• Dante

Building with Fire [Five of Wands]

Today we get to take the huge, bright swelling of the Sun (XIX) and apply it into our lives. The Five of Wands shows us what happens when the fire energy of wands meets the challenging, disruptive energy of the number five.


The number five, in the minor arcana, is often referred to in a negative or difficult context. ‘Loss’, ‘conflict’, ‘poverty’, and ‘sadness’ are all words often used to describe the fives of the minor arcana in their respective suits. None of these are inherently incorrect, these cards can all show a difficult challenge in the energy of its suit.

In some ways this Five relates very well to the fifth card of the Major Arcana, The Hierophant. For as much as much as he teaches and instructs us, he also challenges us about our beliefs. He confronts us about ourselves and what we’re taught. In some ways he can represent the inner, or spiritual, conflict that we face.

Sometimes, though, change and disruption can be used in a very positive way. What happens to fire energy when we disrupt it? Is it possible to redirect fire energy, and use it in a positive way, without disrupting or redirecting it a little bit?


Let’s take a look at the Rider image of the card. We have several young men banging sticks (our wands) together in the air. From this picture, it’s easy to see where the title “conflict” came from. It’s important to note that this ‘conflict’ isn’t violent or hurtful. The faces are all excited, even joyful. There isn’t any bloodshed, nobody is getting wounded here. The most positive interpretation I’ve heard of this card is that there isn’t any real ‘conflict’ here at all, rather the figures in the card are trying to construct a pentacle!

What is it like to try and construct a pentacle – that is, create something concrete and real for us – out of the wands’ fire energy? We find ourselves ‘disrupting’ the fire energy and attuning the passionate, creative energy of the wands to whatever ‘real’ goal we’re trying to accomplish. This is definitely not without its challenges, (another attribute of the fives!) but ultimately we end up in a better place for our efforts. We so often get stuck in the idea that the ‘pentacles’ aspects of our lives, (our work, home, money, etc,) are somehow self-contained. The Five of Wands shows us how these realities come into being for us in the first place.

This is very much a card of encouragement. Take the new opportunity in front of you. Make use of your new-found energy. Create, work, play, and disrupt your daily routine with whatever inspires you. Turn your joy into something that will stay with you in the seasons to come.

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