Here’s a card that hasn’t turned up in several years. In the past, it has appeared at times of strife, and sometimes when there is a spotlight on some kind of intense, even cutthroat competition. In a week that brings us, at minimum, a Solar Eclipse, the New Moon in Capricorn, and the gears shifting from this very challenging retrograde Mercury to direct again, there are bound to be some bumps along the way.
As you may know, the Wands are about action, will, manifesting, creativity, and transformation. Fives are often about conflict and imbalance. So we see five men in combat, or a game of some sort, whacking away at one another with their staves.
In another view, perhaps they are trying to build something together. They’ve all brought their contributions and supplies – the logs they are waving around. But there is no organization here and they are flailing about in what could be a rather risky manner. If this is how we interpret their actions, we see that no one is willing to stop long enough to create the foundation; they all want to be on top. In other words, everyone is trying to be the Alpha.
So far, there is no winner. They all seem equally matched. So instead of finding a way to cooperate, they are wasting their energy trying to defeat one another. And the building never happens.
I love what Tarot expert Mary K. Greer says 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, be on the lookout for situations where people go from brainstorming to arguing; from playfulness to anger, from friendly competition to chaos. Try not to contribute to territorial contests, and gentle your own impulse to being defensive.
This may be an opportunity to tap into the lessons of the Year of the Empress, who points the way towards less top-down, hierarchical power structures. She mothers her fussy children by teaching them some manners, and nurturing them each in their own way. She can show us that cooperation and personal success are not mutually exclusive.
Perhaps all that is needed is some compassionate organizing, and having each member of the team know they are empowered, so that their participation is a valued contribution, not a drain of attention and energy.
How do you need such support? How can you give it? As long as everyone agrees to the rules and is enjoying it, competition can be wholesome. But if it turns to fighting and hurt, the fun is over.