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Five of Pentacles
Tarot Card Meaning

Five of Pentacles. (Aquarian deck published by US Games) Five of Pentacles. (Morgan-Greer deck published by US Games) Five of Pentacles. (Universal Waite deck published by US Games)

About Five of Pentacles
Meaning in Tarot

My inner sight can't help but associate this card with the Biblical story of Joseph and Mary's arduous sojourn ending in the birth of the Christ child.

Perhaps it's the hint of a shepherds hook seen in the Aquarian deck (far left in the above shown card trio). Or, the Mother Mary archetypal imagery shown in the center card (Morgan-Greer version).

Whatever the case, the theme of pilgrimage can be easily inferred in the five of pentacles Tarot card meaning (Webster defines pilgrimage as: "a long journey taken as an act of faith or devotion").

Keyword cast out for five of pentacles Tarot card Meaning:

  • Outcast
  • Enabling
  • Fortitude
  • Criticism
  • Rejection
  • Pilgrimage
  • Consequence
  • Determination

When the five of pentacles shows up in our readings, in some fashion we are encountering the darkest before our personal dawn. This card beckons us to screw our courage to the sticking place and persist in following our anchoring beliefs. The card further urges us to bolster ourselves in the midst of what's likely to be a tremendously troublesome environment.

The conditions we find ourselves in when pulling this card are potentially wicked, and they bite hard at our backs. Lack of money and poor health are cruel enough to darken the heart. But, perhaps the cruelest cut of all is ridicule or rejection from others who would (traditionally) be considered compassionate to us and our cause (i.e., the church, our family and friends).

Five of Pentacles meaning in tarot

Indeed, we see evidence of this latter scenario in the card as the figures are often depicted as outcast from what looks to be an orthodox establishment, like a church or synagogue.

The story of Mary and Joseph indicates their enduring hardship because their situation was unacceptable to the established normalcy of their time. The five of pentacles in a reading may indicate we too are moving to the rhythm of a dance that is not any part of the status quo.

It is clear the figures in the card are downtrodden, but certainly not beaten. They endeavor. They find the internal fortitude to persist in their journey.

To what are they driven? Why, against seemingly all odds, do they persist in their quest? Here are some ideas as to why they endeavor:

  • The promise of security.
  • The ideal of acceptance.
  • The hope of better days ahead.
  • The belief their efforts will be rewarded.

This heretical dancing often wreaks fear in conventional, sheep-like mentality (hearken back to my shepherds hook reference). Agreed, rebels aren't as quick to be stoned these days, but can certainly be subject to some painful criticism. Even from people and organizations who are supposed to be in a position of support and love.

Be that as it may, this is the time our strength must be derived solely from our innermost founding faith.

Resist the temptation to succumb.

Drive on and continue following that bright North star to the promise land affixed in the eyes of your soul.

Some symbol meanings emerging from the five of Pentacles:

click for a larger view of all cards with the Stained Glass symbol

Stained Glass: Stained glass is symbolic of perception and how our vision (mental, phsyical and spiritual) can change according to our perception and beliefs. The art of staining glass reaches back to ancient alchemy when certain compounds (i.e.: antimony windows) were mixed with glass to bring about transformational effects upon the viewer. When you are looking through the stained glass windows of a reading, it's a sign to begin getting honest about your perception of the situation. Are you seeing things clearly? Click for other colored glass in the cards.

click for a larger view of all cards with the Snow symbol

Snow: Featured on the 5 of Pentacles, we can derive from this imagery that snow symbol meanings deal with being "out in the cold," isolation, and exposure to harsh conditions. However, anyone who has stepped outside just after a fresh snow can tell you the beauty is stunning. Clean, crystally, and quiet. These are also symbolic qualities of snow. When the flakes fall on your eyes in a reading, keep in mind the snow is needed in order to have spring flowers. Also remember that tribulation is a matter of perspective - we can either see the snow as isolation or we can see it as a fresh clean blanket - waiting for us to make a few snow angels in it. another image of the snow in the card.

Some helpful questions pertaining to the five of pentacles Tarot card meaning:

  • What outcomes did I expect when I started my pilgrimage?

  • What could I do differently to make the journey less arduous?

  • Am I still committed to my foundational faith and vision?

  • If so, how can I strengthen that commitment and reaffirm my faith?

  • What are some ways I can enhance my self-confidence?

  • Are there people who share my plight that I can help along the way?

  • Do I feel I have to suffer for my cause? Why?

  • How do I feel about being socially accepted? Why?

  • Why do I care about other people's perception of me?

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