Five of Pentacles – Lady of the Swamp

hardship, loss, isolation, feeling abandoned, adversity, struggle, unemployment, alienation, disgrace

The story of Margaret Clement is one of rags to riches and back again

Whenever the Five of Pentacles shows up in a reading, it suggests a time of hardship and insecurity. It is regarded as one of the tougher cards in a Tarot deck. The meaning of this card can mirror deep loneliness, illness, poverty or loss. The stuff of fiction and television series is the story of Margaret Clement. Was it murder? Was it an accident? These questions still haunt the case of the missing Australian Margaret Clement, now know as “the Lady of the Swamp.” Whatever! The later years of Clements life reads like a story one could write after drawing and contemplating the imagery of the Five of Pentacles.

Margaret Clement was a wealthy Victorian heiress whose life fell into ruin. She finished her days living alone in a swamp in Gippsland in her decaying mansion Tullaree surrounded by waist-deep water. Margaret Clement became known to locals as “the lady of the swamp”, then in 1952 she disappeared without trace.

Spiritual Implications of the Five of Pentacles

The images of the Five of Pentacles often shows a person or people who are in an apparent state of crisis. Clothes in rags, out in the cold, overwhelmed or tired out, this is not a happy sight.

While the Five of Pentacles is associated with

  • Losing income
  • Falling on hard times
  • Struggling to make ends meet
  • Struggling with ill-health
  • Neglecting your physical needs
  • Being rejected
  • Standing alone
  • Being excluded
  • Taking an unpopular opinion

it may allude to hard times on a more spiritual and emotional level. This card can have a very real “us against the world” vibe attached to it.