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The Meaning of
the "Two of Pentacles" Tarot Card

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

The Meaning of the "Two of Pentacles"
Tarot Card

The Symbolism of the Two of Pentacles

The Two of Pentacles card shows us a jester juggling two pentacles within a ribbon which is twisted into an infinity symbol.

The stance of the jester is off-balance. His whole body tilts in the opposite direction from the infinity symbol in his hands.

In the distance, ships are in danger of capsizing on stormy seas, despite the clear skies overhead.

The whole picture is one of uncontrolled, unbalanced motion. Rolling back and forth. And yet, as the infinity symbol implies, the jester can keep this up indefinitely.

NOTE: Because Pentacles are associated with the element Earth, it's rare for a Pentacles card to feature water-imagery as prominently as this one does. In this case the stormy seas in the background are not intended to associate the card with water, but to illustrate the imbalance and chaos of the scene.

How to Interpret the Two of Pentacles

The Two of Pentacles is a mixed message card: On the one hand, it indicates rough seas and turblence. As we see in the illustration of the jester, his juggling looks chaotic and imbalanced.

While that setup might look like a recipe for disaster, the jester's infinity symbol indicates that he can actually perform his act forever. What we're really looking at is mastery, and the smooth execution of complicated tasks in a difficult environment.

The Two of Pentacles is a reminder that skill and focus can overcome complex challenges.

The Two of Pentacles indicates a time of chaos, multiple priorities and conflicting responsibilities — but the card also has a positive message: You can pull this off, somehow. The Two of Pentacles is a reminder that skill and focus can overcome complex challenges.

The skill of the jester is that he makes the impossible actually work. Just when it looks like things are about to fall apart, he keeps things going.

The card reminds us to look at setbacks as mere challenges. Challenges that can be overcome.

The Two of Pentacles is a somewhat positive card. It doesn't paint a rosy picture of success. But it does suggest competence and grace under pressure. Those are two powerful ingredients for success down the road.

The Two of Pentacles Inverted

The reversed Two of Pentacles reminds us to find our balance.

Perhaps too much of a juggling act is taking place in one way or another. We live in a multi-tasking world of conflicting expectations, and most of us have more commitments than we have time.

When the Two of Pentacles appears inverted in a reading, it's often a reminder to find stability first before making a decision. It may also herald increased instability on the horizon.

We are reminded to find harmony by centering our outlook and walking the middle path of balance and moderation.

In many ways, the reversed Two of Pentacles parallels the Buddhist idea of "walking the middle path". The card may be indicating an accidental shift towards one extreme or another somewhere. We are reminded to find harmony by centering our outlook and walking the middle path of balance and moderation.

Another meaning of the Two of Pentacles is that the infinite juggling act is wearing something down. Someone or something — or maybe you — just might need a break.

Common Symbols Found On the Two of Pentacles Card

Tarot cards often use a language of symbols to communicate additional hints about each card. The Two of Pentacles includes at least four 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 Two of Pentacles card are:

  • Water

    Water symbolism appears on the Two of Pentacles card:

    In Tarot symbolism, water appears in multiple forms — ranging from secluded pools, to winding rivers and streams, to wide seas and oceans. Although each one of these representations of water may imply a more specified meaning, water in all situations symbolizes nourishment, emotion and our intuitive nature. In the Tarot deck, water is more commonly found in the Minor Arcana, and is more often (but not always) linked to Cups cards.

    Read more about the symbolism of "Water" in Tarot  

  • Boats and Ships

    Boats and ships symbolism appears on the Two of Pentacles card:

    Throughout history, boats symbolize not just safe-passage over water, but also adventure, commercial ventures and risks taken for the sake of profit. In the imagery of Tarot cards, boats pictured in the background typically suggest a risk-taken or something being attempted.

    Read more about the symbolism of "Boats and Ships" in Tarot  

  • Turbulent Water

    Turbulent water symbolism appears on the Two of Pentacles card:

    While all rivers, pools and seas according to Tarot symbology represent creativity, emotion, or a connection to the spiritual, the presence of turbulent water in Tarot indicates an physical, emotional or psychic disturbance. Another way to look at turbulent water, is that it's unsettling and chaotic — requiring skill to cross successfully.

    NOTE: The turbulent water in the background of the Two of Pentacles card indicates conflicting ideas and turbulent emotions. While the background symbolizes conflict, the infinity symbol made by the jester's pentacles in the foreground indicates an ability to masterfully harmonize conflicting emotions. In other words: In an ocean of emotional disturbance, a trick of impressive harmony is achieved.

    Read more about the symbolism of "Turbulent Water" in Tarot  

  • Infinity Symbols

    Infinity symbols symbolism appears on the Two of Pentacles card:

    In the most general sense, infinity symbols indicate ability without limits. These symbols remind us of the boundless promise inside each of us — and our limitless capacity to exercise willpower over the physical universe. At a simpler level, infinity symbols remind us to take a hard look at anything which seems impossible. They encourage us to step up and to try, even when everyday logic may be trying to convince us that victory is beyond our physical capacity or means.

    NOTE: Here, the infinity symbol also implies that despite the chaos of the turbulent water in the background, the jester can keep his balance indefinitely.

    Read more about the symbolism of "Infinity Symbols" in Tarot  

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