are agreeable to go along with whatever your consultant and medical team decide is in your best interest, or you have buckled under the pressure of a partner, spouse, or family. For some reason, you are either unable or unwilling to stand up against them and assert your rights. You might believe that others know better about what is best for you. This might be a personality trait where you believe, or have been conditioned to believe, you are not wise enough to make the right decision. This could imply being under pressure or force to either continue with a pregnancy you don’t want, or terminate one you do. In this aspect, it is not you controlling the situation. You may be vulnerable to manipulation depending on how easily you are influenced by others.

Babies Begin to Settle/Get 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 remains 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.

Hyperactive 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 and Hyperactive conditions. In the Reverse, we could be looking at Hyper-Active behaviour that is becoming increasingly hard to manage. A Reversed Page of Wands or Swords in surrounding cards might back this up. You are finding it increasingly difficult to control your child. He or she is constantly getting in 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 hard to cope, you need to find professional support and help.

In The Reverse Five, you know you must do something about their behaviour, or are coming around to accept your child has a condition that goes beyond cheek and unruliness. This may be difficult to accept initially as there may have been a perception the child would grow out of it, or simply needed firmer handling. Also, it is possible you have battled in the Upright Five to get a diagnosis for your child, knowing as a parent there was something wrong, feeling helpless and guilty as you watched your child struggle with a condition that no one wanted to help with. Now in the Reverse, things are beginning to happen. All the knocking on doors, phone calls, emails, and letters have eventually reached the right ears and help is on its way. You feel exhausted but not on your own anymore. However, to take the fight out of your child, their hyper state or mania, what is on offer might be sedating medication. Check for Six of Pentacles (drug dosages being issued), Sword Courts (doctors) and the Four/Seven of Cups (sedation). It is not what you were looking for, but at this stage you might be willing to give it a try. Queen of Cups, King of Cups, Six of Cups, Hermit, Temperance, Sword Courts, could point to psychotherapy or cognitive behavioural therapy as caring professionals teach your child the necessary coping skills to manage their condition.

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, hand them a paintbrush and easel or give them a microphone and put them on the stage. Pentacles could suggest physical activity, health, and animals. Your child 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.

Tackling Bullying

In the Five of Wands Reversed, bullying or disruptive behaviour can force you to find a less aggressive environment for your child. You need to carry out research on the anti-bullying policies of any school you consider and see if they are properly policed. You want to make the right move, not jump from the frying pan into the fire. In the Upright Five, children had to survive in quite a tough environment, but in general they were able for it. There will always be bad apples to contend with and they were present in the Upright Five too, along with the kids who were simply assertive and pushy. In The Reversed Five of Wands, we see the search for a school or environment that has weeded out the bad apples or carefully monitors them. Groups and gangs are discouraged, or moved on when discovered. The children in these environments are motivated in other ways. They are not interested in intimidation or ostracization, preferring inclusion and integration. They promote tolerance and acceptance. There is nothing here to interest bullies as they will gain no followers or supporters.

If seeking a school that promotes anti-bullying policies it would be wise to do some background research and not accept their claims at face value. Check around and read reviews. Do a search online for any stories connected to the school and ask locally. What you do not want is them promoting one thing, but not being able or interested in enforcing it. Anti-bullying policies are only as good as parent’s influence, and the willingness of teaching staff to implement them. Ensure there is certain protocol that must be followed through in the event of a complaint about bullying. Those that police it must take the offence seriously and not dismiss it.

Boarding schools could be suggested by both the Upright and Reversed Five of Wands, where you have a mix of children thrown together for extended periods who may or may not get on together. Boarding schools have had a notorious reputation for unchecked bullying over the years. In many cases it was perceived as a rite of passage, something the individual had to put up with, stand up to, or get over. Bullying was to be expected and no one liked a tell-tale. Reporting bullying sometimes brought further bullying with staff not handling it appropriately, exposing the accuser to even greater torment. And of course, we must also look at where the bullying is coming from. It may not be fellow children or peer bullying at all. It could come from higher up the chain of command, from teachers or principals. Reversed Courts, Reversed Hierophant, Reversed Emperor/Empress could suggest bullying coming from those in charge. If so, exposing it will prove more challenging as they may attempt to cover it up or deny it.

Bullying either diminishes or becomes very serious in the Reversed Five of Wands. Regardless of where it is coming from, if the Five and Seven of Swords appears, you must act. If the Four, Eight, Nine or Ten of Swords appear in connection to this reading, there would be concern for the psychological state of the victim, who may not be able to cope much longer.

Detention, Suspension and Expulsion

If it is your child who is the issue, the one causing the problems, be it bullying, cheek or disruption, the school could take action and decide to suspend or expel them. Problematic children could get detention under the influence of The Five of Wands Reversed. They may be prevented from joining the other children at school breaks or held back after hours. They could be blatantly ignoring school policy and rules, or perhaps rebelling against them.  If there are problems at home, such as relationship issues, separation or divorce, your children could be acting out at school and getting in trouble. Cheek or apathy may be a mask for anger and upset.

Aggressive Children/Bullies/Gangs

The Five of Wands Upright shows 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. Yes, it can suggest children acting tough, but all in play, or good sport. Games can get a bit out of hand, many times ending 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. They have 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. The battle is not always fought out in the open or in a transparent manner. 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 following separation or divorce 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.

The Reversed Five of Wands with The Five of Swords could point to your child/teenager getting involved in gang culture, living in an area where gangs rule the neighbourhood, or being at the receiving end of aggression from gangs.

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 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.

Following on from the above, The Five of Wands could highlight your large brood diminishing as one by one they flee the nest to set up their own Pentacle/home/life elsewhere. In the imagery, they are in the process of moving, taking all their things with them. They may have friends around to assist and lift, or perhaps their siblings. There may be an issue with who gets to take over their room after they leave, and many other items to settle. The Six/Ten of Cups Reversed, Four of Wands Reversed, along with The Empress/Emperor Reversed, could strengthen this possibility as the family home and parental roles change.

Tied To Apron Strings

On the other hand, if you have consistently fought your children’s battles for them over the years, and not let them figure things out, you may find this continuing as they get older. They do not have the skills to deal with disappointment or rejection, turning to you to sort out their issues, to make it all right. They may get easily upset or angry over the slightest thing as they have not learned to toughen up. If you have your children too tightly tied to your apron strings, you are not doing them any favours. Yes, the world can be harsh place, but they will eventually have to find their way in it. You need to prepare them for this in increments by encouraging appropriate independence, and taking responsibility for their actions. You cannot shadow them forever. They must be allowed make mistakes and learn from them, take a knocking and get back up again.

Keeping It Manageable

In the Five of Wands Upright we explored the desire to have a large family, to fill the house with children. When this card Reverses, a large family may be the last thing you want or need. You can’t possible see how you would manage or keep order. Large families are lovely when all are successfully reared, healthy and happy. You on the  other hand would think it exhausting and a huge financial strain. It is something you are quite happy to leave to others.  We could also find a situation where a large family is desired but having to settle for less.

In The Five of Wands Reversed, there may be a change of heart for those who had decided against having children, or vice versa.

Single Parent Exhaustion

In the Upright Five we looked at the struggles of single parenting, having to be all things to everyone and keep so many balls in the air. In Reverse, help has either arrived allowing for a less demanding existence, or you begin to drop the balls one by one, unable to cope with what is expected of you. If the Six of Pentacles, Reversed Five of Pentacles or Six of Swords appears close by, this could be an indication you are now receiving support from Social Welfare or perhaps family and friends have stepped in to offer assistance. The other parent may begin to take up some of the slack, taking some of the pressure off you. However, you might be going under, letting things slip, losing control as exhaustion and despair set in. If this is the case you need to seek help from relevant organisations. It is not a time to feel too proud to ask for help. You have not failed as a parent. You are simply overwhelmed with tiredness and worry. Check for the Five of Pentacles in the spread which will show have desperate and isolated you feel in your situation.


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.

The Issue of Paternity

If you have discovered you are pregnant, you may be unsure who the father is if you have had several partners. The imagery in the Five of Wands is quite explicit when we look at it from a sexual perspective. Let’s face it, we do see several Wands being waved in the air at the one time. This means you may have had more than one partner in the time frame where conception occurred. The father could be one of a couple or several. The presence of several Reversed male Court Cards, Reversed Emperor, Reversed Magician and Seven of Cups could see you having to explore this multiple choice possibility.

Not Skilled In The Art Of Flirtation Or Seduction

In the Upright Five of Wands we found outrageous flirtation and attempts at seduction. The Reversed Five of Wands could be highlighting a lack of skill in this area. Flirtation and seduction do not come naturally. Chatting up someone could cause you to break out in a cold sweat and get tongue-tied or clam up. Instead of making a move, you hang back and stay on the edge watching others, do with ease and panache, what you can’t. You might be the opposite of the Upright Five – painfully shy or insecure. You could do with the support of the Four of Wands, friends and family who will encourage you to build confidence and self-belief. Maybe you need some introductions from people you can trust. There is also the option of seeking professional guidance if anxiety issues are severe. You could look into courses that focus on assertiveness and personal development.

You may however, think you possess pulling power in heaps, but in truth it’s likely cliched, corny and predictable. Your chat-up lines may be an instant turn-off. You might be too obvious in your approach, or believe your presence is enough. An over-inflated ego could blind you to the dire mistakes you are making. In the Upright Five, we found a magnetic personality that drew people. You were the bright flame that moths flew to. Your chat-up lines a guarantee of instant success. Crowds gathered round you just to be in your company, or in the hope of getting closer. In the Five of Wands Reversed your approach has the opposite effect. Instead of filling the room, you are known to clear it in seconds. The barstools empty rapidly as you swagger or sashay up to them, ready to pounce. People avoid getting caught with you as you lean too heavily into their personal space. If your attempts at flirtation are not working, if people are moving away from you, or give you strange looks, it might be a sign you are getting it all wrong and need to stop what you are about. You could be trying too hard, or innocently using inappropriate approaches. Your sales technique needs to change. You need to brand yourself differently. You are likely trying to be someone you’re not, a personality you think everyone will be drawn to. You might need some mentoring in this area, either with a professional or a good friend who will be open and honest with you.

Sex Life Restored After Estrangement

After trouble experienced in The Upright Five of Wands which caused disturbance to your sex life, we see things get back to normal in the Reverse. Whatever storm hit the relationship has passed and partners tentatively make a move towards each other in reconciliation. Intimacy is slowly restored as anger diminishes. Comfort in each other’s’ arms is sought. The estrangement has taken its toll. There may have been an indiscretion, affair or upsetting behaviour, but an effort is made to restore the relationship. The first initial return to sex could be uneasy as neither of you want to be seen to push the agenda. There is a sense of walking on eggshells around the subject of sex. However, when it gets there, there may be a heightened experience with your partner, as if having sex for the first time again. This restoration of your sex life could lead to a new closeness and appreciation of what you might have lost. All will be well and you have survived. Take it slowly as trust must build at its own pace. Sexually you will feel more balanced.

Alternatively, your sex life may become a distant memory of the past if damage sustained to the relationship cannot be mended. What once was active and engaging has been reduced to ashes. The Five of Wands often learns lessons the hard way. Instead of the Reversed Five heading back to the Four for stability, it continues its downward spiral from the Reversed Four of Wands, making one mistake after another, and shooting itself in the foot over and over again. Just when you think it cannot get any worse it probably might under the influence of this Reversed card, but surrounding cards should throw light upon which aspect is at play. If it is the latter aspect, the mess is generally self-inflicted, but external third-parties could be taking advantage of the chaos for their own gain. Someone may not want you to reconcile with your partner/spouse and deliberately set you up to fail.

Sleeping With Your Ex

The Five of Wands Upright highlighted the possibility of interference from an ex. It was generally unwelcome. However, in The Reversed Five of Wands, we could find collusion. You may invite the interference or allow it to go unchecked. You might be curious, or perhaps hope something will come out of it. Under this energy you could easily fall into bed with your ex. It could happen after encountering them at a party, social occasion or chance meeting. You may have orchestrated the situation, inviting them for a coffee, drink, just to catch up, or asked them to call to your home to pick up their belongings. Sex with your ex might lead you back into their arms, but it might also be extremely painful if you haven’t yet got over them. It could be like pulling a plaster off an open wound. You are in a constant state of construction, destruction and then reconstruction – rinse and repeat. It certainly will complicate matters, especially if you are in a relationship with another. You continue to dip in and out of the game, never fully leaving the playing pitch, sustaining further injury due to over-exposure.

After They Get What They Want, They’re Gone

The Five of Wands Reversed could highlight a situation where interest wanes after securing a love conquest. You may have been pursued by an admirer who seemed head over heels in love or infatuated with you. They were persistent in their attentions and brought pressure to bear about agreeing to a date. So, eventually you gave in and allowed yourself to be caught. You were quite excited about this and happy to be with someone who wanted you so much. Things advanced very rapidly with this suitor making a move on you. They were crazy about you, couldn’t keep their hands off you, so you decided to throw caution to the wind and go with it. It is wonderful to be adored and treated like a Goddess/God.

Anyway, that was all a few days or weeks ago. In the afterglow of sex, you had thought to lie there and talk, but they appeared restless and distant. They muttered something about having to go, or drop you home, and before you knew it you were on your own. You haven’t heard from them since which has left you very perplexed.  Was it something you said, did, didn’t do? Were you really that awful, or sexually boring? Unfortunately, you may have to accept the fact this person was looking for one thing, and after they got it, took off. You might have been lured or fooled into giving the goods away too soon. If you had held back, they might still be around, but what difference would it make with this type of person. Sooner or later you would have got there, unless you intended to wait until you were married, and the same would have happened. A lesson learned. We can all fall foul of flattery and feigned adulation. Our ego likes to think it is incomparable and outstanding. We know we shouldn’t be taken in by such sycophancy, but turn to bask in it as if the sun. The Five of Wands Reversed could leave you feeling used and disrespected. Hopefully you never have to see this person again.

Sex Ruins The Dynamics of A Group or Friendship

The Five of Wands Reversed could find you regretting any hasty action taken in the Upright. The imagery in the card suggests a group of people, they could be known to each other, or just strangers encountered. They could be work colleagues or people you associate with. In the Upright we found sexual chemistry. Sparks flew when you were around this group. There was an energy building between you and another which was electrifying. Gosh, you felt so alive, your nerve endings tingling, your heart beating wildly as you brushed off each other, or caught their eye which always seemed to seek you out. And then you went and did it! It was building, a steam of pressure that had to blow. The moment presented itself and things happened. With wild abandon, you unleashed all the sexual frustration built inside you. It was wonderful. However, nothing has been the same since. There is an atmosphere among the group that you find quite isolating. The dynamics have changed since you had sex with this person. You are unsure whether the others know, but they are not as relaxed with you anymore. The person in question who used to seek you out and have such fun with you, is not as forthcoming anymore. You wish things to go back to normal but its awkward. Perhaps you should have left it as it was, a flirtation and tease that made life a bit more exciting. Too late. You won’t be doing that again in a hurry.

Erratic Sex Life

After the rush of love and passion from Ace to Four, we now find a couple whose sex life has diminished somewhat in the Reversed Five. 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. Whereas the Upright Five was a very definite full contact sport, the Reverse finds players pull or hold back, not wanting or seeking such contact. 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. You might be on your guard, not wanting to give any inkling to your partner of the possibility of sex. This could involve hastily getting dressed or undressed when they are out of sight as you don’t want them getting any ideas. You could pretend to be asleep when you’re not in an effort to avoid intimacy. You just don’t feel like it and can’t be bothered to pretend otherwise. 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 anymore.

Allowing Your Sex Life To Slip Away

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.

The arrival of babies or growing family may be used as an ongoing excuse for not pursuing your sex life with each other.

Taking Back Your Sex Life

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.

A Return To Monogamy

If you have gone through the break up, separation or divorce of the Reversed Two/Three/Four of Wands, you very possibly took a well-earned break from getting heavily involved with anyone. This did not mean you stayed at home watching television, but rather hit the social scene, dating and mating, then preferring to go home alone. You may have spread your wings sexually and had a few fun flings or played the field with your new-found freedom. In The Five Reversed, we find you grow tired and unfulfilled with your current way of living. You are not getting the kicks out of it anymore and now begin to look favourably on the Upright Four of Wands once more. You are ready to come in off the pitch and leave this particular game to others. Instead of dating and mating, you now seek monogamy and stability. This might have been prompted by a certain someone you thought just a casual fling, but has turned out much more. You have developed feelings for someone, or would like to. You want to be part of a relationship with someone you care about and cares about you.

A Feast Or Famine Sex Life

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.

Sexually Passive or Incompatible

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.

The Reversed Five of Wands can also show the opposite attitude to sex of the Upright Five. In this case we would be looking at a very prudish personality who stays away from anything that is remotely connected to sex. This will include avoiding any TV programs or movies that show sexual or nude scenes. There is an extremely conservative approach to sex with it barely being tolerated for the sake of conception. Old-fashioned attitudes are observed and clothes never fully removed. There may be letters of complaint written to newspapers, radio or TV stations over sexually explicit content.

Dropping Your Guard With Contraception

In the Five of Wands Reversed we might be looking at multiple sex partners again. 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. This could be paranoia on your part (Nine of Wands). 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 your partner may have a sexual history prior to you. The Reversed Five could suggest a negligent attitude to contraception.

In the imagery of this card, we might be looking at sexually active individuals. One would assume they are taking care where contraception is concerned as they are so openly active, but there might be a laid-back attitude to it or total disregard. Before you get yourself into a tight moment with any of this group, check these very important details as you might have to back out rapidly. Worse still is, if after going so far you discover there is no intention to use contraception, you decide to take a chance on it anyway. This might occur in a party environment, where alcohol has been consumed. It is possible you will only become aware of the lack of contraception once it is over and done, and too late.

On the other hand, dropping contraception may be a deliberate act if you have decided to start a family. Here we see someone who was super cautious with contraception actively avoid it.

Sexual Insecurities

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 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. Check for The Hermit, Reversed Emperor/Empress/Magician/High Priestess or Reversed Court Queens, Kings and possible Reversed Six of Cups. 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 feel or sleeping with. You refuse to grow old gracefully and behave outrageously. Your clothes could be too tight, too revealing and too young. Bling replaces style with hit heaped on in heavy doses.

Missing Out Sexually/No Action

The Reversed Five of Wands could be pointing to a lack of action in your sex life. There could be a number of reasons as this card can suggest a sham situation, pretence etc. You might be making out to everyone around you that all is good but in truth there is nothing happening. It could be all talk and no walk. You might be in a relationship or marriage where there is an expectation of having a physical relationship with your partner, but something is up. There may be little or no intimate contact between you which has been allowed go on for some time. The subject has now become unbroachable and avoidance tactics adopted. Sex has ceased due to ongoing rows or disappointment. A partner may have stepped over a major line, into forbidden or private territory. If there has been discovery of an affair or indiscretion, one of the first things withdrawn will be sex. The withdrawal of sex may be used as a form of punishment.

You sex life may be scattered or erratic, all go for one or two weeks and then a drought for months. In relationships, sex may happen only on the rare occasion, the rest of the time a barren landscape. It might show a marked contrast to what your sex life used to be. You never had a problem in this area and could always rely on a steady stream of opportunities. It is likely you were used to, and still need, regular sex, but it’s not happening. It is possible in The Five of Wands Reversed, you might consider looking for it, not out in the open as in the Upright Five, but discreetly through professional services. There will be little emotional connection, just physical release. This is something you will keep to yourself.

We might also be looking at a situation where a partner is experiencing sexual dysfunction. Males who would normally be depicted as the virile warrior types of the Upright Five, could be experiencing erectile dysfunction or other issues. Men are not great about discussing such things and certainly not with their friends, so there could be a sense of not feeling like one of the boys, and experience it as a reflection on their masculinity and virility.

Health problems or treatments such as chemotherapy, or specific cancers will also rob a person of any sexual drive. The loss of your sex life may be a significant thing for you.

Sexual Taboos/Shocked By Partners Requests

In The Five of Wands Upright we found partners exploring and experimenting with sex. They were prepared to try out new things and even break some sexual taboos which made them feel very wicked indeed. In the Reversed Five we find the desire still exists, but only on one side. One partner has raised the subject and revealed what they would like and hope to try out. They are waiting for a positive and eager response from their partner, but are met with shock and disgust. They are told in no uncertain terms that it won’t be happening, and never will. Subject closed. There could be an atmosphere that lingers after, as perhaps what the partner asked for has shown them in a new light. Here we might find two very different sexual personalities. One who is open and liberal, willing to try anything, and the other who is closed, conventional and very conservative. There may also be a religious element to it, related to sin and morals. Check for the Hierophant.

When in Reverse, the Five of Wands might want to ban all forms of porn. Sex could be seen as something dirty and undesirable. Sex is repressed or beaten into submission.

Attitude To Sex

In the Upright Five we looked at an attitude of entitlement when it came to sex. You were in a relationship or marriage and saw it as your due. There was an expectancy of it being readily available to you. In the Five of Wands Reversed, we see a different attitude or a worsening of the Upright stance. We might see an understanding of needing your partner, team mate to be on the same page as you at the same time for sex to happen. Just because you have signed up for inclusion in the game, to be a player, doesn’t automatically imply you are available for, or want to, play every single game offered to you. Some you don’t have the time for, and others you would prefer to sit out. You both need to be up for it if it’s going to work successfully.

Coming from an extreme side, we could see the sense of entitlement bordering on the belief you have the right to sex on demand. You care less about whether your partner wants it or is in the mood. You take it anyway, even when you see they are not into it. You may assume ownership or rights over their body. Surrounding cards would need to support this negative theory.

Feeling Less Confused About Your Sexual Identity

In the Upright Five we experienced great inner turmoil and confusion with sexual identity. You were uncertain of your preferences, could not make sense of them or were unsettled by changing desires. In the Reversed Five of Wands you begin to get a clearer sense of who you are and where your sexual preferences lie. It took some time though. You may have conducted a few experiments in your search to understand. While in the Upright you were struggling to fit in or belong to a certain identity, you now know where that is when Reversed. You feel a growing connection to certain groups or individuals and feel relieved to be accepted by them. This will bring a sense of happiness in your life.

Of course, the Reversed Five could be pointing you back to the Four of Wands. You may have dabbled with several sexual orientations before returning to being heterosexual, gay or bisexual. The Upright Five of Wands showed a liberal approach, wanted to try them out for yourself. In the imagery we found varying individuals, none who dressed alike (different Sexual Identities). You may have experimented, tried out sex with someone you normally wouldn’t. Your partners, were all playing on different teams. In The Five of Wands Reversed, you return to your own team.

This Reversed Card could also imply you continue to pursue a variety of sexual relationships but keep them very much under cover.

Maturing Sex

From the frenzied pace of sexual pursuit observed in the Upright Card connected to an adolescent or youthful approach, we now see a tempering of activity in this area. In The Upright Five, we found a bunch of sexually aware and active young figures embark on sexual adventures as if a sport or competition. There was the need for quantity over quality as they sought one sexual conquest after another. Now in the Five of Wands Reversed, it appears to have burned out of their system. They have been there, done that and have the t-shirt to prove it. It no longer holds the same appeal for them. Players begin to leave the open field in search of something less public. Of course, some may stay behind, wondering why the others would want to quit as they are quite happy with the life they live and the type of sex they’re getting. The players who wish to distance themselves from the open game, are now drawn to more mature relationships. They may have met someone who means something to them, or are fed up with sex without real feeling. They might be ready to offer a form of commitment to another, perhaps try out a full-time relationship, or more. They now want to hang around with someone for longer than a night or two. There is a sense of growing up. Wild oats have been sown and it’s time to move on.

Tight-Lipped About Your Sex Life or Kiss And Tell All

In the Upright Five of Wands, we encountered much talking and sharing of sexual encounters with friends or colleagues. There may have been bragging or boasting involved. Everyone knew your sexual business and it played to your ego. In the Reverse, it might be the last thing you seek. This card could suggest that although you sit and talk with any number of people in different environments and scenarios, there are certain subjects you do not open up about. You may have to listen to others’ detail the ins and out of their sex life, reacting with nods and gasps of shock where appropriate, but you won’t be forthcoming with any such personal details. Privacy is important to you. You may not be a fan of social media either, appalled at what people share and discuss.

The Upright Five of Wands brought a willingness to be open about your sex life. You were quite happy to talk of how much you were getting, how often, and with whom. You shared intimate details with your friends and at times bragged about your conquests. Now in The Five of Wands, we can find a very different stance, or more of the same. You may be quite private about your sex-life, or only share details with very close friends, a small circle you can trust. You do not think of sex as something you should brag about and respect the privacy of your partner and others. You may have a strict rule with partners about disclosing any private details about you on their social media pages. You might get uncomfortable when others talk about sex, telling them you don’t want to know. You may have learned the hard way if you previously shared intimate details with those who then could not keep it to themselves. Gossip may have spread about you. Private images or videos could have been leaked by an ex-partner or malicious person intent on humiliation you. You will not be making that mistake again as you tighten up on the information you share with others. You are determined to guard the privacy of your relationship and sex-life.

Of course, The Reversed Five of Wands could simply bring more of the Upright aspect with your sex life on public display and comment. There is a kiss and tell energy, as gossip and rumour spread about what you get up to between the sheets and with whom. This might be something you like or are totally unaware of. If you don’t respect your own privacy it is unlikely you will respect others. You will be quick to spread the news of another’s indiscretion or affair, irrespective of the damage and hurt you cause.

Addicted To Sex

In a reading related to sex or attitude to sex, the Five of Wands Reversed could point to a level of addiction to sex. Other cards such as the Devil (addiction), Reversed Lovers (sex, not love), Reversed Temperance (excess/hedonism) Reversed Courts, especially Cups, Wands and Pentacles could indicate a tendency towards excessive indulgence or obsession with sex. In the Upright Five we find a very healthy appetite for sex and a situation of generally always being in the mood for it. There is a positive desire for sex and the card suggests a very active, if not messy or chaotic sex life. Five will act first and think later so could cause a lot of drama where sex is concerned.

However, in the Five of Wands Reversed, we find a situation where the active pursuit of sex becomes less prominent and calms down, or develops into a problem and gets out of hand. Finding a stable partner and entering a committed relationship will naturally put an end to looking for sex elsewhere. The sex life may be very active still, but no longer spread around, as it’s confined to a particular person, not several.

Addiction to sex can take several forms but is generally viewed as hypersexuality; satyriasis (males) and nymphomania (females). This type of addiction creates an obsession with sex; always thinking about it, always craving or seeking it, sexual urges at inappropriate times and a compulsion for excessive porn and cybersex. Just like any addiction, you might feel you have no control over the situation. There may be several causes behind sexual addiction, but if you have taken the path of favouring online sex chatrooms, or over-indulging in porn instead of seeking a true and meaningful relationship, you may become conditioned to instant gratification and sexual release on demand. Like a drug, you become dependent on it (sex) and lose the ability to function normally. You seek sex everywhere without a care for the potential consequences of your actions. With this addiction, you will quickly need more than normal sex to satisfy you. In this manner, sexual urges may become fetish or debase. The Devil, Tower and level of Reversed Cards, such as Reversed Five of Pentacles, Reversed Fool, Reversed Temperance and certain Reversed Cup cards, could suggest a total loss of control with lack of self-awareness, self-respect, or conscience. Sex is sought anywhere; from street walkers, prostitutes and in very dodgy places. The sex addict could be in a relationship or marriage but conducts this other life. Their addiction is destructive and dangerous. Psychosexual or Sex and Relationship Counselling may be required to break this downward spiralling habitual behaviour.

Faking Orgasm

In the Upright Five we found an enjoyment of sex and being quite active in that area. Multiple orgasms were suggested with marathons of energetic sex. Now in The Five of Wands Reversed, we see a different picture. It could be telling us of desiring and attempting multiple orgasms but not quite getting there. You will have to make do with your normal allowance. Some people have the ability for this while others don’t. The Reversed Five could also suggest that you fail to achieve orgasm no matter how hard you try, or perhaps fake it. Faking orgasms is very common. Sometimes it is the result of not communicating your sexual needs to your partner, allowing them to keep doing the wrong thing, in the wrong place, at the wrong time. You might be embarrassed to tell them what it is you need to achieve orgasm, or do not want them to feel inadequate. You go along with this level of pretence, which will eventually cause you to lose interest in sex as you are getting nothing out of it. You might also be faking multiple orgasms to give the impression you have a very high sex drive which you think will make you more desirable.

Rough Sex Not Your Thing

The Five of Wands Reversed could point to not being interested in, or not wanting rough sex. It’s simply not your thing. You could have met someone who likes it and maybe you went along with it a couple of times, but would really prefer something more traditional and conventional. You might be looking for romance, tenderness and slow lingering emotional contact, not exhausting action. You like to be treated gently and not manhandled. You could be in a relationship or marriage with someone who doesn’t understand this. You will need to communicate your feelings. There may be a misunderstanding. Your new partner, or current one, could feel the same but is under the impression that rough sex, means great sex.

The Perils Of Unprotected Sex

A one night stand you had already forgotten about, has come back to bite you in the face as you discover a pregnancy is the aftermath of your fun and frolics. What will you do now? The fling you had on vacation has left you with an STI which has most likely been passed on to your partner at this stage. What a mess? You will have to prepare for the fallout. How do you manage to get yourself into so much trouble? The Messy Sex Life of The Upright Five of Wands is just about to get a lot worse.

The Downside Of Being A Groupie

In the Upright Five of Wands we explored the laid back, liberal and free-love life of a Groupie. There was a comfort with nudity and casual sex. Most groupies grow up and move on, some marrying their idols or someone close to them. Others do not fare so well. The life of a Groupie can be exciting and entitling. Doors open for you into areas that are off-limits to most. You get to hang around celebrities, attend parties, concerts with back stage passes and feature in media coverage. Your name could be well known as your reputation builds. It is likely you are gorgeous and very sexy with a great body. Otherwise you may not be there. In the Five of Wands we see the negative effects of life as a Groupie. Drugs and drink could become too much of a fixture in your life as they are passed around freely. You could develop an addiction. Your life could become meaningless as you drift in a drunken or drugged haze from party to party, falling out of taxis, crashing out on chairs, beds and floors. You may be unsure of who you are having or had sex with. You could become an object to be used by others. The lovely body you started out with in The Upright Five may be thin and wasted from lack of proper nutrition, too much alcohol, drugs and cigarettes. You are a total mess and no good to anyone at this stage. It is time to go home and get your life back in order before it is too late. You need the stabilising energy of the Four of Wands and support of family.

Sexual Harassment Stops/Increases

In The Upright Five of Wands we dealt with the issue of sexual harassment. A situation was making you feel uncomfortable at work, socially or elsewhere. In the Five of Wands Reversed you act upon it and take the matter in hand. This could involve you making an official complaint or filing a report. You are determined to put a stop to this game. There may be an enquiry and personal details taken. If this is a work situation, you might feel ostracised by those who see you as making trouble for one or more of their colleagues. You may be unsure of who is on your side as people give you a wide berth. Your allegations are being taken seriously by whatever authorities you have reported them to and you will see some changes enforced. The offending party/ies may be removed, there may be a public apology or compensation for example. The Justice, Judgement, Upright Sword Court Cards could suggest justice being served or legal action taken.

Because of the extreme aspects of Reverse Cards, we could also see injustice. Sexual harassment increases or is allowed go unchecked. Complaints you make may not be taken seriously, made light of, or ignored. You could be made feel the guilty party. Your life may be made difficult by your antagonists who feel they can treat you as they wish. You could feel powerless and even forced out of your job. Surrounding cards will give indications of whether things are improving or getting worse.

Sexual Force/Abuse

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. This is not an interpretation that would be thrown out lightly.




Wands’ Encyclopedia of Love & Sex – Installment 3a – The Five of Wands Upright