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The Artist's Inner Vision Tarot

Five of Wands

Five of Wands

Artwork by Mark Jetton

All fives in the four suits within the Minor Arcana represent mayhem and conflict, for which the human condition is very much responsible. When we stand with arms and legs spread, our bodies are star-shaped with five appendages. Nature is harmonious; we human beings bring chaos with our disruptive nature.

This card brings conflict; however it is a minor conflict. The problems brought in this card are not difficult, but simple and temporary. Sometimes problems are brought to us by way of competition, power plays, mind games, roles that people play in our lives that interfere with if not necessarily our achievements, with our peace of mind and often affect our judgement. These problems are not large in scope, although they may feel overwhelming at times. Still, they can be characterized as the small battles we fight in life. This can be a communication breakdown, with creative differences and opinions throwing off our progress. Very often these battles are kept internal, since petty squabbles are generally felt to be a waste of time and achieve nothing.

The art in this card represents the minor problems in life that we let affect us more than they deserve to. The man in this card appears in pain over a hot flame that is baking the ground in front of him, while pointed stakes surround his head representing a halo of problems.

This is exactly how not to let everyday problems surround you and deplete your energy. Although conflict and challenge are necessary, it is not necessary to make more of them than what they are. When we try to see minor vexations from a larger context they lose their power to affect us.

The negative of this card would be a more serious problem, which may or may not be masked under trivialities.

In the movie Misery the two main characters experience a conflict in creative differences while one is writing a book; each wants it to end a certain way, and one will go to great lengths to get her way.

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