Five of Wands Tarot Card Meanings

Five of Wands Tarot Card Meanings

What does the Five of Wands card mean in a Tarot Reading?

Five of Wands is an ambiguous Arcana. Its characteristics are not always positive in the sense of generally accepted morality. Its main values ​​are ambitiousness, competitive spirit, desire to go beyond the established limits. In essence, such a card symbolizes changes and transformations, but only the path to them does not always turn out to be covered with roses (more precisely, this never happens at all). The rivalry in this case should not be viewed as something aggressive and unfavorable. It is in difficult, critical situations that a person shows his best qualities.
The card symbolizes the lack of expression of desires, the absence of a specific goal. Efforts are directed in different directions, as are the efforts of the people depicted on the card.
The Five of Wands is sometimes called the Lord of Struggle.

Goal: Confirming your skill
Element: Fire
Planet: Saturn
Astrological sign: Leo


Ryder Waite’s Five of Wands Tarot card depicts five people, each armed with a stick to fight each other. They are all dressed in different colors to symbolize different personalities, cultures and opinions. The ground on which they stand looks scorched, barren.
(For a detailed depiction, analysis of the Symbols and all Elements of the Five of Wands Tarot Card, click here)

The Main Meanings of the Card In an Upright Position

Key Words and Phrases

External conflict. Wrestling. Rivalry. The need for self-affirmation. Dependence on men. Chatting with people of the same sex. Healthy competition. Statement. Belief in the competitiveness of another person. Stormy youth. Physical activity. Sport. Outdoor games. Your boyfriend. Fist fights. Obstacles. Time for energetic action.

Five of Wands Tarot Card

Success is achieved through persistent efforts. Disputes. Bickering. Agitation. Competition. Dissonance. Doubts about yourself. Major quarrels. Quarrels over trifles. Rivalry. Problems with law. Fight without injury. Showdown. Martial arts. Annoying details. Slight irritation. Shame. Unexpected problems. Conflict of interests. There are too many urgent cases. The need for prioritization. War games. Testosterone. Hormone activity. Territoriality. Travel delay. Princess on the pea.

The main meanings of the card in an upright position

test, competition;
dispute, quarrel;
willingness to be firm and stand up for oneself;
try your hand;
chances not to be missed;
competition task;
task, riddle;
a family of disputants who are nevertheless friendly;
lacking the expression of desire, the absence of a specific goal;
“there is a lot of noise, but little sense”;
troubles, promises, but problems will bypass you;
interesting problems;
passivity should be avoided;
several cases at once;
postponement of the trip;
wealth, luxury, splendor, abundance, property;
the sun is physical, philosophical and moral;
intense competition, struggle in search of wealth, conflict with colleagues, successful financial transactions;

Five of Wands. Witchcraft Tarot by Ellen Dugan
Witchcraft Tarot by Ellen Dugan

competitive spirit, anxiety;
competition, gaining wealth or benefits after stubborn struggle;
striving for leadership;
improvement of the material condition;
confrontation with others;
the need to defend their interests, to fight for them.

Situation and Advice

To get what you want, you have to take part in a competition or solve a very interesting problem. For now, you should avoid being passive. Success will be the result of your persistent efforts to overcome adversity and obstacles. Some disagreements can be caused by your unwillingness to take into account the opinion of the other person. You may be trying to do several things at once. If so, you need to prioritize to avoid stressful situations.
The Five of Wands Tarot card indicates that you are somehow drawn into competition or rivalry. There may be some problems with the law. You need to take control of minor annoyances and difficulties. You are taking part in a competition and you really like it. If you’ve been asking about love relationships, you may have to deal with a rival to win the heart of your loved one. If the question was about a trip, then expect a delay or disruption of your plans. This card tells that at the present period energy is simply seething in you. Perhaps you need to have a noisy bachelorette / bachelor party, karate, or some other martial art.

Five of Wands. Tarot of Consequences by Corrine Kenner, Pietro Alligo
Tarot of Consequences by Corrine Kenner, Pietro Alligo

Sometimes this card is associated with everyday battles. When it appears in the spreads, the peace and harmony of the hearth literally explodes. Argument and skillfully provoked excitement lead to profound change.

Persons designated by Upright Five of Wands Tarot Сard

Competition lovers. Sports teams. Open opponents. Martial arts fans. Competition judges.

The Main Meanings of the Card In a Reversed Position

Key Words and Phrases

Positive values
Healthy competition. Outdoor games. Sport. Peace. Harmony. The fight is over. An end to the bickering. Possibilities. Favorable changes. Release from quarrels and conflicts. A favorable solution to a legal issue (especially if there are other “positive legal” cards in the spread, such as Justice or the Judgement in the upright position).

Negative values
Internal conflict. Lack of faith in one’s own competitiveness. Dishonest tactics. Legal battles. Major quarrels. Stress. Unhealthy competition. Hit below the belt. Malice. Antipathy. Obstacles. Disagreements. Small quarrels over trifles. Problems with travel plans. Problems with the conclusion of contracts. Overwork is bad for your health.

The main meanings of the card in a reversed position

new opportunities that life presents;
the chores, promises, and problems that you are likely to get;
relief after conflict;
the end of the fight;
postponement of the trip;
process, contentions, disputing, quarrels;
insistence, investigation, prosecution;
troubles, negotiations, nagging;
contradiction, inconsistency;
devious tricks, litigation;
problems with law;
acrimony of character;
conflicts, disagreements;
intrigue in the team, deception;
claims, prosecution;
taking advantage of someone else’s conflict.

Situation and Advice

Five of Wands. Black Grimoire Tarot
Black Grimoire Tarot

The positive aspect of the Five of Wands in a reversed position: the fight is over, and now you can safely continue on your way.
Negative aspects of this card: unhealthy competition, petty quarrels, dishonest tactics, unwanted problems, vicious opposition, obstacles.
Usually, this card in the upright position suggests healthy competition. In the reversed position it has the opposite meaning. Perhaps the Five of Wands is warning you that your daily hard work is so exhausting that it is bad for your health. Perhaps you directed your energy to do many things at the same time? Now is the right time to prioritize and learn how to deal with stressful situations more effectively. Relief is at hand. Quarrels and strife can be turned to your advantage.

Persons designated by the Reversed Five of Wands Tarot Сard

Evil or secret enemies. Opponents behind the scenes.

In the Spreads

The number five indicates movement and conflict. After the stable state, represented by the Four of Wands, there is a period of change, as well as movement. This card can represent situations when you have to compete with others or when there is disagreement with someone. It indicates different views or opinions, and it can also indicate that you are feeling “torn apart”. Maybe you have conflicting thoughts about solving an important issue.
When the Arcana of the Five of Wands appears in a reading, it usually tells that there are many sides to the problem that cannot be easily pieced together. There is a battle, a conflict of opinions.

In an Upright Position

The traditional interpretation of the Five of Wands of the Tarot is struggle and exacerbation of the situation. Surrounding cards will indicate the main areas of the querent’s life that are prone to difficulties. The main reasons for all adversity are the same: the spirit of competition and opposition to the forces that limit freedom. The querent is full of anxiety and self-doubt, but hard and persistent work will help him overcome all obstacles.
The Five of Wands means a problem to be solved: the struggle with a person, with circumstances, or perhaps with oneself. This is a card of difficulties, however, in most cases, quite surmountable. The main meanings of the card are ambition, the spirit of competition, the desire to go beyond the established limits. In essence, such card symbolizes changes and transformations, but the path to them is far from being easy and simple. In addition, this is the onset of a tense, but promising period in life, requiring all your abilities and endurance to be shown, a test of strength. The chances that this card offers should not be missed, because they provide an opportunity to be convinced of your abilities, to realize them. The card can also serve as an indicator that you are paying undue attention to a particular area of ​​your activity.

Five of Wands. Mirage Valley Tarot by Barbara Moore
Mirage Valley Tarot by Barbara Moore

The Five of Wands means greed, the pursuit of financial gain and material values. The desire to “live like people”, the struggle for wealth and good luck. An ordeal. Immature decisions, unattainable goals.
In practical life, its meaning is “there is a lot of noise, but little sense”. If you want to start a business, then the Five of Wands shows you only troubles and someone’s promises, but by no means a result. If, on the contrary, you are afraid of something (for example, that you will be sued) then you can fear nothing, because empty chores will fall to your ill-wishers.
The Five of Wands is associated with self-development, possibly business endeavors. This card represents the time when everything seems to be working against you. Is a reminder that conflict is inevitable, sometimes the best thing to do is to create a conducive environment for complex ideas and problem solving.
Depending on the spread, the competition indicated by the Arcana can have a variety of shades: from gambling competition and work “with a spark” to the struggle for leadership in a team or an obsessive desire to be more successful, influential, richer than others.
In any case, the Five of Wands does not promise the querent an easy life, because even if the issue is just about winning sports, it portends grueling training and the need to show the will to win. In other cases, whether we are talking about business, career or money, victory in the competition requires much greater sacrifices from the person and can result in a confrontation with others.
The card’s events take place mostly at work. Competition, criticism, which have a positive impact on the person. Thanks to this, he builds a good career. The Five of Wands symbolizes tension and challenge. Rivalry, testing of one’s strength, will, talents, abilities, knowledge in fair competition with others. Exam, defense of scientific work, diploma, competition. The experience of participating in such events will be beneficial for the person in the future.
The problems indicated by the Tarot card Five of Wands, although unpleasant, are not take a long time, and will resolve soon. It is also a challenge to fate, which invites the questioner to measure their strength with her and show all their talents to the fullest. This is a chance to try yourself in a new business, competition, job and learn important life lessons. The person has the ability and talents for this, but until that time he did not have a special chance to show them.
Don’t miss the chances that life gives. It is these opportunities to express themselves that will give faith in their abilities and talents. Tarot card Five of Wands indicates variety and change, an attempt at accomplishment. If there are other positive cards in the spread, then it indicates overcoming problems, success and vitality. In the presence of Major Arcana, it means the accomplishment of an important task that will expand the boundaries of your life experience and wisdom.

In a Reversed Position:

With the reversed position, the Five of Wands means more serious difficulties for the querent. The rivalry becomes especially fierce, the behavior is insincere and unfriendly. The card also warns against possible confusing problems with the law.
The reversed Tarot card Five of Wands predict unfair competition. Intrigues, disputes, even problems with the law and litigation await you.
In a reversed form, this Arcana speaks of aggression and struggle at its worst. The card indicates a violation of the boundaries of what is permissible, acrimony, intrigue and attempts to gain personal benefit from other people’s conflicts.
In a reversed position, the Five of Wands symbolizes all the toughest or dishonest types of competition: intrigue in a team, undercover struggle, fraudulent techniques, conflicts, legal proceedings. All this can greatly complicate the querent’s life, and it is not at all a fact that his struggle with competitors will lead to a positive result.
The reversed Five of Wands encourages you to look around: perhaps intrigues are already being built against you, but you do not notice it.

Five of Wands. Tarot by Alphonse Mucha
Tarot by Alphonse Mucha

Depending on the spread, this card may indicate the querent himself. In this case, he needs to analyze his behavior. Is it too high of a price that he wants to pay for his goal, going over the heads of colleagues and partners? After all, it’s easy to lose reputation, but you can’t buy it for any money.
The reversed Five of Wands means a lot of trouble and worries. All situations will be resolved badly, for a long time and not in favor of the questioner. Someone else’s quarrel or conflict can serve as a lesson. Solving the conflict in a roundabout way. The opponent can “buy a victory”, give a bribe, get around.
Conceived business will be crowned with failure. Postponement of competitions, events. Injustice, criticism, stupidity in actions and thoughts, lack of cooperation. The partners’ points of view do not coincide. Fraud, failure in competition, performance. Involvement in adverse events against one’s own will.

In the Spreads for Different situation

In an Upright Position:
If the Five of Wands are in the upright position in the Tarot, it can indicate conflict, struggle, blockage, but none of the signs are serious. There will be many small, annoying nuances. These conflicts can be internal struggles. You may be struggling with a sense of duty and responsibility against what your inner voice tells you to do.
In a Reversed Position:
In the reversed position, the meaning of the Tarot card Five of Wands is often viewed in a negative light, since it can indicate arguments, rivalry, conflict. Arcana may be undesirable, as it additionally tells of stress or sudden changes.

In the Spreads for Relationship

In an Upright Position:
Not the happiest card for love reading, although its interpretation can be a good impetus for spontaneous contact for a person who is not married, looking for a new hobby.
The Five of Wands card means turmoil, confusion, squabbles. Often the reason for these events lies in too many people interfering with the relationship: family, friends, or rivals.
In a Reversed Position:
If the Five of Wands appears in a reversed position, then your relationship was or is like a “roller coaster”. You and your partner often have quarrels, disagreements that worsen the quality of love. Good news! Tarot foreshadows that the end of constant conflicts will soon come, you both will feel reconciliation.
In the reversed form, the Five of Wands indicates incessant skirmishes, the source of which lies, perhaps, in the irritability of the partner in relation to the querent and in provoking him to quarrels.

In the Spreads for Dates

In an Upright Position:
Differences of opinion are good for the health of the relationship. In the long term, it will strengthen relations, increase their vitality.
In a Reversed Position:
If you are in a close relationship with someone, then you argue too much, and in the process of arguing, you hurt each other. Find a baseline for agreement. You think the same about something!

In the Spreads for Family

In an Upright Position:
Listening to the different opinions and perspectives of family members can help you make decisions about what is important to you.
In a Reversed Position:
Family conflicts will bring everyone to the ground. Take time out, relax somewhere with friends.

In the Spreads for Friendship

In an Upright Position:
There are many serious and important conversations going on. You have a lot to think about.

Five of Wands. Tarot of the Elves
Tarot of the Elves

In a Reversed Position:
There are many disagreements between friends at the moment. A compromise must be found before a total collapses and anyone really gets hurt.

In the Spreads for Money

In an Upright Position:
Your finances are in trouble. However, this can be resolved soon. You will achieve a better financial position. Perhaps you have a conflict over money with your loved one or business partner.
In a Reversed Position:
Your finances have problems. It speaks of the need to work hard, to fight to improve the situation. You may be in conflict over money with someone from your close circle.

In the Spreads for Education

In an Upright Position:
An excellent moment to join a discussion club or to get your ideas across to influential people.
In a Reversed Position:
Minor conflicts and tensions among your fellow students keep you from focusing. Find a way not to participate in this, otherwise your studies will suffer.

In the Spreads for Career

In an Upright Position:
The Five of Wands in an upright position is best suited for career reading, as it speaks of personal goals that people want to achieve, and a willingness to act. Keep in mind that things can be much easier and more carefree, while still holding on to your personal space.
Conflict with colleagues, companions. Disagreements on fundamental issues, violent conflicts with a showdown, when no one wants to make concessions. Crisis in business, as an impetus to a new cycle. Competition and an attempt to tighten the rules to reduce competition. In addition, the Five of Wands can also represent difficult production tasks, which, nevertheless, are able to help the querent to climb the career ladder.
In a Reversed Position:
The appearance of “Five of Wands” while reading your spread indicates that you have had conflicts with colleagues that have ended or will end in the near future. Your team will succeed when everyone comes to a mutually beneficial solution. The card can also mean that you are not competitive and you are afraid to defend your ideas.
In a reversed position, the card is interpreted as not particularly successful negotiations, as haste, which can carry fatal consequences for a given case or project. It can mean unhealthy or unfair competition as well.

In the Spreads for Health

In an Upright Position:
When the Five of Wands of the Tarot appears in the reading of health, it sometimes speaks of the struggle with some kind of disease, at the same time recalling the internal state of conflict that led to the appearance of the disease. It indicates the moment when everything should be taken into your hands, because only you are the only person responsible for your own well-being.
Exacerbation of the disease, minor injuries, inflammatory processes.
In a Reversed Position:
The Five of Wands card reveals some minor health problems. There are many conflicts taking place inside the Arcana, therefore, on the issue of health, it also means that you need to start taking care of yourself.
Long and hard struggle for recovery.

Answer to Yes / No Tarot Spreads

In an Upright Position:
In a Reversed Position:
Yes, and very soon.

Five of Wands. The Tarot of the 78 Doors
The Tarot of the 78 Doors

Self-Development Lesson

Even if you are feeling the pressure of increasing stress, turn to your inner reserves of strength and restore clarity in your thinking. Respond to the challenge that you face and always look for new opportunities in the challenges of everyday life.

Type of person in an upright position:

The card means a conflictual, nervous, aggressive person. He is constantly trying to prove something to someone. He strives to break out into the leaders, not disdaining at the same time by any means. If it falls out to a woman: in order to hook up the groom, she is ready to resort to deception.

Type of person in a reversed position:

Means a person who knows how to align his interests with the interests of others. A witty interlocutor, observant, versed in politics, knows how to draw the right conclusions in this direction. Sometimes he is unsure of himself, needs praise and recognition of his abilities.

Arcana’s warning

You may not be ready for competition or rivalry. Give it up or lose what you have. If you ignore your inner feelings, as well as your inner voice, then you are capable of making the wrong choice.

Final Advice of Arcana

Tarot Arcana Five of Wands appears in the spread when the querent’s life is filled with conflicts or he becomes a participant in competitions or debates. Therefore, it’s best to become calm, to be able to defend your opinion, to listen to others. Try to find the most mutually beneficial compromise in the situation.
The Five of Wands is a reminder that if we want to end arguments, we need to be honest with others and with ourselves.

In an Upright Position:
Run until they caught up and attack. Leave if you decided to leave.
In a Reversed Position:
Keep up to date with the latest news. When communicating with people, do not ignore their needs, but strive for a reasonable compromise.


Following a period of insane waste and less sensible financial management, you spend a lot of time trying to figure out how to win, make or get more money and wealth. The Tarot card Five of Wands tells that these are not just attempts to grow your business, it is a greedy pursuit of financial gain.
For a while, you will face difficult trials, even hardships due to this struggle. If you started this struggle yourself, you may be able to alleviate the situation with patience and tolerance. If other people drag you into the fight, you will need to fight to keep what you have.


Discover other Minor Arcana:

4 thoughts on “Five of Wands Tarot Card Meanings”

  1. What about the reversed 5 of Wands? Some write about overcoming all obstacles or ending a period of conflicts and stress. And others write about major quarrels. Stress Unhealthy competition. Hit below the belt. Anger. Antipathy. Obstacles. I understand that this card, when turned upside down, has both positive and negative sides.

    1. In principle, it’s correct, but you need to see the whole layout, this card can also say not to enter into conflict under any circumstances, or you will avoid an unpleasant situation for you, this can also happen when the parties have found an alternative for themselves, understood each other, come to mutual consent in a dispute.

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