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The Meaning of
the "Three of Pentacles" Tarot Card

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

The Meaning of the "Three of Pentacles"
Tarot Card

The Symbolism of the Three of Pentacles

On the Three of Pentacles card we see a sculptor hard at work in a church or cathedral. His work draws approving looks from a priest and an architect.

Wearing a traditional stonemason's apron, the young male sculptor stands on a simple wooden bench, holding a hammer in his right hand. The female architect wears a shawl which is decorated with a floral pattern. She holds her architecural plans in her left hand and seems to be conferring with the priest.

The three creators work productively together, sharing ideas, observations and direction.

Mirroring the three workers are three carefully crafted pentacles which adorn the archway above their heads. A rose is carved at the top of the middle pillar just below the pentacles.

NOTE: The rose symbol is used repeatedly throughout the tarot deck and has different meanings in different places. Often the color of the rose indicates its unique meaning. Here, the five-petaled rose with an embedded cross set between the arches, is a reference to the early-17th century Rosicrucian order. The influential Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn which produced the original Rider-Waite tarot deck, borrowed heavily from Rosicrucian imagery and mysticism. The five petals of this rose represent the classical elements of Earth, Air, Fire and Water — plus a fifth, upward pointing petal representing human spirit which crowns the classical elements.

How to Interpret the Three of Pentacles

The Three of Pentacles is the team card of the tarot deck.

Collaboration, planning, teamwork and constructive cooperation are all represented in the Three of Pentacles card. As the trio of cathedral workers illustrates, each team member contributes their own labor, unique skills and insights to the task at hand.

The Three of Pentacles references a dynamic of perfect collaboration.

The Three of Pentacles references a dynamic of perfect collaboration.

We all know what it's like to work on a team that just clicks. Every team-member not only carries their own weight, but improves the work of those around them. New synergies emerge and work becomes faster, easier and more efficient.

When the Three of Pentacles appears in a tarot spread it can either herald a time of smooth cooperation and productivity, or it can gently suggest that better cooperation is going to be required if you're going to get anywhere.

Or, in the very simplest sense, the Three of Pentacles may sometimes signify a job well done.

The Three of Pentacles is a positive card with overtones of aristry, communication, organization, and creative expertise.

The Three of Pentacles Inverted

The Three of Pentacles reversed typically indicates a lack of cooperation or problems facing a team or partnership.

When teams and partnerships experience collaboration problems there are many possible causes: There may have been a lack of planning at the outset, or a lack of proper communication. There may be interpersonal issues or conflicting objectives.

The appearance of the reversed Three of Pentacles suggests that cooperation is faltering somehow.

Whatever the reasons behind the friction represented here, the appearance of the reversed Three of Pentacles suggests that cooperation is faltering somehow.

The solution to collaboration issues is often better communication. Other issues can often be solved by creating a constructive atmosphere of inclusivity.

An alternative interpretation of the inverted Three of Pentacles is that solo work is indicated. Sometimes 'going it alone' is the best way to shepherd your ideas forward, and make them a reality.

Generally speaking, the reversed Three of Pentacles is a negative card. It indicates trouble on a team and potential setbacks due to interpersonal issues. In most cases these issues are merely challenges to overcome and not major setbacks.

Common Symbols Found On the Three of Pentacles Card

Tarot cards often use a symbolic or iconographic language to illustrate additional information about each card. The Three of Pentacles makes use of at least two well-known, repeating Tarot symbols. Each of these common symbols can add greater layers of meaning to the card.

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

  • Roses

    Roses symbolism appears on the Three of Pentacles card:

    Roses are some of the most important repeating symbols in the iconic Rider-Waite Tarot deck. What can sometimes be confusing about interpreting roses different types of roses depicted on different cards. Each of these varieties and colors can carry a distinct meaning.

    NOTE: On the 3 of Pentacles Tarot card, the 5-petaled rose with an embedded cross is a reference to the well-known rose of the early Freemasons and of the Rosicrucians from the 1600's. It represents the strength of spirit above all other natural forces.

    Read more about the symbolism of "Roses" in Tarot  

  • Hand Tools

    Hand tools symbolism appears on the Three of Pentacles card:

    The symbolism of hand-tools in the Tarot deck is tightly linked to the positive virtues of hard work and self-reliance. With the use of tools, we make ourselves more skillful and productive — and ultimately happier.

    Read more about the symbolism of "Hand Tools" in Tarot  

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