The Four of Pentacles invite you to reconsider what you’re holding on to.
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To give you a bit of context whilst you reflect on your own relationship to the card, here are a few key things to know about the Four of Pentacles.
Here’s what the card looks like in the Rider Waite Tarot: A crowned figure in a fur cloak sits on a stone block. Beneath the figure's feet are two pentacles, or coins. Balanced on their head, another. And wrapped tightly in their arms, a fourth pentacle. The sky and ground are gray, and a city landscape backgrounds the figure.
There’s a tightness in this card - a clinging that suggests a certain level of avarice and scarcity mindset. There’s no sharing here, and there’s no enjoying the resources which the figure is hoarding. There are just clenched muscles and stillness - any move would loosen the figure’s hold on their coins. There’s no room for them to hold anything else.
The suit of Pentacles represents your resources, and the work you do to create, manage, and maintain those resources. Meanwhile, fours in the tarot about stability and structure. So it makes sense that this is a card about our reliance on our resources to keep us stable - and it represents a fear of letting go of anything in case that risks our sense of stability. But at what cost? There’s no room for anything here, no space to welcome new resources, or room for growth.
Visually, it’s interesting to compare this card to the King of Pentacles. The Four of Pentacles is, in a lot of ways, a wannabe king. The dress is the same, but less ornate. The framing of the image is similar. But there’s a world of difference between these two cards. The King’s body language is relaxed, while the Four’s is tense. There’s growth and greenery and fertility in the King card, while the Four is bare. And the King holds not four, but one Pentacle, and he cups it loosely in his hand.
The difference in these two cards is clear: abundance can’t be rooted in avarice, we have to relax our grip on what we’re trying to protect, or protecting it becomes our whole identity, and there’s no room for growth and enrichment in our lives.
In your tarot journal, you’re asked to reflect on what this card means to you, now, in this moment, and what actions and thoughts it inspires in you. As you journal, pay attention to what you’re personally picking up in the card, but also consider what the key themes and symbols in the card might be telling you. What are you holding on to? Where could you release your grip? How can you be more King of Pents and less Four?
This mini-tarot lesson was brought to you by me, Chelsey Pippin Mizzi, founder of Pip Cards Tarot. I hope you gained a little context to help you continue reflecting on the card in your own way, and I’ll see you tomorrow for another mini-lesson.