five of pentacles 5

Five of Pentacles Meanings (Upright & Reversed)

Last Updated: February 16, 2024

The 5 of Pentacles is the fifth card in the suit of Pentacles (also known as the suit of coins, suit of disks, or suit of rings) and one of the fifty-six suit cards from the minor arcana. In divinatory tarot, the Suit of Pentacles represents the physical, material, financial and earthly aspects of our lives.

Divination practices such as cartomancy can help us make decisions, offer guidance, and help us tune into our intuition when we are at a crossroads in our lives. Understanding the meanings of each tarot card can help you sharpen your interpretative skills so you can get the most out of your readings.

The Five of Pentacles is a card that talks about a challenging phase of life. It indicates a loss and gains at the same time. This card is considered predominantly negative due to its strong emphasis on material values and lack of concern for the spirit.

In this article, we will explore the different meanings of the Five of Pentacles in various tarot reading contexts.

Table of Contents

Pictorial Symbolism in the Rider-Waite-Smith tarot deck

The artworks from the Rider-Waite-Smith tarot deck contain deeper esoteric meanings that tarotists love to decipher. 

The Five of Pentacles is a card with a black background and heavy snowfall. Behind the persons, there is a window with Five yellow encircled Pentacles. Two people tramp through the snow. A skinny woman in very thin rags walks barefoot in front of the man through the cold and snow. A man behind walks using crutches and with a head bandage. He might be injured. 

Five of Pentacles from Rider-Waite-Smith tarot deck

Additionally, the man has a bell around his neck that represents additional suffering. In the middle ages, sick people used to wear these bells as a sign of contagious disease. The bell around the man’s neck implies that problems cannot be overlooked and should be faced as soon as possible.

As they are walking through the snow, the window behind them with Five of Pentacles could represent a church. It should be a place where these two victims could get shelter and warm food. However, they do not seem to take notice of this possibility. They are also not looking into each other. Five coins are shining brightly and should point out that there is help available that they are not considering. 

They are freezing in the snow and ignoring the shiny window. Darkness takes over the soul that is already depressed. The Five of Pentacles indicates uncertainty, fear and struggle. The woman walks faster than the man and turns away from him ignoring him and making him walk faster despite the crutches. They are so desperate that even the Church cannot save them, and that this is a physical issue versus a metaphysical one. Instead, they keep walking continuing their journey of hopelessness. 

There is a big contrast in this card, one being the wealth of the church and the other the poverty of two people. This contrast symbolizes the thin line between wealth and poverty, black and white

The Five of Pentacles key correspondences

Upright keywords

Loss, worry, poverty, crisis, limitation, isolation, hopelessness, risk, lovers

Reversed keywords

Fear of losing a job, depression, paying debts, positive change, improvement

Yes or No

No

Numerology

5(V)

Element

Earth

Ruling Planet

Mercury

Astrological Sign

Taurus

What does the upright Five of Pentacles mean in the Tarot?

The Five of Pentacles symbolizes a great loss in life. This loss can be related to material life but also the private sphere. The person may be feeling lonely and abandoned. They have been rejected in the past when they expected to receive help, which has led them to isolate themselves from others and try to find solutions on their own. 

The card shows that someone is too focused on their problems that they cannot see obvious solutions. This approach creates fears and worries about the future. This card also speaks about the destruction of some established system that started to suffocate us. It is very often something that we have built, and now it is difficult to leave it behind. That situation fills us with fear and pessimism. 

However, it is not always as dark as it seems. After the old has ended, something new will come. Through the pain caused by this situation, we turn to ourselves, understand our emotions and grow.

upright five of pentacles

When the 5 of Pentacles is pulled in the upright position, it is associated with loss, worry, poverty, crisis, limitation, isolation, hopelessness, risk, and lovers.

What does the upright Five of Pentacles mean in a love reading?

Drawing the Five of Pentacles in a relationship tarot spread can suggest an ending. If you see it coming but do not want to accept it, you should work on changes that are approaching. The card can also represent that partners are not on the same page and have different expectations. 

While one might be clingy and seeking closeness, the other might need more time apart and distance. There might be misunderstandings and a lack of open and honest communication. Sometimes being in a relationship can make you feel lonelier than you were as single. 

It all depends on our expectations. Five of Pentacles talks about the fear of losing a partner as well. The card can talk about different wealth situations between partners.

For singles, this card represents fear of rejection. You should understand that rejection is not so bad because it helps us move on faster and open up to new love. Maybe you are worrying too much about the future in love. These fears can impact your search for a new partner.

What does the upright Five of Pentacles mean in a career reading?

In a career reading, this card may represent rejection when looking for a job. It may signify that most of the applications are unanswered and that there are not many interview possibilities. These rejections should not lead to self-doubt. You should apply for positions that match your skills better. Maybe you are overlooking a great opportunity. The card talks about someone who is looking for a job desperately. This situation may last for a bit longer.

The Five of Pentacles can also indicate a job loss. This situation can lead to existential fears. The card talks about problems at the workplace. Maybe you are avoiding discussions with colleagues or the employer. Hence, the unsolved problems are collecting. The work is not enjoyable for you, there is no pleasure, and the salary is not good enough. 

If the situation does not change, you will probably have to look for another job. In general, it is recommended to work in a group instead of being independent. Further, the card can also speak about someone who is not able to work currently due to illness.

Other than that, it should be clear that now is not the right time for easy money. Do not count on gambling or risky investments. You will have to work harder to pay off debts.

What does the upright Five of Pentacles mean in a health reading?

In a health tarot spread context, the Five of Pentacles speaks about a bad mental state. In this case, you should take precautionary measures and do things that relax you. Every bad period comes to an end. There is always something better to come. Do not lose hope! 

The card also speaks about long-lasting diseases or symptoms. However, the person may be stubborn and does not want to look for help. Additionally, the Five of Pentacles might indicate difficulty in getting an appointment with a specialist. 

This card can also speak about someone who refuses to heal or take treatments due to, for instance, expensive drugs. Due to past trauma, the body may be affected. 

The Five of Pentacles as feelings/emotions

The Five of Pentacles speaks about the loss of hope. The person may feel stuck in a situation or place. They feel sad and lonely. Further, they have fears of making new mistakes. They can feel physically tired and defeated. They are currently unstable mentally. It became difficult to handle emotions for them. They are probably depressed. 

The card can also indicate that the person decided to work more on their spirituality. In relationships, they may be invested only in a physical aspect. The Five of Pentacles speaks that this person may not trust enough in their relationship because they did not heal their past trauma. They could feel rejected and abandoned. They have perhaps adopted a victim mentality within the relationship.

The Five of Pentacles as a person

As a personality archetype, the Five of Pentacles represents someone who lacks self-love. They could be overly focused on material things. The card represents a person who is victimizing themselves. They are carrying their wounds in public in order to get sympathy. It can be an overly pessimistic person. 

They struggle to see solutions for their issues and help out there, even though there is always someone who can help them. They enjoy it when people do things for them. They might be a quite passive person who feels like an outsider. This person may lack self-confidence, have a closed mindset, and have a weak personality.

The Five of Pentacles as advice

The Five of Pentacles advises you to save your resources. Difficult times may come and you need to be prepared. Maybe someone is dependent on you, or they need psychological or material help but cannot ask for it. Maybe you have to take care of someone, and it’s likely that you haven’t beenn prioritising your own health and wellbeing. 

You will have to adapt to a new situation. You may have financial issues and it is required to save money now. Cut your expenses. The situation is temporary. If you have other problems, the card advises you to seek help. Asking others for help is not always as bad as you think. 

If the card is in the reversed position, you should not help anyone. Let the situation take its course. People have to face their actions. You should not play a hero who can save the world.

What is the zodiac or astrological sign associated with the Five of Pentacles?

Five of Pentacles is represented by Mercury in Taurus, and April 21st to April 30th. Material comfort is important for this zodiac sign. It is a fixed earth sign which is stubborn, enduring and committed. Taurus is slow to process things.

Is the Five of Pentacles a yes or no card?

The 5 of Pentacles is NO card.

Below are some of my interpretations, as an experienced tarot practitioner, based on different types of questions:

Question: Will I get the job?

Card Interpretation: No. Try to look for a job that suits your skills.

Question: Is this new person in my life good for me? 

Card Interpretation: No. They are after more than you can give right now. 

Question: Will I achieve my current goals? 

Card Interpretation: No. You need to be more open-minded. 

Question: Should I start my own business?

Card Interpretation: No. It could be a risky move.

Five of Pentacles as Timings / Timeframes

Tarot timing involves assigning precise timeframes or durations to the events and transitions indicated by the tarot cards in a reading. Personally, I use the tarot decan wheel, an astrologically-based method that aligns each Minor Arcana card with a distinct segment of the zodiac calendar.

Based on that, I determined the timing of the 5 of Pentacles to be from April 21 to April 30. 

What does the reversed Five of Pentacles mean in the Tarot?

The Five of Pentacles reversed does not have many positive meanings. The period of suffering will end with good results. You should pay attention to your emotions. After this period of suffering, you are emotionally empty. You might be refusing to help others. 

The reversed card speaks about endless trouble. In the reversed position, the man becomes the leader. However, he is blind and leads the sighted. This indicates that someone is going down the wrong path. This card is asking you to never give up and lose hope. 

The reversed Five of Pentacles speaks about the importance of your social environment and support. 

reversed five of pentacles

When the 5 of Pentacles is pulled in the reversed position, it is associated with the fear of losing a job, depression, paying debts, positive change, and improvement.

What does the reversed Five of Pentacles mean in a love reading?

The reversed Five of Pentacles in a love reading is not a great omen. The card speaks about a difficult relationship. It could signify that the relationship be heavily one sided and uses the other half. One partner may be codependent, and they are worsening each other’s life. 

This card speaks about the importance of living together and cooperating. You can help each other in difficult times. It is important to be aware of all the benefits that the relationship brings to you.

If a person is single, the reversed card speaks about the suffering of the soul. The person cannot give anything in a relationship yet. However, there is the fear of being lonely, which drives the person to start meaningless relationships. 

Nevertheless, on the positive side, this person has a positive charisma which makes it easier to find a partner. The Five of Pentacles asks you to search for a partner with confidence. Confidence helps you not to despair even in difficult times of loneliness, but to enjoy your life despite being single. 

Love can have many disappointments in store for you, but as long as you do not give up hope, it will always find a way into your life.

What does the inverted Five of Pentacles mean in a career reading?

The reversed Five of Pentacles speaks about someone who does not want to change anything in their career. They do not want to change jobs or invest in themselves. The card also signifies the fear of losing a job. Maybe there is someone who is spoiling this person and has a negative influence. The reversed card speaks about financial loss and for finances, it is a bad omen in general. Sometimes this card in this position can speak about committing crimes. 

On the other hand, the reversed Five of Pentacles indicates that there may be a person at the workplace that supports you and can help you. This card also indicates that after a long period of bad luck, things will be positive again. 

The reversed card indicates that finances may start to improve again. There might be a person that can advise you about finances.

What does the upside-down Five of Pentacles mean in a health reading?

Five of Pentacles in the reversed position speaks about chaotic life. It indicates a chronic illness. There may be a new therapy that the person has started, and it will show positive results soon. The symptoms may not go away, but there will be relief. Now is also a good time to change your diet for better health. 

Unfortunately, this card speaks about incurable diseases sometimes. In this case, it can signify that the person is in the hospital and aware of their state. Hence, they are not trying to do anything about it. They want quick relief.  

In the Five of Pentacles shows up in a reading for health, whether in it’s reversed or upright position, it’s always beneficial to go seek a medical professionals opinion so that the weight of worry is lifted.

Conclusion

In conclusion, the five of Pentacles tarot card is a powerful symbol of loss, worry, poverty, crisis, limitation, isolation, and risk. When this card appears in your reading, it is often a sign that you are going through a tough time financially, emotionally, or physically. However, this card can also represent the end of a difficult period in your life. If you have been feeling down and out lately, know that this is only temporary and things will get better. Have hope and faith that you will overcome whatever challenges you are currently facing.

Despite its association with mysticism and occultism, the tarot has grown to become much more than a simple “fortune-telling” tool. For many tarot practitioners, it is a complex system made of symbolic imagery and psychological considerations (Tarot archetypes for example) that can be used for self-exploration, meditation, and personal transformation.

The 56 lesser arcana cards relate to the day-to-day events of our lives, the more mundane aspects of our existence. Even though that part of the tarot is about the “smaller picture”, it symbolizes the constant choices we make that shape our lives, our characters, and ultimately our destinies.

Have you ever had a reading where the Five Of Pentacles appeared? What was the outcome? What does that card mean to you personally? How do you interpret this card in your own tarot practice?

Share your thoughts and experiences with me in the comments below. Additionally, If you want to know more about the different tarot cards, feel free to check out my complete list of all 78 tarot cards and their meanings.

LB

I have been reading Tarot for more than 15 years. I have always enjoyed using my intuition to provide clarity and insights to others. Tarot is one of my favorite forms of divination, and I love sharing that passion with like-minded folks.

Learn more about the Suit of Pentacles

If the Suit of Pentacles interests you, especially in terms of its meanings and significance in tarot, we have prepared a list of articles below that shed light on these aspects for each card.