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.