10 Lessons from the Minor Arcana: The Suit of Pentacles

 10 Lessons from the Minor Arcana: the Suit of Pentacles and Pentacles Tarot Cheatsheet!

This post is part of a blog post series exploring the tarot card meanings through storytelling. 

For the major arcana, the story is told from the point of view of the Fool who is undertaking his journey through the arcana. The rest of the posts are from the point of view of another character who has heard about the Fool's Journey and goes on a journey of her own.

If you've already read the previous posts in this series you'll know that we've already completed our fictional Fool's Journey through the major arcana and we're continuing our journey through the land of tarot with a new protagonist, the Traveller. 

By now, we've already journeyed through the kingdoms of wands, cups, and swords!

Today, Traveller will explore the Kingdom of Pentacles! 

Posts in the series include:

If this is your first time here, start at the beginning. The major arcana, minor arcana, and court cards can also be read as stand-alone sections as well but for maximum benefit I recommend going in order.

Otherwise, welcome back and let's continue with our journey!

Keep reading to get your FREE Tarot Cheatsheets!


Pentacles represents the physical and the material things in life. This is a kingdom of full of wealthy merchants, skilled artisans, and hard working labourers. Pentacles focuses on the solid, practical, every day bits of life.

Pentacles and the Element of Earth

First up,let's take a minute to go over the elemental energy of the suit of pentacles.

The four suits and major arcana in tarot correspond to five elements: earth, air, fire, water, and spirit. The major arcana represents the element of spirit, and larger, universal life forces. Last time we talked about how wands is related to the element of fire, cups is related to water, and swords to air.

Pentacles represents the element of earth. What are some qualities you can think of when you think of the earth element? What do you associate earth with?

I associate earth with the following qualities:

  • Solid foundations

  • Abundance

  • Physicality

  • Nurturing

  • Grounded

If wands is spirit, cups is emotions, and swords is mind. What is pentacles? Body, of course!

Pentacles represents the physical and the material things in life. If you combined that with the list of qualities I mentioned above, what kind of place would the Kingdom of Pentacles be? What about the people and culture?

Pentacles people are:

  • Patient

  • Grounded

  • Practical

  • Work hard for success

  • Tend to be materialistic

This is a kingdom of full of wealthy merchants, skilled artisans, and hard working labourers. Their focus as a culture is not on passions, intellectual pursuits, nor emotions and dreams. They focus on the solid, practical, every day bits of life.

If a merchant from the Kingdom of Pentacles were to meet a poet from Cups he would say: your dreams are all well and good but money puts food on the table.

Now that we've set the scene a little bit, let's dive back in to the story!

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Ace of Pentacles


Lesson of the Ace of Pentacles

Accept that you are worthy of prosperity and abundance, and in doing so, attract it into your life.

 Ace of Pentacles Tarot Card Meaning

It had only been a few days since the Battle of the 10 Swords, as they're now calling it but it somehow didn't feel right to remain for too long. You felt emotionally drained after your challenging journey through the Swords Kingdom. 

It was time to leave, so you decided to make your way down the mountain and head towards the peaceful, verdant, and forested Kingdom of Pentacles. 

You were now on the outer edges of the Forest of Pentacles, the forest at the base of the Mountain of Swords that divided the two kingdoms. 

You walked down a solid stone pathway that was lined on either side by a field of blooming flowers and a canopy of trees. You listened to the sound of leaves rustling in the wind and birds chirping. 

You didn't know how much you needed the healing power of nature until this moment. You took a deep breath, feeling positive about the future.

A moment later, wind rushed through the trees and you saw a gold coin, etched with a pentacle, slowly materialise in front of you. Ah, yes, this was the Guardian of the Kingdom of Pentacles. You had met enough of them by now to expect this.

"Welcome to the Kingdom of Pentacles, traveller. I have been expecting you" said a very gracious, and mature sounding female voice. "You look like you've been through hell. That Swords Guardian is not a very good host, is he? Well, no matter, I'm here now" she said in a calming voice.

You didn't know why but you somehow felt safe and comforted in her presence. "I am honoured, Guardian" you said.

"Let's get down to business shall we?" she began. "I am prosperity, I am abundance, I am wealth and I offer you the chance of material success, security, and physical health but only if you open your heart to receive it" she said.

You had heard that the Pentacles Kingdom was a very wealthy one full of hard working people. You looked forward to the chance to learn from them.

"Traveller, do you accept my offer? Will you declare yourself worthy of abundance?" she asked again, patiently.

"Yes! I accept!" you exclaimed and the instant you did so, the pentacle disappeared. You felt a coin on your palm and looked down. There it was, the pentacle, your key to the kingdom.

Two of Pentacles


Lesson of the Two of Pentacles

The key to balancing multiple priorities is the ability to be flexible and go with the flow.

 Two of Pentacles Tarot Card Meaning

You didn't have to travel far to encounter people. Not far from the edges of the forest was a small crowd of people gathered around the bade of two tall trees. They were talking excitedly and some were pointing up at the treetop. 

You looked up to see what they were gathered here to see and gaped in astonishment. There was a young man, a street entertainer, who was walking a tightrope strung between two trees! Not to mention, he was juggling two pentacles! The boy was sure to fall!

You ran towards the crowd and looked up, anxiously. You were waiting for the boy to wobble, to drop the pentacles, and to fall to his death.

You waited and you waited, but it never happened. The boy calmly, and skilfully  juggled the two pentacles all the while being able to remain perfectly balanced on the tightrope. Amazing! 

The boy reached the other tree and climbed down. The crowd cheered and you clapped heartily. What a talented young man! 

He placed his hat on the ground and, one by one, people filled it with coin. The boy was standing next to his hat looking rather pleased with himself. 

You put a coin in his hat and walked up to him. "Wow! That was some feat!" you said.

"Thank you" he said, with a smile. "You look different, you're not from here are you?"

"No, I'm a traveller and I'm here to learn about life in this kingdom" you said. 

"I thought so" he said, nodding to himself. 

"Can I ask you a question?"

"Sure!" he said.

"What's your secret? How it is that you were able to juggle those two pentacles and remain balanced on the tightrope? I was worried that you would fall! I was almost sure of it in fact" you said.

He grinned. "Most people are. That's what makes it so exciting" he began. "But to answer your question, it's very simple really. Whether it's something physical like two pentacles or something intangible like two projects, priorities, or options, the principle is the same. You must remain completely flexible and maintain your balance"

You nodded. "Wise words"

"The moment you lose your balance, you lose mastery over your situation, and inevitably fall" he said.

Three of Pentacles


Lesson of the Three of Pentacles

Align your skills with that of others to create magic through the power of creative collaboration

 Three of Pentacles Tarot Card Meaning

You left the entertainer as he was about to start his next performance and made your way into the nearest town, a bustling place full of busy vendors, artisans, and merchants. 

You passed by the cathedral sitting in the centre of town. From what you gathered from the locals, this cathedral has been under construction for fifteen years. The idea came from the prior of the Three Pentacles Priory and he'd been able to gather the best artisans in the land to work on it.

You entered the cathedral and saw one such artisan working hard on the state of an angel, situated near three pentacles, the symbol of the priory. Nearby was a monk in white robes and a man dressed in a rich tunic giving him instructions.

It was exquisite. You marvelled as you looked around. The stone work was simply beautiful and the whole cathedral seemed perfectly proportioned. It was designed in such as way as to place the focus on the statue of the angel in the front.

You just had to compliment the people behind this on their work. You walked up to the front of the cathedral. "I'm sorry to interrupt, but I must tell you how much I admire the work you have done here. This cathedral is the most magnificent thing I have ever seen!"

The monk looked surprised but pleased. "Thank you very much for you kind words, traveller. I am the prior here and although it was my vision, I could not have done it without these two" he said pointing to the artisan and the man in the tunic.

"I'm the master architect here and this is my brother, the master mason" said the man in the tunic, pointing towards the artisan. The mason briefly stopped his work to greet you, and then continued. 

"Amazing!" you exclaimed. "You three have pooled together your talents to create something truly beautiful"

The prior smiled. "You are too kind. I would like to think that it was the gods who brought us together in order for us to complete this cathedral in their name" said the prior. 

"And you have done a great work, indeed" you said. 

You didn't stay long. You didn't want to distract them from their work for too long so you thanked them for their time and left soon after.

Four of Pentacles


Lesson of the Four of Pentacles

Grow your wealth but don’t lose sight of what’s truly important along the way.

 Four of Pentacles Tarot Card Meaning

It was afternoon and the sun shone brightly above. You had just finished your lunch and you were now walking, intending to spend the rest of the day exploring the city. 

There was a strange building, up ahead, like a little keep. It didn't look like it was a government building and it wasn't big enough to be a real fortification. Curious, you came closer.

You knocked on the door. You waited for a long while and when there was no response you started to wonder if the place was abandoned. Should I go in?

You pushed the door and it swung open easily. You went in. The place was filled with the trappings of wealth. There were expensive paintings and furniture, and the whole place was covered in gold. But it felt cold. Not at all like a home.

You explored each level of this little fortress and found no signs of a family living here. Just piles and piles of wealth. Very strange.

On the top level you found a narrow stone staircase going up to the roof. You ascended the stairs and on the roof you saw a sour looking old man, sitting on a stone chair. He was clinging to a large pentacle very tightly. There were two further pentacles under his feet and one sitting on top of his head. Gods, that looks heavy. 

He scowled at you. "Go away, thief! This is mine, all mine!" he said.

"Calm down, sir. I'm no thief. I'm a traveller and I was just concerned when it didn't seem like anyone was living here. I did not mean to intrude upon you"

"Liar! You've been sent by my rivals to kill me and take all my money! My family tried to do the same and so I kicked them out. I'll have you know that I spent my whole life gathering this wealth and I will be damned if I let you take it from me!" he said, clinging to his pentacle until his knuckles went white.

You were shocked by the sheer venom in his voice and you felt pity. This man's every thought and emotion seemed to be dominated by greed. He pushed his own family away for the sake of money. You shook your head sadly. 

"Alright, I'll leave" you said. "But heed my words old man. You may have gathered all this wealth but you can't take it with you when you're dead"

"I will! I will find a way!" he yelled. You ignored him and walked away.

Five of Pentacles


Lesson of the Five of Pentacles

We all face hardships in our lives and it is during those times that we realise what we’re truly made of.

 Five of Pentacles Tarot Card Meaning

It was getting dark now and there were few people out on the streets. After spending the whole day exploring the city you decided that now was a good time to make your way back to the inn you were staying at and turn in for the night.

There was a chill wind and you pulled your cloak tight around your body. Not much farther left to go. The inn was just across the square from the cathedral. After a couple of minutes of walking you saw it up ahead. There was such an inviting warm glow coming from inside the cathedral, almost calling you to go in. But of course, the doors were closed for the night.

Nevertheless you walked towards the glowing window as if pulled by an unseen force. As you got closer you saw two people huddled beneath a window depicting five pentacles. Your heart sank at the sight of these poor folk. 

There was a one-legged man dressed in a patchwork of rags. He wore a patch over his eye and leaned on his walking stick for support. He looked to be a war veteran judging by his wounds.

Next to him, there was an older, rather ill looking, lady huddled in the corner. His mother perhaps? The two of them shivered in the cold.

You walked towards them. "How long have you been out here? Looks like it's going to be a cold night tonight" you said.

The man and woman looked up at you with a forlorn expression. It was the man who spoke first. "We have nowhere to go ma'am" he began. "We've been out here for days. Couldn't pay rent you see. Our landlord, the owner of the Four Pentacles Company, evicted mother and I" he said.

Wait. Four Pentacles Company? Was this the same horrible fellow you met earlier in the day? He evicted a poor family out of their home? You felt your blood start to boil at the thought. You had to do something to help them!

"I'm so sorry to hear that! I want to help. I'm staying at that in across the square" you pointed towards it. "I'd like to pay for a room for the both of you for tonight, at my expense. It's so cold out here and I don't want you to freeze"

The man's eyes brightened and his mother gave you a toothless smile. "We thank you for your very kind offer, ma'am, you have brightened our day, truly" said the old woman. "But, I'm afraid we'll have to turn down your offer" she said.

Turn it down? "But surely you'll freeze!"

The man smiled and shook his head. "We can't impose, and besides, as long as we're together we'll be alright. We'll get through this time of hardship. Every morning I go out looking for work. This situation will be temporary, I'm certain of it. I used to work as a clerk before I got injured"

You smiled. Their hardiness and optimism despite their circumstances warmed your heart. You took off your cloak. "Here, take my cloak. You can use it to keep yourselves warm" 

The man took your cloak. "Thank you very much! I'll make sure to leave it at the inn in the morning" 

You shook your head. "Keep it" you said. "I can buy another and you need it more than I" you said. The beggars thanked you profusely and you made your way to your lodgings.

DOWNLOAD THE FREE TAROT CHEATSHEETS!

If you're having trouble remembering the card meanings and want a quick reference to look them up when you need to, download my free printable cheatsheets for the majors, all four suits, and the court cards to help you learn!

Six of Pentacles


Lesson of the Six of Pentacles

Give to others wholeheartedly before you expect to receive the same yourself.

 Six of Pentacles Tarot Card Meaning

The next morning you were having your breakfast in the inn when you heard a commotion outside. You stopped a passing waitress. 

"Excuse me, what's going on out there? Do you know?" you asked.

The woman smiled and nodded. "Yes! Of course! That'll be Lord Six Pentacles"

"Lord Six Pentacles?"

"Yes. At the end of the month, every single month, he gives out alms to the poor. He's such a kind soul, bless his heart. And handsome too!" she blushed. "Not at all like that horrible Mr. Four Pentacles"

"No, indeed? Well, then I must go have a look for myself! Thank you!" you said and stood up. 

You walked out of the inn and saw a gathering of poor folk crowding around a richly dressed man wearing a fine feathered hat. He held a scale in one hand and was using it to weigh out the pentacles he gave out. Everyone who received a pentacle walked away with a huge smile.

The two beggars from last night were there too! 

"I'm sorry!" said the lord. "I've given out all my pentacles for today. The rest of you will have to come back next month" he said. People started to walk away, deflated. Your two beggar friends looked very disappointed.

"Excuse me! My lord!" You ran towards him.

"Yes?" he said, turning towards you. "You don't look as if you are in need of alms" he said.

You shook your head. "No, I am not. I'm a traveller in these parts and I just wanted to tell you how much I really admire what you're doing here" you said.

The lord gave you a warm smile. "It's nothing" he said. "I have so much and they so little. It brings me joy to be able to give back to the community"

"You are a a wonderful person, truly" you said, returning his smile. You spotted the two beggars starting to walk away from the corner of your eye. "Might I ask you a favour? I know it's terribly forward of me but you seem like such a generous person" you said.

"What is it?" he said. 

"Just give me a moment" you said. You called out to the beggars are gestured for them to approach. "I met these two good folk last night. They've been evicted by the owner of the Four Pentacles Company from their home. They have no where to go. Can you help them?"

The Lord of Six Pentacles looked at them with astonishment and pity. "Four Pentacles evicted you?" he said to the beggars.

"Yes, my lord" said the man.

"Well, that's terrible! Even so, I've given out all my pentacles for today. They will have to come back next month"

You shook your head. "No, that's not the favour I want to ask you. I'd like to ask you if you had a position for this man. A position of employment" you said.

The man's face brightened. "That's right!" You nodded at him to tell his story. "I used to work as a clerk before I got my injuries during the last war" he began. "I was up for promotion before I was drafted. I'm a very hard worker and I always got good feedback from my employers. I even have a reference!" he said. He took a letter out of his pocket and offered it to the lord.

Lord Six Pentacles shook his head, smiled, and placed a hand on the beggar's shoulder. "That will not be necessary, my good man. I would be very happy to hire you as my clerk" he said. 

You felt so happy to see that beggar gain employment. Him and his mother would no longer need to sleep on the streets and the lord would be a good employer, you were sure of it. He truly was a very generous and open-hearted man.

Seven of Pentacles


Lesson of the Seven of Pentacles

Sometimes you need to have a little patience and take a moment to reflect before you can enjoy the fruits of your labour.

 Seven of Pentacles Tarot Card Meaning

It was early afternoon now. You had wandered off to the edge of town. This area was filled with farms providing the crops that fed the people of the city. You wandered your way into one such farm now.

Tall vines flanked you on either side and a few feet in front of you was a man resting on his shovel, carefully examining his crop. 

"Hello!" you called out. He looked up at you. "I'm so sorry for the intrusion. I'm a traveller and I was just passing through the area. I saw your wonderful tall crop and couldn't help but explore. I hope you don't mind" you said.

The farmer smiled and shook his head. "No, it's no bother. I've done all the hard work already, anyways. I'm just examining the health of my crop"

"And? What have you determined?" you asked.

"Looks well enough" he said. "I just to keep taking good care of them and I'm sure come harvest time, we will get a great yield"

"Harvest is a couple of months away yet if I'm not mistaken" you said.

The farmer nodded. "Yes, that's right. But it's no bother. I'm used to this and I enjoy tending to my plants every day. I use the time to reflect. Anyway, just need a bit of patience that's all" he said. 

"That's true, I suppose" you said. "Well, I shan't keep you any longer. Thank you for your time" You bid the farmer farewell, and left him to his work.

Eight of Pentacles


Lesson of the Eight of Pentacles

Work hard, hone your skills, and find pleasure in an honest day’s work.

 Eight of Pentacles Tarot Card Meaning

You left the farm behind and started to make your way back to the city. The sun rose high in the sky, bathing the green hills with a soft golden light. Not far from the farm was a small workshop. 

Curious, you walked towards it and looked up at the sign. 'Eight Pentacles Mint' it said. Interesting, you had never seen a minter's workshop before. This must be one of the places that made the golden pentacles that this kingdom was famous for. 

You opened the wooden door and as you did so, the doorbell rang. You waited for a few minutes by the counter, examining the pentacles displayed here, but no one came. 

"My master's out!" called out a boy's voice from the back. "Please come back next time"

You followed the voice to the back of the shop and saw a young boy working hard on a pentacle. You watched him silently for a few moments, admiring his work. 

He was so engaged with the pentacle that he hardy noticed you. Instead, he made careful measurements and worked away at each pentacle. On the wall behind him, was a whole bunch of pentacles and another one on his desk. These must be the one's he's already produced.

"Are you the apprentice here?" you said. The boy carefully set down his tools and looked up at you. "Yes, I am. My master's out, as I told you. You're not supposed to be back here" he said.

"I'm so sorry to intrude. I'm not looking for your master, I'm just a traveller passing through and I wanted to watch you work. You're very good at this" you said.

The boy beamed. "Thank you! I'm very proud of my work. Master says that I'm the best apprentice he's ever had! He hopes to be able to retire one day and pass the shop down to me"

"That's wonderful! He must be very proud of you" You smiled. "And are you looking forward to taking over the shop? It looks like very precise work. Aren't you worried that you'll find it tedious one day?"

The boy shook his head. "Not at all! I live for such work! Being able to produce these pentacles with skill and dedication is all I want in my life" he said with conviction.

"Well, I'm certain that you'll be a very good minter and wish you the best of luck. I'll not take up your time any further, it was lovely to meet you" you said.

"Likewise" said the boy, and immediately got back to work.

Nine of Pentacles


Lesson of the Nine of Pentacles

Don’t forget to make time for yourself and allow yourself to enjoy the finer things in life.

 Nine of Pentacles Tarot Card Meaning

You left the minter's workshop behind and continued on your way towards the city. You'd spent a little too much time out here than you intended to and it was evening now. You wondered whether you'd be able to make it back to the city centre before dark.

Perhaps you could find somewhere to stay for tonight? You looked around. There was nothing for miles around except for a very grand looking estate that looked like it would be walking distance from here.

You hoped the owners would be kind enough to let you stay for the night. It was worth a try anyway. You walked towards the estate.

It wasn't long before you found yourself in the back garden of the estate. It was wonderful here. There was a fountain in the centre and the garden was filled with rows and rows of rosebushes.

You heard a a soft female voice humming a peaceful tune. Maybe she was the owner.

You followed the voice and found a beautiful, richly dressed, young woman admiring the roses. She had a falcon sitting on her left hand and was singing to it.

She looked so happy, relaxed, and confident. You wished you had half the easy grace she seemed to possess!

You walked up to her. "Excuse me! I'm sorry to disturb you. I'm travelling through these parts. I was planning to head back to the city tonight but it seems like I will not be able to make it before dark. I was wondering if you could help" you said.

She looked at you and smiled widely. "A visitor! How wonderful! And you're a traveller too! It's been so long since we've had any visitors. I'm sure father would be delighted to have you" she said.

"So you're not the lady of the house?" you said, furrowing your brows in confusion. "Only, you seemed to be at such ease here and you carry yourself with such confidence that I assumed that this house must be yours"

"The house belongs to father but this garden is all mine. I planed all of the roses here and this place is my sanctuary" she said, gesturing proudly at all the rose bushes around here. "My falcon here is my only friend, which is why I'm so happy to be able to speak to someone new" she said with a warm smile.

"I'm very thankful for your kind words and you've done a great job here. The garden is simply beautiful" you said, returning her smile.

"Come on" she said. "I'll introduce you to the family". You followed her back to the house.

Ten of Pentacles


Lesson of the Ten of Pentacles

Share your riches with your family and enjoy your material success.

 Ten of Pentacles Tarot Card Meaning

You sat with your new friend, comfortably sipping your morning tea in front of the house. They graciously let you stay as long as you wanted.

You took a sip and looked out in front of you. Your friend's brother was standing with his wife. The two seemed to be laughing at a joke. A little way away from them was their father, the owner of this fine house. He sat with his two grandchildren resting on his lap. Their two family dogs were running around, enjoying their time outside, tails wagging. Your friend's mother had gone back into the house to ask for more tea. 

It was a very peaceful and domestic scene. From what you understood, the father was a self-made man and was now retired and enjoying the fruits of his labour.  He seemed to be truly happy in being able to share his wealth and success with his family and future generations.

The people here did not share the same emotional closeness of the family you stayed with during the end of your journey in Cups. However, this family was fiercely loyal to each other and their house. They were joined by the bonds of tradition, blood, and dynasty. 

You smiled at your new friend. You wouldn't mind staying with Ten Pentacles House a few days more before you left.

DOWNLOAD THE FREE TAROT CHEATSHEETS!

If you're having trouble remembering the card meanings and want a quick reference to look them up when you need to, download my free printable cheatsheets for the majors, all four suits, and the court cards to help you learn!

What a peaceful way to end our journey through the numbered cards of the minor arcana. As I said before, out of all four suits, cups and pentacles have the happiest endings. 

I hope you enjoyed your journey through the suit of pentacles! 

Next time, we'll close our journey through the arcana the court cards. Our protagonist will attend a royal ball and be able to meet the royals from all four suits, starting with the pentacles family!

Continue to next post >>

Tarot Card Images: Robin Wood Tarot by Robin Wood © 2002 Llewellyn Worldwide, Ltd. 2143 Wooddale Drive, Woodbury, MN 55125. All rights reserved, used by permission.