The Two of Pentacles is the second tarot card in the Minor Arcana suit of Pentacles and represents the need to adapt to life’s constantly changing circumstances through a combination of adaptability and focus. It speaks to the ways in which we use our time, balance competing priorities, and move with (or against) the ebbs and flows of life.
The Two of Pentacles is associated with the element of earth and the first decan of the astrological zodiac sign Capricorn (0-9 degrees), which is ruled by the planet Jupiter. In the Northern Hemisphere, the Winter Solstice occurs during this time of year, when the amount of daylight begins to decrease. This change of available light forces us to adapt and reorient our daily rhythms, which is echoed by the juggler’s task of adapting to the shifting movements of his pentacles.
Where the key meanings of the Major Arcana focus on life’s overarching themes and events, Minor Arcana cards like the Two of Pentacles explore and reveal the more subtle changes impacting one’s day-to-day life and near future. The Two of Pentacles also bears similarities with its sibling cards the Two of Cups, Two of Wands, and Two of Swords, in that all four deal with duality and balance.
Two of Pentacles Keywords
change, competing priorities, adaptability, levity
over-committed, rigidity, imbalanced, need to put something down
Description of the Two of Pentacles Tarot Card
Like all 2 cards in the Minor Arcana, the Two of Pentacles builds on the seed that was planted in the Ace and represents the theme of duality and the need to reconcile opposing forces. The Two of Pentacles describes the task of balancing priorities, juggling multiple responsibilities, and the need to maximize our energy and time in order to accomplish our goals.
In the Rider Waite Smith tarot deck, a young man dressed as a medieval juggler balances two pentacles which are set inside a green loop resembling an infinity sign. The infinity symbol (or lemniscate) connects him to Major Arcana card #1, The Magician, and suggests that this Juggler is able to accomplish his task in part because he approaches it like a game and with an attitude of levity.
With one foot on the ground and one in the air, he’s pictured in a state of movement, indicating that he’s able to adapt to the changing needs of the moment with flexibility and grace. He trains his gaze intently on one pentacle, revealing that he’s able to remain focused on a goal while staying open and pliable.
The sea in the background forms continuous undulating waves, which echo the lines of the infinity loop and reiterate the theme of shifting circumstances. Because water can be seen as a symbol for the contents of the emotional realm, the huge waves indicate a state of inner emotional turmoil. The boats appear to be able to navigate them, however, which reminds us of the Juggler’s finesse and capacity to navigate the unexpected ups and downs.
Two of Pentacles Upright Meaning
A tarot spread with an upright Two of Pentacles describes a feeling of flux and the sense that the circumstances and various areas of your life are shifting around you, requiring you to be adaptable and surrender to the flow of life. It suggests the need to stay focused on your goals while remaining flexible, a sometimes daunting task requiring a delicate balance of give and take, push and pull.
You may feel overwhelmed by these changes, but this card reminds you that you are capable of balancing it all. When you can learn to move with the currents of life rather than trying to control all outcomes, you may find that this balancing act becomes a little bit easier. By doing so, you will find the opportunities for growth and expansion that await you within these changes.
The Juggler’s costume reminds us that when we can see the humor in all of our striving and juggling, we can relieve ourselves of the burden of having to do it all perfectly. The Juggler can keep both pentacles in the air because he approaches it like a game, and by doing so, he prevents his worries or anxieties from tripping him up or causing him to lose his focus.
Love and Relationships (Upright Meaning)
The upright Two of Pentacles in a love tarot reading can indicate that there are big changes on the horizon within your relationship because of shifting circumstances around you. Whatever the cause of these changes, they are forcing you to reassess your priorities, responsibilities, and agreements as a couple. If you can be flexible and work together as a team to find compromises and new solutions that support your mutual well-being, you’ll weather the changes with ease.
The Two of Pentacles upright can also indicate that you are finding it difficult to balance competing priorities: work and relationships, family and romance, etc. You may feel overwhelmed with multiple responsibilities, which leads to feeling tense and anxious about dating. If you can find ways of approaching it with more levity and humor, you will take the pressure off yourself to figure it all out right now.
Love/relationships upright keywords
Career/finance upright keywords
shifting circumstances, reassessing priorities and responsibilities, compromise, levity
balancing competing priorities, major shifts in work, attending to responsibilities while staying open to change, reallocating resources
Career and Finance (Upright Meaning)
In the upright position of a tarot reading, the Two of Pentacles suggests that you’re trying to balance multiple competing responsibilities and duties within your work life. You could be trying to juggle two different jobs or two different priorities, such as the needs of your family and the demands of your career. Your approach to time management may overlook how much you’re overextending yourself when multi-tasking. If you can approach this task with flexibility, adaptability, and grace, you’ll successfully keep all the balls in the air.
The upright Two of Pentacles can indicate that there are major shifts happening within your work, requiring you to attend to your responsibilities while remaining open so that you can make the most of the opportunities that are present within these changes. You may need to step back before making an important financial decision, or figure out how to reallocate your time, money, or energy in order to stay flexible and adaptable to the changes that are happening around you.
Two of Pentacles Reversed Meaning
When the Two of Pentacles is in the reversed position, the delicate balance that the Juggler maintains upright falls apart, indicating that things are not going according to plan. You may feel overwhelmed by the ups and downs of life, as well as all of your responsibilities, and are finding it difficult to attend to each of them. If you can find ways to be adaptable in all aspects of your life, you’ll learn to rise above the chaos rather than be subsumed by it.
The reversed Two of Pentacles can suggest that you’ve become rigid in response to the shifting circumstances around you. Life may feel like it is in constant flux, prompting you to want to hold onto stability and certainty at all costs. This card is a reminder that change becomes more bearable when we can surrender our desire to control the outcome and flow with the waves rather than fight them.
The Two of Pentacles reversed may also indicate that you’re trying to juggle too many different responsibilities or tasks and that this is creating a feeling of scattered energy and a lack of focus. You may need to reassess your priorities and find ways of reallocating your time and energy so that you can reasonably attend to all of your duties.
Love and Relationships (Reversed Meaning)
In the reverse position, the Two of Pentacles can symbolize feeling overwhelmed by trying to juggle multiple relationships or priorities. You may feel torn between two people and are finding it difficult to give each relationship the time and care it deserves. You may need to reassess how you spend your time and energy so that you can give your attention in more focused and intentional ways.
The Two of Pentacles reversed can also indicate that you are trying to adapt to shifting circumstances with your partner and are finding it difficult to manage this transitional time. You may benefit from reassessing your priorities, re-negotiating how you each allocate your time and energy toward shared responsibilities, and re-strategizing how you will approach your goals as a couple.
Love/relationships reversed keywords
Career/finance reversed keywords
juggling multiple relationships, reassessing priorities, difficult transition, renegotiation responsibilities
overwhelmed by responsibilities, needing to delegate, streamline focus, career transitions
Career and Finance (Reversed Meaning)
In the reverse position, the Two of Pentacles symbolizes feeling overwhelmed by trying to juggle multiple responsibilities within your work. You may feel disorganized, over-committed, and scattered as you try to attend to many different duties. You may benefit from reassessing your priorities, delegating responsibility to co-workers when possible, creating to-do lists, and streamlining your focus.
The reversed Two of Pentacles can also suggest that you are in the midst of a transition in your work, and the uncertainty of this time leaves you feeling anxious about the unknowns of the future. This card reminds you to stay present because when you are able to ride the waves of change, you will land at your destination more quickly and peacefully.