You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation.
It’s one of the busiest weeks of the year, buzzing with travel, parties, gatherings with friends, and of course the big Winter holiday celebrations. There’s plenty of astrological activity, too. So maybe it’s not that surprising to see the Five of Wands showing up.
As you may know, the Wands are about action, will, manifesting, creativity, and transformation. Fives are often about conflict and so we see five men in combat, or a game of some sort, whacking away at one another with their staves.
Maybe 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 or cooperation here. Instead, they are flailing about in a rather dangerous and ineffectual manner. No one seems willing to concede in order to lay the foundation, which of course is not as sexy (but absolutely essential).
It like the kind of situation where everyone is trying to be the Alpha. Yet they all seem equally matched and very determined. So it is unlikely there will be a winner without someone inflicting real damage.
This, in essence, is the problem of a zero-sum game. Instead of finding ways to cooperate, they are wasting their energy striving against one another. And success never comes.
Caution Flags Ahead – Take It Slow and Easy
This card has come up before, sometimes when there is real danger, and sometimes when there is just edgy competition.
We can easily slip into this kind of perilous dance in our family dynamics, especially with the potential drama of holiday expectations, old stories and roles, and the natural rivalries and ribbing that such gatherings can engender.
I have always been fond of Tarot expert Mary K. Greer’s comment about the Five of Wands: “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 discussing to arguing; from playfulness to anger; from friendly competition to chaos.
Avoid contributing to territorial contests, and calm your own impulse to overreact defensively.
The astrology this week is also volatile. As I wrote in my WINGS newsletter last time, both Lance Ferguson and Cynthia Novak warn that the planets on Dec. 24 feature hot buttons that could trigger serious risks.
And astrologer Molly Cliburn notes, “The holidays bring breakups, breakdowns, and breakthroughs. Lines of communication are jammed up as Mercury touches the Volatility Vortex on Christmas Eve and the Nodes on December 26.
“Give your loved ones plenty of space, and avoid fanning the flames, should tempers flare or a pissing contest arise. Compassion, not competition, wins the day.”
She could not have better described the Five of Wands!
What Kind of Playmate Are You?
It’s playtime this week for much of the western world. Who in your circle usually plays nicely? Who doesn’t? Who tends to step on toes, and what can be done to change that?
How might you empower others, and encourage participation without inflaming warfare or being martyred?
As long as everyone agrees to the rules and the mood is light, a little friendly competition can be wholesome.
But petty squabbles can easily get out of hand. If domination becomes the main focus, it can quickly turn hurtful.
Take a time-out when you need to, and stay focused on the bigger picture. Pack plenty of patience and compassion with your holiday plans.
In this game, when aggressive egos insist there must be a loser, nobody wins.