When difficulty visits us, perhaps we will see more clearly that we can look after each other, and that, if we have little, we can be more generous than we were when we thought we had a lot.
Helping each other might be more fun than guarding our loot.
John Tarrant, with thanks to the divine Cate Kerr, who shared this essay on Friday
This week’s Full Moon arrives while the Sun is in the sign of Taurus. Therefore, Lady Luna is in the opposite sign of the zodiac – deep, passionate Scorpio. What an interesting juxtaposition of both we see in this week’s card.
For surely this can be construed as a blending of Taurus’ focus on stability and abundance, combined with Scorpionic intensity and ambition. Say hello to the Four of Pentacles.
In Tarot numerology, the fours are about steadiness, grounding, and consolidation.
And the Pentacles are Earth-ruled matters, like finances, work, health, and all to do with the physical, material world. Thus, in the money- and practical reality-focused energy of Pentacles, this is like grounding groundedness. Such a double dose of stability borders on petrification.
Here we have a crowned figure gazing out at us with a rather world-weary expression. He holds up one Pentacle covering his heart, his feet rest on two more, and the fourth is balanced in a rather unlikely position on his golden crown. Arthur Waite merely comments, “He holds to that which he has.”
Unlike last month’s sunny Page of Pentacles, who holds his coin lightly, barely touching it with his fingertips, this man (who is definitely not the King of Pentacles!), clenches his like a shield. Who has crowned him? Does he fear his wealth will be taken away?
If you work with the chakras, you see right away that his Sahasrara (crown chakra) is covered by a Pentacle, as is his Anahata (heart) — both centers of enormous importance for our connection to the Divine. In addition, his connection to the Earth is insulated by more Pentacles. Does he only relate to the Earth as a commodity?
And once again this week, we get another one of Pamela Colman Smith’s “stage cards,” in which a double horizontal line across the card makes it appear that the figure is on a theater stage.
Pixie Smith was a noted set designer for the London theater and many speculate that she used this device in her deck to hint at drama, or some kind of artifice. It may also be interpreted that the person is separate from what would otherwise appear to be their natural environment.
Thus this crowned figure is someone who sits on his stage, with the city (or props made to look like a city) in the background, his surroundings in gray. Only in the distance do we see any living thing.
The True Nature of Kingship
In times not so long ago, kings were considered the sacred mediators of wealth and bounty for all. Rather than hoarding or boasting about their wealth, or taking it unfairly from their subjects, their power was recognized as a sacred trust of stewardship.
The king was only recognized to the extent that he was in harmony with the Divine, and particularly the Mother Land. His life was forfeit should the harvests fail, or widespread misfortune come to their people.
But the king in the Four of Pentacles may represent our more modern, artificial abstractions about power and wealth. This is a king disconnected from Life, in a sterile, empty world, clinging to every coin he can scratch together.
His grip makes it impossible for him to receive; he can only keep what he has. Without understanding the natural ebb and flow of abundance, he must stay in constant control. Thus, he is in perpetual fear of lack.
I like to think that the preponderance of the color gray in the Four of Pentacles is a nod towards the fact that money itself is neutral — neither good nor bad. It is simply energy, and our choices determine whether its use brings harm or help.
So this could be a good time to better structure our finances, strengthen our assets, and resolve to make fiscally sound decisions. While the stock markets seem to be cruising along at a care-free clip, there are significant global financial matters that suggest we take a closer look at our budget plans.
Sustainability, living more lightly on the Earth, and being more generous with one another fortifies and grows wealth and security.
Sadly, our so-called leaders seem hell-bent on doing exactly the opposite. Slashing programs that help schoolchildren, the elderly, and those on the margins may seem penny-wise but is pound-foolish, for over and over studies have shown that they save taxpayer money in the long run.
Thus, don’t let your personal financial caution turn to stinginess. Miserliness is as unwise as careless squandering, for it plants the very seeds of lack.
This week, if you’re paying your bills, or dealing with money concerns, remember that Spirit is not stingy with Her gifts.
What do you do with the assets you have created? Do you spend in accordance with your heart’s values?
Is your money used for sharing, nurturing, and affirming that which is Good in life? How much is enough, or as one of my uncles used to say, “a plentiful sufficiency?”
Also, pay attention to who holds the purse strings in your family, your community, and the global stage.
Are those strings clutched tightly, manipulating people and events like marionettes? Who really pushes the buttons of our economies? To what purpose, and to whom are they accountable?
How dreary the world would be if we actually allowed this fearful little man who would be king to decide and control what is of value. Beware of his kind, for they do not mind turning our world to ash-gray, as long as they get their payoff.
Let us not forget, as so many apparently have, that gratitude and acceptance compound our wealth. It’s more fun to help than hoard.
And besides, true and lasting prosperity comes only to the hand that is open and generous, not the fist that is closed.