Card Focus: Five of Wands
The Five of Wands has been haunting me as of late, reminding me to think twice about other people’s uninvited influence.
Every blog and social page I follow on developing a professional tarot, spiritual or intuitive practice tell me the same thing: Don’t do what other people do. Go your own way. And this is super great advice, for which I have followed over and over again. But putting this into practice is only half the battle; the other half is not letting all those other people get inside your head, which for me has proven much more challenging.
The Five of Wands teaches us how to cope with difference. Most versions of this card show five boys playing a spirited and aggressive yet civil game. They are proving themselves to one another, showing off, figuring out each other’s strengths and weaknesses. The card asks, when you are put in a situation where you and others display your stuff, how will you let that moment influence you? Will you hold fast to your abilities and strong in your identity, or will you back down to the competition, and allow others to define you?
On Sunday I spent the day doing readings at a local expo, and was surrounded by other vendors and practitioners who were a bit, and I don’t use this word loosely, fraudulent. Over inflated egos, false prophets, and the like. I did everything I could to block them out and focus only on the customers who came to sit for readings, but it was hard, and I couldn’t help but let those people inside my head. (It didn’t help that they kept trying to talk to me, and force their materials into my hands.)
“I’m not one of them!” I immediately felt the need to declare to myself, which was immediately followed by, “I’m not one of them, am I?”
The question I have been mulling over since the expo is, why do I even need to declare and ask this of myself? What do those people matter to me? Apart from the fact that I found it incredibly sad that people in need were being taken advantage of, they mean nothing. Absolutely nothing.
I have spent the last few days cleansing myself of the toxic energy that I took with me from the expo, and have for the most part found my equilibrium again. However, there is still a little voice inside me declaring a need to reaffirm my identity. And I realize that even though Sunday has been cleansed out of me, the insecure child in me is still a bit triggered and shaken up. Helping her find her voice again is the only way through, and will lead to long-term healing.
This game of wands may have been a fair and civil display, but that doesn’t mean they all had been that way. When we allow our inner children to speak to us, and when we honor what they say or feel with respect, we can dispel their monsters, and sooth their fears and show them the strength that lies within.