I introduced a glimpse into the fives of the Minor Arcana cards in this youtube video on my new channel (and chatted with you about a few other things, as well). Today, I’m digging deeper into the meaning of the fives. Thank you for joining me on another Tarot Tuesday.
The number 5 in the tarot represents change, conflict, instability, tension or loss. But don’t worry; these challenges aren’t necessarily a negative thing. Change especially can be good for you.
I came across this quote:
As the halfway point of the numbered cards in the Minor Arcana they show us how challenge is unavoidable and perhaps even necessary to propel us onto the next stage of our journey.source: Incadescent Tarot
I think this is an excellent way of putting it. 🙂
Learning how to put the number and the card’s images together with the elements is going to take some time, but here’s a short introduction:
Here’s a personal interpretation of the four Fives in the Minor Arcana. There is also a Five in the Major Arcana – the Hierophant. I picked him twice in recent weeks, once in reverse, and I will address this card in a separate post.
The interpretations of the cards below are only scratching the surface. I see much more imagery and symbolism than I’m describing here. I didn’t want the post to get too long. After all, reading the cards is a personal journey and you will see, and attribute, different things for your own unique circumstances.
The Five of Cups (element = water)
This is a card that gives you permission to grieve. Its element signifies relationships and emotion; perhaps you have had a disagreement or a falling out with someone and now you’re sad and discombobulated. Whatever those spilled cups held before is now gone. So go ahead and grieve your loss.
When you’re done grieving, you will look up and see new opportunities. There are still two of the five cups standing, filled with promises, a fresh start and hope. But, while you are still overcome with sadness about your loss, the two upright cups are ignored, unseen. You are not ready, and that’s ok.
The Five of Wands (element = fire)
This is a card that represents conflict, disagreement and struggle. What is going on with the group waving their wands around? None of them appear to want to come together, listen or respect one another, or find common ground. The element fire indicates a lot of energy and passion, but in this case, it is misplaced energy and passion. The only thing we see here is more struggle and more fighting.
After a while, the fighters will wear themselves out. They realize this is not the way to come up with a solution – everyone is exhausted and the job is not done. This card points out that arguments and battle are ultimately meaningless. Instead, put your wands down, take turns to listen to each other, and with combined effort you will reach a solution to the problem you’re all facing.
Five of Swords (element = air)
This is a card that indicates defeat and winning at all costs. It is similar to the five of wands where the fighting and struggle appear to be the go-to mentality. See the guy with the three swords in his possession? He has a smirk on his face. That’s ego; he wanted to have all the glory to himself and he didn’t care that the others who contributed were left without accolades.
The two figures who walk away in the background left the remaining swords behind. It tells us they left the egotistical guy with all the answers (and swords) in disgust. They knew he was not a team player and didn’t want to stay. Although they may feel defeated now, it is really the sword collector who will ultimately feel how lonely he is at the top. Did he cheat or manipulate the others to gain access to the prize? Now that he’s won, he is all alone. We must ask, was it worth it?
Five of Pentacles (element = earth)
This is a card that shows extreme suffering. See the two people walking through snow in bare feet, injured and crippled? They have lost everything and are suffering poverty, ill health and financial ruin.
But they are also deep in victim mode. Their despair and suffering is so overwhelming at the moment they can’t see the opportunities that are right in front of their eyes. See the brightly lit church window with the five pentacles beckoning them to come inside, get warm, have a bowl of soup? They don’t see it.
I found a neat explanation about the number five which relates back to Greek concept of the fifth element. Tarot Teachings by Avia wrote it perfectly in the article Meaning of Five in Tarot:
The Greeks marveled over the philosophy of Five and recognized the pentagram as a perfect symbol to represent the four elements (water, air, earth, and fire) PLUS the fifth element as a unifying factor. This fifth element, as Plutarch observed, is the ether or quintessence that instills harmony and unity to all elements.Tarot Teachings by Avia
I think this is beautiful. It means the first four cards of each suit (cups, swords, wands, pentacles) combine their energies when they reach the fifth, at which point they have reached the mid point of their journey through the Minor Arcana cards (up to ten, at which point the court cards Page, Knight, Queen and King emerge).
So, next time you see a five, perhaps you will have a new appreciation for this number.
Thank you for following along with my learning tarot journey! You can read other articles in order of posting here, or click on my youtube channel and see a few of the videos in which I talk a little bit about my discoveries. Thank you for subscribing, liking and commenting!
See you in the comments.