The Thoth Tarot 5 of Wands, is called Strife because it is referring to Geburah (Severity) in the Suit of Fire; Geburah in the world of Atziluth, the World of Pure Spirit.
Since Geburah itself is a kind of fiery martial energy, being in the suit of fire makes it volcanic; this volcanic activity is acerbated by being also attributed to Saturn in Leo; Leo being Fire at its strongest, and Saturn being heavy and kind of gloomy. Therefore, the fiery energy is volcanic and embittered in the 5 of Wands. This card promises that "all Hel is breaking loose!"
Yet, the central symbol of Crowley's card represents the Wand of the Chief Adept of Geburah, which implies that the authority behind Strife, is derived from Superior Sources and may not be as disastrous as first "blink" would imply. If that isn't enough to make you question the velocity of the up coming cataclysm, there are also the 2 wands of the Major Adept, all aglow with their Phoenix heads, suggesting the purgation through fire and the resurrection of the pure energy from its ashes. The 2 lotus wands belong to the Minor Adept and represent the "Daughters" (Maid-Mother) of the Wands in the 3 of Wands, and thus the 5 of Wands has the mitigating influence of the Mother. Geburah, who is "another state of conscious energy" that is Binah.
Granted, Binah as Geburah is severe energy and seems irrational and disturbing, yet it comes from the benign and loving influence of the Great Mother. Hence, this activity is motivated by what is called "tough Love". This is not an unknown phenomena in the Ancient Mysteries, compare Bhavani and Kali in the Hindu system and you will see that the Great Mother is both Loving and Sever.
When we get too complacent in our life, locked into our comfort zones, we become entropic; we begin to putrefy mentally, emotionally, physically and Spiritually. So strife comes along, and kicks us straight in the "slats" to get us moving, creating and passionate again. Strife is because your are valuable to Life, as a moving-creative being and you know and I know, that we are motivated by Strife! Strife is like a course grained sand paper, that sands us smooth of all rough edges, making us more aerodynamic for motion.
The Witches Tarot-Five of Wands card emphasizes this definition of chaos before reconstruction. As most often of traditional tarot such as Rider-Waite-Smith, Witches tarot etc, carry on the tradition of addressing the more mundane rather than the deeper Arcane meanings of magic. Thus the conditions of discord are colorfully displayed on the Witches tarot as dragon knights in battle.
Each knight carries a traditional flowering Hawthorne Wand.
The Dragons are color coded to their element: Purple, for spirit, Blue for water, yellow gold for air, and green for earth.
There is confusion here, as 3 of the Knights are in armor, ready for a ferocious battle, while 2 others seem to be riding in to see what all the ruckus is about.
In our worldly lives, every ego has its own way of seeing "the world", and none can agree on the final plan. Therefore, this card represents, chaos, quarrel, war, struggle and obstacle to the thing in hand.
When the Strife or Five of Wands card is thrown during a reading it implies:
For Example: If the reader is doing a Celtic Cross reading, and the 5 of Wands lands on the "House and Home" position, there is soon to be, or is now being, quarreling, argument, and fighting in their immediate environment, that is very passionate and usually means in a relationship, be it family, or lover.
If the Five of Wands lands in the position of "finds you", it usually means that the querent is in internal Strife over a situation and are unable to make a decision. Where the cards fall, tells all!
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