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Generally, all Fives:

  • Express the challenge of their suit, or element.
  • Reflect the themes and wisdom of the Teacher.
  • Symbolize a test of hardship.
  • Can represent your story conflict; it can be a plot point such as the First Pinch Point, the unfiltered glimpse of the antagonist force; one of many tests during the “Tests, Allies, & Enemies” portion of the Hero’s Journey (The Writers Journey by Christopher Vogler); it could be your mid-point, turning your story on its ear; a threshold guardian; or the experimenting step of your character’s arc.
  • Are the test, often unexpected, in the second set of mini-dramas mentioned in the Numbers in Tarot post.
  • For additional info on Fives check out Tarot Notes Take a Number series on Fives.

What I See:

The fives are like playing fifty-two card pick up after the structure of the fours. At least this card is with its riot of action.

This card reminds me of a Bev Doolittle painting. I want to sit and stare, and find the hidden images.

What magnificent birds. The Bald Eagle has come back from the brink of extinction and has actually overpopulated some areas. Like any creature, they have to fight to defend their territory. Two of the birds seem to be calling out comments, or warnings. Two seem to be fighting for the perch. And if that wasn’t enough conflict, here comes a fifth bird. Or it could just be my house and that fifth bird is the parent coming to break up yet another sibling fight, LOL.

General Air element/Sword suit:

Please refer back to the Ace of Air.

Light (upright) Reading:

Beware of defending your space with hurtful words or bitterness.

  • Keywords: Letting Go, End of Attacks, Treachery Revealed, or Detachment from Negativity.

Shadow (upside down or reverse) Reading:

Beware of becoming lost in internalized negativity, it may be all in your head.

  • Keywords: Malice, Ridicule, False Pride, or Negativity.


With the obvious signs of fight in this card you could have a family feud, a school yard fight, a war, simple survival of the fittest, a legal battle, or a land dispute. Here in Nevada there is a debate about the wild horses and government round-ups and, even though there isn’t a horse to be seen in this card, I see that story unfolding here.

  • Five Themes: Challenge, Crisis, Conflict, Instability, or Change.

Traditionally, this card is one of defeat, so perhaps your story focuses on a sporting event. A sore loser? How about exploring the emotion of humiliation? What about someone dishonorably discharged from military service? Perhaps a short-lived victory, or the spoils of war?


“Conflicts often generate growth, as painful as they might be.”

  • Suit Archetype/Feudal Class: Nobility, Warrior, and Political class.

The nine-point personality enneagram can also be useful for character building.

All Fives are E5: Observer, Investigator, and/or Sage

  • Self Image — I see through
  • Passion — Greed
  • Virtue — Detachment
  • Narcissistic Trap — Knowledge
  • Avoids — Emptiness
  • Speaking Style — Explaining or Systematizing

E5 people are ruled by their head. They need to understand the pattern of events, where all the pieces fit in the puzzle of life, and are often detached from their emotions. Their objectivity may hide feelings of isolation or confusion.

Additionally, look up one of the Air signs (Gemini, Libra, Aquarius) for personality traits.

Image: Gaian Tarot by Joanna Powell Colbert from Llewellyn Worldwide