4 min read

five of wands // the number five

five of wands // the number five
five of wands from the anthropologist tarot

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last week we took a general look at the five of wands, and today we're going to be digging more closely into how the number five impacts our understanding of this card.

minor arcana fives from the anthropologist tarot

five is a number that can feel sticky, messy, confusing, and frustrating. tension is a big aspect of what this digit is, so it makes sense that five cards tend to be the most asked-about (and even misunderstood) cards in the deck: the hierophant, temperance, and all four minor arcana fives. these are cards i get a lot of questions about, cards that can bring up both internal and external tension, cards that feel difficult to pin down or clearly define.

but i would argue that that's the whole fucking point of five: to force us to acknowledge and move through things that make us uncomfortable, uncertain, or uneasy. to push us to be honest about what we want, what we need, and what we're sick of. to shove us out of our comfort zones and ask that impossibly real question: are we going to be brave enough to change? or are we going to cling to what we know and stay mad?

five is our number of adventure and freedom, of restless discovery and endless questions. five wants to try new things, to explore new terrains, to embrace new ideas. and five isn't just willing to push the boundaries: they're excited to shatter them. five craves exploration and expansion, and isn't afraid to sit in tension, to recognize big emotions, or to push through challenges.

of course the five of wands is uncomfortable. any time we acknowledge friction that's connected to our passions, to our sense of authenticity and self, to our desire to be witnessed and celebrated and creatively fulfilled, it's going to be uncomfortable.

and in a collective moment when it feels like every situation is wound as tight as possible, when it feels like everything from genocides to climate crises to political powers to economies is ready to snap, the energy of five feels especially loud.

five of wands from the anthropologist tarot

in the five of wands, five really brings an willingness to try something different, something unexpected, something challenging. fire is already wild and bright, but when combined with the energy of five, it ramps up the tension and potential even further, setting that tension ablaze. and while that bold, hot fire might seem like it makes things even more intense, fire also consumes, eventually providing some necessary shifting, ease, and relief.

as i mentioned earlier this month, friction and anger and intensity reveal what matters. there's nothing lukewarm or complacent about the five of fire: this combination is potent, explosive, and motivating. we're don't feel angry about things we don't care about. we don't get frustrated if something doesn't matter to us. we don't let ourselves become fired up, literally or figuratively, if we aren't already invested.

and we aren't usually willing to burn down and reimagine things that are working perfectly. there's a reason that so many people have been driven to the breaking point, that folks are protesting like they have nothing to lose: they are fighting for the world they want to see, to make, and they know that in order to build something new, we first have to tear down the old.

how does working with the five of wands help you understand this number more clearly? what about five as a digit resonates with you? what about five as a digit makes you uncomfortable? and how might thinking about this intersection of fire and fire offer some new insights into each aspect of this card?

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i'll be back in your inbox next week with our next piece on the five of wands!