FIVE OF PENTACLES

DESCRIPTION

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.

FIVE OF PENTACLES

FIVE OF PENTACLES TAROT CARD MEANINGS KEYWORDS
Upright: Isolation, insecurity, worry, financial loss, poverty
Reversed: Recovery from financial loss, spiritual poverty

FIVE OF PENTACLES TAROT CARD MEANINGS AND DESCRIPTION
The Five of Pentacles, like the fives in the other suits, portrays a situation of adversity. In this card, a destitute couple walk through the snow outside the stained glass of a brightly lit church window. The church is symbolic of providing spiritual comfort while helping those who cannot help themselves. The man uses a crutch because of his crippled leg and the woman attempts to cover herself with her threadbare shawl. Both appear to be living in poverty and with little or no possessions.

UPRIGHT FIVE OF PENTACLES TAROT CARD MEANINGS
The Five of Pentacles typically points to a time of financial strife, poverty and adversity and indicates that you have suffered a significant financial loss or failure. This card shows the many faces of material misfortune and lack, including loss of funds, general poverty, illness, unemployment, and solitude. If you have suffered a loss, know that there are people around you who are willing to help. There is always a solution and always a way out, so either open your eyes and go to it, or close your eyes and let the inner light guide you.
Often, what has caused these financial problems is a matter of your own emotions – greed will lead to loss, anxiety will lead to error, possessiveness will lead to solitude. By focusing on the material, you lose sight of your spiritual development. You may be rich for a while but all will be lost if you learn nothing.
On a psychological level, the Five of Pentacles may indicate difficulty with your relationship to money and material things. If money becomes the primary motivating force in life and the gauge by which you judge your worth, the lack of it may produce anxiety and a sense of being excluded from the good things money can provide. For example, if you are unfortunate enough to encounter financial difficulties such as the loss of employment or an investment gone belly-up, you may fall into the trap of losing faith in your ability to recreate a positive financial situation for yourself. Therefore, you should not only consider your actual financial circumstances but also your attitudes toward money. What fears do you have around money and wealth? Are you anxious about never having enough, or do you have faith in your ability to manifest what you need to live a prosperous, fulfilled life no matter what your circumstances? Often wealth is based as much on your psychological state as your actual financial state.
In a world that often equates success with financial wealth, the loss shown on the Five of Pentacles can be a humbling blow to your self-esteem and sense of self-worth. This loss can occur in any number of ways but even though an external event may seem to be the cause, this card often reflects that the loss is something you have bought upon yourself. There is a spiritual loss that often precedes or accompanies loss of material wealth.
The Five of Pentacles can also point to a time of being alone, feeling abandoned, ignored and unwanted. You may be excluded from group events or you are being ostracised by others. You are in desperate need of support and comfort from those who actually care.

REVERSED FIVE OF PENTACLES TAROT CARD MEANINGS
The Five of Pentacles reversed indicates an end to difficult times, particularly if you have recently suffered a major financial loss or job loss. You may find new sources of income, a new job, or someone has offered to help you out while you get back on your feet. You may be starting to feel as if life is worth living again and starting to regain your self-confidence. Finally you can see a way out of your financial difficulties and your hope is being renewed.
The reversed Five of Pentacles can sometimes indicate the persistence of inner, spiritual poverty. It reflects a time when you feel isolated and alone, even if surrounded by many people. You may feel as though something is just completely out of place and you are struggling to place your finger on what it is. Return to the Four of Pentacles and you may come to realise that you have placed too much emphasis on your material wealth and have neglected your spiritual well-being.

FIVE OF WANDS

DESCRIPTION

You wake up and stub your toe going to the bathroom. You’re in the shower and find out there’s no soap. At breakfast, you get juice on your shirt. When you get to the car, your battery is dead. It’s going to be a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day [note]. You’re beset by hassles – those petty annoyances that are infuriating because they are so minor.

The Five of Wands stands for times when your environment seems to be fighting you. Nothing flows smoothly; everyone is working at cross-purposes. The figures on this card are all batting at each other. There is no coordinated effort, no agreement. When this card shows up, be prepared for a bumpy ride. You’re going to need extra patience and perseverance to get to the point where you can accomplish something. The Five of Wands does not represent major blockages, just many small, irritating ones.

This card also stands for competition. In the right circumstances, competition is useful. It fosters extra effort, generates excitement and encourages the best. When the Five of Wands appears in a reading, check for competitive elements. You may be involved in a contest, race or game. You may discover you have rivals who are opposing you or challenging your position. You may feel disheartened (or invigorated!) by the dog-eat-dog environment you find yourself in. At its heart, competition is divisive. Make sure it is helping you and others reach your true goals. Otherwise, work toward cooperation.

FIVE OF CUPS

General Meaning
The Five of this suit traditionally portrays the mess that is left after an emotional upheaval, such as a tantrum or fit of rage. Consequences run the gamut from a hangover and lost wages, to abuse and ruined relationships.
This card is also sometimes called Inheritance, suggesting the cross-generational legacy of such tragedies. Violent family patterns magnified to a much larger scale can become war.

In the Advice Position
Loss happens on the material plane. Yet what truly belongs to you cannot be taken away.
The card in the Advice position suggests a course of action which will harmonize what you want with what is currently possible.
The Five of Cups in this position advises you to tighten your belt, make do with less and show more appreciation for the things you do have. If something is truly yours, it cannot be lost. When you are experiencing feelings of loss, it may be because of an inappropriate emotional attachment. If you promise things that you cannot deliver, then you might be setting yourself up for disappointment to follow. In overestimating our abilities, we are forced to face our limits.
Be grateful that as the cups fell, you lost only three of the five. Two are still intact, pristine and full of sacred energy. Do not cling to the setback. Focus on the potential.

FIVE OF WANDS

FIVE OF WANDS TAROT CARD MEANINGS KEYWORDS
Upright: Disagreement, competition, strife, tension, conflict
Reversed: Conflict avoidance, increased focus on goals

FIVE OF WANDS TAROT CARD MEANINGS AND DESCRIPTION
In the Five of Wands, five men wave around their wands chaotically without any regard for each other and appear to be in direct competition with each other and engaged in conflict. However, on closer observation, their wands are only raised and are not striking anyone. It is possible that they are actually enjoying themselves in this chaos with no real intent to harm anyone. The men wear different coloured clothes to symbolise the various backgrounds and belief systems that are held by the world’s populations.

UPRIGHT FIVE OF WANDS TAROT CARD MEANINGS
In the Tarot, the Fives typically represent conflict and change, and this is no different for the Five of Wands. This card indicates that you are in the midst of conflict, tension and competition and it is impacting your ability to move forward with your goals. Rather than being able to work together with others, you are coming up against it and are constantly being challenged on your point of view. The trouble is that everyone is trying to express their point of view and opinions but no-one is listening, and so there is little progress. There is only conflict, and there is little or no value in the discussions that are occurring. Similarly, this card is representative of a group of people who are committed to an end but they cannot fully agree on how to implement this goal, as each has their individual agenda as to how to bring this to fruition. Aim to turn this into constructive conflict by allowing each person to openly share their thoughts but then listen to other people’s thoughts. Once everyone has been heard and all opinions have been considered, determine the best path forward.
Sometimes, this type of conflict and discussion can be very positive, such as in the case of group brainstorming and problem-solving. You need a positive environment where you can test your ideas and have them challenged, and improved, by others. You may benefit by establishing a working group, committee, or ‘mastermind’ group with other individuals who bring varying perspectives and experiences. Be open to this type of conflict and discussion as a positive contribution to improving the quality of your ideas and actions.
The Five of Wands often points to competition where you are up against a number of people of similar quality or experience as you. You may not be used to having to compete with others just yet, as you have built your success on your own but now it is time to truly experience what competition really means and requires. It is like the top student who excels at university, only to enter the workforce with a number of other high-performing individuals and is forced to compete for the top spot. Where there is competition, respect your opponent but stand up for your point of view. Fight the tendency towards frustration, anger, hate and prejudice.
The Five of Wands also encourages diversity and differences of opinion. You may be in a situation where you are dealing with people from different cultures and backgrounds, and may be struggling with accepting their way of living. Know that each person has something unique to bring to the table and that you will actually benefit by learning more about them and what they have to offer.
The Five of Wands encourages an enthusiastic approach to change. Change is coming, whether you like it or not, however your challenge will be in ensuring that everyone is on the same page and is focused on dealing with this change constructively and positively. Currently, there is scattered energy resulting from misdirected enthusiasm. Everyone has many ideas but no-one is there to bring them into one consistent path forward. Your role may be in identifying a clear strategy and purpose that can be implemented by all involved.
Sometimes, the Five of Wands indicates a personal struggle and conflict, either about external or internal issues that are causing a lot of tension and confusion for you. You have different opinions of your own about how you should approach your current circumstances and you have not really worked out in your own mind what your final stance is going to be. You may be trying to work through your personal point of view on a number of external contentious issues such as abortion, immigration, globalisation, or the environment, or you may be working through personal issues such as whether you stay or leave a particular relationship or job. At the same time, you have others around you who have strong views about what you should do and this, in total, is creating a huge amount of conflict, tension and disagreement. Just when you think you have a clear point of view, you are challenged on that view or you discover new information, and you change your standpoint again. This process is actually highly beneficial and will help you to come to a well-researched and well-thought out perspective. Know, too, that there is no ‘right’ answer, and whichever path you do choose, someone is not going to agree with it. So, you have to find the most comfortable option possible that sits best with you. It may not be 100% right for you but you need to choose whatever is closest.

REVERSED FIVE OF WANDS TAROT CARD MEANINGS
The Five of Wands reversed can suggest that you have tendency to avoid conflict wherever possible. You may find that any sort of tension or conflict makes you feel quite uneasy and you wish it would just go away. So, you deflect a lot of that energy and just ignore the problem, if there is one. The trouble, however, is that in doing this, you may just be pushing some of your own concerns to the side, without really dealing with them or being assertive about them. Some conflict can be good, particularly if it is constructive and teases out the underlying issues in a way that then generates a better solution. Consider whether always avoiding conflict is the best way to go, or if you are finding yourself just compromising on what is important to you.
The Five of Wands reversed is like a sigh of relief after conflict and struggle. You are no longer up against so much competition and can just ‘be’. On more personal level, you have worked through your anger and hostility and you feel more secure in your relationships. You do not have to constantly prove yourself anymore.
The reversed Five of Wands can also indicate a realisation that you do indeed need focus to achieve your goals. You have come through a period of scattered thought and random ideas only to find yourself in the same place you were when you started. You now acknowledge that if you are to progress your goals further, you must focus your attention on your key priorities and stay committed to your goal without considering even more possibilities or opportunities.

FIVE OF WANDS

General Meaning
This suit, most often called “Wands” and sometimes called “Rods” or “Staves,” represents initiative, ambition, drive and desire. This is the suit of enterprise and risk-taking.
The Five of this suit symbolizes struggles caused by ambitious maneuvering and a competitive urge. This could be about someone who is pushing his or her agenda forward at the expense of others.
There can be a fine line between demonstrating personal excellence and making others feel like losers. It may be necessary to ask yourself, who is it that really benefits when we all fight so hard for such small rewards? Am I serving a negative, manipulative agenda when I start applying battle metaphors to business?
Even when your only motive is to be the best you can be, it is understandable to want recognition for what is fine and unique about you. However, minimize the number of egos bruised in the process or your success will be celebrated alone.

In the Advice Position
Identify your passions and build your mission around them.
The card in the Advice position suggests a course of action which will harmonize what you want with what is currently possible.
The Five of Wands in this position encourages you to find your natural ambition. Identify what energizes you, what you would fight for and what you are passionate about — even when you’re tired or discouraged. Strive to make that the centerpiece of your mission.
This is how you find your livelihood and establish your path of service.

FIVE OF CUPS

DESCRIPTION

The Five of Cups is about loss. On this card, we see a figure draped in black and covered in grief. He so dominates the card that it is hard to look beyond him. The Five of Cups refers to that time when the pain of a loss is most acute. This man is looking only at the overturned cups in front of him. For now, he cannot acknowledge the two cups that are still standing. Later, when he has healed somewhat, he will be able to see all that remains.

In readings, the Five of Cups can alert you to the possibility of a loss and its associated emotions – sorrow, regret, denial. The loss could be great or small. It could be tangible (money, possession, relationship, work), or intangible (dream, opportunity, prospect, reputation). You may already know what this card represents, but, if not, use it as a warning to help you avoid a loss, or at least reduce its toll.

You may feel discouraged by this card, but it does have a positive side. Every loss opens new possibilities for growth because every loss initiates change. Loss hurts because it is our emotional resistance to change. No matter how much we accept intellectually that we must go with the flow, if that flow separates us from what we love, our feelings say, “No!”

In a story from Zen Flesh, Zen Bones, the master Hakuin is falsely accused of fathering a child. His reputation in the village is ruined, but he accepts this loss and takes tender care of the child for a year. Suddenly, the real father appears, and Hakuin willingly yields the child to its parents, accepting loss again. We who are not Zen masters may not flow quite so lightly with events, but we can learn from this story. The more we struggle to hold on to what is gone, the more we suffer.

FIVE OF SWORDS

DESCRIPTION

The Five of Swords is about self-interest. Society tells us to think of others, yet we resist. How we can ignore our own concerns and still survive? This dilemma comes from our definition of self. If we view our self as our personality/body, our interests become those that relate to that self. Do I have enough to eat? Am I happy? Do I have all I want?

We may expand our concern to those we love, but, then, how can we stop there? We are connected to everyone in the long run. In truth, our self is the world. What we do to that world, we do to ourselves. This understanding is so basic, but so infuriatingly easy to forget day-to-day.

In readings, the Five of Swords can mean that you or someone else is forgetting this larger view of self. You are defining your interests too narrowly. If you try to get ahead in isolation, your actions will come back to haunt you later, one way or the other.

Sometimes this card implies a need to put your own interests first. If you are being abused or taken advantage of, you must get free. If you are worn out by demands, take care of yourself. If it is your turn, step forward and claim your due. Just be aware that if you hurt others in the process, your victory will not feel complete.

The Five of Swords also represents hostility – from a cross word to warfare. When the cords that bind us are broken, we experience dis-cord. This card can signify dishonors that are fairly open. Cheats, lies, tricks, deceits, even crimes. You may be on the receiving end, or be the perpetrator. Either way, hold to a larger view of who you are. Find the solution that is best for everyone…including yourself.

FIVE OF CUPS

FIVE OF CUPS TAROT CARD MEANINGS KEYWORDS
Upright: Loss, regret, disappointment, despair, bereavement
Reversed: Moving on, acceptance, forgiveness

FIVE OF CUPS TAROT CARD MEANINGS AND DESCRIPTION
The Five of Cups is a card that signifies difficulty, loss, and the challenges of dealing with that loss. The figure in the card wears a black cloak in which he hides his face in apparent despair. At his feet are five cups, three of which have fallen and spilled onto the ground and the other two behind his back remain standing. He does not seem to notice these upstanding cups because he is so focused on the fallen cups instead. Ahead of him a powerful river flows between himself and a castle or home in the distance. To his right is a bridge that can lead him to the security of the house across the river. Despite the fact that this card has a strong indication of loss and tribulation, there is a positive aspect that must be considered. Is your cup half full or half empty?

UPRIGHT FIVE OF CUPS TAROT CARD MEANINGS
The Five of Cups represents a lack of fulfilment or non-attainment of expected results. You are feeling disappointed that a situation has not turned out as you had hoped, and instead of moving on to greener pastures, you are wallowing in self-pity and regret about what has been lost. The water spilled from the cups shows that the cause for regret is more emotional than financial. You are quickly becoming disillusioned with life and increasingly pessimistic about your future.
The Five of Cups suggests that you are having trouble letting go of the past and learning from your mistakes. This card can often reflect a person who is caught up in the past and unable to move on, missing out on new opportunities. Bitter memories from the past continue to bother you, and often a great deal of the blame for past actions is placed on yourself and your inadequacies. To some it would seem that there is no way out of this situation but the Tarot always shows problems on one hand and solutions on the other.
Forgiveness and the ability to recover after emotional loss are necessary. If you are feeling disappointed by another person’s actions, and then find it within your heart to forgive that person, releasing yourself from the disappointment. You may also need to re-assess your expectations that have led you to this disappointment. Were you expecting too much?
Remember, too, that hindsight is much clearer than foresight and present-day wisdom is gained from the mistakes of the past. Reflect on what lead you to this point and understand what important lessons you can take from the experience. Even when things go pear-shaped, there is always something positive that can be gained by reflecting on the lessons learned.
While it is true that much has been lost, there is still a ray of hope because some of the cups in this card remain full and upright. You must not pity yourself when you find yourself in his situation. Instead of looking at the situation from a ‘glass is half empty’ perspective, look at it from a ‘glass is half full’ perspective.

REVERSED FIVE OF CUPS TAROT CARD MEANINGS
The reversed Five of Cups shows recovery from regret and an acceptance of the past. Now, you are beginning to realise the full implications of the past and you have come to appreciate the lessons learned from the experience. You may even recognise the value of the painful experience in the broader scheme of things in preparing you for later experiences. You are ready to pick up the remaining two cups that are full of the water of emotional growth and go on.
This card is also about learning to be open and to take risks again. It is a card of a lingering sense of regret, nostalgia and bittersweet memories but the card itself speaks of being hopeful for the future, getting over whatever you need to get over, and of seeing the sun peek through the clouds once again! If you have suffered a broken romance, the reversed Five of Cups signifies an end to the suffering, and a beginning to new loves and relationships, new interests, and new emotional outlets. You are starting to engage with the inspiring, creative and feeling side of life again.
The reversed Five of Cups is about values and knowing what you truly want and what will really make you happiest. It is about the hidden blessings that lie behind obvious disappointments. Sometimes disappointments are required to see through illusions and free you to find what is truly of value in life. Once you have made this transition, you will be free to embrace new opportunities.
Sometimes, the reversed Five of Cups indicates a feeling of being trapped in the past, holding on too tightly to the might-have-beens, and not being able to focus on the positive. The reversal could also indicate buried feelings of regret, that you are not allowing to surface and therefore they never get dealt with and brought to closure. Five is also the number of change, and indicates an emotional destabilisation that is intended to create change in how you approach your life.

FIVE OF SWORDS

General Meaning
Traditionally, the Five of this suit references the grim and sobering process of cleaning up the battlefield after a conflict. The war as a whole has not been won or lost yet, but in this skirmish there were grievous casualties. This card admonishes the loser to study carefully what went wrong, so that a new strategy can be devised and more setbacks forestalled. There is a need to regroup and rethink the game plan, discover your blind spots and weak links, and take corrective measures before getting back into the field for another round.
In these modern times, when the battle is more often being waged with words, laws and contracts instead of weapons, we have even more reason to examine our approach, our style, strengths and weaknesses. If we have underdeveloped communication skills or lose our objectivity in tense moments, our ability to reach our goals and dreams will decline. But, if we avoid letting ourselves be haunted by the misfortunes and detours that inevitably befall us, we will go on to achieve those goals. Do not obsess. Try to learn something.

In the Advice Position
Challenge the pessimism of others around you by evoking their higher nature.
The card in the Advice position suggests a course of action which will harmonize what you want with what is currently possible.
The Five of Swords in this position advises you to prepare yourself for disappointment over how your fellow humans are setting their priorities. It seems that the lower end of human nature may be eroding good will in the current situation. Due to a strong cultural trend toward scarcity thinking, a “me first” outlook prevails. If this means that you need to develop a thick skin or carry your sword of truth closer, then do so.
Try not to be too quick to anger or jump to conclusions. Just because others may have a pessimistic sense of the world, their reality does not have to undermine yours. There is certainly no point in struggling or competing with them. Your challenge now is to learn how to sidestep confrontation and evoke a more evolved response from people. At the very least, be assertive about setting boundaries for yourself.