As you may observe, in the Thoth Tarot, The Five of Wands is named- STRIFE while in the Tarot of the Old Path, the Five of Rods illustrates STRIFE. Both Rods and Wands represent the element of Fire. Thus, The Tarot of the Old Path- the 5 of Rods illustrates predominately red or fiery colored clothing covering the human forms. Also being shown on the Tarot of the Old Path card, is lack of teamwork and leadership, as a cause of dysfunctional cooperation in the building of a Pentagram-like structure formed of five willow rods. It seems the responsible position of leadership is held by an wealthy older man, who lacks leadership skills while a jester, who is holding the rod in the right position, is more concerned with poking the older man in the arm pit. The young man, is also holding his rod in the proper position, but is annoyed at the mischief of the jester and is poking him in the chest. The young woman's willow rod is positioned correctly , but entangle in the mayhem of the others.
The obvious message is one of contention and conflict in business or project construction. There seems to be an immaturity of emotion, that cancels wisdom and misdirects ambitions. So the Five of Rods, is about strife, quarrel, and dysfunction.
THE THOTH TAROT- 5'S:
To the Elements, the fives bring serious problems of unbalance. The 5 of Wands-Strife, brings quarrel and strife in the Vital energy: The 5 of Cups, brings disappointment to relationships; The 5 of Swords, brings defeat to health and mind; The 5 of Disks, brings strangulation to income and business.
All seemingly very gloomy; However, the other cards in the divination will show how long the difficulty as well as, how serious the fives are to be taken. Really, these nasty old 5's just announce that a difficulty exists and often the solution to the problem at hand is in the rest of the Tarot reading.
THE 5 OF WANDS; STRIFE.
This Lord of Strife astrologically is Saturn in Leo, which is the influence of Geburah in the World of Pure Spirit; Atziluth of the Four Worlds.
Here the powerful heavy effects of Saturn, united with a Fire sign like Leo, brings quarreling and Strife in energy.
The Angels of the Decan are Vahaviah and Yelayel, necessary knowledge for those who wish to call on them.
Wands are a continual outpouring of force and with Saturn's influence, this flow of force is agitated and disturbed, not unlike water flow is disturbed by rocks, causing rapids. Or more likely, as volcanic magma is disturbed by the tons of rock its pushing through. Thus, in the Five of Wands, there is contest unresolved.
Crowley's Thoth Deck Card, shows the nature of the energy rather than its disturbed nature displayed by the Rods of the Tarot of the Old Path, Golden Dawn or Ryder-Waite-Smith Tarot Decks.
In the 5 of Wands, are shown the Lotus wand of the Golden Dawn Adeptus Minor of Tiphareth, the Phoenix Wand of the Adeptus and the Major of Geburah, all crossing the central wand of the Major Adept. The fact that the Major Adept Wand is central is because it's position implies this severity is directed by Geburah rather than happenstance. The Phoenix wand implies resurrection from the purgation of Fire, while the Lotus Wand is of the Mother.
Many people find Geburah a difficult Intelligence to understand because She is a volcanic as Pelé ( Hawaiian Volcano Goddess) , all irrational disturbance. Yet these disasters are derived from the benign and gentle influence of the Feminine that is Great Mother Binah. To me, this just shows Spirits "tough love" for its incarnations, and the need for transformation. Spirit knows you are the best built Divine Creative Image yet, and have the internal strength and stubborn will necessary to handle anything this Universe can throw at you. Yet, because we often believe the definitions of those who rule definition, we see ourselves as a weakness, trying to become stronger by facing the pain inflicted in our "pleasure-pain" cultural indoctrination, so that we can stand up for ourselves against the tyranny of our rulers. Often the inner pain begins because we are taught to believe that mortality is a weakness, rather than the only way to experience the courageousness of our Souls that must learn to discriminate. Immortals don't have need of courage nor discrimination...they don't die. However, they also don't have sensuality. Sensuality , supplies the feelings of vulnerability, that build charity, generosity and empathy, to name a few great character traits. Hence, to exist as a "living" form that experiences, requires a "beginning and an end". The very fact that the Soul of you, your Psyche, is seeking sensuality by building an incarnate persona, requires severity just to make it so and a fearlessness to make it happen! For example, a certain amount of friction is required to form energy into creations. Without the severity of friction, form could not become form nor move! Just so, with out the friction of severity in ones life, accomplishment, progress and evolution would not happen! We Souls knowingly build an incarnation, knowing it can be a "crap shoot" and certain severity will be applied to keep it moving for we all know that bodies often seek comfort rather than progress. Therefore, the 5 of Wands-Strife, is often called "The Master's Journey".
When the Five/5 of Rods/ Wands is thrown during a divination:
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