Five of Pentacles: Material wealth, spiritual and emotional poverty

The richest people I know are also the stingiest. They have so much, yet give so little. They’re the kind of people who spend thousands of dollars on a trip overseas and when they return, they give you a thoughtless gift that costs a dollar. They’re always on Facebook and Twitter, but have no time to sit down for a proper heart-to-heart Skype session. They’ll get a three hour long haircut at an expensive salon, but have no time to sit down and have a chat about their kid’s behaviour at school.

Selfish and stingy: these people are not worth the time. 

In my line of work, I meet people from all walks of life. It doesn’t matter how rich or poor the parents are. When I talk to them, they are mother and father – stripped bare of any cushioning their wealth may provide. And no matter how terrible the parenting style – all parents want their kids to be happy. 

In the developed world – many of us make money we have no time to enjoy. We show up at work when we’re sick to show our dedication to our jobs. We give our kids the best that money can buy – even though we all know that money can’t buy love. 

In my blogpost on the Ten of Cups, I talked about how success on paper is not ‘real success’ – especially if it comes at the expense of your family life and health. On some level, we all want the happy family life as depicted in this card. 


I’m still new to tarot, but I must admit – the most emotionally draining readings I’ve done to date have been for people who’ve ‘made it’ in their careers and not accomplished much else elsewhere. A lot of these people are desperate for that emotional sustenance that no amount of money can buy. 

Firstly, let me just say that there is nothing wrong with career success and having money. We ALL need to make a living in this world. Money does not create emotional problems. HOWEVER, looking for all of your self-worth and self-esteem through career and money is a MAJOR problem. That is what the Five of Pentacles card is all about. 

Here we see two people – a couple perhaps – desolate and destitute outside a church. I don’t believe this card speaks of financial poverty – but of emotional and spiritual poverty. There are some answers that we need in life that just cannot be found in the trappings of the world.


We need good friends. We need to make time to maintain those friendships. We need to invest time in our relationships if we want people to stick around. We need to make time for ourselves – so we’re not totally zoned out when we have time off for the people we care about.

Money and status are tangible measurable concepts. The dollar value of the amount of money you make. Where you stand in the hierarchy. That type of thing. Then there are more hidden aspects of life: like our emotions. Although intangible, emotions play a HUGE role in the way we humans behave. 

We can’t be all money and status obsessed all the time and expect to find our friendships and relationships still intact when we need them. 

The poor kid of the rich parents is a caricature that seriously isn’t funny. Somedays I just want to smack sense into some of these parents. Unfortunately, it isn’t my place to go around telling people what to do. I simply can’t fix the thousands of families that I come into contact with on a daily basis. 

At best, I can only do me. And to be honest, even my priorities have been out of wack since January. 

Isn’t life one tricky balancing act?


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