Five young men each with a wand are depicted in the Five of Wands. The scene is one of disarray, confusion of fighting. The landscape is barren and all the men are holding the staffs in various positions in an uncoordinated fashion.
The underlying theme of fives is visually represented in the Five of Wands. Fives are associated with change and usually chaotic change. Fives can be thought of as the pandemonium that occurs backstage or the upheaval of what is normally orderly or straightforward.
In the scene, it is unclear if the men are fighting or just unable to agree on how to place their wands. Each are turned a different direction, each hold their wands differently. There is no agreement, no central plan, indeed each man seems to be doing his own thing with little regard for how it affects the group as a whole. The end result is a chaotic organisation of an event with arguments and disagreements breaking out.
In readings, the Five of Wands can herald a time when there is confusion, disorder, disarray and disagreements. Business arrangements can fall apart as partners move in different directions. We all have our own ideas on how to proceed and are unwilling to compromise with the visions of others.
We may be doing our own thing in our relationships with little thought for our loved ones. Plans and agreements are thrown in the air and nobody pays attention to the need to include the feelings of others.
As well as predicting upheaval and disagreements, the Five of Wands can serve as a warning that we need to look at our actions and how they affect others. If we plough on ahead and ignore what everybody else is doing, we risk not achieving anything – either on our own or as part of a group. The Five of Wands warns that unless we bring ourselves together and attempt to map out a plan of action, our time will instead be wasted on disagreements and quarrels. If we heed the warnings contained in the Five of Wands it can be a positive card to receive.
The Five of Wands reversed can suggest a period where we avoid conflict or disagreement. That is not to say that the conflict has been resolved or the group is united in its actions. Rather, for the sake of peace, we have side stepped a disagreement and may be avoiding a quarrel until a later date. The Five of Wands reversed indicates that we need to have an argument to find a real agreement amongst the group and avoiding it is only delaying the inevitable anyway.
Reversed, the Five of Wands may also indicate a serious quarrel of the type that breaks apart groups and relationships It is not a run of the mill argument but something that is fundamental to the relationship or group. It may prove to be irretractable resulting in separation, the ending of a union or a business.