5 of Wands – Totality – Struggle – Strife – Fire
The 5 of wands is a card of struggle. The Five’s as an idea make an equilibrium, a halfway-make which in general in the tarot indicates an un-ease of sorts. Thus a totality is called for.
It is exceptionally highlighted in the 5 of wands, where action is poised between a want of rest, and necessity to continue. This is where mere effort is not enough, a sense of inner balance and the temperament are required to continue any type of work, progress or task.
To that end, Crowley calls this card Strife. Osho calls it Totality, indicating that moments like these require a full-mindedness resulting to a sense of precision.
Some older tarots call this defeat, although that as a meaning is a little extreme.
There is still hope and positivity here, although it is stifled by an equivalent resistance from the Universe. This is where two roads, that of action and in-action are almost seemingly equal.
On occasions like these, it is most important to consider which way you are leaning in your will and emotion. And if an inner harmony is derived, it results to progress.
If not, then there is indeed struggle to this sign. An inner struggle with outer implications.
According to Crowley, this presents a revolutionary conception within learning, or training, the result being a complete upset of a statically stabilised system. A progress by friction sort of discipline, through storm and stress. In his view, this must not be regarded an “evil” sign, but one of inertia and insensitivity which to Buddhist viewpoints leads to peace. To his notions, the Fiery nature, which is a purely active force, at its strongest is balanced, but if weighed down, tends to get embittered.