Card Meanings Rider-Waite- The Fives

The Fives are about challenges, something that needs to be overcome. The Keywords here are:

  • 5 of Wands- discord
  • 5 of Cups- disappointment
  • 5 of Pentacles- poverty
  • 5 of Swords- defeat

Going Deeper

5 of Wands

The 5 of wands suggests lively discussion, disagreements and learning to work with people whose opinions differ from your own. This is not always an easy period. Sometimes those lively discussions descend into outright arguments. There are always more than two differing opinions at play when the 5 of wands appears, many possible courses of action and many personalities conflicting. However the 5 of wands suggests that there is a solution. There is a way through. Sometimes its about accepting compromise, sometimes its about wrestling others to your point of view. But it is always a challenge and suggests things won’t go smoothly.

In relationship readings the 5 of wands is about learning to compromise and work together. It suggests a period of discord when your wants are at odds with each other. It can also suggest that other people are having a negative affect on you as a couple- that you are allowing others into matters that should be private between the two of you. This card would appear often for the couple that squabble a lot between themselves or who have very different ideas about what they should be doing as a couple.

In negative spread positions, the 5 of wands takes those disagreements further to outright fights. Sometimes it’s fighting for the sake of it, creating drama because you’re bored. At it’s best in the most positive spread positions it’s about standing up for yourself, getting into the thick of things and making sure that your voice is being heard. It’s the opposite of being a doormat- the old squeaky wheel making sure it’s getting attention.

As a person the 5 of wands is someone who argues for the sake of it. They thrive in contentious situations and always want to have the last word. They don’t always fight fair because what they are fighting about doesn’t matter, just winning does.

5 of Cups

The 5 of Cups is a rather sad card indicating that you are experiencing a loss of some sort. It’s about looking at what you don’t have instead of what you do. We often say about bad or negative experiences that they are ‘water under the bridge’ once we have gotten past them, but until we do get past them they feel rather awful. Sadness is a natural part of life. We do lose things and people and there’s no escaping that fact. The 5 of Cups is a sadness that hurts but will eventually pass. In fact, the 5 of cups suggests you have already begun the process of healing from your disappointment, from your loss.

In relationship readings it suggests that things have not panned out as hoped. All hope isn’t gone yet but it is a low point. You’ve lost something here, be it hope, good feeling, or a dream, whatever- and the 5 of Cups symbolises that feeling. The lesson here is to look to what you do have, though that may be very difficult to do when you are feeling so low.

In negative spread positions, the card makes sense because it is so disappointingly negative itself. At it’s worst it can be someone who wallows in their misery and does nothing to help themselves. It’s the glass half full attitude, or someone who sees the worst in everything. However in positive card positions it is allowing yourself to really feel- to allow your emotions to flow appropriately. It is acknowledging your loss or heartache and letting it pass without holding on to it.

As a person the 5 of cups can be someone suffering depression or simply someone very sad. This person is often introverted and uncomfortable in company and unlikely to want to go out and make friends.

5 of Pentacles

This card is about all the different variations of the word poverty. So it’s not only real poverty- lack of money- it is also lack of support, feeling out in the cold, exclusion, feeling alone. At least in most cases, this poverty is not a permanent thing. There is movement. At it’s best, it’s about going without to get to somewhere you want to be, making sacrifices for a long term gain. Most often though it’s just a really tough time that you need to manage as best as possible.

In relationship readings, the 5 of pentacles suggests that there are some serious lacks in your relationship. You are not getting what you need, you may even feel alone in the relationship. It’s not a good sign. Sometimes it’s about being cut off from others, the sort of situation where the only person you talk to is your significant other. The poverty here is about connections outside your relationship. 5 of pentacles in a relationship reading suggests that you have no support either as a couple from those around you, or yourself within the relationship.

In negative spread positions it’s much the same as above. You’ve stretched your resources to their limits and are running on empty. In positive spread positions it’s about hope- there is a light at the end of the tunnel. There is help and support for you but you have to ask for it. You have to take steps to help yourself. At it’s best it suggests resilience. When the going gets tough, the tough get going.

As a person the 5 of pentacles is someone who has hit rock bottom. They are often in financial difficulty or are simply having a run of very bad luck.  This person often thinks that all is lost and they don’t know who to turn too.

5 of Swords

There’s something about the 5 of Swords that suggests sneakiness, winning at any cost. Where the 5 of wands is lively discussion and arguments, the 5 of swords never even lets it get to the discussion stage, which I suppose is fine if you are the one with all the swords. If you aren’t then it’s about not even getting a chance to put your point of view across. There’s a slight sense of arrogance with the 5 of swords as well. As if there is only one way- my way. Whether or not you are the defeated or conqueror in this card depends on which cards come up in combination, but even if you are the ‘winner’ it’s a rather hollow victory. It’s winning at someone else’s expense.

In relationship readings it’s about one person having all the power, of things always going that one persons way. There’s a sense of underhandedness about this person’s ‘victory’. Sometimes you don’t even realise how they are doing it. It can be about manipulation, but most often it’s just using any means necessary to ‘win’.

In negative spread positions, like all of the 5’s, it’s pretty straightforward why it would come up. In positive spread positions however it’s safe to say that you are the one with the swords. At it’s best, you are the winner, you are the one left holding all the swords. You’ve been able to see ahead to potential problems and deal with them before they have become a problem, that’s not to say your solutions haven’t had a price, but chances are you aren’t the one to have to pay that price.

As a person the 5 of swords is smug, annoying and always wants to be right. They will move heaven and earth to make sure they are in the right. This person always reminds me of Ricky Gervais’ character in the Office.


One thought on “Card Meanings Rider-Waite- The Fives

  1. Pingback: My Top Ten 3 Card Spreads « faerygodmotherfortunes

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