To live content with small means, to seek elegance rather than luxury, and refinement rather than fashion, to be worthy, not respectable, and wealthy, not rich, to study hard, think quietly, talk gently, act frankly, to listen to stars and birds, to babes and sages, with open heart, to bear all cheerfully, do all bravely, await occasions, hurry never, in a word to let the spiritual, unbidden and unconscious, grow up through the common, this is to be my symphony. -William Henry Channing
The King of Pentacles is usually portrayed in tarot as a very wealthy man. His clothes are sumptuous and fine, he is usually seated and relaxed. His is an air of comfort and ease. He is the benefactor, the financial advisor you know knows what he's talking about because whatever he's done with his own finances has yielded results. Pentacles is the suit of money, but also of everything of the earth, material things, food, sensuality, all that you can touch, see, smell and hear. This is a man who knows what feels good and what satisfies the senses, be it good food, good music, or good art. These pleasures of life are what makes life worth living to him and which enfolds him in a state of contentment on a daily basis.
Here is a man who, upon rising, looks forward to his morning cup of coffee, not for the caffeine buzz but for its taste. He appreciates soft fabrics, warm fires, and the cold nose of his dog on his hand. Some say he's lazy because he is often pictured lazing about. No, he isn't lazy, he's reserving his resources. His sharp mind and verbal abilities give him the ability of all the kings, the talent and knowhow that allows him to put forth the least amount of personal effort and yield the most amazing results. He's figured out that if he does his neighbor's taxes for him, his lawn will be mowed for a season in return. So, he spends an evening on the computer and yields an entire summer of leisure. He is generous, though rarely will his generosity fail to benefit him in some way. Even his contributions to charity are a tax write-off. His favors for others means they owe him one, too. If you need a loan, he'll likely give it to you, even interest-free. But, you must know that you will pay up one day when he comes to ask for your services in some other way. It's just the way his economy works, but everyone benefits.
The King of Pentacles is one of the most sensuous and romantic of the courts. He stops at nothing to make sure his lover is delighted in all her senses. Fine wine, fine music, and rich chocolate. "Are you comfortable?" is his chief concern. His "air of earth" elemental combination usually results in a thoughtful, well-spoken man who gives generously of himself and all he has, and he usually has a lot. However, ill dignified or reversed, this King can be miserly and cruel, selfish and unbearably stubborn. He might be the workaholic who is focused only on the bottom line, the money he can gather to himself. He might be the one who so gratifies his pleasures that he takes advantage of the weaker, purchasing sex with prostituted women and swindling old ladies out of their life savings while acting the part of the smitten lover. He might be the father who can only show his "love" by buying his children things but never connecting with them in any meaninful way.
As advice, when the King of Pentacles shows up in a reading he usually encourages you to be careful where your finances are concerned, to make sure you aren't spending too much unwisely. He could be suggesting you consult with a trusted financial advisor before signing that contract or investing that money into that venture. He also reminds you to remember that appreciating the sensual side to life makes life more pleasurable. Quality over quanitity makes more of a difference. There is value to luxury when it yields comfort and pleasure to the senses. Art is worth investing in not just for its resale value but because it enriches your life every day. So consider how you are living your life, and if your sacrifices make sense both in the short and the long run. If you live like a pauper and stuff money in your mattress, then die without ever having gone to Brazil as you dreamed, what have you gained? While he's not at all saying, "Eat, drink, be merry, for tomorrow we die!" he will ask you to consider the pleasure your life is to you and if you are truly enjoying this wildly sensual world we live in, no matter what your current financial status. Even the most meager incomes can find a spare pence for a bouquet of flowers or a cup of really good coffee. His last bit of advice is to see if you can find ways to exchange services with others in a way that benefits both of you, but especially you. Work with others and think of new ways to be savvy about the way you bring wealth, and not just the coin type, into your life.
Classic Tarot By Carlo DellaRocca Tarot Deck Published by Lo Scarabeo
The Housewives Tarot By Paul Kepple and Jude Buffum Published by Quirk Books 2004