confrontational energies

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Intro: the Five of Wands - confrontational energy

Tarot Alley uses the Rider Waite type of deck for our meanings, symbols, interpretations, etc.

When determining the Five of Wands tarot card meaning, you should consider that it’s a Wands card and a Five. The Suit of Wands represents energy and inspiration. Fives represent resistance and confrontation.

In this way, we can determine that the Five of Wands represents confrontational energies.

People are often quick to judge others. We see their errors, flaws, and contributions. However, it often takes us longer to see our own errors, flaws, and contributions. Pause now and consider how your actions have contributed to the current situation.

There is an alternative to confrontation: meekness. What if you put confrontation aside and adopted meekness? How would that affect your situation?

Take a look at the Rider-Waite Five of Wands displayed to the left (or above).

What is your first impression?

Are they fighting? Dancing? Are they all participating? Why (or why not)?

There’s no right or wrong answer here, just your interpretation.

Now consider how your interpretation reflects your beliefs about confrontation. What does it say about your beliefs if you see fighting versus dancing?

Astrology: Saturn in Leo
Element: Fire
Numerology: 5

Common Symbols

  • The Five Figures: the five figures represent conflict. It’s not clear what they’re doing and Waite claimed they could be engaged in sport, strife, or a sham fight. So is your conflict the problem or just a symptom?

Keywords & Concepts

  • Confrontation
  • Disruption
  • Distinction
  • Objection
  • Strife

The Five of Wands for Personal Growth

Affirmation: I can express dissent in constructive ways.

Anger rarely solves problems. Ignoring your feelings isn’t the answer, either. So what do you do? You must find constructive ways to express your opinions. You must remain level-headed even when you reach your boiling point.

Ask Yourself:

  • What makes you angry?
  • How do you respond when you lose your cool?
  • To what extent is your current issue worth fighting for?
  • What alternatives are there to outright conflict?
  • What happens in a “fair fight?” How can you keep your current fight fair?

Interpreting the Five of Wands

Generally, the Five of Wands represents a confrontation. The Five of Wands expects people to be calm and reasonable when expressing their dissenting opinions.

You must allow others to use their own methods. You must be open to hearing and participating in discussion and debate. It’s also an opportunity to compare the progress you’re making to the goals you’ve set.

The Reversed Five of Wands

How you read reversals is a personal choice. You can ignore reversals and read them as if the card is upright (this is what I often choose to do) or you can interpret reversals as variations of what they would mean upright. There are 3 common ways to read reversals: as a negative interpretation, as an opposite interpretation, or as a block on the upright interpretation. Check out How to Read Reversals for more information.

Typically, a reversed Five of Wands represents a negative confrontation. The energies here are negative, persistent, and often subtle. Some examples of behavior include:

  • Berating others for their opinions
  • Picking fights
  • Baiting people with barbed remarks
  • Disrupting progress with pointless objections
  • Offering disruptive criticism

Examples of the Five of Wands

Specific Interpretations

Specific situations are the general interpretation (from above) used for a specific situation (love, career, etc). There is no need to memorize these (or even look them up) if you understand the general interpretation. However, here are some basic interpretations for some specific situations:


Now is a great time to air your grievances. Be respectful and try not to make (or take) things personally. Every relationship has issues but you’re more likely to work through them if you work on them.

Consider the confrontations in your relationships (past and present). What triggers them? Why? How have they resolved?


Avoid casting blame on others (or yourself). What should be happening? Why isn’t it? What happens when the systems break down?


You are not your emotions. Remember this message when you’re surrounded by chaos that inflames your emotions. Step back. Breathe. Connect with your spiritual self and reflect.

Your anger is a powerful emotion. Save it for situations of equal power.

the Five of Wands Tarot Card Meaning

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The Five of Wands tarot card meaning is all about confrontational energies. How can you remain a constructive and level-headed person during confrontations?

Once you feel comfortable with the Five of Wands tarot card meaning, check out the next card in the tarot deck: the Six of Wands Tarot Card Meaning.


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