“Tarot brings us out of ourselves. It moves our perceptions outwards and onto the cards. Rather than living with the possibility imagined in our mind's eye, the possibility is spread on the table before us.” Sasha Graham,
ACE OF PENTACLES
The Ace of Pentacles is a symbol of possibility in the area of prosperity, abundance, trust, security and groundedness. In readings, it shows that a seed of productivity has been planted in your life although you may not yet recognize it. When the seed sprouts, it could take almost any form. It might be a feeling of centeredness, desire for results or need to focus on practical matters. On the outside, it could be an offer, gift, opportunity, encounter or synchronistic event.
When you see this Ace, examine your life to see how its solid energy could work for you. Now is not the time for fantasy, drama or daring. It is a time to be real and centered. Seek out comfortable, reliable experiences that make you feel secure. Build a foundation of trust in your life both within and without. Your common sense will tell you what to do. Focus also on the natural world to help you stay grounded. Enjoy your body and all the joys of material existence.The Ace of Pentacles can be a sign that you will be able to make your dreams real. Your ideas are ready to be turned into something tangible. Figure out what will work and make it a reality. You can now attract all the wealth you need to get your projects going. Tap into the material force of the Ace of Pentacles, and all your enterprises will flourish.
TWO OF PENTACLES
There is nothing quite like the feeling of being graceful and effective at the same time. On the Two of Pentacles we see a young man dancing as he juggles his worldly concerns. The infinity sign loops around the two pentacles to suggest that he can handle unlimited problems. In the background we see two ships riding the waves easily - cruising the ups and downs of life. The Two of Pentacles also reminds you to be flexible. Lancelot could not have navigated the swords walking in a straight line. He had to move freely and lightly in all directions as needed. You too must be supple if you want to prevail. Don't force your way through or you will be cut down. Now is not the time to be rigid. Know that sometimes a side step, or even a back step is the surest way forward.
In readings, the Two of Pentacles lets you know that you can juggle all demands made upon you. In fact, you will relish the excitement of every hurdle. If you do not feel this level of confidence right now, this card asks you to believe in yourself. You have all you need to meet your every goal and more. Embrace the challenge. The Two of Pentacles is also a symbol of fun, laughter and good times. It is definitely a high-energy card. If you are feeling tired or depressed, this card may be a sign that greater vitality will be yours. If you are feeling revved already, the Two of Pentacles could be a warning against over stimulation. Be sure you get the rest you need so that you can enjoy the up energy of this card.
THREE OF PENTACLES
The Three of Pentacles is one of the cards in the Tarot that focuses on the group. (The Three of Cups and the Hierophant are the others.) As Pentacles are grounded and practical, this card represents a task-oriented team - people who are working cooperatively toward a common goal. There are few jobs that can be accomplished alone. We need the help of others to achieve our goals. Sometimes the Three of Pentacles is a sign that you will be more productive if you work with others. You don't have to do it all by yourself.
This card can also show a need for planning and preparation. Now is not the time to rush into something or begin a project with only a vague idea of what it's about. You need to think everything through, go over all the possibilities and make sure you work out the details. Do your homework, and your undertaking will flourish. Another feature of the Three of Pentacles is competence - the ability to get the job done. How rare this is nowadays! This card tells you that you have the skills and knowledge you need. You can attract capable people and create a successful environment. Know that the situation is (or will be) in good hands, but be sure to concentrate on excellence in your work. Be proud of what you do and how you do it. Then you will accomplish your "impossible" mission.
FOUR OF PENTACLES
Some control is valuable. In chaotic situations, a firm hand is needed to provide structure and organization. Too often, however, the urge for control gets out of hand, stifling creativity and individual expression. In readings, this card asks you to weigh carefully the level of control in your situation. The Four of Pentacles can stand for issues of ownership. You may be involved in getting and keeping money or some other commodity. You may be having problems with possessiveness or jealousy. Use the energy of this card to preserve and defend, but not to lay claim. People need to be free to determine their own lives. The Four of Pentacles also implies blocked change. It's as if the stubborn little man on the card is thwarting your every move. Opposition may come from those who want to maintain the status quo. It may also come from within yourself. Are you resisting change that is truly needed? We often cling to the familiar even when we know it's not for the best. The lesson of the Four of Pentacles is that control is impossible. We stand in the world as in a great ocean. Who could manage or possess such power? The only way to keep from drowning is to ride the currents. The ocean will support us as long as we swim with the flow.
FIVE OF PENTACLES
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. 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.
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.
SIX OF PENTACLES
The Six of Pentacles is a difficult card to describe because it falls in the shadowy area between the lack of the Five of Pentacles and the affluence of the Ten of Pentacles. These two cards represent the extremes of not having and having. The Six of Pentacles covers the huge middle ground where it is not clear exactly who has what. On this card, a well-to-do gentleman is tossing a few coins to a beggar while another supplicant waits to the side. The giver holds the scales of justice as if claiming the right to decide who deserves blessings and who does not. In this picture we see both sides: what it means to give and to receive, to dominate and to submit, to be on top and to be on the bottom. It seems clear who has and who hasn't, but is it? Life is not that simple, and how quickly fortunes change.
In readings, the Six of Pentacles asks you to look very deeply into the whole issue of what having really means both materially (resources) and immaterially (knowledge, power, love). You may see yourself on one side or the other, but this card asks you to reconsider. Think of the successful businessman who suddenly declares bankruptcy. The tyrannical invalid who dominates through weakness. The teacher who learns from her students. The parent who controls by giving money. The keywords for the Six of Pentacles include both the have and have not sides of each meaning. Sometimes this card is a clear sign one way or the other. You will get the gift you want. You will have to defer to another. In all cases, though, you should question the obvious and go deeper. Why are you in the situation you're in, and where is it leading? Who is really in charge? What's really going on?
SEVEN OF PENTACLES
On the Seven of Pentacles we see a man who has labored long and hard in his garden. The foliage is full, the blossoms are out - it seems that his work has paid off. Now he's taking a break to admire his handiwork. How satisfying it is to see such fine results! How rewarding is sweet success! The Seven of Pentacles is a time-out card. It represents those moments after a rush of activity when we stop to catch our breath and look around. The man in the picture has paused to contemplate the fruits of his own labors, but he could also pick that fruit. The Seven of Pentacles can also indicate a crossroads. In life, there's a tendency to continue with familiar routines. To go in a new direction isn't easy. The Seven of Pentacles may be telling you to figure out if you need a course correction, or even a complete about-face. You're not yet committed to a certain path, but you could be soon. Change is still possible.
In readings, the Seven of Pentacles can indicate a reward that will come your way, particularly as a result of your own efforts. Take it and enjoy. This card is also a call for assessment. When we're busy, we don't always have time to reflect on what we're doing and why. Are we still on course? Are we getting the results we want? Serious problems can develop if you don't take stock at key moments. In readings, this card suggests that you take the time to be sure you're meeting your goals. The Seven of Pentacles is not a card of endings or final decisions. The game is not over, but only on hold for a moment. Once you've gotten your breath back and checked your strategy, be ready to jump back in and work even harder than before.
EIGHT OF PENTACLES
On the Eight of Pentacles we see a young man who is hammering away at a coin. He has finished six and has another coin to go. It is clear that he is in the middle of a project that absorbs all his attention. He's isolated himself from others (the town in the background) in order to concentrate. In this scene we see the essential elements of the Eight of Pentacles: hard work and attention to detail. This card often implies a time of great diligence and focus. It advises you to hammer away at the business of the moment, whether a work project, family difficulty, personal goal or unpleasant duty. Sometimes blessings fall into our laps to be enjoyed. Other times we must put out great effort to obtain them. The Eight of Pentacles represents moments when you must give 110%. Just buckle down and do it. Fortunately, this kind of work is invigorating and leads to superb results. The labor of the Eight of Pentacles is deeply satisfying and productive. The Eight of Pentacles can also symbolize the impulse to learn - to broaden horizons (to use an old-fashioned term). Sometimes we need to develop new skills. We do research, dig out facts or search for expertise. The Hermit is looking for inner knowledge. The man on the Eight of Pentacles seeks external knowledge - the how and why of the material world. This card can also show the need for meticulous attention. People who are painstaking are often dismissed as nit-pickers, but their extra effort ensures everything is as it should be. It's a matter of caring - taking the time to check the little details. Now is not the time to be slipshod or casual. Look for errors, and tie up loose ends. The key to success is an extraordinary effort. Whatever your task, the Eight of Pentacles tells you to give it your all in every way.
NINE OF PENTACLES
The woman on the Nine of Pentacles is taking a leisurely stroll through the gardens of her estate. She is clearly a lady of refinement and grace, so it is incongruous to see on her left hand a bird trained to hunt and kill on command. Falconry is an unusual hobby for a gentlewoman, but it is the key to the special nature of this card. On one hand, the Nine of Pentacles represents all that is most gracious, high-minded and civilized. Art, music and other forms of beauty are very much part of our physical world (Pentacles). Coins are present in this scene, but they are toward the ground. The business of life is important, but we don't have to focus on practical matters all the time. We can also enjoy the finer things of life. In readings, the Nine of Pentacles can imply an interest in these areas. It is also a sign that you may need to reject the coarse or offensive and seek the highest.
The Nine of Pentacles can also be a sign of discipline and self-control. This woman enjoys her cultured life because she has mastered her baser instincts. Her impulses work for her because they do not rule her. The falcon symbolizes all that is dark and unruly in human nature. Our shadow side can serve us well, but only when it is directed. Sometimes the Nine of Pentacles suggests that you must show restraint and self-control if you are to achieve your best efforts. You may have to "sacrifice" for the moment, but the results will be worth it. This card is also a sign of self-reliance. Sometimes you must trust our own ability to handle a situation. Resist the temptation to let others do for you. You need to take matters into your own hands. Our elegant lady has done just that. She trusted in her own grit and determination, and now she enjoys all the best life has to offer.
TEN OF PENTACLES
On many cards, we see a cluster of buildings off in the distance. In the Ten of Pentacles, we finally arrive in that village - in the middle of the marketplace. The family we see is carrying on the affairs of everyday life. A patriarch, dressed in a luxurious robe, pats his hounds as he watches over the younger generations. A man and woman converse in passing as their child plays at their feet. Coins (money) are in the air. The Ten of Pentacles stands for the ultimate in worldly and material success. Sometimes I jokingly call it the "fat cat" card because it reminds me of the aura of prosperity that surrounds wealthy men and women of business. This is the card you want to see if you are wondering how your latest enterprise will turn out. Wealth and affluence are yours.
When we achieve material success, we naturally want it to last. This is the conservative, Establishment side of the Ten of Pentacles. Why rock the boat when life is fine just the way it is? In readings, this card often stands for convention - following established guidelines and maintaining the status quo. Fat cats are rarely radicals; they love tradition and the tried-and-true. Sometimes it is important to trust the known ways, but only when change is inadvisable. The Ten of Pentacles is also concerned with permanence. Change is an unavoidable part of life, but constant change is uncomfortable. We need stability and the chance to work for a secure foundation in life. In readings, this card may be telling you to concentrate on the long-term. Work toward a lasting solution. Now may be the time to settle down and make the arrangements that will work for you far into the future.
PAGE OF PENTACLES
TO HAVE AN EFFECT
The Page of Pentacles is a messenger bringing you opportunities for prosperity. He delivers real chances to experience wealth, abundance, security and solid achievement - the wonders of the Pentacles suit. In your readings, this Page suggests that an opening may appear that promises enrichment, comfort, trust or the chance to make your dreams real. When you see such a chance, act on it! The Page of Pentacles can also stand for a child or young-at-heart adult whose interactions with you involve stability, trust, commitment, safety and material needs. Sometimes the Page of Pentacles implies that your entire situation is suffused with the spirit of physical enjoyment. At such times, feel free to have fun with your body, skills and possessions in a lighthearted way. Revel in the delights of being alive on Earth at this time.
KNIGHT OF PENTACLES
On the positive side, the Knight of Pentacles is like a bulldog. Once he bites down, you can be sure he won't let go. He's dogged in pursuit of his goals. A hard-worker, he has tremendous stamina and dedication. Every job is always completed down to the last detail. He's careful and prudent, never wasteful. He knows the facts and is immune to false promises. On the negative side, this Knight is a bit stodgy and dull. He's not known for his playful sense of humor. Work always comes first. He tends to be inflexible and obsessive about little details. Stubborn to a fault, he refuses to give in even when wrong, something he'll never admit. He doesn't like change or risk and will always take the gloomiest view.
In readings, a Knight of Pentacles shows that his cautious style is involved in the situation as an aspect of you, someone else or the atmosphere in general. You need to ask yourself, "Is this Knight's energy helping or hurting?" If his style is evident, then balance is needed. Are you working too hard? Do you refuse to listen to reason? Do you have a perfectionist in your life? Is the atmosphere around you one of gloom and doom? It may be time for a change. If this Knight's energy is missing, a dose of prudence may be called for. Are you spending too much? Maybe it's time to slow down. Do you give up too soon? Dig in and refuse to quit. Is your work often careless, late or incomplete? Next time resolve to work up a sweat and get the job done. Let the Knight of Pentacles introduce you to his world of care and persistence.
QUEEN OF PENTACLES
The personality of the Queen of Pentacles combines the positive earth energy of the Pentacles suit with the inward focus of a Queen. If you were to visit the Queen of Pentacles, the first thing she would say is, "Come in, come in. It's great to see you. Have a bowl of soup!" No one is more welcoming and nurturing than she. Her greatest pleasure is to care for others - making sure they are happy and secure. Her home is always overflowing with children, pets, plants and footloose friends. She is warm and generous to all. In day-to-day matters, she is sensible and practical. She doesn't have a lot of time for elaborate plans and other craziness. If something needs doing, she just takes care of it without a lot of fuss and bother. If necessary, she makes do with little and always comes through in a pinch. There is a down-to-earth, matter-of-factness about her. She is always loyal and steadfast. Because she is trusting by nature, others trust her completely.
When you are hurting or in need, the Queen of Pentacles will calm your fears and share your troubles. In readings, the Queen of Pentacles asks you to think and feel as she does. For example: Are you feeling warm and caring toward others? Are you being sensible? Have you been true to your word? Do you feel generous? Can you be counted on when times are tough? This Queen can also represent a man or woman who is like her, or an atmosphere of warmth, trust and security. In a reading, she tells you that her special energy has meaning for you at this time. Let yourself be inspired by this Queen in whatever form she appears in your life.
KING OF PENTACLES
The personality of the King of Pentacles is a combination of the positive earth energy of the Pentacles suit and the active, outward focus of a King. He might as well be called King Midas as he turns everything he touches to gold (riches of all kinds). He finds opportunity everywhere and succeeds at whatever he sets his mind to. He is enterprising and adept. Whatever the task, he handles it competently, drawing on his wide range of skills and practical knowledge. He's a jack-of-all-trades - and master of all as well. He is always dependable and responsible. Others rely on him completely because he never fails them. He gives generously of his time and resources because he knows that by giving more, you receive more. He encourages others in their accomplishments and lends his support whenever it is needed. He has a steady and even temperament that adds an element of stability to any situation. When he has set a goal for himself, he pursues it with firm resolve until he's successful. In readings, the King of Pentacles asks you to take the kinds of actions he might take. For example: keeping a commitment, fixing something that's broken, making money, or sponsoring a new enterprise. This King can also represent a man or woman who is acting as he does, or an atmosphere of steady, reliable competence. In a reading, he tells you that his special energy has meaning for you at this time. Let yourself be inspired by this King in whatever form he appears in your life.