Fool’s Journey: Finding the Magic in the Suit of Pentacles

Header by Rory Midhani

Header by Rory Midhani

Pentacles feel a bit like the underdog of the tarot. They’re usually the last suit in a newly-unshuffled deck, the last chapter in the book, somehow the least special-feeling suit. Because the pentacles cards tends to depict themes of finance, domesticity and work, they are often viewed as unglamorous, boring or rigid. Well, in this installment of Fool’s Journey I want to tell you about how magical they really are!

From the Shadowscapes Tarot

Corresponding to the element of earth, pentacles cards deal with the material parts of our lives. In many tarot decks pentacles are called ‘coins,’ and these cards do often comment on our financial or work situations.  The minor arcana cards are all about our day-to-day lives, and money and work, for most people, are a big part of that.

But it goes deeper, of course. What is the element of earth all about? Yes it’s our physical world, but more than this, it’s our sensual world. We experience the majority of our lives via the five physiological senses, and earth/pentacles represent exactly this — the stuff we see, feel, taste, touch, smell. Earth is sexy and dirty and real.

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From Thea’s Tarot

Earth provides us with a foundation – solid ground to stand on. Think about Maslow’s hierarchy of needs — without a home, without enough to eat, adequate health, the money we need to see to our basic needs, it’s hard to address the loftier topics of spirituality, intellect and passion raised by the other three suits.

You know what else? A pentacle is a magical symbol. Enter any new-age, Pagan or Wicca supplies shop and you’ll find pentacle necklaces, wooden boxes, t-shirts, bags and more all decorated with the encircled pentagram (five-point star).

From the Wild Unknown Tarot

Grounding — which includes conscious and unconscious rituals that enable us to feel connected to the world — are an important part of self-development. It’s easy to get caught up in a whirlwind of passion or in theorising about layer upon layer of feelings. Grounding and connecting to the element of earth helps us to remember what is real and provides a sense of safety and security.

The Pentacle, the symbol of Witchcraft, is a bold and fascinating statement about our place in the Universe. The pentagram represents an ancient concept that can be found in philosophical thought in both East and West. Although over 8,000 years old, the image of the pentagram is applicable in our modern world. The pentagram tells us that we have the ability to bring Spirit to Earth; this applies to every area of practical day-to-day living, as well as spiritual thought. The ability of bringing Spirit to Earth is what makes us whole.

Witchvox

From The Collective Tarot

The suit of pentacles encourages us to find magic in our everyday lives. It’s about experiencing the divine within our material world — the beauty in nature, the joy of devoted industry, the sexy-ness of sex, the security of good health. The pleasures of a delicious meal and the enjoyment of a beautiful cityscape. And the opposites of those things – pain and poverty, ill-health, greed and loneliness, too.

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From the Dreaming Way Tarot

It’s also craft and industry. It’s doing things with your hands, digging in, getting creative, making something real. Gardening, wood-carving, knitting, cooking, sculpting, building, digging… these are all beautiful, earthy occupations.

Without the suit of pentacles, we’d be completely lost! We’d be floating blobs of emotion and thought, brilliant ideas with no way to come to life, insecurities with no safe home, love without a hug or a kiss. The pentacles, or rather, the earth of us is the wisdom of our bodies and our ability to tune in to this. It’s charting your period, it’s listening to your belly, it’s nourishment and growth. The trick is not to miss the magic.

From the Wild Unknown Tarot

When pentacles appear in your tarot readings, take a moment to look closer. Notice that magic wand in the Ten, or the infinity sign in the two. Where is the magic, what might you be missing?

For example…

The Six of Pentacles might be reminding you of the cycle of give and take in life, how we take from the earth and must remember to give back, too.

The Eight of Pentacles could be about the absolute joy you feel as you build your business, or the pleasure of really investing your time and energy into honing new skill.

The Ten of Pentacles reminds you to pay attention to the details around you. Nobody ever ‘has it all’ – which parts of your life make you feel the most rich?

The Page of Pentacles could represent you setting off on an incredible adventure.

The Seven of Pentacles shows you that moment when your hard work finally starts to bear fruit. 

The Ace of Pentacles — a fresh start — could be a new lover or experimenting sexually with your partner. Or it could be the garden you plan to create, or encouragement to get fit, an exciting new job or the chance to move to a place that feels more… you.

From Thea’s Tarot

And okay – sometimes that Four of Pentacles is saying ‘watch your spending’ or that Five is suggesting you quit your job because it’s making you feel shitty. Some of these cards are showing you the earthy magic of your situation, and some are helping you to work out where and why that magic is lacking in your life. It’s all useful, and it’s all part of being a human on this big old planet made of earth.

From Thea’s Tarot

Beth Maiden is a tarot reader and writer based in Machynlleth, mid-Wales. She has two cats, a hot builder girlfriend, far too many tarot decks and not enough coffee cups. She's really into bread, the colour red, camping and brand new notebooks. She'd love to cut your hair, read your cards or hang out with you on her blog, Little Red Tarot!

Beth has written 111 articles for us.

11 Comments

  1. The thing that makes the pentacles really magic for me is it’s about doing the things which transform your will into reality – it’s about mixing your power with the flesh of the world and changing it. I find that, as a person who mostly sits behind a screen, mostly working with words and ideas, mostly overthinking, I can become alienated from my ability to actually do things, to make stuff really happen in the actual world. To enact my will. To make an idea reality. To do those things, take those steps, do that concentrated activity, which makes the world a different place because of my actions. That’s magic. Changing the world around you by the force of your will and actions is magic. And that’s the pentacles.

  2. I gifted myself the Wildwood deck some weeks ago. My first deck ever. To get to know the cards I draw a (almost) daily card, as Beth recommended here in an article, and then write about it. It’s so marvelous and inspiring! The knight of stones (horse) was the first card I ever draw. I truly love it. It sits as a guide at my desk.

    • Oh, that card is so lively and brilliant! Quite unlike traditional depictions of the Knight of Pentacles too, which are often focused on steadiness. The spritely horse on that card is so inspiring 😀

      Glad you’re finding the daily card ritual helpful @exceptforbunnies!

  3. Ugh, Beth, this is the best. Pentacles is a magical suit and it comes up for me *all the effing time.* I feel like my business is really connected to it, but I also feel personally connected to it as a Capricorn. It undeservedly gets a bad rap!

    Also also also. The King and Queen of Pentacles in Shadowscapes are some of my favorite cards ever in the history of time, or at least in the history of tarot cards I’ve seen.

  4. I think part of the reason we tend to overlook pentacles is because they are so at opposition with western ideals. Pentacles tend to show up for me when I need to hold my ground or rest and it can be a bit of a struggle to listen to their lessons instead of going all wands or swords on the situation. Pentacles resonate with drumming for me, and trancing out on drums can help me ground enough to hear what the earth has to say.

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