Wheel of Change Tarot - The Fives


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Wheel of Change Tarot - The Fives


I know this has been long dead, but I feel the need to start sharing some of the things I've found whilst exploring the Fives. Perhaps it will help someone else. I'm still going with them so this will take a while.

\m/ Kat
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Five of Cups


A starfish, stretching its humanoid extremities toward the boundaries of its small world. The tidal pool is a small, protected part of the ocean - the greater world, and its boundaries make a haven for the creatures in it. But after a while, the water in the pool becomes deprived of oxygen and the animals fall prey to their fears, losing all sense of reason in their inability to access logic through their feelings. At regular (tidal) intervals, though, the ocean makes incursions into the pool, invading the warm, sheltered, stagnant water with wave after wave of cold, invigorating new water.

The starfish and other animals are afriad of the ocean, creeping from rock to crevice, keeping their vulnerable, soft underbellies protected. Their shells are beautiful, accreted from calcium dissolved in the seawater. Our armour is made up of techniques and attitudes we learn from the greater world outside. We filter these tiny pieces of armour from our everyday life and add it to our shell.

The card also symbolises our connection to the greater world, and our bottomless horror of allowing ourselves to fully experience that connection. It's always there, though, and the longer we go witout allowing a fresh incursion, the more difficult it will be to deal with the fear that grips us when "the real world hits".

There is an element of rhythm, too, in the implied tidal influence on this microcosm. The card recalls, then, the Wheel of Fortune, with its themes of changing fortunes. Fighting the rhythms of life - tides, the Moon's influence on the female body, the seasons, and even day/night - makes us more vulnerable in the long term.

\m/ Kat
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Five of Swords


This card indicates not merely a state of intellectual crisis, but the means and method of overcoming it. When overwhelmed by a problem we just can't think through, it behoves us to remember that all thins have their season.

The Goddess' vowels radiate from the star symbolising the seed of an idea. Each vowel describes a time in a woman's life, counselling patience and a sytematic approach. Each stage has its blade, the weapon of the mind to cut to the heart of the matter.

The whirling form of teh mandala shows two things; the course of the Moon through teh sky and thus time anc ycles; but also it gives a sense of confusion and endless, unproductive motion. It warns against becomingn stuck on a vicious circle, rather than following the spiral up and out to the next revelation.

The mandala representing the idea and thought is separated fromteh oak tree and the clouds obscure parts of the horizon. This symbolises a lack of grounding and loss of direction and vision.

The card counsels against allowing oneself to be dragged down by confusion and overwhelmed by urgency. Careful thought and decisive action within the framework of the situation's own cycle are the wisest course of action.

There is also an admonishment to avoid the temptation to just let things fall the way they will. The card is a challenge to take an active role in your life. It becomes a habit that is difficult to break, when you succumb to the ease of coasting through life in neutral, without engaging the cogs of your Self and the World.

\m/ Kat
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Five of Disks


The mirrors, representing the Suit of Disks, shape a circle, as withthe Fives of Swords and Cups. The Five's inherent imbalance is evident in the two silver mirrors versus the three gold ones.

The image is very static, as one would expect from a "crisis" of Earth (stagnation, indecision, inertia). This exemplifies the card's suggestions of halting the aging process and the search for eternal youth. There is a definite resistance in this card, in contrast to the whirling, pointless motion of the Five of Swords and the helpless passivity of the Five of Cups.

The snake brings life and a sense of renewal to the image. It is, in a way, the solution tothe problem of wishing for unending youth and beauty. The clue, of course, is the snakeskin.

The problem presented is that of diminishing self-worth as one watches one's reflection age. Since outward beauty is so highly valued in our modern world, the importance of strength of character and inner beauty is hugely downplayed. The snake represents the way to overcome this sense of sliding slef-esteem in its ability to shed its "old" (younger) skin and grow into a "new" (older) way of being.

The use of the snake, though obvious for its skin-shedding peculiarity, is also an interesting and challenging feature. Because snakes are widely feared and reviled, when this one confronts us in this context, it challenges us to reexamine our preconceptions and prejudices. By confronting our ideas about snakes, we pave the way for changing our way of thinking about ourselves. By breaking out of the mould we've concieved for ourselves, we resolve the problem of inertia presented in the Five of Disks.

\m/ Kat
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Five of Wands


The "crisis" implied in this Five is the problem of reconciling the varied facets of one's life into a coherent whole. To this end, the card explicitly depicts various quaternities (the four elements, seasons, directions, "races" of Earth as symbolisesd by the black, white, red and yellow ribbons) and combines them in simplicity and symmetry into a unified whole.

The altar-cloth depicts fire and water, but in its shape and appearance it resembles both the Sun and the Earth, so it encompasses the duality of the two great spheres that rule our lives, recalling the Two of Disks.

The human figure behind the mandala, shaped in stars, is shown in a posture of victory. Bound as we are to the Earth and our tiny existence, we "reach for the stars" - and this card shows us how to achieve our goals. Its explicit depiction of an altar and the circle cast through the four directions calls to mind the most significant keyword from the creator's discussion - RITUAL. The card's main thrust is that by joining the warring aspects of our life together and honouring them through ritual - whatever form it takes for you - you can grow as a person and follow the upward motion of the spirals on the altar cloth - upward in the evolution of the Soul.

The feature that distinguishes this card from the other Fives is the fact that the fifth candle (Wand) stands in the middle of the mandala. This symbolises the unity of the different elements of the card. Only the Wands, with the qualities of "strength, leadership and power", as well as confident direction and decisive action, have been shown in this number in a positive light, rejoicing in victory.

\m/ Kat
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