Conflict. Struggle. Competition.
The Five of Wands is about competition, conflict, struggle, and obstacles in your way. If you draw this card there’s likely to be a disagreement or argument with others (or sometimes you may be battling yourself with conflicting desires).
A feeling of tension is likely.
The conflict may not be very serious, and the RWS deck, this card has an almost game-like feel to it, as if it’s a competition rather than a more serious conflict.
In a career reading, this card may be about competition or conflict at work. If you’re looking for a job, then it suggests quite strong competition for the position. It could also suggest a contentious meeting.
The varying costumes of the men suggest that different types of ideas may be being expressed. If you planned a brainstorming session, this card could be a good card to draw.
In many cases, this card should be seen as a trial to be overcome.
There may be a need for mediation or conflict management.
Violence or fighting may be indicated.
Boldness may be needed.
There’s a danger that energy is scattered, and that more focus is needed.
In a relationship reading, the Five of Wands suggests disputes and conflicting ideas on how to approach particular issues. Some sort of mediation may be useful as this card, although showing strife, is not as serious as some of the cards in tarot.
The Five of Wands reversed can also mean disputes and argument, but it could also suggest the need to avoid conflict and become more focussed.
Trickery and litigation could be indicated.
Inner conflict could be suggested. Also, the original meaning could indicated but to a lesser degree—perhaps a minor conflict or disagreement.
Reversed cards can sometimes show a blockage of energy. This might mean that your are avoiding a difference of opinions that needs to faced.
As always, the other cards drawn will influence the meaning of the card.
In the RWS Five of Wands five men standing on uneven ground are seen fighting with staffs. The conflict doesn’t appear to be very serious; it’s almost as if they are play fighting.
They’re all dressed in different colours and styles, suggesting diverse opinions or backgrounds.
Astrologically, the Five of Wands represents Leo in Saturn.
The esoteric title of the Five of Wands is Lord of Strife.