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3 of Pentacles | Weekly Tarot Card Pt 4: Symbolism

This is the fourth installment of the Weekly Tarot Card. You can read the first three installments in the following links:

3 of Pentacles Symbolism

Today we look at the more universal depictions of the 3 of Pentacles symbolism. Not all cards carry the same imagery, and some simply do it for the sake of creating an appealing picture. However, some cards are packed with imagery with the intent of stimulating the intuitive senses. It is these symbols that I intend to focus on.

Color: Grey & Red

Grey:

Grey skies generally depict neutrality. However, this card is a little different. It’s not the grey of the sky, since they’re inside in the Rider-Wait 3 of Pentacles. However, the Thoth deck, too, carries on with different shades of grey (some might say it’s blue, but I’ll leave it just at grey for now). The latter gives the impression of steal, which leads the mind to industry, which can be associated with work.

Red

I say Red, but realy it’s kind of a reddish orange that’s found in a few depictions: the Aquarian Tarot and the Thoth Tarot, just to start. When we consider that red represents Wands which can mean passion, creation, and action, and yellow represents thought and communication, red-orange can represent the combination of these two. However, given that it’s closer to red than it is yellow, there’s some thought, but it’s mostly creation and action.

For some really fascinating information regarding the Thoth color system, check out this post on Esoteric Meanings.

Astrology: Mars & Capricorn

Mars represents active energy. In Greek mythology, Mars is Aries, and both Aries and Mars in mythology are the god of War. As a result, the planet Mars can represent aggression, and high energy. This can translate to sexual tension as well. In a more universal standpoint, the planet Mars can simply represent the masculine energetic trait, action.

Capricorn is the scaler. The sign of Capricorn represents climbing mountains, whether metaphorically or literally. They are known to set a high goal and do everything they can to attain it. Have you ever seen a goat on precarious mountain ledges?

Thus, the combination of these two is a force to be reckoned with. It’s action combined with determination. It’s not just the idea, but putting the idea into work in such a way that success is almost determined.

Scenery: Indoors

The 3 of Pentacles is one of the very few cards in the traditional depictions to be indoors.

Note: Usually when I’m sharing the meanings of the symbolism found in the cards, I’m using universally accepted definitions of these images. However, in this particular case of the indoors setting, I’m using my own.

In the Rider-Waite Tarot, there are three figures standing inside: one who is working on creating the archway, a man and a woman. They are all inside. I believe that the enclosed scene shows that they are all working on the same project. The two figures holding the plans are doing more than just checking in on the youth, but they are a part of what the youth is doing. I think this brings in the concept of working for the same company or on the same team, thus denoting teamwork.

Figures: Youth, Religious Man, Wealthy Woman

Three are three figures depicted in the Rider-Waite 3 of Pentacles. There is a youth, a woman, and a clergyman.

These figures show the different aspects of social life: the worker, the wealthy, and the religious. By putting the wealthy individual as a woman, it brings in a fourth aspect of society. This shows teamwork on all levels, not just the apprentice.

3 of Pentacles Symbolism

Take a moment to consider the 3 of Pentacles symbolism and imagery that you found in your own decks on Monday. Are they represented here? If not, what are they? Do you have your own associations with the symbols? Share your experience in the comments!

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Decks Used

The Aquarian Tarot in a Tin by Italian-born, American-raised David Palladini, was published originally in 1970 by U.S. Games Systems Inc, and then republished again in 2016 in a smaller size. Named after the Age of Aquarius, the Aquarian Tarot is a midieval depiction of the Rider-Waite Tarot system. The images are closer, and thus might give the impression of being more character-based rather than relying on symbolism. This intimate deck provides a stark reflection of the human condition in it’s journey through the tarot.

Faerie Tarot by Nathalie Hertz, published by U.S. Games Systems, Inc, 2008. Hertz is a French artist, and the creator of several other beautiful tarot decks. The Faerie Tarot was ‘inspired by the flora and fauna of the French countryside,’ and ‘invites you to see the world in a delightful new way…blending fantasy, whimsy, and nature.’

Impressionist Tarot by Arturo Picca (artist) and Corrine Kenner (author), published by Lo Scarabeo in 2015. This deck takes works of classic impressionist paintings and recreates them to fit the meanings of the tarot. It pulls from works of Edonard Manet, Claude Monet, Pierre Auguste Renoir, Edgar Degas, Vincent van Gough, and Paul Gauguin. A truly beautiful deck, especially for those who have interest in the art world.

Prisma Visions Tarot by James R. Eads, 3rd ed., published in 2016. The deck itself is beautiful, though perhaps not for the beginning tarot reader. The suits all fit together to create a master picture displaying the energy and progression of the suits. The figures and images flow from one card to the next, showing movement within the stationary cards.

Rider-Waite by A. E. Waite. The deck used in these photos is currently out of print. I won’t say much about this deck, as it is fairly standard and probably one of the most produced decks. It serves as a standard for many tarot readers and artists, depicting classic images relating in part to the original playing cards that tarot developed from.

The Spiral Tarot by Kay Steventon. With turn-of-the-20th-century style art, this deck takes from the classic Rider-Waite deck and brings it up to the late 1800-early 1900’s, a time of industry and contemplation for the western world as it moved forward into a more technological era. I am a little biased toward this deck as it’s been my main deck for 15 years. The cards are thick with additional symbolism that can be tricky to pick out of the traditional Rider-Waite, and adds layers of Greek myth throughout the Major Arcana.

Thoth Tarot by Aleister Crowley (designer and author) and Lady Frieda Harris (artist), published by U. S. Games Systems, Inc., in 1978. This deck takes from most esoteric imagery, and requires the reader of the deck to have deep, initiate knowledge of the symbolism used. There is nothing within the cards that is without meaning. However, on a more surface level, the deck draws from Egyptian symbolism and from the style of the Marseille Tarot (mostly seen within the Minor Arcana). For those looking for deeper understandings of the universe, I recommend this deck. I would caution that this deck is highly advanced, and might be avoided for the budding reader.

Vampire Tarot – by Nathalie Hertz, published by U.S. Games Systems, Inc. in 2000. As mentioned above in reference to the Faerie Tarot, Hertze is a French artist who gained her notability through the publication of her tarot decks. The Vampire Tarot was a bestselling deck upon its release, and plays on more gothic symbolism, providing more jarring interpretations to allow for the accepting of negative forces within the world to compliment the positive forces. The deck brings together myths and legends in the form of vampires, which ‘gives tarot readers a macabre passport’ into the world of divination.

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