The Fives

5 is a number connected with the planet Mars. Astrologically, Mars is considered to be a planet of drive and ambition, courage and daring; but also, strife, uncertainty, fear and upheaval. Often it is the action of Mars that brings quarrels and anger, changes and alternation.

Actually, it's interesting to note how often Mars is regarded as a planet to be feared... whilst I would agree that it is a force to be treated with proper respect, I would not have regarded Mars as a poor influence. It is sometimes a difficult planet to harmonize, but sometimes we need the 'kick up the rear' administered by his influence.

The cards in the Major Arcana which could be linked to the four 5's are interesting in their comments about the influence of this number too. Number V is the Hierophant, that teacher and leader who we see as calm and conventional (in some respects); and XIV Art or Temperance, a card that suggests moderation in all things. It is as though, in this case the Major Arcana provides the harmonizing influence for the force and disruptive power of 5s.

This 'antidote' idea is carried through to the color correspondence to the number, as well, for the color of 5 is blue. Blue is thought of as a calm, soothing color, which eases frayed nerves and settles disquiet.

I think we can safely assume that the natural rhythm of the Universe is maintained by this principle of balancing a powerful number which is known to bring sudden change, and disruption in its wake, with calm and soothing cards which suggest that we can overcome or transcend any changes life has in store for us. Somewhat comforting, isn't it?

Of course, 5 is not a number which we should see as all bad - there is freedom in 5 - a freedom from restriction, convention and routine. There are choices, opportunities (often enormous chances), there is vitality and determination. But when this number is having influence, everything that happens will be quite dramatic, sweeping in its effects. If we respond well to changing patterns then we rise to the challenges we are presented with. If we hesitate, shy away or prevaricate, we can only expect our opportunities to turn to vain regret. 5 always indicates some struggle or another. There is forever another goal just beyond the horizon, another hill to climb, another battle to be won.

5s are about the constructive use of freedom. This number represents our struggle to come to terms with the particular demands and responsibilities of controlling and balancing our own lives. We are always approaching or passing through tests of character, of personality, of relationships. We are testing and trying the things which feature in our lives.

Of course, whilst freedom sounds like a great state, it has its disadvantages, and its pitfalls. To be truly free means that you rely on no-one to realize your own hopes and wishes. You recognize that being free means you must also afford that privilege to everybody else. It means that you need to develop a clear identification with yourself, and learn to know yourself better than you know anyone else. And it means never hiding your truths from yourself.

It's often thought that the state of freedom is somehow free of responsibility, but in fact, this is a complete misunderstanding. Freedom probably brings with it more responsibilities and requirements than any state of reliance upon or inter-relation with someone else.

So 5 is the number which concerns itself with the process of learning to handle our own freedom. Of necessity, this leads to conflict. Therefore the four 5's are not easy cards to reconcile.

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