The secret of the Pentacles is so screamingly obvious, you have known it for a long while; you just haven't used what you know.
This is a pentagram. We use pentagrams for one primary purpose: magick!
Look closely at the pentacles in each card, as exemplified by the Ace. Head up, horns down, signifying Man standing, upright, as a divine being, in the family of God. The star is encircled twice, telling us it works on the divine and on the earth plane. Since it is being offered by an angelic hand, we know where it comes from!
Look in the background: we see a bowered opening in the hedge, which completely blocks our view of the mountainous terrain beyond. Mountains always symbolize the abode of God. In the foreground are lilies, white and pure; lilies for funerals, lilies for Easter... lilies are for the Otherworld.
Consider that the US Army uses this exact symbol on all its equipment; the Red Army used just the star, and looked what happened.
This Ace of Pentacles is letting us know that we are offered protection, guidance, wisdom, and magick, and that these offers extend beyond this life, are with us on our journey through the opening between the worlds, and beyond.
This card doesn't offer us protection or enhancement of our earthly possessions, but protection from becoming too attached to them; they are after all a material enchantment.
We also have to take into account pentagram geometry as practiced by the cathedral builders of the Renaissance, and the temple builders who went before them....but that's another story.
When the ace of pentacles is upside down, it heralds delay in our advancement, and sometimes loss in finances, the severity depending on the surrounding cards in the spread.
The Two of Pentacles
The first thing we notice is that wild hat!! He could fit a couple of rabbits in that wild hat. It looks a lot like the Golden Arches, doesn't it?
He is dancing a funny jig, either in time with the roll of the waves of the sea behind him, or maybe he is stirring those waves up! Quite the magickian!
He too is dressed in shades of saffron, the color of monks and holy men in the East.
He holds a pentacle in each hand, which are at the ends of a bright green mobius strip, or lemniscate, or pulley... the color matches his shoes. The ribbon is really loose around the second lower pentacle, just where the waves rise highest in the background. He is obviously interfering somehow, which is the divinatory meaning of this card.
This demonstrates that the card also suggests balance, messages in writing, and that the interference is masculine.
If the card falls upside down, then ooopsie! We have lost our balance! Best right ourselves right away!
The Three of Pentacles
This card means Excellence, and the keys are complex.
We are inside a church, and the guild master in the wild orange get up is showing the blueprints to the craftsman, holding an awl, who is standing on a bench. He is working on a window. A priest looks on.
The religious overtones are obvious, but do you catch that it is the guild master and craftsman who are doing the actual work? The craftsman is wearing a leather apron, symbol of Initiation; orange is the color of Mercury.
Also, the three pentacles appear at the top of the window, and a rose is below them; the rose has five petals, like the pentacle.
Though the card really does require some meditation to reap the fruits in full, it is well worth it.
The short cut is to think about the 3 Little Pigs. The little Pig who built his house of bricks was able to withstand the Big Bad Wolf and rescue his brothers, whose houses had blown down. Churches are houses of God.
When the card falls upside down, we have lost our motivation and sunk to the level of competence. We are achievers of greatness, divine and driven by the Spirit; we have no business on the ground!
The Tarot of the Cat People is one of my favorite decks, for obvious reasons; this is one of the first decks I actually bought, definitely the first which was fantasy and art based, rather than traditional occult. It was this particular card which made my choose the deck.
The poor woman has just lost her cat, which is all she had left in the world. Her grief is such that she cannot look up, and see him shining in the sky, singing with the stars. The lesson of course is, all is not lost.
In the Rider Waite deck we can see this very clearly:
Notice they are walking barefoot through a snowstorm past a church, whose window is lit up in welcome. Do they see it? No, because they won't look up. The woman is leaning forward, into her sorrow and loss; the boy is crippled, cut off at the knee, with a bandage around his thinking. His sorrow and loss is spiritual, we know by the blue of his clothing.
Do you see the image of the anchor, sign of faith, in the window too?
Remember in this deck, the pattern made by the pentacles is always significant of a sacred meaning.
If we draw this card in its reverse, it frequently means a return of or to something; this return may be temporary.
I am sharing my secrets with my peeps, so that the Tarot makes sense!
The Six of Pentacles
Look closely at the figure in blue, on the right; do you see the little red square peeking out of her pocket?
That little red square is a winning lottery ticket, which she has hidden in her pocket, yet she continues to beg for succor from an almoner (apply for public assistance or charity). You note that the almoner, or person who gives alms, ignores her and gives to the other figure in yellow, on the left. Divine Justice is always fair.
Note the pattern of the pentacles; who has the most treasure in heaven?
The Seven of Pentacles
This key can only be seen in this, the Rider Waite deck.
Look at his boots. They are different colors. Subtle, but effective. He is standing in two different worlds or dimensions.
If you want to plant a crop that will be fruitful, healthy, healthful, and abundant, you must work in the subtle realms as well as the gross.
If this card falls in reverse, your crop won't yield anything of value. Time to move on!
The Eight of Pentacles
He is wearing an apron, sitting on a bench. This has a close connection to the 3 of pentacles, which is Excellence. Here, he is Discernment, searching for perfection in his work, with the experience, stamina, and fortitude to reject and discard what is not to his expectations and standards.
In divination this usually signifies taking a class or returning to school; since it can also mean counterfeiting, we need to be alert and use shrewd judgment here! Note that the pattern on the wooden beam reminds us of the swirls and whorls of the patterns of fingerprints?
In reverse, this sends us the message that we have missed the significance of something, not learned the lesson, mangled the meaning. Try again harder, listen more closely!
The Nine of Pentacles
Note the snail? A snail moves at a slow, steady pace, progressing up the wall or anywhere else it wants to go, and carries all it needs on its back... kind of like the Fool.
The lady is a widowed duchess, who is enjoying the fruits of a life lived alone. The gyrfalcon is hooded, as are her thoughts; she controls her instincts and emotions, thus ensuring her freedom and independence.
You notice she is stacking pentacles in a five pointed pattern? And some, which she deems unfit or flawed, she leaves out.
If this card falls to you upside down, your security is threatened from an outside source, and you must look alive!
The Ten of Pentacles
The figures in the background are dancing, and the woman, holding a pentacle, has a wreath of roses in her hair. The little one clutching her skirts is pinching or pulling the dogs tail; the dogs are devoted to the old grandfather figure whose back is to us, who is wearing a family crest on his cloak.
Interesting dog tale, or tail, eh?
Is that really a grandfather of this family, or is it Odin, visiting in disguise? Whoever he is, the child sees him and so do the dogs.
Notice too that an arch separates the picture.
Of course this is usually just a typical family! Each figure is involved in its' own concerns and cares, its' own world, and only sees the other on the periphery. A sad but true assessment on the state of the human family however prosperous and wholesome it may seem.
If reversed, there are dirty deeds being done and foul deals afoot.
The figures of the court cards can represent situations and changes, as well as people; not often, but it can happen.
The page of pentacles always indicates a course of study, whether minor or university level or a private passion.
The knight of pentacles can announce the arrival of bills, accounts and money matters!
The queen of pentacles may herald an interesting recipe collection, cookbook, or compendium of herbal remedies.
The king of pentacles may advise you to consult a doctor or nutritionist, or to check on your investments.
Further in depth information on the court of pentacles can be found on the Court Page!!
You can never have enough cats! Or pentacles!
If you have many pentacles in your spread, it may be a word to the wise about your foundational views and beliefs, your attitude toward money or food.
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