Five of Pentacles

5 of Pentacles

Keywords for the Five of Pentacles


In the image on the card, we see a man and a woman standing outside of a warm, well-lit church. There is no door visible here that could grant the pair access. They seem to be shut out of the comfort and care they appear to need so desperately. 

Outside, the two are both barefoot, and their ragged clothes hang in tatters on their bodies. 

The man walks on crutches, one bandaged foot alerting us to an injury which has not yet healed.

Curiously, we also see a bell that hangs from this man’s neck. This accessory is likely a reference to the practice, common during the medieval era, of forcing those with leprosy to wear bells in order to alert others to their nearby presence. 

This was done so that the rest of society, those who still preserved their health and well-being, could better avoid those who were ill, those who they feared would infect them.

The juxtaposition of these two unfortunate souls standing outside in the bitter cold is made all the more harsh by the warm light radiating from the colorful church windows behind them. They are so close to the abundance and belonging they so deeply desire. 

However, even though it is clearly visible in front of them, they are nonetheless separated from what they need in order to be well by the hard walls of dark stone which serve as boundaries between them and those deemed more deserving.

5 of Pentacles Interpretation

When the 5 of Pentacles comes up in a reading, we may often find ourselves in a situation where we feel rejected, isolated, or unwanted. We might feel as if we have been “left out in the cold,” and there is no one here to tend to our wounds or offer us any kind of comfort and care.

When this card appears, we might be confronted with some kind of loss or negative change in circumstances. This could potentially mean financial troubles, loss of work, illness or injury. 

It also comes up when we feel rejected socially or betrayed in a romantic involvement. We might potentially find that our partner has cheated or chosen to be with someone else over us.

Whatever the case may be, when the 5 of Pentacles shows up for us, we will most likely feel that our luck has deserted us. We may now suffer the material or emotional consequences of some kind of abandonment by others.

This rejection, lack of inclusion or loss does not always manifest itself in the material or physical conditions of our lives. 

There are times when this card will refer to a kind of inner lack. We may feel insecure about ourselves or our worth, and suffer from low self-esteem and a lack of self-respect. 

With the 5 of Pentacles, we could feel a pervasive sense of insecurity in our lives, one which causes us to doubt who we are and what we have to offer to the world.

Regardless of the many ways in which this card can manifest, the essential core of meaning here has to do with the unease which comes from feeling damaged, insufficient or lacking in some way. 

This is further associated with the inability or unwillingness of others to recognize us as someone worthy of belonging and care. It also represents the denial of material support and assistance that results as a consequence.