The Four of Pentacles depicts a man seated, tightly holding onto one of his pentacles. One sits atop his head another two are beneath each feet. The man”s face is neither smiling or sad, yet it conveys an image of worry or seriousness. In the background is a city or town.
Fours are all about growth and condensation. Having taken concrete steps to progress our project in the Three of Pentacles, our efforts have paid off. We are beginning to see the fruits of our labours – our efforts have condensed into a physical form (pentacles) with this card.
Yet all our material progress doesn’t seem to make us happy. The man holds one of the pentacles tightly, almost as if he is afraid of losing it. Another pentacle sits atop his head, indicating his mind is consumed by the project he has undertaken. The pentacles beneath each feet seem to suggest that he is tied down with his undertaking, that even if he walks he will still have to drag these pentacles around with him.
No wonder then that his face depicts a man worried, stressed or consumed by his undertaking!
Even social life seems far removed – the man sits in the foreground away from his village in the background where surely his friends or family must be. His project is leaving little time for socialising or family life.
This card denotes that we have achieved some level of success. We have four pentacles, we have seen a return on our investment. Our project or path is well underway. We mus remember however, that there is more to life than just one aspect of our lives. If we devote all our time and energy to one thing, we risk becoming a mirror image of it. In this card, the man looks greedy, perhaps reflective of his obsession with holding onto his pentacles.
The Four of Pentacles tells us that we are somewhat secure in our finances or project. We are successful and can provide for ourselves. Yet we must be careful that wealth or the project itself does not become an obsession with us or turn us into a controlling, greedy or possessive person.
Reversed, the Four of Pentacles warns us that we may be in danger of having our path or project consume us. We risk becoming greedy, obsessed, possessive or anti-social. Even though we are in the middle of something we must also make time for family and friends. We may be afraid to take risks, preferring instead to hoard what we have. We value wealth more than we should. Wealth becomes an end object in itself rather than as a means of providing for those we care about.
We may have become miserly in attitude, placing far more worth on holding onto what we have rather than sharing with others. This may apply equally in our relationships. We may have become so distracted with work or other dilemmas in life that we are stingy with the time we have for our partner or family.