You wake up and stub your toe going to the bathroom. You’re in the shower and find out there’s no soap. At breakfast, you get juice on your shirt. When you get to the car, your battery is dead. It’s going to be a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day [note]. You’re beset by hassles – those petty annoyances that are infuriating because they are so minor.

The Five of Wands stands for times when your environment seems to be fighting you. Nothing flows smoothly; everyone is working at cross-purposes. The figures on this card are all batting at each other. There is no coordinated effort, no agreement. When this card shows up, be prepared for a bumpy ride. You’re going to need extra patience and perseverance to get to the point where you can accomplish something. The Five of Wands does not represent major blockages, just many small, irritating ones.

This card also stands for competition. In the right circumstances, competition is useful. It fosters extra effort, generates excitement and encourages the best. When the Five of Wands appears in a reading, check for competitive elements. You may be involved in a contest, race or game. You may discover you have rivals who are opposing you or challenging your position. You may feel disheartened (or invigorated!) by the dog-eat-dog environment you find yourself in. At its heart, competition is divisive. Make sure it is helping you and others reach your true goals. Otherwise, work toward cooperation.


Upright: Disagreement, competition, strife, tension, conflict
Reversed: Conflict avoidance, increased focus on goals

In the Five of Wands, five men wave around their wands chaotically without any regard for each other and appear to be in direct competition with each other and engaged in conflict. However, on closer observation, their wands are only raised and are not striking anyone. It is possible that they are actually enjoying themselves in this chaos with no real intent to harm anyone. The men wear different coloured clothes to symbolise the various backgrounds and belief systems that are held by the world’s populations.

In the Tarot, the Fives typically represent conflict and change, and this is no different for the Five of Wands. This card indicates that you are in the midst of conflict, tension and competition and it is impacting your ability to move forward with your goals. Rather than being able to work together with others, you are coming up against it and are constantly being challenged on your point of view. The trouble is that everyone is trying to express their point of view and opinions but no-one is listening, and so there is little progress. There is only conflict, and there is little or no value in the discussions that are occurring. Similarly, this card is representative of a group of people who are committed to an end but they cannot fully agree on how to implement this goal, as each has their individual agenda as to how to bring this to fruition. Aim to turn this into constructive conflict by allowing each person to openly share their thoughts but then listen to other people’s thoughts. Once everyone has been heard and all opinions have been considered, determine the best path forward.
Sometimes, this type of conflict and discussion can be very positive, such as in the case of group brainstorming and problem-solving. You need a positive environment where you can test your ideas and have them challenged, and improved, by others. You may benefit by establishing a working group, committee, or ‘mastermind’ group with other individuals who bring varying perspectives and experiences. Be open to this type of conflict and discussion as a positive contribution to improving the quality of your ideas and actions.
The Five of Wands often points to competition where you are up against a number of people of similar quality or experience as you. You may not be used to having to compete with others just yet, as you have built your success on your own but now it is time to truly experience what competition really means and requires. It is like the top student who excels at university, only to enter the workforce with a number of other high-performing individuals and is forced to compete for the top spot. Where there is competition, respect your opponent but stand up for your point of view. Fight the tendency towards frustration, anger, hate and prejudice.
The Five of Wands also encourages diversity and differences of opinion. You may be in a situation where you are dealing with people from different cultures and backgrounds, and may be struggling with accepting their way of living. Know that each person has something unique to bring to the table and that you will actually benefit by learning more about them and what they have to offer.
The Five of Wands encourages an enthusiastic approach to change. Change is coming, whether you like it or not, however your challenge will be in ensuring that everyone is on the same page and is focused on dealing with this change constructively and positively. Currently, there is scattered energy resulting from misdirected enthusiasm. Everyone has many ideas but no-one is there to bring them into one consistent path forward. Your role may be in identifying a clear strategy and purpose that can be implemented by all involved.
Sometimes, the Five of Wands indicates a personal struggle and conflict, either about external or internal issues that are causing a lot of tension and confusion for you. You have different opinions of your own about how you should approach your current circumstances and you have not really worked out in your own mind what your final stance is going to be. You may be trying to work through your personal point of view on a number of external contentious issues such as abortion, immigration, globalisation, or the environment, or you may be working through personal issues such as whether you stay or leave a particular relationship or job. At the same time, you have others around you who have strong views about what you should do and this, in total, is creating a huge amount of conflict, tension and disagreement. Just when you think you have a clear point of view, you are challenged on that view or you discover new information, and you change your standpoint again. This process is actually highly beneficial and will help you to come to a well-researched and well-thought out perspective. Know, too, that there is no ‘right’ answer, and whichever path you do choose, someone is not going to agree with it. So, you have to find the most comfortable option possible that sits best with you. It may not be 100% right for you but you need to choose whatever is closest.

The Five of Wands reversed can suggest that you have tendency to avoid conflict wherever possible. You may find that any sort of tension or conflict makes you feel quite uneasy and you wish it would just go away. So, you deflect a lot of that energy and just ignore the problem, if there is one. The trouble, however, is that in doing this, you may just be pushing some of your own concerns to the side, without really dealing with them or being assertive about them. Some conflict can be good, particularly if it is constructive and teases out the underlying issues in a way that then generates a better solution. Consider whether always avoiding conflict is the best way to go, or if you are finding yourself just compromising on what is important to you.
The Five of Wands reversed is like a sigh of relief after conflict and struggle. You are no longer up against so much competition and can just ‘be’. On more personal level, you have worked through your anger and hostility and you feel more secure in your relationships. You do not have to constantly prove yourself anymore.
The reversed Five of Wands can also indicate a realisation that you do indeed need focus to achieve your goals. You have come through a period of scattered thought and random ideas only to find yourself in the same place you were when you started. You now acknowledge that if you are to progress your goals further, you must focus your attention on your key priorities and stay committed to your goal without considering even more possibilities or opportunities.


General Meaning
This suit, most often called “Wands” and sometimes called “Rods” or “Staves,” represents initiative, ambition, drive and desire. This is the suit of enterprise and risk-taking.
The Five of this suit symbolizes struggles caused by ambitious maneuvering and a competitive urge. This could be about someone who is pushing his or her agenda forward at the expense of others.
There can be a fine line between demonstrating personal excellence and making others feel like losers. It may be necessary to ask yourself, who is it that really benefits when we all fight so hard for such small rewards? Am I serving a negative, manipulative agenda when I start applying battle metaphors to business?
Even when your only motive is to be the best you can be, it is understandable to want recognition for what is fine and unique about you. However, minimize the number of egos bruised in the process or your success will be celebrated alone.

In the Advice Position
Identify your passions and build your mission around them.
The card in the Advice position suggests a course of action which will harmonize what you want with what is currently possible.
The Five of Wands in this position encourages you to find your natural ambition. Identify what energizes you, what you would fight for and what you are passionate about — even when you’re tired or discouraged. Strive to make that the centerpiece of your mission.
This is how you find your livelihood and establish your path of service.


Five of Wands Tarot Card Key Meanings:
Conflict, fighting, arguments, rows, disagreements, struggle, opposition, battles, aggression, temper, clashing personalities/egos, strikes, chaos, unruliness, being defensive/ territorial, assertive, pent up energy/aggression, lack of control/ cooperation, frustration, irritation, competition, adrenaline, sports, being rough, petty

General meaning and interpretation
In a general context, the Five of Wands represents rows, arguments, conflict, fighting and disagreements. It signifies struggle, opposition, battles, aggression and temper. This Minor Arcana card represents clashing personalities or egos, pent up energy and aggression, irritation and frustration. You can expect a lack of cooperation, lack of control, pettiness, strikes, chaos or unruliness when it appears in your Tarot reading. It can also represent being rough, defensive or territorial and can signify competition and sports.

In a health Tarot reading, the Five of Wands can represent battling with or successfully fighting off an illness. It can also be an indication that you need reduce your adrenaline and stress levels or you may leave yourself prone to stress related illnesses such as high blood pressure. The Five of Wands can also signify injuries received while playing aggressive or contact sports.

Love & Relationships
In a love Tarot spread, if you are in a relationship the Five of Wands can represent rows, arguments, conflict and fighting. You and your partner may not see eye-to eye when it appears. This Minor Arcana card indicates that frustration, irritation and pent up aggression or competitiveness may be leading to disagreements in the relationship. Some couples thrive on a fiery relationship and rows and struggles keep them interested. If this is your type relationship then it may not be a bad omen. However, if you prefer a harmonious relationship then this card would indicate that you need to get your tempers under control, listen to each other, cooperate and compromise. Pettiness, egotistical behaviour and getting one up on each other will not help your relationship to progress. If you are single, the Five of Wands can indicate that you love life is a bit chaotic at the moment. This card would usually indicate that various suitors will be competing for your attention! Enjoy the attention but don’t string it out too much or it could turn nasty.

Money & Career
In a career Tarot spread, the Five of Wands can represent conflict or competition in the workplace and can indicate strikes and chaos. You might find yourself having personality clashes with colleagues or having to compete for clients or projects or just to get noticed. Success is yours for the taking but you will have to fight for it. There are a lot of big egos to contend with. This Minor Arcana card would come up for those working in competitive or cut throat industries such as sales, PR, stock broking etc. It can also represent a career as a professional sports person. It can also signify creative clashes so you might find yourself hammering out some new ideas with your team when it appears. In a financial Tarot reading, the Five of Wands indicates that you may have a bit of a financial struggle on your hands at the moment. It is not a permanent one. In the short term, you may just have to fight to get your finances to where you want them to be. It can also indicate conflict with others around money such as arguments about overspending with a romantic partner or business partner or having to fight for a refund for a purchase you were unhappy with.

In a spiritual context, the Five of Wands indicates that you are experiencing a great deal of spiritual conflict that is clouding your ability to see your path. If you are attempting to develop your intuitive side you may find it difficult to put aside your ego and the negative voices that discourage you. You need to find harmony within yourself first.
Five of Wands Reversed Tarot Card Key Meanings:
Compromise, end of conflict/ row/ struggle, reaching agreements, peace, harmony, battle fatigue, fear of confrontation, shyness, intimidation, suppressed temper, finding solutions, cooperation, control, focus, order, lack of competition, war, looking for an argument, extreme aggression, short fuse, cancelled sports event

General meaning and interpretation
In a general context, the Five of Wands reversed represents the end of rows, arguments, conflict, fighting and disagreements. It signifies ending struggles, finding common ground or solutions, reaching agreements, compromise, cooperation, peace and harmony. This Minor Arcana card reversed can also represent battle fatigue, fear of confrontation, shyness, suppressing your temper and feeling intimidated. Cooperation, control, focus and order may be possible when it appears in your Tarot reading. Alternatively, it can represent all-out war, looking for an argument, extreme aggression and having a short fuse. It can also signify sports events being cancelled.

In a health Tarot reading, the Five of Wands reversed can represent unsuccessfully trying to fight off an illness. It can also signify that failing to get your stress levels under control may be leading you to more serious medical problems like heart attack or stroke. It can also represent serious injuries received while playing aggressive or contact sports.

Love & Relationships
In a love Tarot spread, if you are in a relationship the Five of Wands reversed can represent an ending of rows, arguments, conflict or fighting. You and your partner may be starting to turn a corner after a period of turbulence in the relationship. This Minor Arcana card reversed can indicate that you have found common ground and solutions to your issues and that has led to peace and harmony in the relationship. It can also indicate one or both of you may have learned to suppress your tempers and cooperate. However, the card reversed can also signify an abusive relationship as it can represent feeling intimidated, extreme aggression, a lover with a short fuse and fear of confrontation. If that is the case, you should contact organisations who can help or family and friends for support immediately. Don’t suffer in silence! If you are single, the Five of Wands reversed can indicate that your love life is lacking passion or spark at the moment. You may find that you’ve gone from having many potential suitors to having none as things have fizzled out or you find yourself feeling shy or intimidated by the dating world. Don’t be afraid, get out there and meet new people. What have you got to lose?

Money & Career
In a career Tarot spread, the Five of Wands reversed can represent the ending of conflict or competition in the workplace. You and your colleagues may join forces to complete an important project and all competitiveness is put aside to work as a team and get the job done. Success in this instance comes from a team effort and everyone is one the same page. This reversed Minor Arcana card can also represent turning away from working in competitive or cut throat industries such as sales, PR, stock broking, etc. It can also represent being so fearful of appearing too competitive or ruffling anyone’s feathers that you keep your ideas to yourself or don’t fight for what you want. In a financial Tarot reading, the Five of Wands reversed can represent coming through a financial struggle. Money issues should be easing when this card appears in your Tarot spread. However, it can also indicate an escalation in issues as you need to fight even harder to get your finances under control. It can also indicate a resolution or escalation of conflict with others around money. Look to supporting cards to confirm.

In a spiritual context, the Five of Wands reversed indicates that your previous inner conflict has been resolved leaving you more focused with a sense of inner peace, calm and harmony.