Five of Wands:
Function: The Will, Action, Creativity, and Initiation
The Five of Wands is a mysterious card in its own right. Five young men raise five wands in what appears to be either a free-for-all-fight or a free-for-all-game. However, none of the sticks hit anyone, and none of the wands touch each other.
They could be simply showing each other their wands, and what they can do with them. Or, they’re a rowdy, unorganized bunch carrying wands somewhere but lack direction. The young men all dress differently and carry their wands in different ways. If there is one thing for certain about The Five of Wands, it’s that the card shows diversity and possibilities for action.
While it certain shows possibilities for action, it doesn’t show much in the way of actual action. The young men could be working together, or against each other, or simply as five individuals trying to do their own thing. The Five of Wands represents chaos: disorganized energy scattered and shot into different directions without rhyme or reason.
Granted, it may be fun to go out half-cocked and trying everything possible, but at the same time, when one spreads themselves thin, they don’t accomplish much. The Five of Wands can represent competition for the sake of it, just to show who’s better, but not to improve or accomplish something.
However, it’s not necessarily a bad thing to be a little disorganized, especially when there is good intentions. Perhaps what the Five of Wands best shows is the very beginning of organizing people or things together to do one thing or follow one course of action. Sure, it’s messy at first, but the details get ironed out later.
The Four of Wands completed a personal journey and landed at a place of stability with those who welcomed it. Now, it wants to organize these people to work together, but it’s not coming together that easily, and everyone seems to be confused or at cross-purposes.
The Five of Wands thus represents the very beginning of initiating action with other people and the work that needs to be done before there is a real meeting of the minds and an ensuing shared purpose. Misunderstandings and confusion are bound to happen, but they’re not intentional.
When the Five of Wands is reversed, the querent is usually stuck in this cycle where they just can’t focus energy or attention, or get people to work together, no matter what they do.
Of course, what usually happens is that the querent throws up their hands and walks away, deciding to simply go at it alone and leave the others to their confusion and fighting. It may feel comforting to leave it all, but it sacrificing the potential power that could have been harnessed had the querent had the patience to get everyone to work together.
The Five of Wands reversed may also mean that the querent knows that it hasn’t gotten its stuff together, but it’s ignoring that. It would rather not focus on what needs to be done.
In a three-card reading, this card means…
Past: In the past, the querent dealt with a lot of chaos, confusion, and lack of direct that they either ironed out or are still stuck dealing with now.
Present: In the present, the querent is dealing with trying to get a fledging effort off the ground, herding cats, and focusing energy on one major effort.
Future: In the future, the querent is going to struggle with focusing on what is important and how to get people to cooperate with them.