5 of Pentacles

Alt names: Worry, Scarcity
Keywords: Poverty, destitution, need, crisis
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Range of meanings

Light: Recognizing your needs and taking action to fulfill them. Doing as much as you can do with what little you have. Admitting you need help. Embracing the aid that comes your way. Focusing on what you have versus what you don’t. Looking for the light at the end of the tunnel.

Shadow: Exaggerating your financial or physical needs. Adopting a poverty mentality. Refusing to support yourself. Refusing offers of support. Playing the martyr. Turning down opportunities to improve your health or finances. Wallowing in misery.

Questions to ask

  1. What feels scarce?
  2. What organizations could come to your aid?
  3. To what extent might strong emotions be blinding you to practical solutions?
  4. What critical resources do I lack?
  5. What people or groups would come to my aid if I asked?
  6. How might an impoverished spirit be impacting my physical or financial condition?


Personal Growth: Whining achieves nothing. If the situation is unbearable, it’s time to define exactly what resources you have on hand and what needs are critical. Prioritize! By focusing on what you can actually do, you’ll avoid the trap of self-pity and depression.

Work: Too few customers. Too few innovations. Too few resources. All too often, we focus on what we lack. Turn this around by taking a fresh look at the resources you do have. Watch for offers of help. Consider mergers and partnerships. Rather than focus on the deficits, consider what could be.

Relationships: No matter how much is given, some people never feel they have enough. A relationship that drains your wallet and spirit may prove too expensive to maintain in the long run. If you accept offers of aid from loved ones, be sure you define and stick to the terms of repayment, or be prepared to lose the relationship.

Spirituality: Faith can turn trial into triumph. Rather than give in to a depletion of spirit, turn to your faith for support. Turn a difficult situation over to your higher power. Pray for guidance. Be bold: ask the Universe for what you really need. The response may surprise you.

Fortune-Telling: Finances are getting tighter. Prepare for a setback.


Astrological: Taurus

Planet: Mercury

Fool's Journey: The main character refuses to see how he or she can be aided by others.

The Number 5: The Catalyst: instability, resistance, confrontation, evolution. The number representing humanity (head, arms, and legs).

Coins: One of the four suits of the tarot. Also sometimes called pentacles or diskc. Coins suggest health, wealth, practicality and physicality. Their domain extends beyond money and finance to all physical things, including the human body. Coins explore your attitude toward resources of all kinds: what you’ve been given, and what you do with it. In RWS-influenced decks, Coins are often called Pentacles. A pentacle’s design (with the upright star in the middle that represents the human body) reminds us that physical blessings, from possessions to our bodies, are to be used for higher purposes. In your own life, how often do you focus on 'the star in the coin'?

Destitute Figures: The people on many RWS-inspired versions of this card are in dire straits indeed. Starving, freezing, and wounded in both body and spirit, but they also limp right past an opportunity for aid. When feeling down, don’t forget to look up.

Stained Glass Window: Many versions of the 5 of Coins depict a stained-glass window from a church, implying that they may be able to help the figures if they knew how to ask for it.

Content generously licensed from Mark McElroy via TarotTools.com.