Four of Pentacles Tarot Card Meaning & Interpretations

4 of Pentacles, or Coins, Tarot Card

The Rider-Waite-Smith (RWS) deck depicts the 4 of Pentacles as a minor, modestly dressed, king hoarding 4 pentacles, or coins. He sits on a stone box with a town or city visible in the background. The 4 of Pentacles is the bankers card where wealth is stored and safely guarded. The wealth that is stored there belongs to the King Of Pentacles. This RWS card is an unusual card for two reasons.

The first reason is because the Tarot deck contains only 4 Kings and 1 Emperor but the artist chose to add an addition king in this card. There is also a king in the Death card, lying dead on the ground, because the Kings and The Emperor are linked to Death through their numerological symbolism of the number 4 (Death is 13 which reduces to 4. 1 + 3 = 4). This connection between death and wealth may refer, on rare occasions, to an inheritance.

The second reason is because this character is looking directly at you with his attention in the present moment. This is a rare feature for a minor arcana card as it can only be found in the King Of Swords and the 9 Of Cups where as in the Major Arcana approximately half of the cards in that suit have this symbolism of present moment attention and contentment. Therefore the symbolism portrayed by the king's attention in the 4 of Pentacles is one of being happy with what you have materially even though it is just a modest amount.

The negative aspects of the 4 of Pentacles are depicted in this minor king having each foot on a pentacle embossed coin while tightly clutching one to his chest with both arms. This contentment with your material wealth makes you unwilling to invest, spend or share any of it. This is a stagnant situation which doesn't allow for growth or change. A common trait of the number 4, the Kings, Emperor and Tarot's Death card. If something stagnates, and stops growing and evolving, it risks death and extinction. Life is cyclic and constantly changing, death breaks cycles. As you browse through the cards in the Suit of Pentacles notice how the wealthy and materially prosperous cards are set in rich gardens or lands. The cards without wealth have little or no plant life to be seen and it is in this category the 4 of Pentacles falls.

The 4 of Pentacles, or the 4 of Coins, is a card of financial security, stubbornness, greed and inflexibility. The element here is Earth which relates to wealth and material possessions. The aspects of the number 4 in numerology are security, patience, endurance, restriction, hard work, and rigidity. The 4 is thought of in many cultures as an unlucky number and this card's appearance would not be a good long term omen for personal wealth. Nothing is coming into the bank and although it may seem prudent not to spend in these circumstances it is preventing investment for the future.

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By Arthur Edward Waite (1911)

A crowned figure, having a pentacle over his crown, clasps another with hands and arms; two pentacles are under his feet. He holds to that which he has. Divinatory Meanings: The surety of possessions, cleaving to that which one has, gift, legacy, inheritance. Reversed: Suspense, delay, opposition.

Related Tarot Cards

The Emperor Tarot Card King of Pentacles Tarot Card King of Swords Tarot Card King of Cups Tarot Card Death Tarot Card

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4 of Pentacles Web Guides

Wikipedia' - 'Wikipedia

Aeclectic Tarot' - 'Aeclectic Tarot

Learning The Tarot' - 'Learning The Tarot

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