General Book of the Tarot
TRADITION: Perfect contentment, felicity, happiness, ecstasy, perfect joy, perfect remedy, fulfilment of what has been asked in prayer. Reversed: Capital, riches, opulence, treasure. Something of principal value or valuable, dear, expensive, rare, highly esteemed.
THEORY: The element of Fire, of the nature of the Sun and Venus, on the house of the Sun, the Fifth: indeed this card has been well defined by the traditional renderings, which give it all as very benefic. How could it be anything else? The aces are all more or less a commencement, new prospects, etc. If you get the ace of pentacles or hearts on one of your
houses in the horoscopic figure, you may be pretty sure that the matters to which the house in question relates will be beneficial and, on account of the fiery element, irresistible. It means the commencement of that what is wished for, desired, and this is what man calls his happiness. It is the spark of the Ego demonstrated in the practice of daily life; and this is what may well be called the note of good, which also brings good luck to other people. So there is creative energy in this card. Not yet worked out into details, but originally decided and fairly sure to work out in the future in lucky events and prosperous happenings. So there is promise in it and it is above all a card of good augury of a new and prosperous beginning. It is like a bright spark. Even among very bad cards it is the bright spark of hope and good-will, though of course in such cases it may be too weak to conquer adverse circumstances immediately. It may mean further a person or thing of first ranking. A child. A speculation.
CONCLUSION: Creative energy, fulfilment of hope, wish and desire, good luck, bright prospects, beginning of a new era in life, happiness, good
augury; a child; a speculation. As to material effects it is benefic without being in itself the indication of riches or gold. It may be a present, a donation. Profit. Promise. Goodness. Favour. It may indicate the person, who is chiefly of interest, and of benefic influence.
Two of Pentacles
TRADITION: Embarrassment, obstacles, obstruction, emotion, confusion, difficulty, hindrance, unrest, etc. Reversed it is given as message, writing, doctrine, literature, work, book, production, composition, epistle, elements, principles; cheques. Another version gives: "A card of gaiety, recreation and its connections." (W.)
THEORY: The Fire on the Sixth house, the house of Virgo. Now here the so-called reversed meanings in the tradition seem to hold the most current significances of this house. Which once more warns us against attaching too great, if any, importance to the idea of 'reversed' position. The tradition does not give a very clear conception here, on the whole.
The word 'emotion' is not in its place; as to embarrassment, this is correct: the influence of the sunny and Venusian fire on this house of infinite possibilities must naturally cause 'embarras du choix,' the difficulty of choice, and the one possibility hindering the other; giving too much force and attention to little or subordinate things and persons. There can be very little harm, however, in any card of the pentacles suit; the greatest evil done here might be that too little profit is earned in proportion to the labour given to it. On the other hand this card must necessarily mean good and conscientious work and fidelity of servants, agreeable and satisfactory work, reasonable remuneration, and consequently joy. The agreeable stimulation which it gives to the nervous
system must cause gaiety, recreation, etc. Good health is also one of the results.
CONCLUSION: Good work, reasonable satisfaction, satisfactory results, agreeable occupations, but a warning to use economy in the display of one's forces, means, money and health; difficulty of choice; trustworthy and good servants; good treatment of same; joy, gaiety, recreation, etc. Feeling of physical well-being. It must denote also machinery, technics, abilities in these.
Three of Pentacles
TRADITION: Nobility, noblesse, good and generous action, aristocracy, fame, glory, splendour, etc. Consideration, generous action. The reversed meanings do not appear at all to respond to a card of pentacle-nature and, as in many other cases, simply seem to imply the absence of the better qualities: weakness, humility, vile and abject action, etc. Another version gives: "Métier, trade, skilled labour." (W.)
THEORY: The Fire on the Seventh house, which rules the contact of the Self and the Not-self, the relations between both, the executive ability in man. So this must lead to the idea of well-doing and noble demeanour, owing to the Sun and Venus again. Compare horoscopes with the Sun and Venus in VII. Well-conducted relations denote civilisation, aristocracy, and the proper expression of one's relation to the world in his occupation, his métier, as W. has it; profession, marriage and employment. So this card has to do with 'workmanship,' which is well expressed by the drawing of the card in the set of W.
CONCLUSION: Civilisation, aristocracy, good workmanship, skill, civil treatment and noblesse, agreeable relation, métier, employment, profession, marriage; good done to other people, bounty, profitable relations in business; restoration, reparation, beneficial arrangement. A marriage will do much good.
Four of Pentacles
TRADITION: A present, gratification, gift, inheritance, legacy; liberality, generosity, offerings, etc. "The surety of possessions, cleaving to that which one has." (W.) Reversed it is said to represent: A circle, circuit, and in general that which limits, encircles, holds, walls, encloses.. So it may be a convent, monastery. Further obstacles, delay, suspense.
THEORY: The Fire of the heart on the house of Scorpio, the Eighth, which is the house of secrets, of the money and possessions of other people, of death and sex, of inheritance and debt, loans and delay in all material matters, psychic activity, but much hampering in all physical activities-- all this makes clear much of what tradition has handed down.
Everything falling in this house is connected with some secret, which cannot be divulged to the outer world, and consequently in relation to this world these things cannot appear in their full light or significance, are more or less handicapped, meet with obstacles and are wrongly judged. It is related to monastic life indeed. On the other hand it is the psychic and sexual expression of the love born in the heart, and it means, on this account, certainly "cleaving to that which one has" in a very personal way. It is the card of desire, attachment, secret longing for possession, which, when not being satisfied, may lead to retreat and retirement. The fire of the heart is here suffering from dissatisfaction or impossibility of realisation. It is probably the least favourable card of the
pentacles suit, at least in a material sense. It may hold much good for the future, however. Material benefit in this case will never go without some loss or sadness at the same time, as in the case of inheritance.
CONCLUSION: Desire, longing, etc., which will be probably satisfied in the future, delay, retreat, retirement, secret possession, legacy, inheritance, loan, mortgage, gift, the former not without some drawback, sadness or loss. Debt, probably going to be paid. Condition of being limited, enclosed, hampered or delayed. Some good which is not within the reach of the querent.
Five of Pentacles
TRADITION: Lover, mistress, also husband and wife, friend, beloved person. Accord, convenience, well-being, affinity. Reversed they give: Bad conduct, ruin even, confusion, disorder, discord, dissipation, chaos, profligacy. Mr. W. says: "It foretells material trouble above all."
THEORY: The latter saying of Mr. W. is probably correct in any case, but we do not agree that the different renderings "cannot be harmonised." The Fire of the heart on the Ninth house, that of Sagittarius, explains them all without difficulty. It is the emanation of love, which makes practically the lover and the mistress, e.g. husband and wife, when
regularised by civil law, and friends, when between persons of the same sex, sympathy and popularity, enthusiasm, hopefulness, love of travelling, roaming about, which in weaker cases easily leads to Bohemian habits, carelessness, disorder and so on. Society will call this in many cases bad conduct, and find much to criticise. That the expansive nature indicated by this card causes 'material troubles above all,' is evident, because it means that more is given out than received,
which in matters of this material world does in fact bring troubles. But of a sort that may be easily forgiven, and helped, if not carried too far.
CONCLUSION: Emanation, expansion, love-making and the consequences: lover, mistress, husband, wife, friend; sympathy, popularity, enthusiasm, hopefulness, well-being, affinity. Expenses, material troubles, and in weak cases: disorder, vagrancy, roaming about without aim, waywardness, bad conduct, profligacy, confusion, etc. It is sure to indicate love outside the lines of a legal marriage. Strong individualism, which however is probably ruled by a strong will and a good heart. Brilliancy, but sometimes lack of the sense of responsibility. Travelling or emigration will do much good.
Six of Pentacles
TRADITION: The present, the actual moment, to-day; a witness, contemporary, attention, good care, vigilance. Presents, gifts, gratifications, prosperity. Reversed it is said to denote: Cupidity, jealousy, desire, passion, lust and researches.
THEORY: The Fire of the heart on the house of Capricorn, the Tenth, which is the house of the act, the deed, actuality, position and name, superiors and authorities. Moreover it denotes the actual time in the horoscope. The descriptions given by tradition are consequently correct and to the point. We may add, that here, in this combination, the heart's
desire and wish, the impulses to speculate and to create, to make love and to do good, all become active and acute. So this must be a card of practical things, which for the greater part will be of a benefic nature. Good action, which may include the fulfilment of duty as well as giving presents and alms. It means putting the heart into your action, working,
acting, doing with much pleasure, conviction and self-confidence. This
makes success almost certain. It means good-will and noble intention proved by gracious, charitable or useful action.
CONCLUSION: Good, useful, charitable action, duty well executed, even where not prescribed by written law or order; sense of moral duty; charity, well-doing; presents, gifts, prosperity, fruitfulness. Things being duly and well paid. Good selling. The seizing of opportunity. There is advantage in acting at once. The present moment, to-day. In weak cases there may be of course some sort of speculating on other people's charity or presents, consequently something like desire, cupidity, etc.
Seven of Pentacles
TRADITION: Money, riches, sums of money, also silver especially. Has to do with the moon and whiteness. Candour, innocence, purgation, purification. Business, barter. Reversed: Mental worries, suspicion, diligence, fear, mistrust, etc.
THEORY: The Fire with its sunny and Venusian character on the Eleventh house, the house of friends, in which the Self has to rely for a good deal on them or to live for them, but in which it sometimes finds it hard to give up its own desires and wishes. Still in the main it contains 'friendly' surroundings and is the house of traffic and business, of
practical co-operation and interrelation. Aquarius is the house of the Angels too, and this may account perhaps for such renderings as innocence, purgation, etc., and may mean that the individualistic and egotistic elements have to be modified into something more 'brotherly.' What we have to do with the moon and its metal silver here, is less clear,
unless the idea has been induced by the electric-blue colour of this house, or by the fact that it is the first house of the lunar body in the
solar system. Neither can we very clearly see why it should indicate riches, money, etc. This is probably a rather coarse transmission of the idea, that friendly relations together with the person's own good intentions and good-will must produce advantages in material things. So the card must indicate good business, profitable friendship, assistance and help of friends and vice versa; reliable and agreeable surroundings outside the family circle. The advantages will probably be the outcome of what has been sown before by good action. For 'fear, mistrust,' etc., we can see no reason.
CONCLUSION: Friendship, concord, friendly relations and sympathetic, reliable and agreeable surroundings outside the family circle; profitable cooperation, advantage, good business, remuneration. Natural and rational outcome of what has been sown previously.
Eight of Pentacles
TRADITION: A dark girl, honest girl. Reversed: usury, voided ambitions, vanity, cupidity, avarice. W. says: "Work, employment, commission, craftsmanship, skill in craft and business." Another version has also: abundance, hospitality, politeness, kind reception, majority, augmentation, etc.
THEORY: It is the Fire on the Twelfth house. This has not much to do with useful work directly, nor with employment, but very much with skill and ingenuity, genial finding-out of the nature of things, so 'craftsmanship' may stand. For the rest, it is the house of offering, devotion, self-undoing, imprisonment and treason. The combination of the fire of the heart with it produces very different effects. Above all it gives skill and bravery, far above the average, outdoing the
commonplace, neglecting fashion, sinning against tradition but widening the views and outlook. Dexterity will ensue from it. In matters of the heart it always tends to the unusual, superhuman, exotic, wayward, strange or dreamy. The illustration of the card is to be taken more as a warning against the dangers of this house than as a direct descriptive
image of its nature; as a sort of hint: keep to your work, do not let yourself be led astray or misguided. It is also the house of the sick, the hospital and the addiction of 'hospitality' may well allude to this fact. Charity comes under it. That ambitions are wrecked in this house is correct in general, still the pentacles are never strong in any evil sense, and they are apt to wreck fortunes or bubble reputations rather than ambitions. With 'avarice' it has nothing to do whatever, as far as we can see. The 'dark girl' is another question: apart from the court-cards the ace is very often taken to indicate a boy or youth, the eight a girl. The cups are generally taken to denote fair people, the pentacles dark people.
Apart from this Eteilla makes the cards of wands--ace to ten--stand for young people, from one to twenty years of age. The reason for this we have not found out. If the eight always indicates a girl (which may be so because the eight always falls upon a house of water, which is entirely feminine in its nature), and the fiery pentacles must relate to dark-haired
or even dark-skinned people, then the indication is right, and we shall accept it as far as it goes.
CONCLUSION: Devotion to what is not a prescribed duty, charity, skill, artistic ability, work done under inspiration, dexterity, uncommon qualities, perhaps geniality or even genius. Researches into the mysteries of Nature; nursing, work in hospitals or sanatoria, and these institutions themselves. In weak cases misleading appearances, making a useless show of activity. In very strong cases there is an artistic or genial ability, which will be only appreciated later. There will generally be sacrifice accompanying a work. Work for hospitals or prisons. Good card for a medical man or a clergyman. In weak cases there may be Bohemian love ending in degradation, depravation, waste of money, etc., though never by this card alone. On the contrary, it may indicate the conversion of a goodfor- nothing to labour. Dark girl.
Nine of Pentacles
TRADITION: Effect, realisation, accomplishment; positive certain fulfilment of what is presaged by the neighbouring cards, succeeding. Reversed it is said to give: Deception, bad faith, vain hope, idle promise,
THEORY: It is the Fire on the ascendant, First house, and consequently must be very positive in its meaning and effect. The word 'effect' is correct here and everything in the meaning of this card must be positive in its nature. There may be some conceit and self-satisfaction, but not without goodness of heart; self-centredness rather. The person indicated by this card must be a good sportsman and honest above all. So we can see no reason whatever, even in weak cases for addictions such as 'bad faith,' etc. Neither can we see 'prudence' in it, as one version has it. The force in it does not tolerate contradiction nor delay, does not reason, but acts at once.
CONCLUSION: Honesty, positive attitude, sport, self-centredness and confidence in one's self, self-reliance, certitude, accomplishment, directness, no attention paid to other people's standpoint. Means to the querent: go ahead, you will succeed. Prompt arrival of things. Strong affirmative answer on questions. The effect is certain.
Ten of Pentacles
TRADITION: The house and the household, economy, gain, riches, family matters, archives. Building --a castle as well as a hut--vessel, ship, race, posterity. Fortune, game. Reversed it is said to give: Fatality, destiny, opportunity, fate, gratification, dowry, pension. Also decision.
THEORY: The element Fire on the house of Taurus, the Second, confirms again the remarkable correctness of tradition, without giving the astrological key to the significance. Naturally this card must have to do with economy, gain, riches, fortune, etc., while Taurus, as the vast field of action in the universe, actually procures that which is called
'opportunity.' The influence of Venus and the Sun on the second house is very favourable for art as well as for monetary matters. So this must be a card of a great artistic value, foretelling success in music and painting and an immense love of the beautiful. It indicates possession without drawback or danger, domains, land, estates, but more the 'possession'
than the 'house' as such, and probably this has been more or less mixed up in the past, because one saw a possession consisting in a house, a castle, even a ship, etc. These very intricate constructions themselves, however, cannot be under the rule of the vast and monotonously extensive house of Taurus. The card must stand for banking or insurance house, and favour both trades: banking and insurance. It promises prosperity by means of economy, agriculture, perhaps artdealing. Further every collective possession.
CONCLUSION: Fortune, riches, favourable chance in monetary matters, economy, agriculture, art, specially music and painting, may give a beautiful voice, advantage in worldly affairs, possessions, specially domains, land, property; banking, insurance, art-dealing. In weak cases the card may indicate laziness, idleness, dull luxury and the degenerating influence of an existence without trouble or exertion: it is like full
midsummer in human life. There may be some fatality in it. You cannot escape this good ripe fruit of karma, nor the fullness of Nature at its height. The attitude of the wise must be: to enjoy.
King of Pentacles
TRADITION: Dark man, banker, trader, speculator, mathematician, master, professor. Success in mathematics and science in general. Reversed there are given: Vice, weakness, corruption, deformity, etc.
THEORY: Very often the 'reversed' meanings are nothing else but the expression of the lack of the quality given as 'right.' But this scarcely seems worth taking into account, because all qualities, which are not indicated are wanting, and moreover there are cards which decidedly indicate vices, as will be shown. The King is the higher octave of the ace, and this particular king heads the cross of fixed signs, so has to do with economy, agriculture, art, vast business, devotional service of the church. The general effect of this card must consequently be to afford protection, and as it shows a very
favourable attitude on the part of superiors or influential people, though these will be rather young, or at least, not very old. There is above all noblesse in this card, integrity, honesty above all doubt, nor is anything in it which can be turned to evil, were it thrice reversed. The only sort of faults that could be observed in people coming under it would be pride
coupled with some vanity, love of pomp, gambling. The Leo-type will naturally dominate the card. Here is a man whom you must go to see and visit, because he will never come to you. He has a widespread influence, which is for the good of everybody who wishes to profit by it, and against which it is hopeless to contend. The card means further
everything in the way of sanction, agreement, consent, etc., and gives success in love-affairs and marriage.
CONCLUSION: Noble, good and honest man; generally of influential position, central power, honourable intentions, whom you may trust, but whom you cannot counteract successfully; whom you must go out to meet and whom you must not expect to come and visit you. May be banker, speculator, gambler, commander, general or manager. Benefic influence, wealth, luxury, good cheer. In weak cases vanity, pride. Success in mechanics and machinery.
Queen of Pentacles
TRADITION: Dark woman, who suggests "the idea of greatness of soul; she has also the serious cast of intelligence." (W.) Opulence, riches, luxury, assurance (insurance?), security, liberty, frankness. Reversed: Doubt, indecision, uncertainty, timidity, apprehension, vacillation, etc.
THEORY: The higher octave of the two, consequently covering the Sixth house and demonstrating the features of the noble Virgo-type. So this must be a woman always inclined to help and to serve, to make herself useful, a nurse perhaps, a household woman of good standing a good hostess. There are also qualities of science in this house, as it is the house of the Academy and Minerva. So she may be as an incarnation of Minerva herself, protecting science and craftsmanship as the Dame of Wands protects the arts. She must have many qualities and above all refinement, though she may suffer more or less from the evil--so far as it can be called--of doubt, and the difficulty of choosing between many possibilities in her nature. She is generous and benefic. Her presence is a good augury and she brings always protection and material wealth or at
least well-being, ruling this house of earth. There may be some timidity; there is always honesty, honourable action, correctness and the right attitude to all problems of life, discretion, education, understanding, knowledge. These qualities certainly engender security in life.
CONCLUSION: A good and intelligent woman, who will render service to the querent, benefic influence, help, assistance in word, advice and action. Woman of good standing and refined type, the personification of honesty, protection, knowledge, understanding, education, culture. Discretion may sometimes lapse into timidity through sensitiveness. Material benefit, earnings, wealth, rent, products. Security, assuredness, insurance, certificate or diploma. Patronage of science and technical and industrial works.
Page of Pentacles
TRADITION: Dark young man, disciple, student, speculator, commercial man. Application, scholarship, study, reflexion, meditation, occupation, rule, management, news, message and the messenger himself. The reverse meanings are here for once even given as favourable for the greater part: Profession, luxury, sumptuousness, breadth, abundance, magnificence, liberality, generosity, well-doing. Also the crowd, multitude. Degradation, dissipation.
THEORY: The Page, always more or less of a messenger, in this case of fiery nature, on the Seventh house, as well as on the Third. The latter house is that of the disciple and the message; so here the traditional rendering is again quite correct. The seventh house explains everything that is said about application, occupation, profession, liberality, etc., this being the house of Libra, of relation. We may add, that the card will
indicate a proposal of marriage, courting, love-making, but in a gentle, sometimes a poetical or platonic way, not without ardour however. It has also to do with all sorts of honourable offices and denominations and may indicate any official person in the civil service and commerce, a stationer, bookseller or editor, bookkeeper or director, appointed by the
owner or patron.
CONCLUSION: Disciple, student, messenger, and the message, good and favourable news; a newsagent; honourable denomination, commission, news about a position or relation, contract or profession. Liberal conduct of people towards the querent. A director, directing manager, bookkeeper, assistant. Editor, bookseller. Honourable mention. Agreeable conditions in general. Application, study, reflexion, arrangement, occupation, well-doing, goodness. May denote a meeting, a committee or a board of directors.
Knight of Pentacles
TRADITION: Utility, advantage, serviceableness, profit, interest, gain,importance, necessity. Reversed it is said to give: Repose, tranquillity, apathy, inertia, idleness, discouragement; also recreation, etc.
THEORY: The Fire on the Eighth and on the Fourth house, personified. The traditional renderings are not bad but far from complete. The eighth house is that of our debts, money of other people and of the dead in particular. So the querent may profit by legacies or inheritance. Consequently the benefic influence on the weak point in our material
conditions may be interpreted as: advantage, interest, etc. But the knight is always a personification, too, and this is not given in the traditional interpretation. We must see him as a person who is obliging, carrying out a will, coming to the aid of the querent, secretly or confidentially
perhaps, at least not publicly, visiting him in his house, saving him from material and financial troubles. It may be a loan, inheritance or advance, but without any hard conditions connected with it, so it may be a present. On the other hand the houses mentioned give the tendency to retire from the outer world; this accounts for renderings such as
'inactivity, inertia,' etc. . . . We should say, it means the tendency to enjoy the good things of the heart(s) within one's own private or family circle, in repose, in some retreat, secretly. In weak cases there may be some danger of degeneration into idleness or indolence, etc. In connection with the fourth house, ruling family matters and the past, the
home and the storehouse (of memory, e.g.) the card must have to do with pleasant memories, recollections, people we have known before; collections and collecting.
CONCLUSION: A good help, discreet aid in financial difficulties, paying of debts; advantage, interest, etc. And the person who brings these to the querent. Loan, inheritance, advance, present. Happy memories, collections and collecting, recollection; savings. Persons whom we have known before or who stand in a nearer relation to us than is known or announced publicly. In weak cases: indolence, secret enjoyment, idleness, stagnation, etc.