5 of Pentacles: Tarot Card Meaning

By Lauren Williams
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5 of Pentacles Keywords


  • Financial hardship
  • Insecurity
  • Isolation
  • Worry
  • Poverty
  • Lack of faith
  • Uncertainty
  • Inadequacy
  • Struggle
  • Health challenges


  • Recovery from financial loss
  • Improved health
  • Positive change
  • New opportunities
  • Rebuilding
  • Overcoming adversity
  • Breaking negative cycles
  • Optimism
  • Developing self-esteem
  • Financial improvement

5 of Pentacles Essential Meanings Snapshot

The 5 of Pentacles is a card in the tarot that signifies hardships, loss, and isolation. It suggests a time of adversity that calls for resilience and interior strength. Often, it is seen as a signal of financial strife or negative change in your material world.


When positioned upright, the 5 of Pentacles manifests feelings of insecurity, worry, and fear. It may indicate a loss of income, job or home. This card’s presence can imply a phase of financial hardship, or a sense of being abandoned or left out in the cold. Despite these trials, the image of a lighted church window on the card could be a hint that help and comfort are nearby – it just requires reaching out.


In reverse, the 5 of Pentacles can represent recovery from financial loss or hardship. It is a card of resilience and survival. It suggests movement away from troubles, possibly implying that the situation is less dire than initially thought. It may point to opportunities to shift your mindset or perspective to see the potential in your current circumstance. This card reversed is a signal that the hardship is temporary and relief is on the way.

5 of Pentacles Description

The 5 of Pentacles card shows a complex, poignant scene, embodying struggles and hardship.

The card depicts two figures, draped in rags that are threadbare and worn, limping through a wintry night under a darkened sky. It’s snowing fiercely, adding to the feeling of relentless adversity.

They move past a warm and inviting church that casts its glow on the snowy path, but they appear oblivious to its presence, eyes glued to the ground.

5 of pentacles tarot card with pentacles and two figures in front of a window.

One figure walks on crutches, nursing an injured foot. The other has a bell tied around his neck, perhaps indicating leprosy or some social outcast.

Each Pentacle image on the stained-glass window in the church is surrounded by floral carvings, making it appear even more warmth providing.

Overall, the feeling evoked by this tarot card is not comfortable. It’s one of gloom and despair, of struggle and survival in adverse conditions. But, through the bleak portrayal of distress, shines a beacon of hope in the church’s inviting light – if they choose to look towards it.

It’s a scene that is both melancholic and solicitously inviting.

Beyond the Surface: Symbolic Meanings

When diving beneath the surface, the 5 of Pentacles resonates with several potent symbols.

  • The Five Pentacles: These golden coins are often seen floating above the characters’ heads, representing lost opportunities, misfortune or financial hardship, driving home the idea that all is not as it seems.
  • The Snowstorm: This chilling backdrop symbolizes hardships and adversity, suggesting a period of struggle or fight for survival.
  • The Stained Glass Window: Seen in the background of the scene, this religious symbol speaks of spiritual comfort and a beacon to those outside. It may also signify society’s disregard for the less fortunate, adding another layer to the card’s meaning.
  • The Crippled and Ragged Figures: These two individuals signify rejection, poverty, and being ostracized. They also represent resilience and determination in the face of adversity.

Remember, a Tarot card’s symbolism extends beyond the literal, each element contributing to the overall message to capture the essence of the situation at hand.

Dual Perspectives: Upright & Reversed

Upright 5 of Pentacles

When the 5 of Pentacles appears upright in a tarot reading, it often signifies a period of hardship and struggle. The card indicates financial trouble, loss, and insecurity. It is a warning sign of potential problems and challenges that the person might soon encounter. In a spiritual context, it can symbolize feeling abandoned or lost, symbolising a period of inner isolation.

Reversed 5 of Pentacles

In contrast, when the 5 of Pentacles is drawn reversed, it indicates a shift in the tide. However, this change isn’t automatic—it’s about overcoming hardship through inner strength and determination. The card encourages awareness and resilience in the face of adversity. It suggests the overcoming of obstacles and challenges, marking a time where the seeker is regaining their footing and coming out of the cold. It’s a symbol of recovery after a period of struggle, suggesting a rejuvenation of hope and spirit.

The 5 of Pentacles, whether upright or reversed, offers a powerful glimpse into the cyclical nature of life’s challenges. However, in each state, the card implores us to acknowledge our situations and find the strength to navigate through them.

5 of Pentacles in Life Scenarios

While the 5 of Pentacles often represents hardship and struggle, the card can have different nuances in various life scenarios. Below, we’ll delve into how this tarot card can be interpreted in contexts of growth, career, relationships, and decision-making.

Growth & Self-Discovery

When the 5 of Pentacles appears in a reading about personal growth and self-discovery, it usually signifies a time of struggle, introspection, and rebirth. Remember, the number five in tarot symbolises change. Therefore, the hardships you’re experiencing are likely part of an important growth process, urging you to reconsider your values and what truly matters to you.

Career and Creativity

In terms of career, the 5 of Pentacles might represent feeling undervalued or unappreciated at work. It could signal a time where creativity is stunted, productivity is low, or job satisfaction is lacking. However, this card also prompts you to rethink your career path: perhaps there’s something more fulfilling you’re compelled to pursue.

Relationships & Bonds

When it comes to relationships, the 5 of Pentacles can represent a feeling of abandonment or isolation. It could signal a break-up, a period of loneliness, or emotional distance within a partnership. However, it’s important to remember that this solitude can provide a space for self-exploration and personal growth.

To read more about the 5 of Pentacles in the context of feelings, read our 5 of Pentacles as Feelings article.

Choices & Life Decicisions

Lastly, the 5 of Pentacles in a decision-making context often suggests that you’re facing a choice between sticking on a painful path or daring to venture onto a new one. Despite the difficulties associated with each choice, this moment of decision is also a moment of potential transformation. Stay present and consider each option with mindfulness before making a decision. Remember, the presence of hardship often signifies the precursor to significant growth.

To read more about the 5 of Pentacles when making decisions, read our 5 of Pentacles: Yes or No article.

5 of Pentacles from Past to Present

The 5 of Pentacles is a card that has evolved visually and in its significance over centuries. Initially, during the Italian Renaissance, the tarot’s pentacles suit was associated with the wealth and material possessions, symbolizing the merchant class. The 5 of Pentacles, being a mid-range card, was no exception and often depicted scenes of commerce or trade.

Over time, with the development of the Rider-Waite tarot deck in the early 20th century, the 5 of Pentacles transformed into a more spiritual and symbolic card. It began to represent not just material struggle, as seen in its depiction of two paupers beneath the stained glass window of a prosperous church, but also spiritual poverty.

The symbolic representations in the card, such as the snow, the church window, and the cloaked figures, vividly illustrate the dichotomy of wealth and poverty, and internal versus external wealth. This shift in interpretation and illustration marks the 5 of Pentacles’ journey from a card typical of its suite to an archetype of human hardship and the struggle for spiritual enlightenment. This evolution emphasizes the card’s timeless relevance and its ability to resonate with people across different historical contexts and personal conditions.

Synergistic Card Combinations

When it comes to understanding Tarot readings, not only is each card significant, but the relationships and combinations amongst the cards are equally important. The 5 of Pentacles, often associated with financial hardship and spiritual isolation, can affect the reading depending on its interaction with other cards.

5 of Pentacles and the Magician

When the 5 of Pentacles shows up alongside the Magician, it suggests that an opportunity may arise to rectify financial issues. The Magician denotes resourcefulness and the ability to use available tools. In this combination, the resourcefulness of the Magician may help overcome the adversity represented by the 5 of Pentacles.

5 of Pentacles and the Tower

The Tower card often indicates sudden upheaval or disaster. When it pairs with the 5 of Pentacles, this suggests possible financial catastrophe. The combination of these two cards could indicate a severe financial loss or a devastating change in one’s economic stability.

5 of Pentacles and the Nine of Cups

The Nine of Cups is typically associated with emotional happiness, satisfaction, and contentment. If the 5 of Pentacles is drawn with the Nine of Cups, it may imply that despite the hardship and adversity, there is still an underlying sense of happiness and satisfaction in other aspects of life.

5 of Pentacles and the Four of Wands

The Four of Wands often symbolises celebration, joy, and satisfaction, particularly in one’s home life. Paired with the 5 of Pentacles, it could mean that despite financial or material hardships, your home life or relationships provide a source of happiness and contentment.

5 of Pentacles and the Three of Swords

This combination usually signals emotional loss or heartbreak. The Three of Swords represents emotional difficulties or sadness. When it’s paired with the 5 of Pentacles, it magnifies the sense of loss and desolation, whether financial, emotional, or both.

Introspection & Meditation

When engaging with the 5 of Pentacles – either upright or reversed – you’ll want to integrate meditative practices and personal reflections to fully access its meanings and implications. Such practices can facilitate valuable insights, drawing bright connections between your current circumstances and what the card is communicating.

Mindful Meditation with 5 of Pentacles

Meditating with the 5 of Pentacles is about deepening your awareness of present struggles and challenges. Pay attention to your breath and visualize the image on the card. As you step into your meditation space, remind yourself that crises are usually transient, and they often hold the seeds of powerful transformations. Allow yourself to perceive with clarity the hardships depicted in the card – they aren’t distant hardships but reflections of your personal journey.

Reflective Contemplation

Writing about the feelings the 5 of Pentacles evoke in you can be enlightening. Pour your thoughts into a journal, focusing particularly on any sense of loss or deprivation you may be experiencing. This practice helps illuminate how you relate to the theme of struggles as encapsulated by the 5 of Pentacles.

The core aim of these practices is to refine your insights, understanding the 5 of Pentacles not as an outside observer, but as someone in tune with its essence. Through introspection and meditation, you delve beneath the surface, transcending first impressions to access profound layers of meaning. Your reflective journey can lead to transformative personal growth and deeper wisdom about your life path.


The 5 of Pentacles tarot card encapsulates the challenges of financial and spiritual hardship, signifying adversity and the need for inner strength.

The imagery depicts two ragged figures against the cold, symbolizing struggle, isolation, and missed opportunities. However, a beacon of hope shines from a nearby church, hinting at solace and assistance. In the card’s reversed form, it points towards recovery and a shift towards positivity.

Over time, the 5 of Pentacles has evolved, moving from its roots in depicting material concerns to embodying broader themes of hardship and spiritual seeking. Paired with different cards in a reading, it offers varied, insightful interpretations.

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Lauren holding a crystal ball in her hands.


Lauren Williams
Lauren merges ancient wisdom with modern insights, offering a fresh perspective on life's mysteries. She's passionate about guiding individuals through the world of astrology, lunar cycles, numerology, and tarot. When she's not charting the stars or reading tarot, she enjoys getting out in nature, hikes and yoga.