Ace of Pentacles, brainstorming, Capricorn, character development, Earth, elements, four, Four of Pentacles, Joanna Powell Colbert, Meet the Cards, Minor Arcana, numbers, numerology, plotting, Raelyn Barclay, tarot, Tarot Notes, Taurus, The Emperor, Virgo, writers, writing
Generally, all Fours:
- Express sacred space, boundaries, or limits of their suit, or element.
- Reflect the themes and wisdom of the Builder.
- Symbolize foundation.
- Can represent Act Three, the resolution of your story; syntheses; it can be a plot point such as the First Plot Point, the turning point between Act One and Act Two; or the committing to change step of your character’s arc.
- Are the start of the second set of mini-dramas mentioned in the Numbers in Tarot post. In the fours we must build a foundation before moving forward.
- For additional info on Fours check out Tarot Notes Take a Number series on Fours.
What I See:
As with a number of these cards, I love the artist’s take of this one. Normally, the Four of Pentacles shows a miserly looking man hoarding his coins. I always came away from the traditional card feeling like the weight of the world was on my shoulders. Here on the other hand, I see the positives. The squirrel is gathering his acorns for the winter. It reminds me that it is wise to save for a rainy day. There is the cairn of four stones, a blessing often representing safety, hope, and friendship. It reminds me to be thankful for what I do have in my life. Cairns can also mark a path — pointing us in the right direction? — or a landmark.
General Earth element/Pentacles suit:
Please refer back to the Ace of Earth.
Light (upright) Reading:
You’re building a security net, whether shelter, finances, or blessings.
- Keywords: Power, Enrichment, Possession, and Stability.
Shadow (upside down or reverse) Reading:
You’re taking more than your fair share of resources and risk forgetting where you’ve hidden the bounty.
- Keywords: Greed, Stinginess, Suspicion, and Fear.
How about something surrounding the four seasons? Perhaps the four elements? In the traditional depiction of this card, the four coins symbolize the spiritual, emotional, intellectual, and physical realms.
Four walls, the building of a structure? A corner stone? Laying a foundation? Or finding something/someone in a structure?
Pentacles stand for the worldly pursuits and perhaps, like the squirrel, your MC is obsessed with making money, saving for a rainy day, to the point he’s forgotten how to enjoy the fruits of his labor? Or perhaps, like the squirrel, he is alone? Maybe a retelling of Midas?
- Four Themes: Sacred Space, Structure, Boundaries, Limits, Foundation, or Stewardship.
How about focusing on the cairn? Perhaps, your story is about counting blessings. Or finding the right path. Or finding the landmark that unlocks a key to the past. Or maybe the future?
Gathering and saving for a rainy day.
- Suit Archetype/Feudal Class: Merchants, Business, and Professional class.
The nine-point personality enneagram can also be useful for character building.
All Fours are E4: Tragic Romantic, Individualist, and/or Connoisseur
- Self Image — I am different
- Passion — Envy
- Virtue — Equanimity
- Narcissistic Trap — Authenticity
- Avoids — Ordinariness
- Speaking Style — Lyrical or Lamenting
E4 people are relationship oriented. They are concerned with what others think of them, image and prestige. They see themselves as being for others and often believe they know what’s best. They dislike being alone and may feel sad or inadequate.
Additionally, look up one of the Earth signs (Taurus, Virgo, Capricorn) for personality traits.
Image: Gaian Tarot by Joanna Powell Colbert from Llewellyn Worldwide