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.

2 of Pentacles

balance priorities which promote our soul’s growth

Twos aim to balance when an other is introduced + Pentacles represent navigating the material world.

from Darkness of Light (1st ed.)

And so, in its upright or balanced position on the spectrum, the Two of Pentacles invites us to look at what we’re trying to hold in balance. The metaphor of juggling is often used with this card, as the two acts in rhythm and balance, representing the natural flux of life and flow such as cause & effect. Sometimes it’s up, sometimes it’s down (as the ship in the background of the Smith-Waite 2oP, or the tides as shown in this example from Darkness of Light). Sometimes we must borrow from Peter to pay Paul. Life is a series of cycles, and in this two, we must juggle demands, balance priorities, and weigh our options. If we’re working too hard, rest. If we’ve overspent, save money. If we’ve eaten poorly, adjust our diet, and so on.

As we move out of the seed of the Ace, are we prepared to step onto the path of our soul’s work? What are we choosing to juggle? Now may not be the time to try and multitask too much, but to choose to release those responsibilities not in keeping with our path.

In resistance, we don’t make the connection between cause & effect, perhaps oblivious to our causative role in matters. One thing to keep in mind is that if we choose not to step into our soul’s work, we fail to grow.

In excess, we try to keep everyone happy and, in misplacing our priorities, we struggle to keep all of the balls in the air.

Questions we may ask when the 2oP comes up include

  • Where do you feel out of balance in your life?
  • Are you feeling pulled in opposite directions? Which serves you better?
  • What are you struggling to juggle? Why do you continue to do so?
  • Is there an aspect of your life that you’ve been ignoring? Why do you do so?

What else? Of course, this is just a sampling of this card’s spectrum, and you may have other insights. How do you see this card? How has it come up for you? Feel free to share in comments.

Ace of Pentacles

take the first tangible step to bring your intention to form

Aces are offerings or opportunities of the highest potential of the suit + Pentacles deal with the physical domain of earth, and how we as spiritual beings navigate the material world.

from Darkness of Light (1st ed.)

And so the Ace of Pentacles, Disks, or Coins is the potential or foundation for manifesting in the earthly realm. It asks us to get out of our head and implement that  desire, dream, idea; take the first step to give it concrete expression. (This is the Ace that brings the others to tangible form.). This journey will likely take time and require tending, like the seed we plant in the soil of our garden and nurture.

In resistance, we’re stuck. We just can’t move beyond our thoughts and dreams. What holds us back from taking the first step toward manifesting? Perhaps we doubt our ability to manifest.

In excess, is there an overemphasis on the material or physical, of security, or some other aspect of earth?

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

  • What seeds are you planting?
  • What prevents you from pursuing your soul’s work?
  • Do you feel secure? Is there a part of you that does not?
  • How is your health? Do you get the physical exercise and nutrition that your body needs? How is your relationship with food?
  • Do you have a need for more time connecting with nature?

But of course that’s just a beginning. How do you see this card? How has it come up for you? What is your favorite depiction of the Ace of Pentacles, and how are its shadow aspects portrayed?