The 2 of Pentacles

The 2 of Pentacles - Tarot Card from the Rider-Waite Deck

Representing balance; the 2 of Pentacles is associated with the balance between creation and destruction, here in the material realm this is conceptualised as gain and loss of wealth. The 2 of Pentacles relates to the ebb and flow of life.

In the upright state the 2 of Pentacles represents loss and gain equally matched resulting in stasis despite the presence of movement and volatility. Here the 2 of Pentacles acts as a warning not to expect momentum to emerge from the frenetic nature of this transformation. Your foundations may be changing but your overall structure at least for now remains constant.

In the inverted state the 2 of Pentacles represents an imbalance between loss and gain; although often seen as a negative outlook or bad omen, this imbalance can be in our favour or against it, ultimately the context in which this card appears in this state needs to be considered. For a time either our income or our expenditure will be higher than the other but this imbalance will not be maintained indefinitely.

In the Rider-Waite deck, the 2 of Pentacles depicts a juggler holding two gold coins that they attempt to move with a steady rhythm, this motion is depicted by the infinity symbol that links both coins. The juggler furthermore depicts the act of balancing by standing on one foot and attempting to maintain their posture.

Behind the juggler a view of the ocean shows the water disturbed by waves with two ships traveling in opposite directions, one travelling with the current and one opposed to it. This represents the nature of the material world in ebb and flow. This depiction further underlines the assertion that transformation is the foundation of a gain in wealth, and that loss is always a price paid for gain, whether that price is paid by us or another, all gains are displaced losses; it is for this reason that greed is considered one of the seven deadly sins as it isn’t possible within a finite system to have more without taking it from someone or something else.

In self-reflection the 2 of Pentacles serves as a prompt to consider the balance or imbalance you have when it comes to what you are holding onto. As we touched on previously, attempting to eliminate all negativity merely adjusts the extremity of the scale making it impossible to ever truly eliminate. With this in mind, when considering what physical possessions we want to hold onto, our focus should be placed more so on our emotional connection to those possessions and to their utility.

Ask yourself “What does this remind me of?” and “What do I gain from holding onto this?” or indeed “What do I lose by holding onto this?” the latter can be wasted effort, time consumed, emotional stress, and in some cases continued anxiety.

Our concepts of success and failure can be quite nuanced at times, and whilst our perception of our environment may not be elevated at all times, on some level we do register the state of our environment and what we observe within it, even if we don’t acknowledge this on a conscious level. If you’ve ever been watching TV and absentmindedly glance toward the wall beside you to see a spider this didn’t happen by chance, your periphery registered the change and elevated concern to your subconscious mind which prompted your conscious mind to shift focus.

Being more aware of the associations our physical possessions have, as well as the effect of our immediate environment, together can help us to recognise when they are influencing our behaviour on an unconscious or subconscious level.

When we find ourselves with little opportunity to change our internal state, our best recourse is to begin making changes to our environment; as an exercise, take a moment to observe your physical environment and ask what you can add to it that would make it a more positive environment, and what you can remove from it to make it less negative.

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