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Pearls of Wisdom - Five of Wands

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Pearls of Wisdom - Five of Wands


I first learned 'five' as the number of 'competition'. Additional key words for 'five' are 'reduction', 'instability', 'conflict', and 'loss'. Teresa Michelsen writes in 'The Complete Tarot Reader'...'Fives have very different meanings in different decks and traditions...Some of these earlier, more negative meanings may reflect early attitudes of society toward women and their spirituality.'

In this Five of Wands, I see manic activity - everyone engaged in their own activities, one pair in direct confrontation, the remaining three not necessarily competing with each other as much as sharing the same limited space for their activities. Interesting that all five are involved in a balancing act and seem to be doing it well in spite of the other activities around them. There is no organization or coordination between the people. Action, action, action - but what would happen if they pulled themselves together and acted as one? Do we see five divas doing their own things?

We see the same dirt-like pathway and thriving greenery on the ground, but where is the line of flame from the Ace and Two? This card has a cooler feeling, the blues in the sky feel liquid. A sun is trying to shine, but it is partially eclipsed by the wands of the people on the tight-rope. Again, dawn or dusk is unclear here. There is nothing on the hoizon, in fact it is partially obscured by the three people in the foreground.

The wands the people wield are of living wood, wrapped with a yellow ribbon (straw?) and a string of pearls. There are wands along the border with similar greenery, ribbon, and strand of pearls. There are torches on either side. No Runes are apparent.

My rede on this card is many chefs stirring the pot - hopefully there is one pot for each chef. If there isn't, whatever they are 'cooking' will fail to form or be spoiled. There is no lack of talent and no lack of desire to do well. There seems to be a lack of resources/space for them to work with/within. The coolness of the sky is a good thing in that context. It works to dissipate the harm that can come with too many people working in a confined space - physically or metaphysically. Therefore, for all the negative connotations that 'competition', 'instability', or 'conflict' can bring, I don't get an overtly negative vibe from this Five of Wands. The 'instability' present is a catalyst for change or indicator of change in progress. 'Competition' or 'conflict' are balanced here.
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I've read this card as meaning that someone should get out of their comfort zone before- the 4 meaning being in your comfort zone so the five carrying on from that meaning to be taken out of it.
This card ties in well with that meaning for me... They're all balancing and they are all doing something quite unusual and that takes concentration and skill to do.

And yes, they're all doing their own thing, they aren't focused on the same thing so it could be read as scattered energies or energies being directed at different things or in different directions.

I could also see this as a card of remaining focused whilst in a time of turmoil and scattered energies. The central figure is alone and seems quite focused on remaining balanced on the ball she's standing on. She seems to be ignoring the chaos around her and takes no notice of the fighting that seems to surround her.
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I read this Five of Wands very differently than I do other decks. I don't see or feel despair or conflict here.

Yes, there is riotous activity, but it feels joyful to me. A celebration.

Excessive. There is a danger it too much activity. Too much going on at once can scatter your focus and your energies.

Hmm. Guess things change the more I look at them.
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I'm here and ready to discuss this card.

This card really threw me at first. I really didn't have any idea what was going on here, except everyone seemed to be trying to balance on objects and play with wands. It doesn't seem to be a card so much about conflict, but rather about somewhat chaotic environment.
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Yes, I'm starting to see it as a call, to find a way to find balance, amidst the chaos.

My back-piece, the large tattoo on my back was about chaos. For me it symbolized the beauty that can exist within chaos.

The fact that so much is going on all at once is not a bad thing. Life can be that way. Finding a way to exist within it - to thrive when all is a'flutter around you - that is the challenge.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by emmsma
I read this Five of Wands very differently than I do other decks. I don't see or feel despair or conflict here.

Yes, there is riotous activity, but it feels joyful to me. A celebration.

Excessive. There is a danger it too much activity. Too much going on at once can scatter your focus and your energies.

Hmm. Guess things change the more I look at them.
We were posting at the same time.

Yeah, I agree. This card seems quite happy and joyful. I'm sort of waiting for one of them to fall at the same time.

I like the observation that the focal figure doesn't seem to be bothered by what's going on around her. She doesn't seem stressed either. She seems to be calm and happy despite the fact that others are threatening to disturb her balance.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by emmsma
Yes, I'm starting to see it as a call, to find a way to find balance, amidst the chaos.

My back-piece, the large tattoo on my back was about chaos. For me it symbolized the beauty that can exist within chaos.

The fact that so much is going on all at once is not a bad thing. Life can be that way. Finding a way to exist within it - to thrive when all is a'flutter around you - that is the challenge.
I like the way you put this. There can be beauty in chaos, and we are best to try and find a way to cope and thrive within it, rather than give up and fall victim to it. We can stay focused and thrive even when the world seems to be working against us. We can make order out of the chaos.
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Yes, and her, as the central figure - for me - is telling. It is she, I must emulate.

I must learn to be beautiful and perform calmly and joyfully - spinning on my ball - no matter what is going on around me.

Its like my morning card. I must be single-minded and focus on MY goal, and not let the activities of the others around me keep me from my purpose.

I feel like the two on the top are a separate entity, to be examined on there own. Do they walk on a tight-rope?

Complete concentration. Focus.

(Am I babbling?)
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I just noticed there is no Rune on this card. I guess I hadn't realized they were not on all of them. I wonder why not.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by emmsma
Yes, and her, as the central figure - for me - is telling. It is she, I must emulate.

I must learn to be beautiful and perform calmly and joyfully - spinning on my ball - no matter what is going on around me.

Its like my morning card. I must be single-minded and focus on MY goal, and not let the activities of the others around me keep me from my purpose.

I feel like the two on the top are a separate entity, to be examined on there own. Do they walk on a tight-rope?

Complete concentration. Focus.

(Am I babbling?)
No you're not babbling, lol!

The two at the top do seem to stand alone. I was wondering if they were also above the main figure, because they are sort of trying to block her progress. This probably only comes from me because I so generally see this card as "playful conflict".

I think we are meant to emulate the main figure. That's a great point. She is trucking along doing her thing no matter what anyone tries to throw at her. It's a good lesson to learn.

I also like the observation that it seems to be twilight on the background. It's not as fiery and hot as the other cards.
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