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The Five of Pentacles in Tarot and How to Read It

Andrea has a background in Myers-Briggs and Western astrology. She mostly writes about relationships.

The Five of Pentacles represents long-term difficulties. This includes poverty, famine, pandemics, and economic collapse. Societal structure isn't as it should be.

The Five of Pentacles represents long-term difficulties. This includes poverty, famine, pandemics, and economic collapse. Societal structure isn't as it should be.

The Five of Pentacles

The Five of Pentacles suggests a difficult situation that will take a while to resolve. For example, this card is associated with poverty, illness, and isolation.

The number five in tarot often has to do with tensions and rough circumstances. The Five of Pentacles is somewhat redundant because "penta" means five. This could be a hint that the unfavorable circumstances of the Five of Pentacles are unavoidable.

This card suggests that you might be struggling with indecision. Perhaps you feel left out of important decisions. You may feel as though your boss doesn't listen to you, or that your spouse makes executive financial decisions without your input.

This card could be a progression from the Four of Pentacles, which may have inspired you to get to know yourself better. Perhaps during this process, you gave away all your material possessions.

Cutting yourself off from material goods gave you a new sense of freedom, but your life is less secure now. The Five of Pentacles is a sign that you're still learning the lesson of balancing the material world with your inner life.

Key Takeaways

When this card appears, it means you have experienced a great loss or soon will. You have lost your faith, your resources, a spouse, or some type of security. The reversed version of the card is actually kinder—it means hope has returned and foretells a renewal of faith.

The card teaches several lessons:

  • See the glass as half full, not half empty.
  • Seek help when you need it. It's okay to ask for help.
  • Don't fear rejection. Embrace putting yourself into the world and expect things won't always go your way.
The Five of Pentacles indicates that your relationship to the material and spiritual is out-of-whack. You likely have a negative thought cycle that is contributing to this imbalance.

The Five of Pentacles indicates that your relationship to the material and spiritual is out-of-whack. You likely have a negative thought cycle that is contributing to this imbalance.

Card Description

This card reminds me of the book Les Miserables. The famous French novel has several characters who are down on their luck, including Fantine. The woman sells everything in hopes that she and her daughter can get out of poverty. She ends up selling her teeth and hair, but it isn't enough to save her.

The Five of Pentacles has the clearest depiction of poverty in tarot. The image on the card tells the story of lost souls who are in desperate need of mercy. If they can't find mercy, they will likely die out in the cold.

The card shows two people walking through the snow. Their clothes are too thin for a blizzard. A tall woman without any shoes is pictured. She wears a faded brown shawl, a blue tunic, and a long flowing green dress.

The man next to her walks with crutches and a bandaged foot. His neck is crooked, and his head droops to the side. The man wears a cross necklace, a long greenish shirt, and a long blue tunic. His pants are dark brown.

The pair walk past a church with a stained glass window featuring five gold pentacles. The stained glass window glows, showing the building is warm and inviting. The pair could try to go into the building to recover, or they could continue to brave the cold.

Card Alignments

Upright

Financial loss, worry, poverty, destitution, misery, unhealthy, sickness, plague, pandemic, outcast, left out, dreary, exhausted, losing hope, refusing to ask for help.

Reversed

Renewal of faith, financial recovery, redemption, resurrection, second chances, liberation, reconstruction, the morning after a long night, comfort, aid, stability.

Tarot Suits

CategoryWandsPentaclesSwordsCups

Element

Fire

Earth

Air

Water

Color

Red

Green

Yellow

Blue

Represents

Free-will

The Body (Physical Manifestation)

Thoughts

Emotions

Animals

Land Mammals

Reptiles

Birds

Fish

Seasons

Summer

Spring

Winter

Fall

The Body

Head, Heart, Thighs

Throat, Chest, Legs

Arms, Belly, Ankles

Hands, Root Chakra, Feet

Planets

Mar, Sun, Jupiter

Mercury, Venus, Saturn

Mercury, Venus, Uranus

Moon, Pluto, Neptune

Four Humors

Yellow Bile

Black Bile

Blood

Phlegm

Western Astrology

Aries, Leo, Sagittarius

Taurus, Virgo, Capricorn

Gemini, Libra, Aquarius

Cancer, Scorpio, Pisces

Yin and Yang

Yang

Yin

Yang

Yin

Poker Card Equivalents

Clubs

Diamonds

Spades

Hearts

Court Cards

Knight

Page

King

Queen

Upright Five of Pentacles

Blessed are the meek for they shall inherit the earth. This card is a suggestion about what we should be focusing on: benevolence, empathy, charity, and mercy. God wants us to evolve to be more in tune with those around us.

The people on this card are struggling to survive. They need help; they've somehow fallen through the cracks. They shouldn't be wandering around in the cold with clothes more appropriate for spring. The world has forgotten them; the infrastructure of society didn't support them. These are the kind of people Jesus would seek to find and liberate.

Will these people go inside the church, or have they been banished from the building? If things were right, the pair would take refuge in the church. They would find sanctuary. But there is a strong possibility that they've been lied to and told they don't belong. It is a social disaster that the people needing the most support are the ones disconnected from a place of service.

Long-Term Difficulties

This card is about financial loss, poverty, and grief. It foretells disasters, famines, pandemics, and the like. These awful situations don't end overnight. They often unbuckle everything, leading to unemployment, sickness, and death.

When everything is awful, it can be a pretty big hit to the ego. You may lose faith in the Universe, perhaps feeling forsaken. You might not be able to believe that good things can come your way.

This episode—no matter how long it lasts—will one day pass. You need to keep your chin up. Keep moving and doing what you can in difficult times. Know that you can manage and make your way through ruins. Those who go through these painful periods will either draw closer to God and the spiritual side, or they'll feel God has abandoned them or never existed.

Manage what you can and express gratitude. Rather than focusing on what you lack, focus on what you have. Every pound of existence matters.

Advocate for Yourself

The Five of Pentacles indicates isolation. You might feel left out in the cold or as though you've been disenfranchised from society. You might not have enough, and feel as though you're having a hard time proving your merit. What you need is shelter and people who care about you. You need support to get back on track.

If you find yourself in this space, you need to be proactive about getting help. You cannot wait for someone to walk up to you and start giving you advice and care. If you see the light is on at a place of refuge, go to it. Seek help for yourself and make your plight known. Even if it seems impossible, there are people somewhere on this planet who do want to help you.

This card is a reminder to hold onto what you have. You may have lost a great deal, but as long as you are alive there are still seeds you can work with. The battle isn't over yet.

Express gratitude for the good things that have come your way, and thank people more than you criticize them. You need to shift your bad fortune into something good, which will take energy and perspective.

The Five of Pentacles indicates that you're about to go through a hard time. You're going to lose some security in the world. You're going to be dealt a rough hand, but just remember. . . it's just one hand.

The Five of Pentacles indicates that you're about to go through a hard time. You're going to lose some security in the world. You're going to be dealt a rough hand, but just remember. . . it's just one hand.

Reversed Five of Pentacles

The reversed Five of Pentacles suggests you are coming out of a difficult situation. If you've struggled to find employment, you may soon find a job or gig that will help you pay the bills.

If you've been living on the streets, you might soon find a home. If you've struggled with a chronic illness, you may soon find relief. Your confidence will return as good things come your way. There is a way out of your financial troubles. Hold onto hope despite your setbacks.

You need to believe that resurrection and recovery are possible. Not even the darkest night will stop the Sun from shining the next day. Look to nature, for example. Winter may come, but spring will return and the flowers will find their petals again. Nature teaches us that life can't be stopped—it can only be put on pause.

Stopping Negative Thought Cycles

The card may indicate that you've been struggling with your inner voice. When the Five of Pentacles is in the upright position, it can indicate a lack of money or resources. When the card is reversed, it can indicate a lack of spiritual knowledge. You might feel like something is missing in your life.

On deeper reflection, you may realize you have been putting too much emphasis on your money. Perhaps you've neglected to learn about your thoughts, about how to have good relationships with others, and to seek benevolence.

If you identify with money too much, know that money isn't your identity. You weren't born on this planet to simply hold down a job, and you are not just a cog in a machine. You're meant to live, be creative, connect with others, and to help this planet reach a higher vibration.

Despite knowing wealth doesn't define you, you may be worrying that you are not worthy of wealth. Maybe you feel like an imposter, and are afraid people will realize you're not part of the upper class. You're worried that if you spend your money, then you won't have enough at a later date.

The reversed Five of Pentacles could be a sign that you're in a negative cycle with your finances that is causing you to feel unfulfilled spiritually. You didn't learn the lessons of the Four of Pentacles, and this has manifested into a very poor relationship with money. You need a healthy and balanced relationship with money. You need some material possessions to survive in this world, but that doesn't mean money rules over you.

Remember: the Five of Pentacles is designed to be difficult. The Universe sends out what it needs to get you and the world to rise up to a higher calling. You get to decide how you will approach what comes to you. If you can do well in times of trouble, you will do wondrous things during times of balance.

Now is the time to control your responses to the world. Use your free will for good, and allow yourself to be humble.

Keep a Diary

You need to take care of your thoughts. Invest in a diary and write down your negative thoughts. This might help you get to the root of why you have a poor relationship with money. You need to understand the cycle to break it. You might need to trust that the Universe will support you financially. Perhaps the real reason you're having financial struggles is that you're standing in the way of yourself.

Ultimately, the reversed Five of Pentacles offers hope. It also encourages you to evaluate your mind. If you continue to have negative thought cycles, then you may continue to have a poor relationship with money.

The Five of Pentacles is associated with poverty. Your financial choices are not working in your favor. You need to ask others for help.

The Five of Pentacles is associated with poverty. Your financial choices are not working in your favor. You need to ask others for help.

What Are Pentacles?

A pentacle isn't the same thing as a pentagram. They're often used as synonyms when they're not equivalent terms.

A pentacle in tarot is a synonym for a coin. A pentacle is an object inscribed with magical symbols or sigils. It is often represented as a disc. A pentacle is any talisman inscribed with words or symbols. It's often made of paper, parchment, cloth, or metal.

A pentagram is a five-pointed star. It's the insignia of Wiccans; however, pentagrams date back millenniums and have been used by different ethnic and religious groups around the world. Taoists, Jews, and Christians have used the pentagram as part of their lore.

A pentacle doesn't have to include a star symbol. In the grimoire the Key of Solomon, most pentacles don't have stars. The pentacle is generally worn around the neck and by people who perform spells or do other rituals.

The pentacle represents earthly desire in tarot. The earth element is about health and wealth. People look to the earth element for direction on their career, body, and property. The Suit of Pentacles is also called the Suit of Coins or the Suit of Diamonds.

This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.

© 2021 Andrea Lawrence

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