10 of Pentacles

consider the legacy that you’re creating

Ten shows the fullest expression of the suit + Pentacles represents the ways that we as spirits navigate the physical world

from the Spiral Tarot

And so, in its centered aspect, the Ten of Pentacles depicts the soul supported in having a human experience. As the final pip card, it speaks deeply to our own mortality and asks us to consider how we will be remembered. In the Smith-Waite depiction, we see the kabbalistic tree as a spiritual reminder that a full life doesn’t need to be complicated or lavish. The inheritance so often attributed to this card speaks of familial lines; this is the family, the legacy, the ancestors, tradition, mortality — perhaps even a healing of generational lines by our standing in our power and doing our soul work. Cultivate the community and tools to be supported in that work. As the book for the Dali Tarot points out, individuality cannot be achieved in isolation.

For those more spiritually inclined, this may also be a reminder to do ancestor work. By honoring those who have come before us (whether familial, occupational, spiritual, geographic, or other), we may learn from them.

In resistance, we may mistrust abundance or have lost the security of family ties. Perhaps we have been disenfranchised.

In excess, we may be cloistered in ethnocentrism or choosing material comfort over more spiritual pursuits.

Questions we may be prompted to ask when this card comes up include

  • What will you be remembered for? What are you doing right now to build that legacy? What stops you from doing so?
  • Are there familial relationships that need tending right now?
  • What ancestral baggage are you shedding?
  • Are you still clinging to outdated family values passed down to you that exclude others or enable their disenfranchisement?

What else? There is vast meaning in this card and you may have other insights. How has it come up for you?

9 of Pentacles

bask in the grounding nature of the surroundings you’ve created for yourself

Nine shows a solitary moment to gather ourselves in the gifts of the suit + Pentacles represent the physical realm

from Touchstone Tarot by Kat Black

And so, in the centered aspect of the Nine of Pentacles, we enjoy the surroundings and lifestyle we’ve created for ourselves. So often translated as material wealth and independence, I see it in a more spiritual sense. It signals contentment in our physical surroundings (e.g., a love of nature or setting up our own space in the home) and with our path. It’s a place of independence, of self-satisfaction, of self-sufficiency; but we don’t need wealth to thrive, and material possessions do not make a self-possessed life.

The suit of Pentacles is a very grounding one, and here we may be reminded to ground by experiencing nature.

In resistance, we don’t allow ourselves time to fully be with ourselves. We may not feel that we can or should. Perhaps we’re not comfortable in a place of abundance, or even in our own skin; or we feel guilt for not being “productive.”

In excess, our only concern is our own comfort or self interest. Perhaps we’ve become so independent that the environment we’ve created is entirely under our control — even down to the hooded falcon doing our bidding.

Questions that we may be prompted to explore when this card comes up include

  • Are you comfortable in the solitude of your own company? Do you allow yourself that time? If not, why?
  • Do you enjoy leisure time? How do you view it?
  • Is luxury an important part of your life?
  • Can you give up control of your environment?
  • Are you in need of grounding?

What else? What observations and insights have you had on this card? How has it come up for you?

8 of Pentacles

show up

Eight emerges from the uncertainty of seven with momentum or direction + Pentacles represents navigating the physical world

from Darkness of Light (1st ed.)

And so, in the centered aspect of the Eight of Pentacles, we pursue the daily hands-on work involved in the mastery of our craft (including our spiritual craft). As Lindsay Mack said, “the true essence of soul work is not in the outcome but in showing up every day.” Persistence pays off. It’s through repetition that we progress.

Remember also to take joy in the details; the spirit with which we work is in the result, and the essence of this card lies in the desire to express ourselves through our work.

In resistance, we lack the motivation or discipline to put the effort in.

In excess, we fear not being perfect. We get caught up in the details or become driven by the expectation of perfect mastery.

Questions we may be prompted to ask when this card comes up include

  • Do you lack self-discipline?
  • What patterns do you repeat over and over?
  • Do you get stuck in attention to detail, driven by perfectionism?
  • What are you obsessing over?

What else? It seems pretty straightforward, but no card has a singular, simple meaning, and you may have other insights. How has it come up for you?

7 of Pentacles

be patient; allow the fruits to ripen at their own pace

Seven remains still in its waiting or assessing mode while activity continues outside of it + Pentacles represents how we as spirits navigate the physical world

from The Relative Tarot

And so, in the centered aspect on the spectrum, the Seven of Pentacles is a place of waiting for our work to materialize. We may be assessing whether to continue on our path, but we must be prepared to play the long game. Things may not be going as planned (Smith’s leaves are of blighted potato plants), or we’re still waiting for the rewards, but it denotes a period of growth and waiting where we’ve done our part (though it doesn’t hurt to do a little weeding or pruning, to stay in touch with the forces that impact our growth / goals). As Paul Quinn wrote in Tarot for Life, “despite our most controlling efforts, the things we cultivate ripen by their own timetables.”

In resistance, we expect defeat or sabotage our progress, over evaluating, second guessing, and abandoning plans that didn’t meet our expectations.

In excess, me may be trying to push the river.

Questions we may be prompted to ask when this card comes up include

  • Do you fear that things will not go as planned?
  • Are you a perfectionist in your expectations? Does this cause you to second-guess or abandon that which doesn’t meet your high ideals?
  • Do you sabotage your own efforts? What parts could be driving this?
  • Are you trying to push the river?

What else? What insights have you had into this card? How has it come up for you?

4 of Pentacles

protect your self / resources

Four brings stability + Pentacles represents material resources and navigating the physical plane.

from the Medieval Scapini Tarot

And so, in its centered or balanced position on the card’s spectrum, we consider what boundaries need to be secured. This could be around finances, solitude, space, habits, or a way of life, but may simply be linked to body, to retain a sense of autonomy or self. It may emerge from a place of scarcity, but protecting your body or other resources is an act of self-care. Self-denial can be an act of responsibility or of dysfunction; but sometimes it serves us well to hold back in order to maintain four’s stability.

In resistance, we lack boundaries to the point of oversharing our selves, our space, our time, our money.

In excess, we fear not having enough of a particular resource and rely on material security or wealth with an emphasis on gain over all else (stifling spiritual growth); building walls to keep others out; avarice, hoarding. “All you are unable to give possesses you.” ~Andre Gide

There is a sense at this end of the spectrum of being immovable. There is no feeling, no spontaneity, only rigidity.

Questions to consider when this card appears may include

  • Where do you feel vulnerable? Do you compensate by being overprotective?
  • Are you an overgiver? What drives this?
  • What do you resist giving up?

What else? Feel free to share your own insights or experiences with this card in the comments.

3 of Pentacles

collaborate in shared goals

Three is expansion out from the two + Pentacles represent navigating the physical world.

from the Deck of the Bastard

In its centered or balanced position, the Three of Pentacles shows us in collaboration or cooperation with others in bringing something to form. We may each have our own calling, but working together with shared goals may create the best outcome for all. In the Smith-Waite depiction (shown in the Deck of the Bastard, left), an architect creates the vision, an artist is bringing it to form, and the monk represents integrity and ethics (the three symbolizing mind, body, and soul, respectively).

The Salvador Dali Tarot urges “Do not only ask what [task] you want. Ask what God and the world want from you.” This card is about our own personal calling, and working together with others enacting their personal calling to create.

In resistance, we operate independently or at cross-purposes, failing to see the benefit of shared goals and talents. If supervised, we resent it. Talent is wasted.

In excess, we may be feeling a bit burned out. Consider what makes you happy; what gives you a greater sense of purpose?

Questions to think about when this card comes up may include

  • What are you currently working on? Does it give you a sense of purpose?
  • Do your parts work well within their system? What gifts does each offer to the whole?
  • Do you see the talents that others have to offer as gifts or do you resent them as interference?
  • Are you able to weave your own body/mind/spirit into balance? Where is there lack? Where does one take over?

What else? There’s plenty more to consider in this card, isn’t there? You may have other insights on this card. How has it come up for you? Feel free to share in comments.