The Meaning of
the "Ten of Pentacles" Tarot Card
Tarot Quick Info
What is the inverted meaning of
the "Ten of Pentacles"?
The Meaning of
the "Ten of Pentacles"
The Symbolism of the Ten of Pentacles
The Ten of Pentacles card is rich with symbolism.
The pentacle coins themselves are arranged in a symbolic way — drawing out the mystical "Tree of Life" pattern.
Dominating the rest of the card is a traditional scene from a noble family's life: A wealthy partriarch sits on the left wearing an ornate robe, while the family and their dogs cavort within an archway of his home.
Engraved on the archway is the partriarch's family crest — signifying generational wealth and a growing dynasty. The patriarch watches in contentment, knowing that his life of hard work has borne fruit.
Adding a possible dark touch to the card, is the small reference to the Tower card, depicted on a tapestry at the far left.
NOTE: Look closely at the the patriarch's robe on the Ten of Pentacles and you might see the ornately abstracted initials "A.W." (The "A" peaks out from under one of the left-most pentacles.) It's a long-held opinion among tarot readers that this hidden monogram represents the initials of Arthur Waite, co-creator of the world famous Rider-Waite Tarot deck. The old man even looks like dear Arthur in his greying years. Given the meaning of the Ten of Pentacles card, and the Kabbalistic arrangement of the coins, it's almost certainly where Waite would want to leave his mark. And in case you're wondering about that position on the Tree of Life where the 'A' peaks out: That position represents both majesty and free will.
How to Interpret the Ten of Pentacles
The Ten of Pentacles card references the ideas of generational wealth, inheritance and family lineage.
If the Pentacles suit generally references concepts of material wealth and business, the Ten of Pentacles is the successful end of that road. Pictured here is the culmination of a lifetime of hard work, personal growth and the accumulation of material wealth.
... the ideas of family, wealth and one's legacy somehow apply.
When the Ten of Pentacles appears in a reading, it typically means that the ideas of family, wealth and one's legacy somehow apply. It may also reference the ideas of savings, pensions or family inheritance.
In some cases the Ten of Pentacles may also reference ideas of family bonds and the ties which hold families together — particularly between generations.
It may also serve as a gentle reminder to spend more time with family, or to make sure the most important bonds in our lives remain healthy and sound.
In general, the Ten of Pentacles is a very positive card. It relates to wealth, success and the ideas of success that span beyond one's own lifetime. It also has overtones of family life, child rearing and family gatherings.
The Ten of Pentacles Inverted
The reversed Ten of Pentacles carries a few different meanings, but most often it revolves around financial savings and our preparations for the future.
For most of us, saving for the future is one of the most difficult things in life — and one of the easiest things to put off until "later".
As the Ten of Pentacles gently reminds us, later is coming, whether we like it or not.
...most often it revolves around financial savings and our preparations for the future.
The card may also be reminding us that the pursuit of wealth for its own sake is mostly shallow and unrewarding. What really matters is family, friends and the life we build for ourselves.
When the Ten of Pentacles appears upside down, it's often a message to take stock of our "big picture" plans. It's easy to live for the moment and forget about the longer term issues that shouldn't be forgotten.
Generally speaking, the Ten of Pentacles inverted is a serious card. It doesn't necessarily reference financial insecurity, credit card problems or personal debt. (Although it can.) Most often it reminds us to think about the big picture of financial planning and our future — but not in a strictly financial context, more in a context of what's really important to us.
Common Symbols Found On the Ten of Pentacles Card
Tarot cards often use a symbolic or iconographic language to convey hints about how the card should be interpreted. The Ten of Pentacles contains at least four well-known, repeating Tarot symbols. Each of these symbols which repeat throughout the deck can add additional levels of meaning to the card.
The symbols which appear on the Ten of Pentacles card are:
Coats of Arms
Coats of arms symbolism appears on the Ten of Pentacles card:
A family crest or coat-of-arms is a symbol of generational wealth, success and a unwavering dedication to family. A coat of arms may also symbolize obligations or the duty one has to family or an organization.
NOTE: The Ten of Pentacles interestingly has not one, but two coats-of-arms making an appearance on the card — implying the joining of two great houses, or the aligning of powerful interests. It should also be noted that both of these hang next to what appears to be a tapestry of the ill-fated tower from The Tower card. For what is otherwise a joyful and positive card, it is striking that these two crests shown on the Ten of Pentacles are shadowed by this very subtle, but rather ominous warning about overreaching.
Couples symbolism appears on the Ten of Pentacles card:
Traditional couples are a common image appearing on Tarot cards of both the Minor and Major Arcana. In Minor Arcana cards, couples are a mostly (but not exclusively) positive symbol — associated with ideas from growth and happiness, to prosperity and security.
Children symbolism appears on the Ten of Pentacles card:
In the Minor Arcana young children convey the idea of the positive ideas of innocence and purity of intent. When depicted together with their parents, children often convey the associated concepts of family, happiness and wealth.
Manor houses symbolism appears on the Ten of Pentacles card:
Manor homes appearing in the Tarot are the ultimate symbol of family dynasty and familial wealth. Manors are frequently depicted alongside another common symbol: a family-crest. Wrapped up with the idea of family wealth and dynasty we often find the related concepts of devotion to the family-unit, and of a greater personal destiny.
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