The Five of Pentacles Tarot Card


The Five of Pentacles is a Tarot Card that appears when economic times get bad. It shows up when we are losing faith in a relationship, an institution or just in ourselves. It is a card that illustrates us lacking faith in tough times.

The card depicts a wintry scene juxtaposing a beautiful stained glass window with two paupers trudging through the snow of a cold, dark night. One is on crutches, a tiny bell around his neck. The other has a shawl over her head, bare feet half-buried in the snow bank. The black wall behind them holds a colorful stained-glass window. A group of yellow circles with stars drawn in them is the prominent feature of this window. These circles are called pentacles and four are stacked evenly, supporting a fifth. Above them, the Roman numeral V (for five) stands out. There is some colorful foliage illustrated in the stained glass that makes the decor all the more festive.

The card is often assumed to be a bad omen when it appears in a reading. But the Tarot deck is subtler than good and bad. The meaning of the card can change dramatically depending on where it lands in a Tarot reading. The other cards around it also heavily influence the Five of Pentacles. Read more about placement and combinations that make this intense Tarot card come alive!

Meaning in Past, Present and Future Positions

If the Five of Pentacles appears in the past part of a Tarot card spread, it indicates that a hopeless period of your life was in the past. This is a good place to have this card. You can learn about how losing your faith in the past may be the root cause of how you came to a current dilemma. You may also be able to better measure the hope that you have for life now against the hopelessness of your past.

When the Five of Pentacles appears in the present part of a Tarot card spread, this tells you that you are not looking at a great opportunity that is right in front of you. Often this card appears in the present when a generous and loving man is letting you know that he would love to have you in his life and you are ignoring him as you follow a loser bad boy on a dead end fling. This card urges you to have faith and to see something in your life that is right in front of you that can lead to a much happier situation than the one in which you are currently embroiled.

This is a warning from the Tarot deck not to lose faith. The future will challenge you if the Five of Pentacles is placed in your future position. But you can make solid choices now to be on the other side of that stained glass window. The Five of Pentacles reminds us that life is a banquet and most poor fools are starving. Embrace the warm, joyous light that is on the other side of the window in the Five of Pentacles. Knowing that times may be tough is no reason to give up, in fact, you can actually work to create the joyous light depicted in the card’s stained glass window. This card lets you know that it is time to live your life instead of just trudging through it.

Card Combinations

All cards numbered 5 in the Tarot Deck are an echo of the Tarot’s #5 Card: The Hierophant. This is the card of the established order and our adherence to the social contract. Every card numbered 5 is also an echo of the Hierophant’s shadow card, Tarot Card #15: The Devil Tarot card. This is the card of abandoning all principle in the pursuit of pleasure, of adhering to your own selfishness so deeply that you become a slave to desire itself. All Pentacle cards deal with the energy surrounding the material world, an energy that is most commonly expressed as money. And so the Five of Pentacles card asks whether you want to follow your own selfish pursuits and ignore the big bounty that awaits those interacting as a part of civil society.

If the Five of Pentacles appears in a reading with a lot of other Pentacle cards, the issue is definitely money and its alienating power. Perhaps you are in a social clique with some women who are economically more well off than you and you are feeling bad about this.

If the Five of Pentacles appears in a reading with a lot of Sword cards, your alienation has angry words and contractual oppression at its core. Perhaps you have recently been disinvited from a circle of friends after an argument or disagreement.

If the Five of Pentacles is accompanied by a lot of cards from the Cups suit, emotions will be the reason you are in a state of alienation. This often accompanies situations where a woman has moved out on her own out of spite toward the people who love her. No matter how obvious it is that the love of the world awaits her back home, she trudges into addictions, bad relationships and poverty because she is “gonna show them.”

Some of the Tarot deck’s Major Arcana cards combine with the Five of Pentacles in curious manners. The “bad boy” addiction is particularly amplified when this card is paired with The Emperor or The Fool. When paired with The Tower, the Five of Pentacles reassures you that you are the victim of circumstance, of outside forces, and that your faith in yourself has been the saddest victim in recent life upheavals. When paired with the Wheel of Fortune, you probably are in the middle of taking a big gamble and losing faith in your wager. One card that combines with the Five of Pentacles in a manner that is solid and permanent is the Justice card. The Justice card indicates that a crossroads has been reached and that there can be no going back. The die is cast. When Justice pairs with the Five of Pentacles you are confronted with choosing or rejecting hope. Immediately following a Tarot reading with the combination of these two cards, the decisions you make and actions you take will be of particular importance in the short and long term.

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