I feel like pentacles get a bad rap in tarot.
They’re always the last suit in a newly-unshuffled deck, always the last chapter in the book.
And earlier this week, a few of you even moaned about them in the comments of this very blog!
This will not do, my friends.
Let me tell you about the magic of pentacles.
Seven of Pentacles, from the Shadowscapes Tarot by Stephanie Piu-Mun law
Pentacles correspond to the element of earth.
We often think of them as ‘worldly’, as they pertain to the material. We associate pentacles with money and work and material possessions.
That’s all fair enough. 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 a lot deeper.
What is the element of earth all about? Yes, our physical world, but more than this, it’s our sensual world. It’s the stuff of our lives that we see, feel, taste, touch, smell. It’s sexy and dirty and real.
And it’s magic.
Oh, is it magic. Check out the symbol of a pentacle – it’s a star! An upwards-pointing star at that.
This is about finding 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.
From the Anna K Tarot by Anna Klaffinger
Most of all, the pentacles cards are about grounding our ideas, thoughts and feelings in reality. Making something real, something tangible, from something that was only imagined. That’s pretty special.
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.
From the Rider Waite Smith 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.
The trick is not to miss the magic.
So when you’re rolling your eyes at the pentacle cards in your reading, look a little closer. Notice that magic wand in the Ten, or the infinity sign in the two. Where is the magic, what might you be missing?
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.
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 Ace of Pentacles 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, or the chance to move to a place that feels more… you.
From the Wild Unknown Tarot, by Kim Krans
And okay – sometimes that Four of Pentacles is saying ‘watch your spending’ or that Five is suggesting you quit your job. It’s all useful, and it’s all part of being a human on this big old planet made of earth. But the pentacles cards help us to connect to that earth and experience the magic of being physical, sensual beings.
Which I think is pretty damn special.
PS If you liked this post, here’s another about earth and pentacles and a sense of ‘groundedness’.
I’m a 30-something writer, artist, tarot reader, and perpetual explorer of the space between thought, feeling, and action.
I believe that spirituality and ritual are for everybody. I’m about the journey, in all of its messy, non-linear, chaotic iterations. I am excited by anticapitalist business and living with my whole entire self present. I use tarot cards to bring forth hidden truth, and ritual to affirm my commitment, over and over, to my ever-shifting path.