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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 the balls in the air. If you continue this momentum you will achieve your dreams.

The Two of Pentacles indicates you are juggling many tasks. You are doing well to keep the balls in the air. If you continue this momentum you will achieve your dreams.

Introduction to the Two of Pentacles

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

The Rider–Waite Two of Coins was inspired by the ribbon of traditional tarots. The ribbon often displayed the name of the card manufacturer.

The Two of Pentacles is about juggling different things and trying to get a positive outcome out of it. The card is about balance and moderation. You may feel conflicted and drawn to opposing ideas.

The Reversed Two of Pentacles is about too much juggling, imbalance, and internal conflict. You 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. It includes a symbol that most people don't understand nor do they realize it has 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. It has been used by different cultures and religious groups for thousands of years. Pentagrams were used symbolically in ancient Greece and Babylon. In contemporary times, the pentagram is mostly commonly attributed to Wiccans. Wicca is one of the fastest growing religions in the world.

For the most part, the connotations of the symbol aren't universally shared. The pentagram means different things across cultures, time, and even places.

There is something about the five pointed star that is attractive to people, kind of like how today some symbols are shared by multiple organizations, fast food companies, and the like. For some reason: people find the pentagram aesthetically pleasing.

Religious Affiliations

From around 300-150 BCE, the pentagram symbolized Jerusalem. The city was taken over many times during this period by Alexander the Great, the Ptolemaies, and the Seleucids. The pentagram was marked by the 5 Hebrew letters ירשלם spelling its name.

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. The symbol can still be found on old European churches. The upside-down version meant the holy spirit was descending to be with the people.

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 elements. In this position, it is considered good. Esoteric writer Éliphas Lévi called the pentagram evil when the symbol points down. This represented the material reigning over the spiritual.

People also saw the upside-down pentagram as a denial of the holy trinity. The pentagram's reputation soured in the 20th century. It was associated with a Satanist group that was more or less atheists. There was panic that Satanists were on a path of evil and corrupting youth. The panic was at its height in the 1970s and 1980s. Some schools banned students from drawing pentagrams and wearing clothing that had the symbol.

Ancient History

Early pentagrams are on Sumerian pottery from Ur, circa 3500 BCE. The five-pointed star was a symbol of Ishtar and Marduk.

Pythagoreanism originated in the 6th century BC. You may remember Pythagoreas from your days in geometry class and studying triangles. He also had thoughts on the pentagram—he saw it as a symbol for mutual recognition and well being.

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 the pentacle. The star itself represents the destructive cycle. The circle around the star represents the creative cycle. Elements in this way can either generate more of a certain quality or diminish it.

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

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.

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. It's getting tricky to manage your responsibilities.

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

This card indicates you can handle the workload. You also 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. You also don't 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. You have to rush from one class to the next. You don't have enough time to catch your breath. You have to make decisions quickly. It's suggested that you take breaks. You need 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 power over you to the point that you lose touch with yourself. You need time to be still and restful. Remember: you sleep about a third of your day. Your body demands that you take breaks.

In order to get your workload done, stay focused. Do a little bit each day to move forward. 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 tangible.

If this card has appeared in a reading, take it as a sign that you should spend some time considering your activities. Make note of what is working 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 eat away the bigger ones.

This card encourages you to be patient as you juggle your responsibilities with your family, friends, finances, job, health, and the like. The earth element moves the slowest because it takes the time 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.

Reveresed 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, you can't get enough sleep, and you're struggling to stay on top of your bills. If this destructive cycle continues, 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 awhile.

The goal right now is to restructure your organization. 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.

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. 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 attentions and sometimes that is a distraction. We sometimes don't think we're 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 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 right down meetings
  • Signing up for text messages to remind you of doctor appointments
  • Writing to do lists
  • Writing check lists
  • Writing outlines for big projects
  • Writing down notes in meetings
  • Sticking to a consistent bed time schedule

Things that complicate your life:

  • Watching TV for hours on end once you get home. Doing this every day
  • 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
  • Never being alone with your thoughts

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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