Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Misfortune Teller: The Five of Wands

In the minor arcana, there are quite a number of cards that you don't want to see come up, and four of them are fives. They all suck in their own particular way. 

However, the five of Wands sucks the least of the group so we'll start with the best for a change.

On the RWS Five of Wands, five people are going after each other with sticks. I coached middle school lacrosse for a while, and I can tell you that you never know what's going to happen when you give people sticks and let them have at it. This is especially true if they're boys going into puberty, by the way, in case you were wondering. :)

When you get this five, you can expect that there's going to be competition of some kind. I've seen it in all realms, but here are a few examples:
  • Being romantically interested in a person who has a lot of people vying for their heart, or you have a number of "suitors" yourself
  • Trying to get more resources in the workplace--money, people, prestige, etc. 
  • Applying for jobs--I've received this card for many people as they go out and look for work. The competition is very stiff these days with the economy like it is. You have to go in prepared to fight for a job.
  • Having many different things compete for your attention, time or money--These are the 5 small bills you're trying to pay, the children calling your name constantly, or the people who keep trying to interrupt you during PTA meetings. On the flip side, you might be one of a few people trying to get the attention of your boss, your best friend, or someone else in your life. 
Some things in life you have to fight for, but the Five of Wands doesn't discriminate, so don't be afraid to walk out of the competition. 

This particular five is more of an annoyance more than anything else. You have these days when nothing seems to go exactly right, and you go from one small frustration to the next. You wake up 10 minutes late, spill coffee on yourself, realize you have to stop on your way to the office to get gas, and end up five minutes late for an important meeting. Usually, this Five is nothing horrific, but a series of small annoyances that can really piss you off if you let it.
I also often see "generalized chaos" in this card, usually marked by poor communication when everyone is trying to talk and no one is listening, or when groups all want to go in different directions. Head High Priestess Samantha Harvey will often tell students to "focus, people!" whenever they start to get off track, and that's a good message for anyone who receives the Five of Wand Another way of saying it is "herding cats"...you may have to bring people's attention back to the here and now. 

When I lived overseas, they told us "expect one annoying thing to happen per day." I thought that was a great rule and it helped me be more understanding when I was trying to go off to "war" instead of "the train station" for example. When this card shows up, no, things are not going to go smoothly, and likely there will be some generalized fuckery and chaos along the way. So prepare to be annoyed.

In the case of human interactions, I often see this card come up as "opinions are like assholes and everybody's got one." So people may be bringing you their unsolicited opinions on whatever happens to be important to you. It's up to you to stop that by (nicely) explaining to them that they can keep their opinions to themselves, or at least where you can't hear them.

One other example I can use is that of an email exchange. A Five of Wands email would be you sending out an email to two people for their opinion. One replies to you and copies five other people, and then everyone starts giving their opinion. Eventually, chaos ensues as people reply to each other and it becomes one big circle of fuckery that you eventually decide to leave, sorry that you had even asked.

Luckily, for those competing as I mentioned above, usually everyone is staying friendly, civil, and cordial during the fight, but people being who they are I expect people to be fighting hard, even if you're not as invested in what they want to fight about as they are.

To deal best with this card, take a step back and re-focus your efforts, especially your time and energy. Prioritize and act swiftly to the extent that you can, and shut down arguments that are meaningless.

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