The Five of Pentacles is the fifth tarot card in the Minor Arcana suit of Pentacles and represents a feeling of impoverishment and struggle, materially or psychologically. The glowing church windows suggest that help is available and that there is hope for the situation to improve through support from others in your community.

The Five of Pentacles is associated with the element of earth and the first decan of the astrological zodiac sign Taurus (0-9 degrees), which is ruled by the planet Mercury. Mercury rules the mind and the intellect, which points to the nature of the mind as a double-edged sword: on the one hand, excessive worry creates a feeling of paralysis, but employing the Mercurial faculties of logic and reason may help to lift one out of this mindset.

Where the key meanings of the Major Arcana cards focus on life’s overarching themes and events, Minor Arcana cards like the Five of Pentacles explore and reveal the more subtle changes impacting one’s day-to-day life and near future. The Five of Pentacles also bears similarities with its sibling cards the Five of Cups, Five of Wands, and Five of Swords, in that all four deal with themes of conflict and challenge.

Five of Pentacles Keywords

Upright Keywords

Reversed Keywords

worry, hardship, scarcity, examining beliefs around lack

releasing worries, emerging from difficult times, stuck in fear, liberating yourself from old beliefs

Description of the Five of Pentacles Tarot Card

The preceding card, the Four of Pentacles, illustrated the desire to gather and conserve one’s material resources in order to create a feeling of stability and safety. This card also warned of the tendency towards a mindset of scarcity, and in the Five of Pentacles, this mindset has taken hold as the two figures appear destitute as they hobble through the snow.

In the Rider Waite Smith tarot deck, the scene is awash with snow, which envelops the two figures as they trudge through it, barefoot and injured. Both are dressed in tattered rags, indicating that they’ve fallen on hard times financially, and the figure on the left hobbles through the snow on crutches, suggesting that he’s also struggling physically.

Their faces are contorted with suffering and downcast with dejection, each involved in their own experience of pain. They don’t seem to be able to support each other or notice that a glowing church window sits just behind them. Nevertheless, this stained glass window offers them the potential for solace. Their isolation could be soothed by the promise of community support, but they must notice it’s there in order to take advantage of it.

Five of Pentacles Upright Meaning

The Five of Pentacles upright can indicate a feeling of struggle around not having the resources you need to support your life, either emotionally or materially. It can speak to persistent worries about meeting your basic needs and the feeling of isolation or a lack of support from others during tough times. You may have more support available to you than you realize and could benefit by exploring your options and asking for help when you need it.

This card can appear when real or imagined hardships are on the horizon—you could be facing a loss, health issues, financial setbacks, homelessness, or be worrying about such things happening in the future. Rather than imagining or assuming the worst-case scenario, this card asks you to use your intellect, common sense, and ability to plan for the future to help guide you forward and navigate any challenges ahead.

When life’s inevitable periods of challenge or struggle arise, the upright Five of Pentacles asks you to examine your reaction and response to these situations. If you are able to find the lessons or the medicine within these periods, you can strengthen your trust in yourself and even cultivate faith that there is something important to be learned from these experiences.

Love and Relationships (Upright Meaning)

When the Five of Pentacles appears upright in a tarot spread, you may be feeling isolated from your partner. You could be facing some significant challenges together as you confront threats to your stability, either financially or emotionally. If you can each find ways of stepping outside of your own experiences of fear or pain, you may find that this time period becomes easier as you learn to support each other.

The Five of Pentacles may also represent a fear of not having your needs met by another person. You could be entering a prospective relationship with the energy of lack, the fear that you’re not enough, or that you’re unlovable in some way. This card asks you to examine these fears and beliefs and work to dismantle them so you can enter relationships empowered and confident in yourself.

Love/relationships upright keywords

Career/finance upright keywords

feeling isolated from partner, threats to stability, fear of not having your needs met, lack of self-confidence 

threats to financial stability, asking for help, fear of future loss, channeling fear into constructive action

Career and Finance (Upright Meaning)

In the upright position, the Five of Pentacles suggests that you’re moving through some difficulties in your work and are potentially facing threats to your financial stability or a change in your employment. While this could pose real challenges for you, there may be more support available to you than you realize if you are willing to look in unlikely places and ask for help when you need it.

The Five of Pentacles can also indicate that your fears of future loss, struggle, or impoverishment are coloring your perception of the present moment. This card asks if you can channel your fears into constructive action and if you can find ways of strengthening your trust in yourself in your trust in life.

Five of Pentacles Reversed Meaning

The reversed Five of Pentacles can indicate that you are emerging from a period of hardship, financial struggle, or health challenges. You may have endured significant challenges or threats to your well-being and stability, and in this process, you have strengthened your belief in yourself and your faith in life.

The Five of Pentacles in the reversed position can also signify that you are working to release limiting beliefs and fears that have kept you in a headspace of worry, anxiety, and decision paralysis. If you’ve been facing life with a sense of limited possibility, you could be liberating yourself from this belief and strengthening your trust in yourself to create the abundance and stability that you desire.

At times, the reversed Five of Pentacles can indicate that you are stuck in a mindset of fear, lack, and worry, making it difficult for you to move forward. This could represent a long-standing pattern that needs your dedicated energy, time, and self-compassion to work through and heal.

Love and Relationships (Reversed Meaning)

In a love tarot reading, the reversed Five of Pentacles can signify that you are emerging from a period of struggle, grief, or hardship in your relationship and are coming out on the other side of it stronger and more connected to each other. You may have faced threats to your stability or to your emotional bond, but you can take the important lessons you’ve learned to weather storms in the future.

The Five of Pentacles reversed can also indicate that you are working through your limiting beliefs and fears about love and relationships. If you previously approached relationships from a place of lack, low self-worth, or fear of not having your needs met, you can now take a different approach based on self-confidence, trust, and openness.

Love/relationships reversed keywords

Career/finance reversed keywords

emerging from a period of struggle in relationships, working through limiting beliefs, building self-worth

emerging from financial hardship or instability, cultivating inner strength, self-worth, and resilience

Career and Finance (Reversed Meaning)

The Five of Pentacles reversed can symbolize coming out on the other side of a period of financial hardship or instability. You may have experienced a job loss, a financial loss, an unexpected increase in expenses, a loss of material possessions, or bad luck with investments. By learning to ride the waves of instability and change, you’ve learned to cultivate your own inner strength and resilience.

The reversed Five of Pentacles can also indicate that you are cultivating self-worth and your belief in your ability to enact positive change in your life. While you may have experienced hardship or deprivation in the past, you are realizing that these experiences don’t define you, and you are working to reformulate your self-concept so that it is more empowering and affirming for your future positions and financial security.

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