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The Meaning of
the "King of Pentacles" Tarot Card

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

The Meaning of the "King of Pentacles "
Tarot Card

The Symbolism of the King of Pentacles

The King of Pentacles is one of the most ornate cards in the tarot deck. In the center of the card we see the King perched on a lavish throne, surrounded by vines, leafy plants and flowers.

His throne is adorned with bulls, linking him with the zodiac symbol of Taurus.

In his right hand he holds a scepter capped with a golden sphere, the symbol of his power. His other hand rests atop a large pentacle coin which sits propped up on his lap. It is the symbol of his material wealth.

...a large pentacle coin sits propped up on his lap. It is the symbol of his material wealth...

The King's crown is adorned with roses, signifying vitality and energy. His richly adorned robes are covered with a pattern of red grapes symbolizing fertility, refinement and transformation.

In the distance we see the King's castle, the ultimate representation of his lifetime of hard work and success.

For all of the detail in the card, the King's attention seems focused only on the pentacle in his lap, signifying his unwavering lifelong focus on wealth and material pursuits.

NOTE: What is that thing underneath the King of Pentacles' left foot? The answer is: Nobody knows for sure. It's a question that's still actively debated in the tarot world. Some see an armadillo. Some see a piece of armor. Others see another bull's head. For others still, it's a tortoise. We like the tortoise idea as it contrasts nicely with the hare in the same position on the Queen of Pentacles card. Also, tortoises are Earth creatures and symbolize wisdom — so that explanation seems to work well. The debate rages on though, and we don't expect it to be settled anytime soon. You'll have to decide for yourself.

How to Interpret the King of Pentacles

As with the other court cards in the Tarot, the King of Pentacles may sometimes represent an actual person when the card comes up in a reading.

The King of Pentacles is a man who has dedicated his life to the acquisition of material wealth. Throughout his years he focused every ounce of his energy on reaching this point of opulence and prestige.

Having arived at his lofty station, the King now assists many others with his wisdom and wealth; He is generous with his possessions, protecting his people and his principles at all times.

When the King of Pentacles appears in a tarot spread it typically references a financial success of some kind. It could herald a successful business or a successful investment decision, but it could also reference something minor like a good purchase or a clever savings of some kind.

Aside from issues of business, money and personal wealth management, the card may also indicate self-discipline, a defense of family or friends, or a sharing of wisdom.

Despite the obvious display of opulence and wealth, the card seldom indicates flashy purchases or careless spending.

Despite the obvious display of opulence and wealth, the card seldom indicates flashy purchases or careless spending. Remember: The King of Pentacles is wealthy because of his caution and responsible financial decision-making.

The apearance of the card is a good sign when it comes to anything business-related, and is a very positive card overall. It has overtones of family, generational wealth, teaching and charity.

The King of Pentacles Inverted

The reversed King of Pentacles card typically represents a mismanagement of wealth and time: Someone who has squandered their wealth, invested poorly or missed an important financial opportunity of some kind.

On a simpler level, the card may also refer to anyone who is skimping on their obligations; These obligations could include anything from school work, to errands to taking care of family members.

Perhaps the pursuit of money has caused someone to miss the forest for the trees?

Another possible meaning of the inverted King of Pentacles, is a misprioritization of money and wealth in one's life: Perhaps the pursuit of money has caused someone to miss the forest for the trees?

The point of wealth is to improve one's happiness, wisdom, family-fortune and life-experiences. If the pursuit of money becomes detrimental to those things, something may have gone off course.

Lastly, the reversed King of Pentacles may represent someone who is being stingy with their wealth, not making necessary purchases, not making charitable donations and not helping their family.

When the Kng of Pentacles comes up in a reversed position, it's generally a negative card. While it might not herald a financial loss, it does typically indicate a poor relationship with money of some kind.

Common Symbols Found On the King of Pentacles Card

Tarot cards often use a symbolic or iconographic language to illustrate hints about the cards. The King of Pentacles contains at least four well-known, repeating Tarot symbols. Each of these symbols can add greater dimensions of meaning to the card.

The symbols which appear on the King of Pentacles card are:

  • Fruits and Vegetables

    Fruits and vegetables symbolism appears on the King of Pentacles card:

    While a few specific fruits have their own individual interpretations in Tarot (Pomegranates and apples, for example), fruits and vegetables in a broad sense point to material wealth, fertility or a time of plenty. Fruits and vegetables are also commonly associated with positive emotions and a job well done.

    Read more about the symbolism of "Fruits and Vegetables" in Tarot  

  • Garlands

    Garlands symbolism appears on the King of Pentacles card:

    The imagery of garlands and rings of flowers appears often on many cards of the classic Rider Waite Tarot deck. Garlands of leaves and flowers indicate happiness, plenty and and the power of the natural world. In some cases, the presence of garlands may also indicate a ceremony or some form of official recognition.

    Read more about the symbolism of "Garlands" in Tarot  

  • Roses

    Roses symbolism appears on the King of Pentacles card:

    Roses are among of the most important repeating symbols in the classic Rider-Waite Tarot deck. What can sometimes several different varieties of roses depicted on different cards. Each of these varieties and colors carries a distinct meaning.

    Read more about the symbolism of "Roses" in Tarot  

  • Castles

    Castles symbolism appears on the King of Pentacles card:

    Castles symbolize a combination of wealth, safety and strength. They suggest an upper level of worldly achievements — representing familial dynasties and financial security. Castles also symbolize a well-defended safe haven from opposing forces and a stable foundation from which to grow, plan and to seek success.

    Read more about the symbolism of "Castles" in Tarot  

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