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“Five of Pentacles”

Five of Pentacles

There’s a lot to look at in this card.  I like to begin with the number. 

The number on this card is a 5.  When we look at a “5”, we see a small, thin stick; a big, round belly; and a cap over the top.  The skinny stick, to me, represents a form of spiritual anorexia.  We’re spiritually dehydrated and our soul needs attention.  In some sense, we recognize that “emptiness”, which is where the big, round belly comes in.  Rather than acknowledging our need for soul food, we try to fill that void with material objects or through outside sources. We’re meant to be looking inward, but our focus is outward as we try to gorge ourselves to correct the hunger.  However, that cap at the top of the five is our “higher self”, our search for knowledge, our desire for a spiritual connection.  So, in short, the five means that we should honor our Spirit’s need for soul food and stop trying to fill the void with outside influences or material objects.

This card also features pentacles, which indicate one of two things (or both).  First, they represent money… when not referred to as pentacles, these symbols are called, quite appropriately, “coins”.  In some cases drawing pentacles could indicate an in-flow of funds, money coming to you.  However, this card triggers a different feeling.  In this card, it’s likely loss of funds or stress over money that is causing that spiritual void.  In other words, we can be so focused on what we need, what we don’t have, or what we’re responsible for, that we drain our soul’s needs trying to meet the physical demands of the reality in which we live.

On the picture in this card, we see two individuals… poverty stricken, wounded, weary, and looking haggard and lost.  This is the “poor me” syndrome.  Rember the stories Grandma used to tell about having to walk to school… ten miles…. in the snow…. with no shoes…. uphill…. having skipped breakfast? It’s like a contest to see who can be the most miserable, or who has things the hardest.  It’s victim mentality at its prime. However, in the background of the image is a stained glass window, which is where the pentacles are featured.  This indicates a divine opportunity, a spiritual window, the wealth we “crave”, and yet the people in the picture are so focused on their own poor status that they’re oblivious to the opportunities that are right within reach!

The moral of the card, in short? Stop focusing on your losses or what you don’t have, or what you need – and start honoring your spiritual needs.  Have faith moreover than self-pity.

Well, that’s my interpretation of it, anyway.  Let’s see what a few other sources say just for good measure.

The handbook that came with the deck says: “It foretells material trouble above all, whether in the form illustrated, that is, destitution, or otherwise. ”

LearnTarot.com  says:

experiencing hard times
running into material troubles
losing a job or income
feeling insecure
going through a period of hardship
lacking what you need
struggling to make ends meet
 
suffering ill health
feeling run down and tired
refusing to take care of yourself
neglecting your body and its needs
feeling ragged around the edges
getting medical attention
abusing your body
 
being rejected
lacking support
having the door slammed in your face
taking an unpopular position
being ostracized
feeling excluded
standing alone
receiving disapproval

“The two figures on the Five of Pentacles are cold, hungry, tired, sick and poor. They show us what it feels like to be without – to lack the basic ingredients of life. This is the specter that haunts so many in our world – a reality that is all too immediate. Those of us who are more fortunate may not have experienced this extreme, but we still recognize suffering. When we do not have what we want and need, it hurts.

In readings, the Five of Pentacles can represent several kinds of lack. First, there is poor health. It is hard to tackle life’s challenges when we do not have our vitality and strength. This card can be a signal that you are neglecting the needs of your body. You are moving away from complete physical well-being, so you must take steps to discover and correct the problem.

This card can also be a sign of material and economic setbacks. There is no doubt that life is harder when we lack money or a decent job. When we are struggling to make ends meet, all other problems are magnified. Even if we are comfortable, we can still feel insecure, afraid that misfortune will take away all that we have worked for.

The Five of Pentacles can also represent rejection or lack of acceptance. We are social animals and feel pain when excluded from our group. We want to be included, not only for our emotional well-being, but also for mutual support. Being rejected can mean physical hardship as well.

The Five of Pentacles relates to material lack, but it also has a spiritual component. From the stained glass window, we can guess that these two figures are outside of a church. Comfort is so close at hand, but they fail to see it. The church symbolizes our spirits which are perfect and whole in every way. We are meant to enjoy abundance in all areas of life, but sometimes we forget that this is our birthright. Whenever you experience hardship, know that it is only temporary. Look for the spiritual center that will take you in and give you shelter.”

And one more source? Here’s from AeclecticTarot

FIVES
When trying to read the Fives, think of the Hierophant. The Hierophant represents a teacher, counselor, or priest, someone who advises people when they’re in trouble. Likewise, the Fives are unique cards in that each one seems to pose both a problem and an answer. After four fairly smooth cards of growth and development, the fives represent the fly in the ointment. Instability; the changes that make one humble and allow for growth.

Of the questions asked of the Hierophant by a troubled supplicant, the problem is real world. The answer, however, appropriate to the Hierophant, is usually spiritual or at least pragmatic. Understand that all Fives temper the Querent – you go through the fire, the low points, the hard times, in order to come out stronger.

Five of Pentacles

Two poor folk sit outside a church with five pentacles on its stained glass window. This is a card that predicts loss, financial loss, bad luck, a set-back in health. It is a difficult time, as all fives are. “How can I deal with this loss?” asks the Querent. And the answer is, “By realizing that it is no real loss at all.” The Querent must understand that while they may have lost material things, the spiritual is still with them. Where there is life, there is hope. They should also be advised that this too will pass. Though it may seem like there is no end in sight, there is. We all go through lean and lonely times. Things will get better.”

NOTE TO SELF: When doing readings in the future and this card survaces, do not neglect the issues related to health, cations to guard health, or warnings of illness. My concept of disease is that it should be a hyphenated word, dis-ease. Ill-health us usually related, in my opinion, to a spiritual imbalance. Once the spirit is fully nurtured, the body follows. The rest of my definition seemed on target, but the health factor was lacking. As a mental reminder, look at the CRUTCH in the card… we don’t just see poverty, but also a need for medical attention.

 Deck Used: Rider/Waite Tarot

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