5 of Wands: Tarot Card Meaning

By Lauren Williams
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5 of Wands Keywords


  • Competition
  • Conflict
  • Tension
  • Struggles
  • Disagreements
  • Individuality
  • Personal growth


  • Avoidance of conflict
  • Respect for differences
  • Harmony
  • Resolution
  • Cooperation
  • Agreement
  • Peace after the storm

5 of Wands Essential Meanings Snapshot


The 5 of Wands in its upright position is a symbol of conflict and struggle. It represents challenges, disagreements, competition and tension in the quest to achieve a specific goal or resolve a certain issue. The card indicates the need for courage and confidence in overcoming these obstacles, while learning important life lessons from these conflicts.


In contrast, the reversed 5 of Wands holds a slightly different message. It stands for avoidance of conflict, internal strife, or resolved disagreements. It suggests a possible release from persistent conflict, or alternatively, unanswered or repressed internal discord. This reversal can give insight into the conflicted state within oneself or signal the necessity to step back and reconsider the battles you’re fighting.

5 of Wands Description

Upon looking at the 5 of Wands card, your eyes are immediately drawn to the five figures shrouded in the dust of battle. Each is wielding a large wand in what seems to be a chaotic scene of conflict. The expressions on their faces are filled with determination and intensity as they engage in a struggle – each seemingly to assert their authority or point of view.

The background displays a clear blue sky, stark against the tumultuous interaction happening in the foreground.

The dispersion of the wands in various directions suggests a lack of strategy in conflict, indicating that the struggle could be due to a lack of clear communication or mutual understanding.

Each figure appears to be fighting their own battle, signifying individual struggles or disagreements within a group. Despite the menacing image that the card presents on the surface, it is important to remember that the intention behind this card is more about the need for resolution and overcoming personal or shared challenges.

Beyond the Surface: Symbolic Meanings

When interpreting tarot cards, it’s essential to venture beyond the mere surface, each component of the cards carry symbolic meanings that further deduct the implied message. Particularly, the 5 of Wands presents an array of symbolic images that bear deep connotations.

  • Five Wands: The number five denotes instability or conflict. In the 5 of Wands, it represents the trials one must overcome for growth. The wands symbolize energy and ambition, but their disarray shows discord and competition.
  • Men in Midst of Struggle: The men embody the concept of internal struggle or battles within a group. The interweaving of their conflict signifies the complex and chaotic nature of these clashes.
  • Their Different Attires: The diverse clothing of the men signifies individuality and varied perspectives. This suggests the card relates to conflicts arising from differences, be it in opinion, personality, or goals.
  • Mountain terrain: The mountain terrain conveys an uphill struggle or obstacles yet to overcome. However, these could also represent future achievements or goals that can be accomplished through this conflict.

Dual Perspectives: Upright & Reversed

Upright 5 of Wands

In its upright position, the 5 of Wands suggests tension, conflict, or competition. Here, disagreements may arise and views clash, making it a challenging ordeal. This can be an indicator of a diligent struggle towards a worthy goal.

The hurdles might be daunting, but they are essential for growth and development. These confrontations should be viewed as an opportunity for refining ideas and strengthening resolve.

Reversed 5 of Wands

When reversed, the 5 of Wands implies the end or avoidance of conflict. It indicates the urgency to seek peace, after understanding the futility of endless skirmishes.

The conflicts subside, thus creating room for a more harmonious existence. It can also suggest buried tension or competition, indicating that unresolved issues might be lingering beneath the surface. Focusing on communication and understanding can be a crucial step to resolution in this case.

In sum, the 5 of Wands in either position accentuates conflict. While upright, it talks about active confrontations, reversed, it can mean the calming after a storm or simmering unease. Understanding these nuances can guide one to make more informed decisions.

5 of Wands in Life Scenarios

When you apply the 5 of Wands to your daily life, it holds the capacity to address a variety of situations you may face. Depending on how it appears, the card offers insight into growth and self-discovery, career and creativity, relationships and bonds, and making choices in life.

Growth & Self-Discovery

The 5 of Wands may appear during periods of personal growth and self-discovery, signaling a potential for conflict. You may be trying out new roles, exploring unfamiliar experiences, or grappling with the uncertainty of change.

The card encourages you to be patient with yourself and others during this exploration phase, knowing the discord is temporary and will lead to a richer, more authentic self.

Career and Creativity

In the arena of career and creativity, the 5 of Wands often points to an environment full of competition or intense brainstorming. It’s a wakeup call to bring your best efforts to the table, not shy away from a healthy competition, and see the creative conflict as an opportunity to grow and shine. Listen to others’ viewpoints; their contradictory opinions might lead you to a brilliant and innovative idea.

Relationships & Bonds

The 5 of Wands can signal a time of discord in relationships or familial bonds. It may suggest disagreements, conflicts, or misunderstandings that need addressing. Yet, viewed positively, it also offers a chance for deeper understanding and growth. By engaging with and resolving conflicts, one can build stronger, more resilient bonds that can withstand future tests.

To read more about the 5 of Wands in the context of feelings, read our 5 of Wands as Feelings article.

Choices & Life Decisions

When faced with difficult choices and life decisions, the 5 of Wands urges you to see the complexity and conflict as part of the process. You may find yourself in the midst of mixed emotions, opposite opinions, and even self-doubt.

Rather than getting overwhelmed, realize the conflicted feelings offer a chance to explore various perspectives, and the final decision will be a well-informed and confident choice.

To read more about the 5 of Wands when making decisions, read our 5 of Wands: Yes or No article.

5 of Wands from Past to Present

In the history of the tarot, the 5 of Wands card has visually transformed numerous times, largely reflecting the societal changes and spiritual evolutions. Its roots trace back to the 15th-century Italian Tarocchini where it was known as ‘Battagli’ portraying five men engaged in a mock battle. The symbol invoked competition and struggle, but also camaraderie and preparation.

With the Victorian spirituality boom in the 19th century, the Waite-Smith tarot refashioned the 5 of Wands card, drawing men in a seemingly chaotic battle, each holding a wand. Interestingly, the change of scenery and attire in this card mirrors the competitive nature of the Industrial Revolution, a time of rapid progress and struggle.

Fast forward to the 20th century, the Crowley-Harris Thoth tarot moves more towards abstract interpretation. Here, the card shows five wands intersecting chaotically against a tumultuous sky, embodying energetic forces at play signifying the tension between struggle and harmonious cooperation.

While the visual aesthetics have changed, the fundamental essence of the card has stood the test of time. The 5 of Wands today still signifies conflict, competition, and struggle balanced by a sense of camaraderie, challenging us to tap into our inner strength, navigate through chaos, and emerge victorious. This enduring message across centuries makes the historical significance of the 5 of Wands card compelling.

Synergistic Card Combinations

The complex symbolism within a tarot deck is inherently interconnected – each card influences and communicates with others to reveal deeper layers of meaning. The 5 of Wands interacts with other Tarot cards in a variety of ways, actively shaping and being shaped by them. Specific combinations can give a more comprehensive view of the energies at play. Let’s examine some of these synergistic card combinations.

5 of Wands and The Lovers

When the 5 of Wands appears with The Lovers, it may suggest conflict or tensions within a relationship. The passionate energy of The Lovers can become confrontational under the influence of the 5 of Wands, leading to passionate debates or disagreements. It’s a reminder that, while disagreements are common in relationships, they must be handled with care to maintain harmony and respect between partners.

5 of Wands and The Hermit

The Hermit and the 5 of Wands pairing suggests that inner conflict requires solitude and introspection. The need to withdraw and seek inner guidance is highlighted by The Hermit, while the 5 of Wands signifies the struggle that stimulates this introspective journey. It urges the individu to resolve personal conflicts through self-reflection and introspection.

5 of Wands and The Tower

The Tower’s upheaval combined with the 5 of Wands suggests a chaotic situation that may be entirely out of your control. Rapid changes, unexpected conflicts, and overall turmoil are indicative. This combination means that, once the dust settles, a clearer, more solid path forward will emerge.

5 of Wands and The Devil

When combined with The Devil, the 5 of Wands may reflect a struggle with temptation or destructive patterns. The 5 of Wands represents internal conflicts, while The Devil points to the darker aspects of self. This combination asks for recognition of these negative tendencies, leading to a battle to regain power over one’s own actions.

5 of Wands and The Star

The 5 of Wands alongside The Star may signify the optimistic end of battles. The Star’s healing abilities can help overcome the internal and external struggles denoted by the 5 of Wands. It’s an encouraging sign that, despite the conflicts you may be experiencing, hope and relief are on the horizon.

These combinations underline the multifaceted nature of the Tarot, and the specific interactions among these selected cards and the 5 of Wands offer deeper insight into the intricacies of our spiritual path.

Introspection & Meditation

The 5 of Wands encourages personal meditation and introspection as a means to foster personal growth and self-discovery. This card’s chaotic energy symbolizes the inner turmoil that can exist within us, disrupting our peace and promoting confusion.

Meditative Practice and the 5 of Wands

A meditative practice centered around the 5 of Wands aims to restore inner peace and encourage clarity amidst chaos. Upright or reversed, this card encourages you to take a moment to sit in silence and let your mind wander, clearing any doubts, fears, or feelings of contention. This process helps you to analyze your thoughts, bringing awareness to any internal conflicts that need to be resolved.

Personal Reflection and the 5 of Wands

The 5 of Wands also encourages personal reflection. By contemplating on this card, understand that experiencing conflicts, whether internally or externally, is part of the human condition. These struggles are often essential catalysts to growth and transformation. Reflect on past battles and triumphs, and how they have shaped who you are today.

The 5 of Wands serves as a reminder that life’s battles can make you stronger, wiser, and more capable. Embrace the struggles, learn from them and use them to fuel your journey towards personal growth and self-realization.


The 5 of Wands Tarot card is a symbol of conflict, struggle, and competition in achieving goals or resolving issues. It calls for courage and confidence to overcome challenges for personal growth, represented via the symbolic attributes of this card. Depending on its position, the card also sends different messages; it can either represent active confrontations or a calm after a storm.

This card holds capacity to provide insight into various life scenarios, and also interacts with other Tarot cards bringing depth to readings. The 5 of Wands additionally encourages personal reflection and meditation, symbolizing the inherent struggles leading to growth and transformation.

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Lauren holding a crystal ball in her hands.


Lauren Williams
Lauren merges ancient wisdom with modern insights, offering a fresh perspective on life's mysteries. She's passionate about guiding individuals through the world of astrology, lunar cycles, numerology, and tarot. When she's not charting the stars or reading tarot, she enjoys getting out in nature, hikes and yoga.