There are two standard ways to read the minor arcana cards astrologically. One is by the decans, the three 10° divisions of each sign. The other is the Golden Dawn system, which assigns a planet in a sign to each of the minor cards. See Part 1 for reading reversed cards astrologically as retrogrades or eclipses. We can also read the cards based on their element and number. Plain pip cards work very well for this style of reading, which can be very intuitive.
Typically, the 5 of Pentacles shows people in what appears to be an extreme level of poverty. It’s also in complete opposition to the Taurus Hierophant who sits ostentatiously bethroned inside the cathedral. While the card depicts a destitute situation, we’re reminded to look inward for inspiration and non-physical rewards, as symbolized by the lighted windows.
Decans of Taurus and Minor Arcana Cards
- 1st Decan ~ 0-9.59° 5 of Pentacles
- 2nd Decan ~ 10-19.59° ~ 6 of Pentacles
- 3rd Decan ~ 20-29.59° ~ 7 of Pentacles
5 of Pentacles ~ 1st decan Taurus
This is the strongest Taurus energy in the zodiac. The first decan of Taurus (0-9.59°) is solely ruled by Taurus and Venus (or Earth, if you prefer), covering the approximate dates of April 21-30. With the pure Taurus energy of this card, there is definitely an emphasis on money, the material world, and our five physical senses.
- How does the ruling planet of this decan operate in your chart?
- Where is it located by sign and house?
- How connected are you to this part of your chart?
- Are planets transiting this part of your chart?
- Can you attach a physical sensation to this part of your chart ~ is there a sound, smell, touch, taste, visual element that is provocative?
Taking a good, strong look at the ruling planet’s placement may seem like a tedious exercise, but you just might be surprised at what you discover. You can keep it simple by using only the house connection or go into more detail by analyzing the aspects. If you need a good book about the houses and placement of ruling planets, I highly recommend The House Connection by Karen Hamaker-Zondag. SkyViewZone is a great online resource.
Don’t overlook using the Earth’s symbolism in this exercise. Earth is exactly opposite the Sun in your chart. When I made the connection between first decan Taurus and the Earth in my own chart, doors flung open to a room of my psyche that held really special meaning for me.
I’ve seen this card turn up on more than one occasion when someone has suddenly lost their job. Security is extremely important to Taurus, so a surprise like that can literally knock Taurus off its feet (the missing leg to stand on). The everyday physical world is Taurus’ domain. To lose control of it is simply overwhelming for Taurus. Physical security is lost, and that is devastating.
Mercury in Taurus
As Mercury in Taurus, it’s possible to see the effects of a poverty consciousness in the card above. The need to look for the light and inspiration within ourselves is underscored as a balancing force to the value placed on material goods alone. We don’t really know what’s in the minds of the two characters in the card, but it doesn’t look promising. Roy Alexander says in Meet Your Planets, that Mercury in Taurus (or the second house) can “miss a lot of things because they can’t see beyond the values of the street and the marketplace.” That’s not necessarily true for Mercury in Taurus, but the 5 of Pentacles reminds us not to go down that road.
A planet’s energy slows down when passing through Taurus because Taurus has the densest energy of the earth signs. (This is a stabilizing force for our rapidly changing Moon, btw.) Mercury in Taurus implies cautious, deliberate, and patient thinking with strong powers of concentration. If focused on the negative, things can go really sour. If positive, Mercury in Taurus can always figure a way out of any financial or physical mess.
The 5 of Pentacles from the Housewives Tarot makes me think of mentally juggling all the things that have to be attended to in the physical world at home ~ coming up with a menu, shopping, cooking, getting the meal on the table and then, of course, having to deal with all those dirty dishes afterwards.
Reversed ~ Mercury Retrograde in Taurus or the 2nd House
Here the thinking process can slow to a crawl since Mercury Rx indicates some kind of a delay. We can’t always blame Mercury, the trickster, for mishaps during the Rx times. Sometimes it really is our own fault.
- Was that letter delayed because you took too much time to write it or were distracted by other things?
- Did you miss a job opportunity because you were rewriting and rewriting your resume and it got lost in a pile of resumes that came in at the last minute?
- Did your appliance have to be replaced because you took too long deciding to call a repairman for a minor fixable glitch?
Even when Mercury is retrograde, life and communications do go on. Let’s not get in our own way. Take your time during these periods, but don’t get completely bogged down.
Reading Numerologically ~ 5 of Taurus
Putting the basic keywords together can trigger an intuitive response that pictures may block.
Taurus ~ Wealth, money, physical senses
5 ~ Change, communication, physical senses
Using plain pip cards and bypassing the picture of destitution in most decks, our intuition may open to other possibilities. It’s easier to see the card simply as change of wealth. And that could be a good thing, right? We may have to reconsider how we’re thinking or talking about money.
With a strong emphasis on the physical senses from both Taurus and the number 5, we might intuit another situation in the card that isn’t apparent in the pictorial tarot pips.
Note: I like putting the card representing the current period somewhere I can see it easily during those dates, along with the cards for the sign and ruling planet.
- Part 1, Astrological Picture Book ~ Cards of Taurus, The Major and Court Cards
- From Tarot Moon ~ Astrological Associations for the Court Cards ~ A review of various systems.
- Check out this amazing chart of astro associations from The Tarot Muse.
- Dignity by Face and Their Assignment to Tarot Cards
- Tarot Decans~ Associations of all the tarot cards to the signs and decans of the zodiac. Includes degrees and dates for each decan.
- Astro/Tarot Affirmations ~ Affirmations based on the cards assigned to a sign and its ruling planet.