Focus on competition has always been a formula for mediocrity.
~ Daniel Burrus, business strategist, futurist and author
Judging from our card today, this week is likely to be another busy one. But the Five of Wands warns it may not be as focused and productive as last week’s Knight of Wands.
As you probably know, the Wands are the element of Fire and deal with action, will, change, manifesting, creativity, and transformation. And the Fives are often about conflict and imbalance.
So we see five men in combat, or playing a game of some sort, whacking away at one another with their staves.
Perhaps the combativeness is unintentional. For instance, maybe they are trying to build something together. They’ve all brought their contributions, plans, and supplies. But there is no organization, no leader, and they are flailing about in a rather risky manner. Judging from the confusion here, they’d better be prepared to duck in a hurry!
We see that no one is willing to stop long enough to create the foundation; they all want to be in charge. They seem equally matched, but instead of finding a way to cooperate, they are wasting their energy trying to defeat one another. And the building never happens.
Whenever this card comes up, I love what Tarot expert Mary K. Greer has written about it: “This card has always reminded me of a grass fight; starting off as lots of fun, but somebody always ends up going home crying.”
This week’s Presidential debate promises to be a very high-stakes event for both candidates. But under this card’s influence, the emphasis is likely to be on the political competition itself, as if it is a game or sports event.
Who cares what the ideas or plans actually are? Fact-checking and global reality are too complicated and not nearly as sexy as watching two men who want to lead the free world duke it out with each other to win the votes of the undecided.
With the subject focusing on foreign policy, there is likely to be more heat than illumination. Be on the lookout for aggressive sword-rattling and blaming.
Sounds like a formula for mediocrity to me.
Also, this week begins with the New Moon in Libra, which is an ideal time for new beginnings, especially for bringing balance and harmony to those areas and relationships in our lives that are discordant. (See my previous post).
But the Five of Wands suggests that extra vigilance is needed to prevent situations where people go from brainstorming to arguing; from playfulness to anger, from friendly competition to chaos.
How might you contribute to making peace, rather than participating in territorial, “Alpha” contests? Where can you pause and reflect before becoming either overly aggressive or defensive?
Perhaps all that is needed is some compassionate organizing. Focus and mindfulness will serve far better than multi-tasking at this time.
From the halls of Washington, to our own meeting rooms and dining tables, progress is made when each member of the group knows they are valued. The gracious give and take of power is essential if it is to be wielded productively.
As long as everyone agrees to the rules and is enjoying it, a little friendly competition can help us stretch and grow. But if competitiveness becomes the raison d’être, the original goal is lost and we will find ourselves in a zero-sum game.
Not only is the fun over, the results, if any, will be far less satisfactory than they could have been.