Five of Pentacles: Hardship and Loss

Tarot Stories
2 min readJan 22, 2021


Another dark card that suits this month of January so well. There isn’t more to say here than how much loss sucks. The pain associated with it is heavy, it feels like weight pushing down on you. You see it in this card in the body language of the figures — like gravity is working harder on them. But pain is weird, sometimes the only thing to do is lay down and let the pain wash over you and be open and vulnerable to it until it passes. Because, eventually it will pass or at the very least you will assimilate and notice it less.

I am okay today. While I can bring to mind my own experiences with pain and loss, I am very grateful for being okay right now. Sometimes you need to remind yourself when you are feeling neutral that at least it’s not pain, and then suddenly neutral feels lighter and happier. Just like that. If I focus on smaller chunks of time (like this day and this weekend), it’s easier to hold on to your sanity and keep yourself from spiralling.

Five of Pentacles from the Rider-Waite Tarot Deck

What you see: Two destitute figures in ragged clothes are walking in heavy snowfall. The man appears to be injured and walks with crutches, while the woman is trying to cover herself in a thin blanket. They walk in front of the stained glass window of a church, which has 5 pentacles on it.

What it means: The people are in need, yet they seem not to notice the church they are walking by which is likely to be warm and provide shelter. The two appear very focused on the path in front of them.

The story: The Five of Pentacles represents financial loss and poverty; hard times that may leave you feeling isolated and abandoned.

Reversed meaning: Reversed, the card represents positive changes and recovering for loss or some adversity.

Reflection: The thing that stuck out to me most in this card is that the figures don’t seem to notice the church because they’re heads are bent down and they are so focused in on their suffering. I think there is a story here about how we often can’t see the open doors or opportunities that can lift us out of our loss, if we are so consumed by it or unable to see beyond it.

My research sources:
A Complete Guide to the Tarot, Eden Gray, 1970
Tarot Card Meanings, Biddy Tarot
Card Meanings, Labyrinthos
Root Lock Radio: A Tarot Podcast



Tarot Stories

A Canadian marketing strategist learning storytelling through the Tarot, and maybe finding the meaning of life along the way.