The Five of Wands features five young men holding sticks in their hands, they appear to be playing some sort of sport, or possibly fighting with each other. This Rider Waite tarot card is related to the idea of creative strife, of finding the right path through rigorous debate. And even though it may look like this card may be negative, it is considered to be a positive omen.
Appearance and Symbolism
The Five of Wands, as mentioned in any tarot card interpretation of the cards, features five young men engaging in sport or battle, each holding a stick (or wand) with leaves growing from it. They are standing on fertile, green ground and the bright blue of the sky takes up the majority of the card. It is important to note that none of these sticks are actually striking any of the other men. There is no injury to any of the people, even though they look like they are fighting with each other. This card is about passionate defence – the defence of ideas and the vigorous debate of creative ideas.
The intense blue of the sky is a symbol of expression and communication, specifically in the form of speech. Blue is the colour related to the throat chakra, another tie back to how much this card is about debate and communication. It is important to remember that the throat chakra is related to the ears – telling us that in order to communicate effectively we need to listen to others and take their opinions into consideration.
The earth represents the interconnectedness of us all. We are all beings of the earth and we will all return to the earth after we die. The earth as shown in this card represents the groundedness we need to achieve and also the fertile ground of our creativity. The lush, verdant green of the ground reminds us that we are able to achieve creatively whatever we set our minds to. The suit of Wands is of course, the suit related to creativity.
This card is related to competition and times of conflict, and often comes up when a person is undergoing an inner or outer struggle. As with all things in life, our point of view can make a huge difference as to how we perceive things. Just because this card represents struggle, that doesn’t mean things are looking down and gloomy. It is only by going through times of struggle and strife that we are able to become our better selves.
This card is about being alert and aware, about fighting for what you believe in and achieving the outcome you feel to be right. It is also a card of gain and can often signal the acquisition of something important to you.
When the Five of Wands is drawn inverted, it signals an end to strife; a time of relaxing and breathing and regrouping before the next thing to come your way. On a personal level, it means that you have done good work, that you have come to terms with your own inner demons and can achieve more secure relationships.