5 of Wands

Working together to achieve something more than ourselves allows us to be a part of something great. It also allows us to see how difficult things are. It is an opportunity for growth or annoyance. LWB Tarot of the Sweet Twilight

Traditionally the Five of Wands is not a particularly welcome card as it has been consistently suggested that if you have pulled this you will be in line for struggle, competition, ambition, and lots of aggravation.

The Five of Wands is most often interpreted as being all about winning at everything you try otherwise………..you must be a loser, a nothing, a failure at life. There is little doubt that this sort of “all or nothing” kind of thinking has the potential to set up impossible standards that can never be attained.

This card is also said to depict the inner tension we feel when we are caught up in our egos, constantly comparing our “status” in relation to others. Early on kids are taught “you must be the winner!” Life quickly becomes is a series of competitions…. be it with our siblings or peers. Who is the best at music, best at running, best at school. Who has forgotten that roll call listing the top marks and finding oneself down the list?

Competition is arguably one of the most contentious and misunderstood of concepts. Of course, it is true that competition can be a very negative, exhausting thing, but, as the descriptor in the Tarot of the Sweet Twilight LWB suggests,  it can also be energising and lead to growth. It can lead to

  • better quality,

  • more choices and variety,

  • more innovation,

  • greater efficiency and productivity,

  • economic development and growth,

  • greater wealth equality,

  • a stronger democracy by dispersing economic power, and

  • greater wellbeing by promoting individual initiative, liberty, and free association.

The young women depicted here are not boxing, but as this article outlining the benefits of boxing competitions suggests, there is much for them to gain by practicing their wand skills together.

None of these performers look particularly anxious or stressed! Quite the contrary, they each appear to be in the zone, performing some sort of artistic exhibition for a crowd. It actually reminds me of Olympic synchronised swimming (now called artistic swimming) that I used to enjoy when I actually watched the Olympics years ago.

Of course, let’s not underestimate what is involved to be in a squad like this! Many would be wand twirlers (reminds me of cheer leaders) or artistic swimmers simply don’t make the grade, but that does not automatically make the competition involved a negative thing.

@Andy.k.white commented that he picked up a hint of the musical Cabaret and the song “Come taste the wine. Come hear the band” when he viewed the card and I do declare I can almost hear this accompanying music playing.

For Reflection

  • After viewing the card @bonnie suggested getting together with friends to hone self defence skills while @thepath_uncovered wisely noted that “despite who wants to compete with you, find your passion, own it and go on your own way. Take the baton and find your own path”.
  • What are your thoughts on the competition depicted in this card?
  • What would be the message you would take away from this card?