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This series is to help folks recognize the Minor Arcana in their day-to-day lives and their community. I’ll generally base my interpretations off Pamela Colman Smith’s illustrations from the Smith-Waite or Rider-Waite deck. In this article, we look at The Seven of Pentacles in detail.
As we progress through Ostara, Beltane, and Spring, as we roll through Taurus season, we get an opportunity to work with the 5, 6, and 7 of Pentacles. Many groups have connected Tarot and Astrology. One school of thinking connects the Minor Arcana with the decans of the signs. The Decans are 3 divisions within each astrological sign based on the degrees; Decan 1 is 0º-9º, Decan 2 is 10º-19º, and Decan 3 is 20º-29º.
In Tarot, the suit of Pentacles is the suit of Earth.
This suit is where we take a look at issues around our money, our homes, and our physical worlds. Moreover, this is where we deal with what it takes to physically survive, live, prosper, and/or produce things in the real world. This is food in the fridge, gas in the car, money in the bank. It is also where we encounter issues and work around our self-worth.
As we move through the Pentacles, we will encounter Taurus, Virgo, and Capricorn, the three Earth signs of the zodiac. Taurus is a fixed Earth sign. Its decans correlate to 5, 6, and 7, the three cards “fixed” in the middle of the suit.
Taurus itself correlates to The Hierophant card (for more on that card check out The Hierophant and The Empress.) The Hierophant is the archetypal leader who wants to (and sometimes needs to) control things from above, like the Eye of God. And so, the Minor Arcana connected to it are some of the real world elements of how we will begin to “create our dominion” in the physical world.
What does the Seven of Pentacles mean?
It may not seem like it at first glance, but we are finally making some progress in the Seven of Pentacles. For example, we see a healthy-looking person in clean clothes. Compare this image to folks in the Five of Pentacles or Six of Pentacles. They look at a bush covered in growing coins, green leaves, and curling vines. The big green leaves let us know this system is healthy and functional. The curling tendrils imply a type of curiosity for the potentials inherent in the situation. In the Sevens, we are at a point where we take a moment to breathe, rest, and maybe even dream of what we could do with what we have managed to grow so far.
The standing figure in the Seven of Pentacles is interpreted in many ways.
Their undergarments are blue, with the same meaning as the last two cards. Even after all the hardships they’ve faced, as the fruits of their labors begin to sprout, their heart is into it, and they are once again emotionally invested. They actually feel safe to hope. They also wear a bright orange tunic and orange boots. Their Will has fired up again as well, they are getting their determination and passion back.
About those boots, you ever notice they are different colors?
Look carefully and see the boot on the right, closest to the plants, has a greenish, muted hue. We can interpret this two ways. One, we are taking on a little bit of the qualities of Earth, and seeing what it feels like to root into a situation. What it feels like to slow down and invest time and energy in a project because we want the results. Two, through engaging that process, we begin to grasp an understanding of our own real potential. An understanding based in the material world, not just the conceptual.
Nonetheless, this person is just standing there. Another way to interpret this card is maybe they are daydreaming about how much more this situation could produce. Perhaps they are impatiently staring at the coins, trying to get them to hurry up and grow. Or maybe they are just taking a break after working hard the last few hours. But whatever is going on in the Seven of Pentacles, something about the situation has shifted to a place where we can stop struggling and just stand there for a minute.
Altogether, I see this card as the Universe saying, “Give it time, you only now have just an inkling what this could become”.
Equally important to the external experience, internally, this card represents the moment we begin to see our own worth. In other words, we begin to truly understand the potential of our value. We learn (slowly) about our talents, skillsets, or the resources we have access to. It must be remembered that this takes time to realize in ourselves. It takes time for situations to reveal their true nature and actual depth. And often, we don’t have these moments of calm revelation until we have been through some form of hardship or some type of character-building crisis.
In the background is, well, almost nothing. Just farmland. In this card, things that previously registered as a crisis or a distraction – aka drama – have fallen away, and we’re simply here, with ourselves, our work, and our potential. The grey sky indicates we are still working from within a tradition or other people’s definitions of success. Until we get clear skies and the bright Sun of our Self-driven agenda, these coins may never reach their full potential. But, there are some purple mountains way off in the background, and that is our signal, like in many other Minor Arcana cards, that what we’re doing today does, in fact, contribute to our Soul’s Work, our trek up to The Holy Mountain. What are you producing in the world? Do you really know your inherent worth?
What could you grow and grow into?
What does your garden grow?