Five of Wands: Fighting for Balance
(c) Cheryl Lynne Bradley 2004

The 5 of Wands is a card that often indicates struggle. Typically 5 youths in varying array, using their wands as weapons, are depicted on the 5 of Wands. We are being asked to identify with one of the figures in the scene to try and discern which one of these young warriors represents us in our present state.

Very often, in our world of gray areas, we end up embattled and in a situation where we don't love who or what we are fighting for and we don't hate who or what we are fighting against. It can be hard to remember that very few things in life are absolute. The problems we are facing are the same problems other people have had to face, the only difference is the position we are fighting from and how we are reacting to the situation. Are we looking for a solution or do we just like to talk about the problem?

In Aristotle's "Five Canons of Rhetoric", we learn that there are five styles of rhetoric, debate and argument. They are Ethos, Logos, Pathos, Kairos and Audience. These readily apply to the struggle implied in the imagery of the 5 of Wands.

One of the young men represents fighting from or for his credibility. Ethos represents an argument or dispute based on the persuasive appeal of your own character and disposition. It requires you to be knowledgeable about your subject but at the same time to appear benevolent and authoritative. This is how personal credibility is established.

A second young man is fighting for the truth of his message. Logos is a word with many definitions in Greek, it means "oration" and it means "reason". It represents the appeal to our reason in a debate or fight. It also represents the message. Aristotle viewed this as the most important element in rhetoric.

A third youth is fighting from his emotions and his passion. Pathos represents the appeal to our emotions. Emotional arguments are often the most compelling and most viable. We will fight hardest for our emotional investments and for that we take emotional risks.

The foutrh young man represents Kairos. Kairos is the right time to fight, it is not the same as chronological time. He fights at the right place, at the right time, for the right reason and in front of the right audience.

The fifth youth gauges his fight dependent on the type of Audience his little battle has drawn. The action or interest of the Audience and how they are receiving or responding , move him forward or stop him in his tracks. He will fight to please and win the crowd.

It makes you stop and think about how your are handling yourself in an argument, dispute or fight. What are you fighting for? Are you fighting for your own personal credibility? Do you have enough knowledge and grace to win people to your point of view? Are you fighting for the truth of your message? Is your message right or good? Do you have a solid reason for fighting? Are you applying solid reason and logic or are your rationalizing? Are you fighting from your heart? Is your heart ruling your head? Have you chosen the time and place for this battle or has it been chosen for you? Is it the right time? Are you fighting for what you believe or to please and impress your audience?

Sometimes it can't hurt to think about these things before taking on the battles that life so often throws our way. All five of these aspects combined make for a successful outcome. The real struggle is to get them into balance. If balance is achieved, these 5 Wands will form a star. The way you choose to fight your battles is as important as what you are fighting for. Something worth keeping in mind.


This page was created November 22, 2004 and updated on September 25, 2006.