The Five of Wands usually looks like a battle scene. It tends to depict a bunch of people in a skirmish, each fighting their own corner, concerned with their own interests. And sometimes, that interpretation makes a lot of sense. Sometimes, however, the Five of Wands appears when we really need to start thinking about the battle which is raging internally - the fight we're having with ourselves. Strangely, that kind of internal conflict often comes as the result of the conflicts we have with others, so the two can also be linked. In order to reconcile the issues in your life, you first need to take accountability for your part in them and then get clear about what you really want from the situation as well as what you can practically do right now to start making that desired result into reality. Wands are the suit of doing energy - they're about manifestation and movement and they remind us of both the creative and destructive power of Fire. What needs to be created and what needs to be destroyed?
When the Five of Wands taps into the theme of conflict with others, it's asking you to argue for consensus and understanding, not for pride and victory. Nothing good ever comes of a fight in which no one is prepared to stand down and be rational. If necessary, suck it up and 'be the bigger person'. That doesn't mean compromising your core principles, it just means wasting less energy on the fight and spending more energy on obtaining the fruitful resolution. There's nothing wrong with people wanting to defend their rights or views passionately, but make sure it all stays civil and that everyone can 'leave the table' without feeling belittled or insulted. Getting that kind of result is tough but that's what makes it feel like such a wonderful achievement. This card encompasses the themes of boldness, bravery, determination and integrity. Choose your battles - don't throw your weight around and exhaust yourself. When the time comes to really stand up for what's right, you'll know about it. Until then, forget petty concerns and direct your passion into productive pursuits.
Everyone comes to times in their lives when they experience internal conflict. Sometimes the Five of Wands symbolises the inability to settle on a decision or choose a course of action. You may be feeling as though five different versions of you are all trying to put their argument across - and the annoying thing is that they are all raising pretty good points! So, which voice do you listen to? Which path do you take? The important thing to remember here is that doing something is often better than staying in the same place, embroiled in the battle forever. You'll drive yourself crazy that way!
This card often gives people the chance to think about their long-term interests, their true desires and the right which they have to fight for what's theirs. In the battle to create the life you want, a balance must be struck between maliciously taking what you want and simply giving it up in defeat. What are your best strengths in battle? Diplomacy and communication? Cunning and opportunism? Long-term strategy and tactics? Is it your spontaneity which keeps you alive or your desire to play it safe? Are you a high risk warrior or do you play the long game? Everyone's strengths lie somewhere different when they feel that they need to go after what they want. You don't need to hurt anyone else to achieve a victory. You simply need to be true to yourself and appreciate what you're good at. Sometimes, all the Five of Wands wants to say is, 'Take action, from heart level.'