Which is the most feared card? In my experience of teaching Tarot, for most people it is the 5 of pentacles.
For me this sad and miserable card means “impoverished”, the card suggests a lack, not enough, being without.
Or worrying that there will not be enough.
Feeling that you don’t have enough can be as damaging as not having enough, so this card is about deeper issues than just money. It is about self-worth, how much value you place upon yourself. How you deal with lack and difficulties.
Let’s start by looking at some of the symbolism in the Rider-Waite card;
The church window, seemingly unseen.
Whatever you may think about churches, it is important to think about what a church symbolizes in this medieval imagery- sanctuary, a place of refuge, help & healing.
The window is brightly lit, yet the two people have turned away from it.
I really understand this. Many times I have been stretched (emotionally, physically, financially) & have specifically avoided people who are likely to notice, deliberately covering up my need to avoid having to accept help. I link this to a deep (working on it heaps) lack of self worth, and of course it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. I avoid asking for help, so I receive no help, so I presume it is because I don’t deserve help.
So if this card is a regular in your readings, ask yourself; Do I feel left out in the cold? Do I feel my family (friends, social group, etc) are leaving me out- and if I trace that feeling carefully can I find my responsibility for it?
The crutches & lepers bell
This reflects a general feeling of “not good enough”, perhaps feeling that parts of you are missing (maybe you think you are not smart enough, or not pretty enough, or don’t have enough qualifications) As long as you focus on what you don’t have enough of you are highlighting it, exaggerating it, drawing attention to it- and likely using it as an excuse to self sabotage.
Perhaps you have certain habits, or people in your life that you are using as a crutch, or to isolate yourself from the support that you really need (the bell is there to warn people to stay away from the contagious disease)
Ask yourself; Am I using weaknesses, or perceived lack as an excuse (“I’d love to start my business but I need £xx to invest first…)
There are two paupers
I used to see this as a good thing, but I have come to change my mind on that. If you read with other decks the individuals may be comforting each other, and I think this softens the meaning of the card (not that this is good, or bad- just noting a differences)
I see the two in the Rider-Waite deck as colluding in each others excuses. They have come together to validate their individual weaknesses. A good friend would comfort you, then help you to comfort your weaknesses & lack.
These two will moan and gossip about how unfair life is, blame any one and everyone, and do absolutely nothing about it.
Ask yourself; do your friends, partner, family, support your self-sabotage, or do they encourage you to confront it?
They are paupers
The most common meaning for this card is financial difficulties, or loss. And it certainly can mean that. If this card comes up always look at the face value as a possibility;
The cheque may not be in the post
Something expensive may break
You could lose income
You may have overlooked something in your finances
My advice- check your finances carefully, and if you are considering a large purchase- double check you can afford it.
And yet, usually that “self-worth” issue is lurking somewhere- could you chase up a late payment, ask for a rise, or increase your prices? Are you underselling yourself, because you don’t appreciate your own worth? Could you ask for a little help if times are difficult?
Because the deeper meaning of this card is feeling “impoverished” and so your finances may well be reflecting your state of mind. You may not be as poor as you feel you, it is important to look at your finances objectively.
In fact I have often seen this card to warn of financial difficulties caused by overspending to compensate for emotional difficulties.
Or someone who has no control, or understanding of their finances at all. They feel poor because they have no idea of how much life is costing, or how much money they have.
How have other decks reflected this card?
The Mary El tarot, I love this image. It makes me think the real treasure, abundance, answer, is within you.
The Wild-wood tarot seems to suggest that there is a trans-formative power (lightning & fire) as you understand how/or why you are facing these difficulties. Staring into the fire always makes me sink deeper into myself- where of-course the real answers are to be found.
The Housewives Tarot reflects just how I feel when I realise my outgoings & in goings don't match!
A timely reminder to be a little more diligent...