Hardship, Rejection, and Negative Changes: The Five of Pentacles

How do you deal with the five of pentacles showing up in your tarot card reading? In this article, we will be exploring the ins and outs of this card.

Photo courtesy of Melanie Picazo

The human experience never goes without hardships and rejection. In fact, this is one of the most human experiences out there. There are many times when one sits back and observes the fallen debris around them and wonders “Have I really lost it all?” This type of feeling isn’t picky and visits us every so often. The five of pentacles is the embodiment of that feeling. Everything has gone wrong and you wonder how you got here in the first place. Your health, finances, and relationships feel like they have all slipped away from under your fingertips. There is a helpless ache in your chest and the shame begins to set in. Whenever this feeling arises, we must always remember that there is a silver lining to all of these experiences, but are we ignoring them so that we are able to sit in our comfortable misery? This card can come as a slap in the face but can be essential in your growth as a person. 

In this article, we will be discussing many of the messages associated with this card. There are multiple and layered meanings behind every card, but this one can seem like a hopeless pit. We will discuss the possible meanings this card gives us, and that perhaps this isn’t what it seems at the moment. Before diving into these interpretations, we must understand the number five itself and the suit of pentacles. 

The numerology of five

There are plenty of associations between numerology and tarot cards. In fact, the tarot cards can resemble a deck of playing cards. An easy way to look at this is by comparing the minor arcana to the suits in a playing card deck. The numerology of the ‘pip’ cards is important to give the card basis, adding more to the complexity of the card and why it’s showing itself in your reading.

The number five is essentially ruled by Mercury, commonly coined as the planet of communication. This planet is essential to how we communicate with one another and ourselves. The number five can also be associated with the astrological sign Leo, who offers a strong presence among many of the other more tame zodiac signs. This number can also be associated with the need to problem solve, which may or may not be a good idea in some cases. There is a sense of responsibility here with the number five that always falls back on the self. The fives never rely on anyone else. 

The suit of pentacles

The suit of pentacles refers to the earthly associations of physical and external attributes. Many connect the suit of pentacles with the earth signs of the zodiac. These signs are often concerned with reality and external factors rather than internal factors. Capricorns, Virgos, and Taurus each represent a different aspect of the physical world and nature. Each is tactile and tangible, whereas air is less tangible and concrete. 

When talking about spiritual and esoteric attributes of the suit of pentacles, it is mostly associated with the ego, self-esteem, and self-image. These specific attributes are still adhering to the idea that the pentacles are associated with the physical and tactile. 

The historical attributes

The suit of pentacles follows the Rider-Waite Smith system which traces far back in time. There are traditional associations with this card that stem from the first uses of this system. The traditional meaning or name of the card is titled, “The Lord of Material Trouble”, which is exactly what it means. There is trouble within the material realm with this card, which could signify and point to an array of issues. The specific timing of this card is associated with April 20-30. The astrological sign this card is fixed in is Taurus in Mercury and pairs well with the Hierophant, the Empress, and page of pentacles. The optimal season for this card is spring. 

There are different associations with this card depending on the type of spread you’re working with. Photo courtesy of Ksenia Yakovleva

The five of pentacles keywords 

  • Hardship
  • Loss
  • Isolation
  • Alienation
  • Disgrace
  • Recovery from loss
  • Forgiveness
  • Positive changes 

The five of pentacles in a tarot spread

As with many of the other cards within the minor arcana, there can be a lot of reasons why this has come up in your reading today for you or for someone else. There are a few positions we will be discussing as well as different tarot spreads. These are a few of the spreads we will be going over:

  • Love tarot spreads
  • Career and finance spreads
  • Life journey spreads
  • Yes and no spreads

Upright in love spread

This card can come as bad news when regarding relationships. This usually means that you or the other person has become alienated. There is often lost sight of the purpose of this relationship. There is no richness within the relationship and you are just not learning from each other. There is constant conflict between you and your partner. This may be a hard time for both parties to communicate honestly, causing a rift between them. It can be a time when your relationship is tested.

For those who are single, you could feel as if you are never going to find the right partner for you. This can lead to despair and eventually giving up on trying to find someone. This treads on the path of a toxic self-fulfilling prophecy when it comes to finding a relationship. The more negative energy you feed into this thought, the easier it will be to come to fruition. 

Upright in a career spread

This card can often mean there are rifts within your work environment. This can be between anyone but it is felt as a whole. This may feel like an uncertain time to make bold or sudden decisions in your career. This can be a warning sign to hold off on decisions like this because it can cost you your career. These issues at work can affect your mental state of being and therefore are infecting other parts of your life. The work environment can become so toxic that you feel as if your only choice is to leave and isolate yourself away. If you are a business owner, your business is struggling to stay afloat because of the work environment between you and your workers. While this may not be between you and your workers, it could be between coworkers which can cause many people to leave or do a bad job. 

Upright in your life journey

This card can be easily applicable to yourself and where you are in life. Of course, there are many obstacles to overcome when working with this card, but it’s mainly telling you not to isolate yourself from people. In fact, this may create far worse possibilities that can come to fruition. This card can represent a deep loneliness and a bleak look into the future. Not only can this mean isolation, but it can also mean poverty. While this card is mostly dealing with the material, it is possible that your deprivation can be seen in relationships and friendships. There could also be a possibility of your health deteriorating.

The five of pentacles can create many different outcomes in your life journey. Photo courtesy of Tatiana.

Downturned in love spread

This card can indicate that a period of despair and isolation is finally coming to an end. When this card is in reverse it can be a relief if you’ve been going through hardships in your relationship. There are many chances of reconciliation with your partner and it is coming from both parties. You feel fulfilled and like this relationship is strengthened because of the many life tests it has put you through. 

As someone who is single the period of isolation is also ending for you. You may find yourself meeting new people and going on enjoyable dates and adventures. The relationship with yourself has also improved and you feel ready to have a partner to share life experiences with.

Downturned in career spreads

The end of career and business troubles is here. This card can come as a saving grace if you've been dealing with drama within your work environment. Things are slowly but surely going to revert back to normal. You will see this as a gradual change among employees and supervisors alike. This could also mean that it’s time to seek out new opportunities. This can mean asking for a raise or perhaps expanding your business. 

Downtuned in life journey spreads

  This card is signifying an end to loneliness and isolation. This can be inviting people to come and join you in your journey and these people will be people who uplift and understand you. There is a bright future ahead of you, you just have  to be the person to go after it. This is a sign that you are ready for the next step in your journey. You have been working so hard on prevailing in these circumstances and your hard work is paying off! 

Yes or no

The five of pentacles are considered a firm and hard no to whatever question you are asking. But, this can also change if you have pulled multiple cards. 

What has this taught you?

What has this card taught you and what sort of experiences do you have with the five of pentacles? This card can perhaps offer you a life lesson, but it’s your choice to find out exactly what it’s teaching you.

Brandee Robles

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