The five of wands like all five’s in the tarot signify conflict and change. However, unlike the five of Swords, the conflict represented in the five of wands is on a lighter note. The five of wands signifies loss or indicates some type of difficulties usually in the realm of competition or some form of disruption which can either be positive or negative.
When five of wands appears in a reading, it can indicate that you may be stuck in a period of stagnation. The conflict presented by the 5 of wands might be just what is needed to help you free yourself from your stagnated state. The five of wands can also indicate friendly competition from other people who oppose you but don’t really want to see you harmed. These people want to see how you merit against them in competition.
When the five of wands appears reversed, it’s tone is negative filled with conflict and nasty competition designed to do harm vs. friendly competition.