FOUR OF PENTACLES
KEYWORDS: Security, Stability, Materialistic, Possessive, Tenacious Hold, Control, Inadaptable to Change
CARD DEFINITION: This signifies material and financial security. Business will prosper and so will wealth. There may be a promotion on the job front. You may have fixed ideas. You may be selfish to a certain extent depending on you time and resources.
REVERSE DEFINITION: You may be a spendthrift. Business may not do well. You may not be ready to take a risk. There may be some obstacles on the business front. You may not be able to delegate work, leading to poor quality.
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Interpreting The Four of Pentacles
The fours of the tarot's minor arcana represent as a collective the concepts of stability, prosperity, and stasis. On one hand, stability and security are very much desirable, as they are important to one's overall peace of mind and well-being. They also are evidence of the presence of a solid foundation, which is necessary for the maintenance of any kind of prosperity. However, if one isn't careful, stagnancy can become a problem.
The Four of Pentacles addresses these concerns within the context of money, achievement, and all of the trappings of success, themes that are found throughout the entire Suit of Cups. It is often an indicator of gain in all its guises. However, the card is also sometimes referred to as "the miser card", as it deals strongly with the concepts of stinginess and stagnancy, both financial and emotional and mostly from a cautionary position.
Here we are reminded once again of the importance of balance in all things. Just as you cannot have a happy, full, productive life without both work and play as a part of it, it is equally important to balance material riches with spiritual ones. Riches and wealth are of little use to a man who is not wise enough to know how to put them to good use. Without wisdom, he will either become a spendthrift or a miser and the prosperity he has worked so hard to attain will not do him or anyone else any good if he winds up venturing down either of those paths.
The traditional image depicting the Four of Pentacles shows us a seated figure. He is crowned and dressed richly, so it is clear that he is a man of means who possesses much when it comes to worldly goods and material riches. One of the four pentacles is on his head, but he grasps another tightly in his arms and has yet another two placed beneath each foot. This is a man who is intent on holding on to what he has… perhaps too tightly and ultimately to his detriment. If he devotes all his energy to holding on to what he has as tightly as he is, he loses the ability to do anything else and he eventually stagnates as a result. What's more, he may manage to keep his riches, but he will lose his friends and everything else that brings color and meaning to his life.
When the Four of Pentacles makes an appearance in a tarot spread, it serves as a reminder of all of these important lessons. It encourages us to let go of what we have so that we may turn it into more, not just through further industry, but through generosity and giving to our fellow man. The querent is being advised to let go of greed and to leave selfishness behind. The solution to his generosity is action with an open hand and an open heart.
However, it is important to note that the Four of Pentacles need not always talk of material goods. In certain circumstances, it can mean the querent is clinging too tightly to the past. Either he is dealing with old hurts that he needs to let go of for the sake of his own well-being or he has become lost in dreams of days gone by to the point where he's lost touch with reality. It is time to leave the past in the past where it belongs and move forward toward a future that has the potential to be even brighter.