The 4 of Pentacles

The 4 of Pentacles - Tarot Card from the Rider-Waite Deck

Representing stability; the 4 of Pentacles represents a period of relative calm and reflection within the wealth and material realm. Where the Ace of Pentacles represented the opportunity for new commitments to be made, here the 4 of Pentacles places its focus on the existing commitments we have made and the effort required to maintain these commitments.

In the upright state the 4 of Pentacles represents an opportunity to plan ahead for the future, to make repairs, invest disposable income, relieve austerity, and make the most of an unchanging landscape whilst we have respite.

In the inverted state the 4 of Pentacles represents an opportunity to correct past mistakes, whether they be our own or the mistakes of others, and to revise commitments by reconsidering our obligations. Once again, the moment of respite is emphasised with the opportunity it offers, complacency is shunned here as this respite will not last forever.

In the Rider-Waite deck the 4 of Pentacles depicts a King upon a throne with his back to a city in his wake. At his feet there are two pentacles, echoing the 2 of Pentacles these represent balance, with a third pentacle placed in the King’s crown again echoing the Ace of Pentacles emphasising opportunity. The King sits whilst holding the fourth pentacle in his hands this further emphasises opportunity.

The three outer pentacles form a triangle representing masculinity and destructive forces, when inverted this triangle represents femininity and creative forces. The 4 of Pentacles ultimately depicts these two symbiotes in containment.

In self-reflection the 4 of Pentacles serves as a prompt to take action. In terms of financial stability, this requires identifying your income, expenditures, and managing financial risk. Whilst you can think of this in terms of your cash wealth, it can be applied to any form of material possessions. Where this stability is defined by your health, these resources are swapped for time spent, energy expended, progress gained, and value added to our lives which is almost entirely sentimental by definition and relies upon our individual priorities and whether they align to the balance between work and life we aspire to achieve.

The key focus here is to divide up your wealth into 3 sections, the first should be essential expenditures, the things you can’t live without or can’t conceivably forego. These are the things you don’t want to give up and would face hardship if you did.

The second section should encompass all non-essential expenditure, these should be the things you want to hold onto with every intention but damage would be limited if you had to forego these. These are the things you must come to accept when push comes to shove you will have to let go of them if you need to.

The third and final section should encompass everything that you are willing to gamble, this will serve as your risk profile for your life. These should be the things you expect to lose, with no guarantee of gain.

Achieving stability requires this distinction between what you have, and what you are prepared to lose, as this will inform the decisions you make set against the backdrop of financial or other material risks.

Ask yourself “Am I prepared to lose this?” – When the answer is no, this serves to highlight the things that are most important to you and those that should be the primary focus of your efforts, whilst also making you aware of just what you are prepared to lose.

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