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How to Read the Fives Tarot Cards

Learn how to read the Fives tarot cards from expert Ellen Goldberg, M.A. in this Howcast video.


Hello, I'm Ellen Goldberg, and welcome to A Tarot Moment with the School of Oracles.In this segment we're gonna take a brief overview of the fives of the four suits of the Minor Arcana. The fives belong to the Sephira called Gevurah, which is severity. This is the tough love Sephira on the Tree of Life, and Kabbalists say that it is also the origin of evil, because evil has to come from somewhere. Why do they say it comes from Gevurah? Because the harshness, the judgment and assessment that Gevurah gives, and which is necessary, but if unchecked by its partner, Hesed, complete, gratuitous mercy, on the other side, judgment, harshness, unchecked by love, that creates evil. Gevurah is not all evil. It's really part of the testing process as one goes up the Tree. And each of the fives of the suit is a testing card. Even on its higher polarity there's testing, so you can imagine how much testing goes on on its lower polarity.
The Five of Wands is the planet Saturn,karma, in Leo, the sign that rules the heart, the noble heart. And with Saturn in Leo, the Lord of Strife is the name of this card. One must learn to sport royally, and learn to have a big heart, and to be fair.

These people are not actually out to hurt each other, it's a game that is being played here. When this card comes in the higher polarity it is the advice, “Learn to sport royalty—royally.”It's competition. It's involvement embracing the battle of life,which we all must do, learning how to jump in and take it and become a player in the game of life. There's so much energy here. But on the lower polarity it can turn cutthroat. The competition is not very nice and people are out to win by any means possible, and perhaps one cannot take that kind of strife and withdraws from it. There is a great wisdom that comes as we learn about sorrow. This loss in pleasure, the astrological attribution, Mars in Scorpio. Now,Mars rules Scorpio and so the desire nature is here. There is too much desire. Maybe wanting things that have been lost, because there's a loss there. Notice that three of the cups have been turned over, but two remain behind. If she would only turn behind, she would see that something remains. Also if this figure would look, they would see that there is a bridge to the other side of the river, that there is transformation possible, and that there is help, there is a castle here, a home. And perhaps that bridge is a bridge over troubled waters. When the pleasure is present in the card, like in the Lord of Pleasure, which we shall see in the six, there is aliveness. But when there is a loss in pleasure, the death force is also inherent, and we know that Scorpio rules both death and rebirth.On the higher polarity this card is learning and wisdom that comes through your sorrows. Also understanding what remains constant and real even in the face of loss. It's bearing the loss with dignity or mourning. In the lower polarity you are caught between the Devil and the deep blue sea. There is no where to go, they say between a rock and a hard place, and that mourning is very intense. The sorrow is very deep. And there is unkindness from ones that you expected kindness from.

Now we look at the Suit of the Swords,which is the mental suit, and that has a very mental connotation, the name the Lord of Defeat. Its astrological attribution is Venus in Aquarius. Venus is love, and Aquarius is a love sign too, but it's the sign of universal love. It doesn't really do very well on the one-to-one level. It's more a friendship sign. Here we have to be on friendly terms with ourselves, because what we're defeating is the voice of slander within. Remember swords are almost always talking about processes, and especially mental process. Look at the sky and you see that it's charged with energy, and not necessarily a clear and blustery, balmy breeze, it's strong and there's a lot going on.How we vanquish that voice of slander within is really equivalent to the meeting of the dweller on the threshold. We have to meet our shadow. We have to know how to say, “That's not true. Just because you think it, doesn't make it so.” Thoughts are not entirely personal. We must learn to identify with the higher self, and not the lower. On the higher polarity one does that. One of its meanings is vanquishing unworthy thoughts and emotions. Defeating the shadow.Learning to be more positive, and to see yourself in a better light.On the lower polarity the shadow rules. And we have inner slander.There is defeat, in almost any kind of situation this card could apply to.

The Five of Pentacles is Lord—called the Lord of Material Trouble. And its astrological attribution is the planet Mercury, planet of the mind, in Taurus. Mercury goes fast, and Taurus goes slow. When Mercury's in Taurus people often worry too much. These people have a lot to worry about, as you can see. They are being tested. They are out in the snow. Look, not only is the woman shoe less, but the man has a bell around his neck, he's a leper! In the old days lepers had to let you know when they were coming, and so they were asked to wear a bell. They are homeless on a snowy night. And yet they are so close to something that could help them.This is the material plane, the Pentacles, and so this card sometimes has been called Adaptation, because if you learn to adapt and use the laws of the universe, you can overcome almost any situation. Here they are passing by a spiritual place, a church. Again, there is a stained-glass window that one should pay great attention to, because if you look carefully you see the pattern is in the form of an anchor. The five pentacles are there, but its the anchor that's interesting. It's called the Anchor of Hope. And if they would turn inwards, if they would come to their spiritual source, and this is a call on the higher polarity, then they could adapt. Toil, labor,effort, all of the things that Taurus could be very good at, are part of the higher polarity. Adaptation. On the lower polarity real troubles with money. Out in the cold. Material calamities and misfortunes.

On behalf of the School of Oracles,this is Ellen Goldberg. Bye for now!

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