Four of Pentacles

A crowned man sits on a small throne.  A pentacle rests on his head, he grasps another one in his arms and his feet rest on two more.  A city with tall buildings sprawls behind him.

The crown and the throne show that money is on the way and that the questioner will soon have financial security.  A warning for this card is that he seems to be a little overly involved with money. As in, he LOVES his money. He’s holding that pentacle like a teddy bear and you get the feeling he’d roll around in the stuff if he could.  Try cultivating a little more spiritual outlook on life.

REVERSED:  Financial insecurity.  Money is really tight and worrying about it is dominating the questioners mind and spirit.

EXAMPLES:  Silicon Valley code writers who are 20 years old, pull in 300 K a year and are totally obsessed with their material toys.

A young executive or lawyer who’s got everything nailed down financially and is probably looking making even more money.

Three of Pentacles

A man wearing a craftsman’s apron stands upon a bench with mallet in his hand.  One man in a monk’s robes and another in a fool’s clothing watch him work and hold what appears to be an architectural plan.  A heavily carved column with three pentacles stands in the background.

This is a card about buying property, real estate or other, and urges the questioner to pay careful attention to details.  The figures in the foreground hearken back to the Major Arcana cards The Fool and The Hierophant, and represent a choice of sorts.  By all means approach the venture with the same great enthusiasm as The Fool, but listen to the advice of The Hierophant who tells you to follow the rules and check everything out carefully.

This can also indicate a person who is very much a master of his craft and will gain money and honors because of it.REVERSED:  This indicates that the questioner is over-extended in some way.  If purchasing a home it might show trouble obtaining a loan or getting through escrow.  If involved in renovations, it may show hidden problems or expenses (think cracked foundations, major plumbing problems, difficulties obtaining permits.)  Use housing inspectors to sniff out problems before buying a house. Get firm, written estimates from contractors when renovating.

EXAMPLES:  The first time home buyer who spends hundreds of hours doing on line research before making a purchase.

Someone with a lot of skills who buys a fixer upper.

Two of Pentacles

A young man in a fool’s cap seems to be dancing a jig while juggling two pentacles encircled by an eternity symbol.  In the background two ships are tossed about on huge waves.

Literally, money and/or possessions are out of control and things aren’t getting any better.  This is someone with too many responsibilities and too little resources. Like the ships behind him he is being tossed around by life and trying to keep his head above water and there seems to be no end to it.

There can be partnerships or romantic relationships that break up because the questioner doesn’t have the resources or abilities to deal with all of the things that are coming at him or her.

REVERSED:  A lot the same as when upright, but the problems may be diminishing.  The questioner may be regaining some control over life and responsibilities.EXAMPLES:  A person who is working two jobs to support his family but still can’t pay all of the bills AND his or her spouse is feeling neglected and thinking about leaving.

Being stuck in a job that won’t pay the bills and getting a little deeper in debt each month.

“Just the Tarot,” by Dan Adair, a book of basic definitions available on

Ace of Pentacles

A ghostly hand holding a glowing, golden pentacle emerges from a cloud.  Beneath it is a lush garden with a path leading through an oval shaped gate toward distant mountains.

Money is about to drop into your lap.  Financial opportunities, windfalls, new employment, promotions, inheritances.  Basically this card is all about money and abundance. Money is on the way and it may seem to appear out of nowhere.

There is also a certain element of rebirth here.  The gate is shaped very much like the birth canal, so it’s possible that the money will allow the questioner to be, “reborn,” or start over in some sense.

REVERSED:  A lot like the upright card, but the amount of money will be less.  There is also an indication of having trouble making a new financial project get started and a warning to not overspend.Examples:  Your Great Aunt Lucretia – the one you thought really hated you? – suddenly passes on and leaves you fifty thousand dollars.  

You’re going through your desk and you find an uncashed tax refund check that you had forgotten all about.

You suddenly get promoted to a higher position with much better pay and benefits and you didn’t even know you were being considered.

King of Cups

A person sits on a throne that appears to be floating on the water.  He holds a scepter in one hand and a cup in another. He wears the symbol of a fish around his neck and his feet are covered in chain mail.  The seas around him are turbulent and a fish is visible jumping out of a wave while a ship is seen sailing by behind him.

A very affectionate person but one who controls his or her emotions carefully.  Capable of staying very grounded and steady, even in the midst of turbulent emotions flowing all around him.  The chain mail beneath his cloak indicates that he may be a trifle protective of his own emotions and perhaps that allows him to remain so stable.

Reversed:  A lover or emotional partner who is not well grounded or reliable.  Perhaps even flighty or mercurial, this is not someone you can count on in a pinch.

EXAMPLES:  A lover who is caring and sensual in private but is really uncomfortable with public displays of affection.

A good friend who is always there for you if you need help but doesn’t much like discussing emotions or affections.

Queen of Cups

A blonde woman sits on a throne and sort of glares at an extremely complex vessel which we assume to be a cup of some sort.  Sea shells or gem stones are gathered at her feet and one foot is quite visibly submerged in the water. There is a cliff in the background.

This represents a sensual person who can give and love deeply.  She is probably able to be deeply emotional while remaining relatively stable and grounded.  She may have a tendency to make love more complex or complicated than it needs to be. Her sensuality may include a fairly materialistic bent and a love for the finer things in life.

Reversed:  This may be a person who has a sour attitude toward love and affection.  Perhaps a very materialistic person who prizes possessions over true affection.

EXAMPLES:  An older lover who teaches you what sex and sensuality are really all about.

Your friend who is a hopeless romantic and loves to be in love.

Knight of Cups

A fully armored knight sits astride a gentle horse.  His visor is open and he holds a cup in one hand.

A person who feels true love and affection for the questioner.  The open visor indicates that he or she approaches the relationship with eyes wide open, fully aware of all of its’ implications, and still holding a strong, steady love.  There may be some element of travel involved here, as in a long distance romance or an individual who is frequently on the road to make a living.

Reversed:  Unfaithful love, a relationship where the affections have dulled, possibly even a lover or spouse who has decided to move away.

EXAMPLES:  Your boyfriend who knows exactly how many men (and or women) you slept with in your younger,wilder days and still worships you.

Your best friend who is unfailingly kind and caring even when you’re being a real asshole.