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The Two of Pentacles in Tarot and How to Read It

Andrea has a background in Myers-Briggs and Western astrology. She mostly writes about relationships.

The Two of Pentacles indicates you are juggling many tasks. You are doing well to keep all the balls in the air. If you continue juggling without dropping anything, you'll eventually achieve your goals.

The Two of Pentacles indicates you are juggling many tasks. You are doing well to keep all the balls in the air. If you continue juggling without dropping anything, you'll eventually achieve your goals.

Basic Info About the Two of Pentacles

The Two of Pentacles is often called the Two of Coins. This card usually depicts a person holding two coins while standing on one foot. A ribbon—tied like the infinity symbol—goes around the two coins.

The Two of Pentacles is about juggling different things and hoping for good outcomes. The card encourages balance and moderation. It might signal that you are feeling conflicted and drawn to opposing ideas. Perhaps you need to be discerning about what tasks are your most important priorities.

The reversed Two of Pentacles is about juggling too many things, imbalance, and internal conflict. You may feel like everything is a challenge because your head isn't on straight.

What Is a Pentacle?

The Suit of Pentacles is a little bit tricky. This is unsurprising as it includes a symbol with a complicated history. The pentacle is an image of a pentagram with a circle around it. The pentacle in the cards is a coin.

A pentagram is a five-pointed star. This symbol has been used by different cultures (e.g., ancient Greece and Babylon) and religious groups for thousands of years. In contemporary times, the pentagram is most commonly attributed to Wicca, one of the fastest-growing religions in the world.

Symbols don't always mean the same thing, and different groups will interpret them differently. The same goes for words. Over time, words can mean different things. For example, what once might have been an innocent or innocuous word becomes inappropriate or offensive. Similarly, the pentagram means different things across cultures, time, and even places. The pentagram has represented gods, mathematical principles, and even things as simple as a starfish or a hand.

Tarot Suits

CategoryWandsPentaclesSwordsCups

Element

Fire

Earth

Air

Water

Color

Red

Green

Yellow

Blue

Represents

Free-will

Physical Manifestation (The Body)

Thoughts

Emotions

Four Humors

Yellow Bile

Black Bile

Blood

Phelgm

Body

Head, Heart, Thighs

Throat, Chest, Legs

Arms, Belly, Ankles

Hands, Root Chakra, Feet

Planets

Mars, Sun, Jupiter

Mercury, Venus, Saturn

Mercury, Venus, Uranus

Moon, Pluto, Neptune

Animals

Land Mammals

Reptiles

Birds

Fish

Yin and Yang

Yang

Yin

Yang

Yin

Tarot Face Cards

Knight

Page

King

Queen

Poker Cards

Clubs

Diamonds

Spades

Hearts

Western Astrology

Aries, Leo, Sagittarius

Taurus, Virgo, Capricorn

Gemini, Libra, Aquarius

Cancer, Scorpio, Pisces

The Suit of Pentacles represents the element of earth. The suit deals with wealth, health, and longevity. The suit is about optimizing and organizing your resources.

The Suit of Pentacles represents the element of earth. The suit deals with wealth, health, and longevity. The suit is about optimizing and organizing your resources.

Upright Two of Pentacles

One thing is for certain: you're juggling priorities. This card indicates that you have a lot on your plate. You're doing what you can to keep things balanced, but it's getting tricky to manage your responsibilities.

The upright Two of Pentacles shows that you have a good grasp of your tasks and feel a strong connection to your priorities. You also see how your priorities are connected to each other. This card often represents a busy parent, a business manager, or someone who works multiple jobs.

This card indicates you can handle the workload and that you have a good relationship with yourself. You know how to balance your conscious and subconscious thoughts. Since this is the Suit of Pentacles, it indicates that you're balancing things that are practical and tangible—you are resourceful and clever. You're also doing what you can to be a good manager so that you can continue to grow your bank account and stay healthy.

Wealth and health are two of the biggest priorities in the Suit of Pentacles. The goal is to have longevity and an admirable legacy. You don't want your descendants to despise you, nor do you want them to forget you.

Just remember: the line between managing these demands and losing control is thin. At any moment, things could go sideways. You have to monitor your tasks and reinforce them with good support. Manage your time and resources carefully so that what you want to accomplish goes well.

The card could represent someone who is in school and taking several different courses. Perhaps you have to rush from one class to the next and don't have enough time to catch your breath. Maybe you feel as though you have to make decisions quickly. If so, it's suggested that you take breaks and make time to reflect on the bigger picture. You don't need to cram everything together. Spacing things apart will help you to do a good job.

Organize your schedule to help you create the life you desire. It's good to have an active schedule. You'll learn many things and meet new people. You also don't want the schedule to be so chaotic that you lose touch with yourself. You need time to be still and restful.

In order to get your workload done, stay focused. Do a little bit each day to move forward, but don't try to cram everything into your mind. You need cooling periods. You should continue to do basic things to keep yourself organized: manage your budget, put events down on the calendar, and write in your diary.

Do not miss important meetings, deadlines, and other obligations. You don't want to constantly cancel things because you're poor at scheduling. Be more stubborn when it comes to your commitments.

If this card has appeared in a reading, take it as a sign that you should spend some time pre-planning your tasks. Make note of what is working in your projects and what lacks harmony. You need to know in your heart and mind what are the most important priorities. Don't let the lower priorities take precedence over the bigger ones.

This card encourages you to be patient as you juggle your responsibilities. The earth element moves the slowest because it takes the time necessary to be diligent.

If you're well prepared you can take on sudden changes with more ease. When you discipline yourself to have readiness then you won't be knocked as hard by chaos.

The Two of Pentacles reminds you to be practical, focused, and organized. You can support your many tasks with proper organization.

The Two of Pentacles reminds you to be practical, focused, and organized. You can support your many tasks with proper organization.

Reversed Two of Pentacles

The reversed Two of Pentacles is a warning that you're about to lose control. Whatever you've been doing to safeguard your tasks is failing. This may be the Universe's way to get you to end one chapter to enter a new one.

The reversed Two of Pentacles indicates that you've overloaded your schedule. Perhaps you can't get enough sleep or are struggling to stay on top of your bills. If this destructive cycle continues, the card predicts you will end up losing resources and face financial ruin.

Now is the time to get organized and be realistic. You need to be consistent with your good habits. Maybe you need to stop watching TV and the news for a while.

The goal right now is to restructure you priorities and hone your organization skills. Get more focused with your budget, write up more to-do lists, and stay on top of your diary. Turn down opportunities that don't align with what you really want to do. Your tasks should feel as though they're connected and meaningful to you.

This card is a reminder that you can't do everything. No one person can take on every job imaginable. You are a mortal, not a god. Delegate responsibilities if you can't do them all, and ask for more time when appropriate.

You need to decide what you really want to do and what truly matters. Sometimes we stand in the way of ourselves. We self-sabotage our dreams. We divide our attention to hide from reality. We sometimes think we're not good enough, so we make things harder than necessary to prove our negative prophecy. Don't be like that.

If you want to succeed then you need to take things slowly and have plenty of support. You must be stubborn when it comes to your goals. It's important to reflect on what you're doing and how you might be standing in the way of yourself.

Here are a couple of lists that might help you to decide whether you have good organizational flow or if you need to rework what you're doing.

Things that support you:

  • Writing thank you letters.
  • Writing in your diary.
  • Budgeting.
  • Using your calendar to write down meetings.
  • Signing up for text messages to remind you of doctor appointments.
  • Writing to-do lists.
  • Writing checklists.
  • Writing outlines for big projects.
  • Writing down notes in meetings.
  • Sticking to a consistent bedtime schedule.

Things that complicate your life:

  • Watching TV for hours on end once you get home.
  • Not keeping track of your money.
  • Picking poor passwords for your data.
  • Eating whatever you want whenever you want.
  • Waiting until the last moment to get caught up.
  • Ignoring deadlines and not turning in assignments.
  • Skipping meetings.
  • Getting to work late.
  • Consistently canceling on friends and family.
  • Avoiding being alone with your thoughts.

Card Alignment

Upright

Juggling, multiple priorities, time management, balancing act, adaptability, flexibility, not easily shaken, stable, elegant, poised, organized, planning, mentally challenging.

Reversed

Over-committed, disorganized, imbalanced, immoderate, chaotic, struggles, lacking direction, short-sided, overwhelmed, unstable, awkward, clumsy, lack of attention.

History of the Symbolism of the Pentacle

Ancient History

Sumerians were the first known group to have written language. They lived in Mesopotamia around 3,000 BCE. Sumerians etched pentagram symbols into pottery. This is the oldest known usage of the five-pointed star.

Historians aren't 100% sure what Sumerians thought of pentagrams. The symbol may have represented a god or a virtue. Some argue that the pentagram represented the "vault of heaven", which are the planets people can see with their own eyes. Those planets are Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn.

The pentagram came into popularity in Ancient Greece through the teachings of a mathematical philosopher. You may remember Pythagoras from your days in geometry class and studying triangles. He roamed Greece in the 6th century BCE. He thought every number represented life in some way. His followers thought the pentagram was a symbol of mutual recognition and well-being. Five was also an important number because it represented the hand.

Ancient Greeks were fascinated by pentagrams and pentagons. They were the first to study what is now called the golden ratio. The golden ratio is important in math, and it isn't the easiest concept to explain without getting lost in the details. Just know that Greek mathematicians were obsessed with studying five-figured shapes.

More than a century after Pythagoras, around 325-265 BCE, Euclid would prove the Pythagorean theorem. The mathematician wrote about the Platonic Solids, which he considered perfect shapes. These shapes are tetrahedrons, hexahedrons, octahedrons, dodecahedrons, and icosahedrons.

The number five was considered sacred to the Greeks. The number created the fifth element, quintessence or aether (sometimes ether). The fifth element comes after the other four elements: fire, earth, air, and water.

Plato considered the Platonic Solids as the five building blocks of matter. He paired the shapes with the elements.

In China, the pentagram was used to represent the five elements of Taoism. Those elements are wood, fire, earth, metal, and water. Yin and Yang are said to produce these elements.

In feng shui, also known as Chinese geomancy, the elements are symbolically shown in a cycle shaped like a pentacle. The star represents the destructive cycle. The circle around the star represents the creative cycle. Elements in this way can either amplify a certain quality or diminish it.

Religious Usage

From around 300-150 BCE, Jews used the pentagram as a symbol for Jerusalem. The city was taken over several times during this period by Alexander the Great, the Ptolemies, and the Seleucids. The pentagram was marked by 5 Hebrew letters ירשלם, which spells out the name Jerusalem.

It might surprise some, but the pentagram was used by early Christians. It was popular the first 500 years after Jesus' death. The pentagram was used as a symbol for Jesus' five crucifixion wounds. He was nailed to the cross at his hands and feet and a Roman centurion stabbed him in the side with a spear.

The symbol can still be found on old European churches and other Christian buildings. The upside-down pentagram is a symbol for the holy spirit descending from heaven to be with people. The symbol also represented the Alpha and the Omega because you can create the five-pointed star from beginning to end without having to pick up your pen. The symbol was considered a talisman that would repel evil spirits.

The pentagram has also been used in the Baháʼí Faith, by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and Freemasons.

In the mid-1800s, occultists added new meaning to the symbol. When it points up, spirit reigns over the four material elements. In this position, it is considered good and attracts good forces. Esoteric writer Éliphas Lévi called the pentagram evil when the symbol points down. In this position, the pentagram represents the material reigning over the spiritual.

The way Lévi looked at the pentagram is similar to how tarot readers look at cards. For the most part, cards are fortunate in the upright position and are unfortunate in the reversed position.

Starting in about the 18th century, people saw the upside-down pentagram as a symbol of denying the holy trinity. The pentagram's reputation took some interesting twists and turns in the 20th century. It was associated with a Satanist group that was more or less atheists and not Satan worshipers. There was panic that Satanists were on a path of evil and corrupting youth. The panic was at its height in the 1980s and 1990s. Some schools banned students from drawing pentagrams and wearing clothing that had the symbol.

References

  1. Allman, G. J., Greek Geometry From Thales to Euclid (1889), p.26.
  2. Budge, Sir E. A. Wallis (1968). Amulets and Talismans. p. 433.
  3. Christian Symbols Ancient and Modern, Child, Heather and Dorothy Colles. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1971, ISBN 0-7135-1960-6.
  4. Dummett, Michael (1980). The Game of Tarot. Gerald Duckworth and Company Ltd. ISBN 0-7156-1014-7
  5. Hartmann, Franz (1895) [1886]. Magic, White and Black (5th ed.). New York: The Path. OCLC 476635673.
  6. Henry George Liddell, Robert Scott, A Greek-English Lexicon, on Perseus; a noun form of adjectival πεντάγραμμος (pentagrammos) or πεντέγραμμος (pentegrammos), a word meaning roughly "five-lined" or "five lines".
  7. Huson, Paul, (2004) Mystical Origins of the Tarot: From Ancient Roots to Modern Usage, Vermont: Destiny Books, ISBN 0-89281-190-0 Mystical Origins of the Tarot.

This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.

© 2021 Andrea Lawrence

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