The Suit of Pentacles: Magic in everyday life
Most tarot books and courses teach the pentacles last. I prefer to start from the ground up. And that’s the realm of the pentacles: the grounded. The real. The tangible. The earthy.
The suit of pentacles deals with the everyday, mundane stuff in our lives. But it also shows us the power and the magic inherent in these areas of life. So often, we focus on lofty goals – self-actualisation, spirituality, emotional intelligence, intellectualism – these things are very fulfilling, of course, but beneath them sit foundations. Building blocks. It is hard to have a transcendent magical life if we cannot also see the magic in our own hands, beneath our feet.
So we find themes here of work, of money, of domestic life. Communities, workplaces, creative spaces. Our homes are here, our environments. The things we do with our bodies and hands, making, cooking, tending, building. The suit of pentacles is sensual and real. Here are the building blocks of our lives.
As we move through this suit, we’ll look at how it feels to juggle projects and have a role in our community. We’ll look at issues around money and ‘stuff’ – both having and having not. We see symbols of patience, of hard work, of trading time and energy for reward or harvest. Health is here, and security – as are their opposites. We also see charity and greed, resourcefulness and materialism, and more.
All of this is captured within the Ace of Pentacles – the ‘essence card’ of this suit.
The Ace of Pentacles
Aces represent opportunities and/or beginnings, and pentacles are the suit of earth, the realm of all those things I mentioned above (and more, besides).
So here, we’re looking at a new start in any of those areas. The Ace of Pentacles can be a new job, a new home, physical transition, a new sexual relationship, coming into some money, starting a business, getting fit, starting a garden, taking up a new craft or hands-on hobby… you see the pattern. These are all earthy areas of our lives, they’re tangible, mundane, or created through physical work.
As with every ace, the card only highlights the opportunity before you. It asks the question: will you take it? You don’t have to. You don’t have to say yes, you don’t have to reach out. Still, it’s probably wise to do so. On traditional decks, each ace is represented by a hand reaching down from the sky. The Universe is offering you a gift! It won’t last forever. Not to rush you… but it’s time.
If you’re not seeing this opportunity, look more carefully around you. It may come from a surprising corner (like finding 20 quid in the pocket of an old pair of jeans, or a stranger in the bus queue offering you a job). Aces very often arrive as prompts, encouraging you to open your eyes and see what is before you. What are you not noticing?
A ‘new start’ can be momentous, or it can be small. Maybe you want to move house to a whole new area…or perhaps you just want to redecorate your bedroom. Maybe you want to totally transform your body…or perhaps you’d rather focus on having a happier relationship with the one you have. Maybe you’re gonna take on some land and grow vegetables for the whole community… or, instead, start growing herbs on your apartment windowsill. Maybe you’re gonna quit your job and start a new business…or on the other hand, perhaps this is about asking your boss to promote you or offer you new responsibilities.
Which of the ‘earthy’ areas of your life – work, money, home, body, sex, environment, craft, nature – is calling to you right now? Where do you feel called to put your focus, your energy? The Ace of Pentacles says go for it – you have all you need. Start where you are. Use what you have. It is enough.
Say yes! Begin. There is life-force in these decisions, no matter how big or small they feel.
As an earthy pentacles card, this ace also reminds you of the journey from beginning to end. Starting something does not guarantee your end result, your harvest. Think of it like planting a seed. You don’t just put it in a pot and run off to celebrate – you’ve got to show up each day, make sure that plant is getting water and light. When it gets bigger, you might need to give it support, or move it to a bigger pot. It takes care and hard work, it takes real nurturing, to bring your seeds to fruition.
Don’t expect instant results when you see this ace – it’s not usually a glamorous card, but one of steady commitment. Appreciate that there is magic in this kind of work, and be ready to step up and commit. Always remember: actions speak louder than words. Having plans is great…but putting them into action, actually doing the thing, is far greater.
Key words and concepts
- A new start… for your work, home, body/health/sex life, finances, craft and creativity, relationship to environment…any of those earthy realms
- An opportunity to develop in any of those areas
- Saying yes to such an opportunity
- Commitment to hard work
- Beginning something long, slow and rewarding
- Waking up to the magic in your everyday life
As pentacles are the suit of earth, we might see anything from the natural world on this card. Plants, trees, flowers, hills, rocks, bones, crystals… Pay attention to how your tarot deck depicts the element of ‘earth’. You’ll likely see those same symbols coming up again and again throughout this suit.