Earth fills her lap with pleasures of her own
-William Wordsworth (1770-1850), British poet
The pentacles, or coins, suit in tarot should be a favorite of those who live in the state of Missouri, the "Show Me" state. For all the Doubting Thomas' who wouldn't take some poser named Jesus' word that he had risen from the dead and instead insisted that he had to see the crucifixion wounds for himself, this suit takes the thoughts, energy, and emotions from the other three suits and produces something you can hold in your hand. This is the "manifest your destiny" suit. If you can change the way you think (Ace of Swords) and focus on what you desire, and feel the emotions (Ace of Cups) surrounding that desire, and follow those hunches and flashes of inspiration (Ace of Wands) and act on them, you will indeed manifest your own reality (Ace of Pentacles). There, now you know The Secret --- oops! I've let it slip. Aw crap. Well, they don't call these cards arcana for nothing, right?
The Ace of Pentacles is yet another seed of promise, but it differs from the other Aces in that it actually shows the results of one's actions, thoughts, and emotions in tangible form. It's a return on your mental, physical, and emotional investments and because those often seem intangible, the seeds we scatter in those realms are often forgotten until one day, the Ace of Pentacles appears as though a gift from the gods. Surprise! Yet, because it, too, is but an Ace it is in itself a seed of its own kind. It may be a job offer, a small windfall, an unexpected upturn in your finances, or a material gift of some kind. It remains up to you how you might invest this gift to your own or others' benefit. Will you take the job? Will you waste the money? Will you say yes to the suitor on bended knee offering the engagement ring?
Have you ever noticed, behind the counter at a small coffee shop, a framed one dollar bill? If you ask, they will tell you it was the first dollar made when the shop opened its doors. This is a perfect representation of the Ace of Pentacles. Pentacle comes from the Latin root pend, which meant to hang. It is meant to be a talisman or amulet hung around one's neck. (It is often represented in tarot by the pentagram, the five pointed star. This symbol is associated with magic, with the divine feminine, and with the earth.) To hang a pentacle was to protect or bring good luck, and so the hanging of a framed dollar bill is done much in the same vein. Therefore, the Ace of Pentacles is often a promise of things to come, a deposit on a future harvest of abundance.
While this gift often seems to come out of the blue, it can usually be traced back to something you've invested somewhere. A small kindness you did for someone or a collaborative effort that finally pays off down the line. For the job opportunity really doesn't come out of nowhere. Somehow, some way, you made your talents and skills known with effort on your part. Pentacles are the fruit of the earth and while nature yields fruit seemingly effortlessly, (it's not, there is much energy involved) we, on the other hand, usually need to put forth something of our own energy, if even first in thought form, to produce a tangible product.
This Ace can symbolize conception of a baby, either literal or figurative, the seed of a future life. And just as all the other aces are dependent upon your action, so is this ace, too, dependent upon your nurturing to bring it to maturity. The image of the Ace of Pentacles in the Robin Wood tarot deck is one of my favorites. It depicts a lush garden scene with a path that leads to an empty pedestal. That pedestal is for your finished creation when it is completed. It is as yet unformed, but the Ace gives you the raw material with which to begin working. It's the clay for the potter, the paint for the painter, the flesh and blood for the body builder, the flowers for the florist. This Ace is the seed of creation which, when taken in hand and formed and shaped and multiplied and worked becomes a masterpiece, YOUR masterpiece. You are the Master Gardener of your life, and this Ace is your prizewinning, tremendously rare and treasured seed. What will you do with it?
Classical Tarot - Italy, © 2000 Lo Scarabeo(engravings from 1835)
The Robin Wood TarotRobin Wood Copyright Copyright ©1991Llewellyn WorldwideISBN 0 87542 894 0