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The Meaning of
the "Four of Pentacles" Tarot Card

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What is the inverted meaning of
the "Four of Pentacles"?

The Meaning of the "Four of Pentacles"
Tarot Card

The Symbolism of the Four of Pentacles

On first glance, the man in the Four of Pentacles card looks a bit like a king. He is seated in a position similar to the King cards of each suit.

This is no king at all. His crown is not ornate. He does not sit on a throne.

But on closer inspection we see that this is no king at all. His crown is not ornate. He does not sit on a throne, but rather what looks like a chimney atop a building. His robes are far from regal.

In the background there is no manor. No estate or castle — but a crowded business district.

This is a man who is keenly aware of where he wants to be one day. His ambitions of wealth and power are clear. But he is frugal and conservative — steadfastly focused on his future, rather than spending his earnings today.

The positioning of the coins is intentional. He has wealth on his mind, and under his feet. His clutches one pentacle coin to his chest as if afraid that it will slip from his grasp.

This is not a man who throws his wealth around lavishly. He is controlling his desires and saving responsibly to attain his dreams later in life.

How to Interpret the Four of Pentacles

There are two common interpretations of the Four of Pentacles tarot card.

The first suggests a conservative approach to money: Dreams can be attained only if we exercise vigilant responsibility and control of our wealth. To spend frivolously today, is to let tomorrow's dreams slip from our grasp.

At the same time, we must be willing to acknowledge that a conservative approach to wealth will likely mean a restricted lifestyle, and a postponement of life's pleasures.

The Four of Pentacles may also serve as a reminder in some cases, that to clutch too tightly to money today may mean missing out on life.

The would-be King pictured on the Four of Pentacles is seated alone. Seemingly, far away from others. The suggestion here is that too much of a conservative approach may lead to missing out on much that life has to offer.

The Four of Pentacles asks us to consider how we manage our earnings.

Ultimately, the Four of Pentacles asks us to consider how we manage our earnings. Delayed gratification and conservative approaches to money have both positive and negative effects.

Wealth preservation is indeed a positive mindset. But being stingy is a step too far.

The Four of Pentacles card carries subtle warnings about the choices we make, and reminds us that wealth and lifestyle emerge from the balance we strike between spending and saving over the long term.

The Four of Pentacles Inverted

The reversed Four of Pentacles suggests that someone's relationship with money has gone wrong in some way.

Perhaps someone is spending beyond their means. Perhaps someone is misusing money to create a false image of themselves. Perhaps someone is being overly stingy and hoarding money while missing out on life's experiences.

When the inverted Four of Pentacles comes up in a tarot reading, it indicates that someone's relationship with money is unhealthy in some way and needs re-evaluation.

The card often serves as a gentle reminder that only love and selflessness bring lasting happiness.

The card often serves as a gentle reminder that only love and selflessness bring lasting happiness. The extremes of selfishness and spending beyond one's means only ever lead to unhappiness.

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