Tarot Tuesday: Four of Pentacles

four-of-pentacles1

Rider-Waite-Smith Deck

Pentacles can be a happy, satisfying suit—but you wouldn’t know it from this card.

A guy with a crown sits on a chair that may or may not be throne-like. I’ll be honest; I don’t know what to make of that crown. Is this royalty we’re dealing with? A captain of industry? Or just someone who sees himself as the ruler of his own private empire?

Whatever his official standing, I like to think he’s sitting on a roof-top. There’s a spectacular view of the city below him. Not that he can appreciate that view. He’s too busy clutching one pentacle, balancing another on his head, and holding two more down with his feet.

Those pentacles look like coins, and with good reason. The suit of Pentacles represents the element of earth, and therefore earthiness, sensuality, stability, hard-work, determination, craftsmanship, family, loyalty and, yes, the ability to make and manage money. (So, basically, Pentacles corresponds to the Hogwarts House of Hufflepuff.)

Given those traits, we can guess that this guy worked hard for his coins. He has every right to enjoy them—but that’s not what he’s doing. He’s not standing on his rooftop, sighing with delight at the gorgeous view of the city. He’s not dining at a nice restaurant with family and friends, savoring good food and good company. He’s not starting a foundation or contributing to his favorite cause. He’s not even diving into piles of gold with unholy glee like Scrooge McDuck!

No, he’s clutching his coins, desperate to protect them. I imagine most of the figures in the suit of Pentacles know how to put their money to work. They probably understand all about investments. This fellow, though, might be the sort who stuffs his cash into a mattress and guards it with his life.

Two fictional misers leap to mind with the Four of Pentacles: Silas Marner and Ebenezer Scrooge (the namesake of the aforementioned duck, whom I find a better character than the figure in this card. Therefore I’m not including him in my list of misers). Both find redemption in their respective stories by outgrowing their unhealthy relationships with money in favor of relationships with actual people.

I’ve never created a character like this. I have characters who are too uptight about money, and whose priorities need to be sorted, but no outright misers. How about you? Do you have a character who fits the Four of Pentacles? Do you see this card differently than I do? If this card inspires a new character, story or meta, please leave a link here!

Meanwhile, we need a new card for the next Tarot Tuesday: huh. I just drew the Five of Pentacles! Once you get a look at that, you’ll wonder why I said the Pentacles can be a happy, satisfying suit. But that’s next week’s problem.

About Jenn Moss

Author * Web Serialist * Virtual Addict
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10 Responses to Tarot Tuesday: Four of Pentacles

  1. I agree with your interpretation of this figure as a miser. I think the meaning of this card could also be extended beyond simple miserliness with money. It also could relate to a more general sense of insecurity and paranoia.
    This man is huddled and terrified to move a muscle in case he loses or is robbed of what he holds on to. He can’t move his feet because that would be to let go of the coins he’s holding in place, even the big coin on his head is weighing him down.
    The card could serve as a reminder that we can be so afraid of losing what we have that not only can we not really enjoy it, we are cutting out the chances of moving on and enjoying new things. It could be about over-possessiveness in relationships or a basic fear of taking risks and letting go. There is pride in how the figure displays his coins from on high but there is also a deep distrust that the world is just waiting to snatch them away from him.

    Liked by 4 people

    • I think his distrust for the world is what really sticks out as his defining factor, that and his Rapunzel like tower he’s made himself! I loved your observation!

      Liked by 3 people

    • Jenn Moss says:

      I think you’re right to expand the meaning of this card beyond just money, Sarah. (I wish I had thought of that!) This figure might not only be clutching coins or material possessions. There are lots of things we can fear, including an unknown future or a world that seems to be changing too fast. Maybe he’s holding on too tight to a certain way of life or even certain prejudices?

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I see Ebenezer every time I pull this card. Which only makes me think of Mickeys Christmas Carol and Scrooge McDuck, so its all pulled together very nicely. I have yet to write someone like this, maybe in the future! Thank you for writing, I always love to see what you have to say!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Yes, I agreeas much with your interpretation as I do with Sarahlmaguire. I even believe the fact that he’s turning his back to the city could mean he’s not only “clutching his coins, desperate to protect them,” but also “stuffs his cash into a mattress and guards it with his life” without taking any care about what’s going on in the world he left behind.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Jenn, I’ve just nominated you for the 3 Days 3 Quotes challenge. I don’t know if you accept nominations, Anyway, you can do wahtever you like. You are free to accept or not:

    https://elcoleccionistahipnotico.com/2016/10/06/3-days-3-quotes-challenge-3/

    Like

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