The Four of Pentacles is the fourth tarot card in the Minor Arcana suit of Pentacles and represents the desire to accrue wealth and maintain security through the careful management of resources, energy, and time. It also suggests the need to balance these instincts with a willingness to work against tendencies toward greed and fear.
The Four of Pentacles corresponds to the element of earth and the third decan of astrological zodiac sign Capricorn (20-29 degrees), which is ruled by the Sun. The Sun in Capricorn is associated with a long-haul mindset and a willingness to put in steady work over time in order to accrue greater and greater security, stability, and material abundance.
Where the key meanings of the Major Arcana focus on life’s overarching themes and events, Minor Arcana cards like the Four of Pentacles explore and reveal the more subtle changes impacting one’s day-to-day life and near future. The Four of Pentacles also bears similarities with its sibling cards the Four of Cups, Four of Wands, and Four of Swords, in that all four deal with themes of order, form, and productivity.
Four of Pentacles Keywords
material security and stability, financial agreements, control, blocked emotions
greed, self-protection, scarcity mindset, releasing blocked emotions
Description of the Four of Pentacles Tarot Card
After the collaborative effort to build something tangible and of value in the preceding card, the Four of Pentacles represents the fruits of this labor and the desire to hold onto these resources. The hard work of the Three of Pentacles has paid off, and now, a measure of material stability has been achieved.
In the Rider Waite Smith tarot deck, a man sits atop a plinth wearing a crown and a black shawl, suggesting a position of stature while also hinting at his status as a possible exile from the city he appears in front of. Whether he lives in the city or has left it behind, he appears to have attained a measure of wealth, indicated by the coins he holds in his hands, atop his crown, and underneath his feet.
The coins represent his material wealth, the result of his hard work and dedication to building himself up in the world. Similar to the Wheel of Fortune, there’s an indication that he has experienced a recent change, perhaps shifting from poverty to wealth. He holds one coin tightly over his chest, indicating his strong attachment to his material security and avoidance of risky investments. This coin represents his pride and achievements, but it also blocks his heart, suggesting a deep fear of pain and loss.
Another coin sits atop his crown, symbolizing his “crowning achievement” of attaining material success. The placement of this coin can also be seen as blocking his crown chakra and his connection to the divine. The coins underneath his feet reiterate his desire to maintain a stronghold on his possessions and beg the question, what use are his coins if he keeps them stuffed underfoot?
Four of Pentacles Upright Meaning
In a tarot reading, the Four of Pentacles upright suggests that you take a careful and cautious approach to handling your finances and material security. You may have worked hard to accrue the financial stability you have today and guard your savings and investments closely. It represents security, stability, and a minimalist approach that prioritizes saving over spending. You know how to maximize your resources so that they work for you in the long term.
While you may have achieved a measure of material safety or security, this card also suggests that you are driven by a fear of scarcity. This fear can motivate you to succeed and appreciate the value of the money you have, but it can also cause you to cling too tightly to your possessions, blocking your natural flow of energy.
If you conflate material or physical security with a sense of self-worth and deep inner emotional security, this card suggests that right now you may benefit from trying to separate the two. While it is wise to handle your resources carefully, hoarding them will not inoculate you against the inevitable ups and downs of life. Releasing your grip slightly may allow you to feel more capable of letting go more often so that you can move with life’s inevitable changes.
Love and Relationships (Upright Meaning)
In the upright position of a love reading, the Four of Pentacles suggests that you may be guarding your heart closely and are hesitant to open yourself up to love and relationships. You may be healing from a previous experience of hurt and are trying to find ways of allowing yourself to be vulnerable again. This card encourages you to open yourself up when it feels safe to do so.
The Four of Pentacles upright can also indicate that you are holding onto feelings, resentments, or past hurts that are keeping you stuck. This card suggests that holding onto these feelings is causing a build-up and an internal emotional blockage and that by allowing yourself to feel and release them, you make space for a new start.
Love/relationships upright keywords
Career/finance upright keywords
guarding your heart, holding onto feelings or resentments, emotional blockage
conservative approach to finances, financial agreements, overly cautious
Career and Finance (Upright Meaning)
The Four of Pentacles represents a conservative and cautious approach to handling your material resources and security. You could be making financial agreements that help you to maximize your resources, such as taking out a loan, mortgage, or opening an investment account. This card encourages planning for long term financial security and saving when possible.
In a career and financial tarot spread, this card represents the ability to create financial stability through your work and investments and highlights the importance of material safety to your well-being. However, it can also speak to how financial insecurity, or the fear of not having enough, drives you toward stinginess or caution when you would be better served by taking a well-thought-out risk. It cautions against tying your internal sense of safety to your bank account balance.
Four of Pentacles Reversed Meaning
The Four of Pentacles reversed may indicate that your instinct to establish your material security has gone into overdrive, causing you to make decisions out of greed and an insatiable desire to acquire more and more wealth. It may feel like no amount of money, possessions, or security will ever be enough and that each acquisition leaves you hungry for more.
Alternatively, the Four of Pentacles reversed may indicate that you are learning how to release your fear of scarcity and your desire for control. You may realize that the ways in which you’ve tried to keep yourself safe—by hoarding resources, denying your emotions, or hiding your true feelings from others as if they’re trade secrets—actually work to keep you stuck.
You could be working on releasing any habits or tendencies that you use to avoid processing any uncomfortable feelings, such as fear of losing control, not having enough, or being emotionally vulnerable. You could feel a greater acceptance of the inevitability of change and, through this process, are learning to develop a strong foundation of inner emotional security.
Love and Relationships (Reversed Meaning)
In the reverse position of a love & relationships tarot spread, The Four of Pentacles may indicate that you’re releasing your desire to protect your heart at all costs and are opening yourself up to new relationships and connections. If you have experienced hurt or betrayal in the past from toxic relationships, you could be processing and healing this pain and releasing yourself from it. Your growing sense of inner security allows you to take risks in love.
The reversed Four of Pentacles may also represent your growing desire for emotional vulnerability within your relationship. If you’ve been keeping your emotions inside, you could be finally expressing them and sharing your authentic self with your partner, rather than taking shortcuts to avoid vulnerability. Your willingness to be open, honest, and vulnerable makes it possible to create repair and reconnection.
Love/relationships reversed keywords
Career/finance reversed keywords
opening yourself up, healing past hurts, inner security, sharing your authentic self
hoarding resources, fear of losing control, releasing fear of scarcity, taking considered risks
Career and Finance (Reversed Meaning)
The Four of Pentacles reversed may indicate that your desire to protect yourself from the possibility of financial losses is leading you to hoard your resources. This can lead to a tendency to operate from materialistic greed and an unwillingness to share what you can with others, which could backfire or exacerbate a grudge with co-workers. Your fear of losing control may be keeping you stuck.
Alternatively, the reversed Four of Pentacles can represent releasing your fear of scarcity by being willing to share the surplus material possessions of your net worth with others in need. You may be working on your feeling of inner security, which allows you to take considered risks that can help you grow greater abundance in the long term.