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5 of wands?


Hello, forum.

I'd love to get your opinion on the 5 of Wands. I know it can be a card of challenge and scattered energies, but I don't really understand it.

Does this fighting and struggling have a purpose?

How is it different from the 5 of Swords, for instance? It seems more positive to me, but then again, none of the 5 are really bright and happy cards, aren't they?

If it comes up as a difficulty, I can more or less understand the meaning, I think (though the nuances probably escape me), but I've also pulled it for a friend as "what helps" -- and there I was stumped.

I love confusing cards because they make the best threads...
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5 Swords can be a card that addresses fighting within oneself in a "should I or shouldn't I?" kind of manner. In the context of "what helps", that suggests looking clearly at one's options before making a decision.

Sometimes the delay caused by "should I or shouldn't I?" can turn an issue into a non-issue. (Should I or shouldn't I rat out my co-worker? Oh! He got busted by the boss, so my hands are clean.)

It can also be a card of strong opinions within a group of people (friends, co-workers, fellow contestants on a reality show, etc). As what helps in that case, getting all those opinions out in the open and having them discussed will hopefully lead to the best idea getting chosen.

HTH,
Rodney
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Quote:
Originally Posted by carcinya
Does this fighting and struggling have a purpose?

How is it different from the 5 of Swords, for instance? It seems more positive to me, but then again, none of the 5 are really bright and happy cards, aren't they?
If you'll notice, in the 5/Wands (Typical RW image) there are 5 guys who look pretty much alike all with the same weapon (a wand). And they are all fighting each other. Now this doesn't mean that they're necessarily trying to hurt each other. In fact, the 5/Wands can suggest playful romping, exercise, training/sparring--physically or philosophically. But like all 5's there is a question of whether or not you can "rise above" the situation you're in. In this case, will you be able to distinguish yourself from the others, or just be another guy with a wand?

This card reminds us that whatever we're going after, there are others out there that want the same. You might well call it the "audition" card. If we're going to get the part, we have to step up our game, go the extra mile, stand out somehow. We can spar playfully with others, but if we want to be picked for the assignment, we still have to show that we're the best at sparring.

The 5/Swords, by compare, indicates much more sinister intent. The typical image shows a bully or swindler who is winning by hook or crook. What you have to rise above here is actually the opposite of 5/Wands. Instead of proving yourself the better fighter, you need to avoid fighting at all. Because it's not a fair fight. It's a trap, and you will lose.

Example: 5/Swords is like a troll baiting you into an argument on the internet. The troll has set things up so that you'll find arguing hard to resist--but if you do argue, he'll spring the trap and you'll lose, making him look good and yourself look bad. In 5/Wands, however, there a heated discussion going on, everyone's making pretty much good points, so you have to put more energy and passion into it and stand out as having the best points.

That help?
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Thanks a lot, both of you.

Rodney: So the 5/wands can be about inner struggle, too? I'd never looked at it this way, but now that I think about it... it could represent conflicting impulses "fighting it out", so to speak, within one's mind or one's heart.

Thirteen: Yes, that helps a lot, thanks! The troll/discussion analogy is very clear (and going into my tarot journal ).

Recently this card showed up as what was both "helping" and "hindering" one of my friend's project, and I found it interesting that the same energy could be both at the same time.

But now I think that makes a little more sense: all the struggling in the 5/wands *is* moving in a positive direction (helping) but at the same time, it's taking a lot of time and energy to determine the "winner" among the contestants (thus "hindering").

As a side question, can the 5/swords sometimes refer to a lack of self-esteem? I mean, I've seen it come up for myself sometimes when I feel defeated in advance, when I feel like giving up without a fight because I fear I'm not good enough to win. But maybe that's just me.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thirteen
If you'll notice, in the 5/Wands (Typical RW image) there are 5 guys who look pretty much alike all with the same weapon (a wand). And they are all fighting each other....

The 5/Swords, by compare, indicates much more sinister intent. The typical image shows a bully or swindler who is winning by hook or crook. What you have to rise above here is actually the opposite of 5/Wands. Instead of proving yourself the better fighter, you need to avoid fighting at all. Because it's not a fair fight. It's a trap, and you will lose.
This is actually a fairly good differentiation. In a Five Swords situation I wouldn't necessarily refuse to engage, but I'd agree hands-down that it's not the same contest of strength as the Five Wands but more in the mind, about who is the better manipulator.
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I guess your interprettaion of the 5 of swords could work. You're not sure about which battle to fight, if it will make you really win. And I guess before making that choice you have the think in advance, and if you constantly think; I won't win anyway, not even in a not so shiny way, it could point to nthat. Don't think it's a meaning that much off ... never realy seen it as that though.

5 of Wands came up recently for me as a guy that surely has that inner struggle, and which shows on the outside; he's a tease, he works his wand, but he keeps at distance when there could get to too much fire, than it's a 'no I shouldn't go there'. So it could both show in and out.
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I like that bit about auditions & competing. I usually think of 5 Wands as creative challenges, I also think of it as there is one goal but every one has their own idea of how it should be done... so there is the creative challenge right there, turning all those ideas of what people want into something they all can live with, without bringing the house down or ending up with some slap happy mishmash that isn't going to stand. Ever have a great idea but everyone seems to see it in their own way, which doesn't resemble yours in the least? It's like that.

I also think of it as my children, play fighting or sometimes actually fighting, but mostly the back and forth ego stuff, which drives us crazy, but they say they are having fun, jabbing and ribbing each other. It's much more playful than 5 Swords which isn't done in fun, since it's more about establishing power, tho' one person may have fun, no one else is.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by carcinya
As a side question, can the 5/swords sometimes refer to a lack of self-esteem? I mean, I've seen it come up for myself sometimes when I feel defeated in advance, when I feel like giving up without a fight because I fear I'm not good enough to win. But maybe that's just me.
It's not about your lack of self-esteem, though you may feel that. It's about feeling like the cards are stacked against you. Like even if you try your hardest, you can't win.

Let me put it another way--the card doesn't say, "You have low self-esteem and you need to get over that" (even if this may be true). What it says is, "You feel that the game is rigged and there's no winning." There is a difference in the message. You can have all the confidence in the world, be the best in the world, but if the dice are loaded, they're loaded and you will lose no matter how good you are. And we can feel the same depression as a lack of self-esteem if we feel that no one is going to give us a fair shake.

When this card shows up, it suggests that you're having that feeling. It's a trap, a set-up, a no-win situation. And that can make you give up on it. The card may be suggesting that you have to get past feeling that first. Then you can work on your self-esteem
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Quote:
Originally Posted by carcinya
Recently this card showed up as what was both "helping" and "hindering" one of my friend's project, and I found it interesting that the same energy could be both at the same time.
In the instance of working on a project, the Five of Wands might refer to everyone brain-storming to come up with the best solution or way of handling things. Each person has his own "wand" or idea--backed by his ego and will to make it the final answer--and each takes up this "wand" against the others who have their own similar ideas.

Once they all knock these ideas around, they will hopefully come up with one clear path, but the Five of Wands is the energy they are expending to try to do that.

In that way, it can easily signify the energy of helping and hindering...
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I have been following this thread with interest , as the 5's have always been a bit of a problem for me...I read the question carcyna asked about the 5 of swords possibly indicating lack of self esteem...I wondered if instead the 5 of pentacles could mean lack of self esteem, as it is a card that indicates struggle and "lack", not only in the material world but also could mean sort of a spiritual/emotional bankruptcy?

Feeling an outsider, not fitting in, feeling left out or not deserving, even when these feelings are just our own inner state or perception, not necessarily backed of by a situation in the outside world.

Does that make sense?
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