Tarot cards are powerful tools for exploring your inner development, getting an insight about people and situations in your life, and critical thinking. Each card tells a story as an archetype; the cards are part of five journeys: the major arcana (22 cards in the deck) and the four suits of the minor arcana (14 cards in each suit).
This article is part of a five-article series that will take a journey through each of these five groups of cards; this third article will look at the suit of pentacles in the minor arcana. The deck I have chosen to use is something fun, the Happy Tarot, which is based on the most commonly known tarot deck, the Rider-Waite Tarot. The pentacles, in this deck, are presented by coins with a pentagram on the front.
- The Journey Through the Major Arcana
- The Journey Through the Cups of the Minor Arcana
- The Journey Through the Swords of the Minor Arcana
- The Journey Through the Wands of the Minor Arcana
The Fool’s Journey Through the Minor Arcana
Like the Fool, we all must pass through major events in our lives, captured in the archetypes of the major arcana cards. But most of life is spent dealing with mundane and minor matters; this energy is captured in the archetypical images of the four suits of minor arcana cards. Each suit represents a different aspect of our everyday journeys by way of elements and symbols.
Earth energy deals with the material world, our finances and health; the pentacle or coin is the earth’s symbol. Water is the element of our emotions and the cup or chalice has been chosen as the emotional symbol. Fire represents our creativity and spirituality, and our call to action; the wand or rod is the symbol for fire in the tarot. And finally, air represents our thoughts, how we reason, and how we communicate; the sword is the chosen symbol for air.
The minor arcana suits have fourteen cards, numbered 1 to 10, with four additional cards represented by figures from Renaissance nobility from the courts of old: the page, the knight, the queen, and the king. The aces initiate the energy and the subsequent cards show different expressions of the energy-based on common circumstances we navigate in life. The “court” cards are the personality “types” of each suit, with pages as an impressionable youth, knights as questing workers, queens as the managers, and kings as the leaders.
The Journey Through the Pentacles
The Fool begins his or her material journey with the Ace of Pentacles, which represents a new beginning or the start of something that will become manifest in the world. The 2 of Pentacles represents the ever-changing nature of life in action; we are not meant to stagnate. The 3 of Pentacles is hard work and the persistent effort we have to put into endeavors that we want to succeed. When the Fool arrives at the 4 of Pentacles, s/he knows that security comes through respected skills that others will pay for and that payment is the source of power in the world. The 5 of Pentacles (and all the number 5 cards) introduces difficulty. The keyword most often connected with this card is worry (about money and safety).
The 6 of Pentacles shows us the difference between a career and “just work” (3 of Pentacles). Next, the Fool will face a time to “play it safe with money/career” or take a risk and use accumulated resources to push ambition further. The 8 of Pentacles teaches us to see the value in our accumulated efforts of study, practice, and advancement; what are we worth? In the 9 of Pentacles, we learn the definition wealth, as defined by the world around us and our own choices. The final card, the 10 of Pentacles, represents the full possibility of success that provides enough for us to have a family and start the next generation.
The Court Cards
The final four cards of the suit are the page, the knight, the queen, and the king. When the Fool experiences the Page of Pentacles, s/he should be open to experimentation and trying new activities. The page is “giving it a go” to see what skills and knowledge can be added to his or her life toolkit. The knight, on the other hand, has focus; s/he teaches how to pursue an outcome and see it to completion; “I will enter this profession”, the knight says. The knights always teach us to have goals; and with the pentacles, the goal is a material success.
Queens manage, and the Queen of Pentacles teaches us how to manage our resources. How do we make sure we have more resources flowing in than going out? The Queen of Pentacles is never happy with debt. Finally, the King of Pentacles leads with his accomplishments and power in the world; he commands from his skills and investments. The fool learns real-world power from the king. We all encounter the lessons of the page, knight, queen, and king over and over again through our life journey, hoping to be wiser with each experience.
Pentacles in Your Reading
When you draw pentacle cards in a reading, then you need to address the financial and material aspect of your concern or question. This will apply regardless of whether your question is about relationship or work, family or spiritual growth. Suppose you have asked about a long-term relationship and drew the Queen of Pentacles; you need to look at your combined assets and determine if you are building the life together that you want. If you are spending more than you are making, then you need to make more or spend less to bring the lesson of the queen into proper alignment.
These cards represent the archetypical situations we find ourselves in that teach us our material lessons. The Fool wants to know all the facets of human life. And each card holds the energy of the previous card and the following card. The cards of the tarot are not static; they are dynamic. When pentacle cards appear, check your bank account; something in your “financial field” needs to be addressed.