King of Pentacles

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The King of Pentacles has achieved great things and is proud of the wealth, status and abundance he has amassed for himself. A confident and capable King, the upright King of Pentacles is a vision of prosperity and a potent reminder of the success that hard work can bring.

In his positive aspect, the King of Pentacles is a solid power symbol, and an indication that your efforts are sure to bear fruit and that the various frameworks of your life are well-balanced and stable. But like all other Tarot cards, the King of Pentacles has a shadow side, emerging only when the card appears reversed in a Tarot reading.

What the King of Pentacles represents

The King of Pentacles is one of the four Kings of the Tarot’s Minor Arcana. He is the monarch of the element of earth and all of its associations. Earth represents the tangible aspects of life, including our homes, finances, and even our physical bodies.

The King of Pentacles may appear as a sign that the areas of your life represented by the earth element are balanced and healthy, but he can also represent a person in your life, or an aspect of your own personality.

Symbols in the King of Pentacles Tarot card

Depictions of the King of Pentacles Tarot card differ between different decks, but you will find the following symbology in almost all of them.

The King

The main feature of the King of Pentacles Tarot card is the King, shown as a confident and powerful ruler, clearly at ease on his throne. His robe is embroidered with a pattern vines and grapes, mirroring the lushness of the landscape around him and signifying abundance and growth. From beneath his long flowing robe an armour-clad foot peeks out, reminding us that underpinning the soft and indulgent landscape is the King’s iron will.

The throne

The King’s throne is decorated with carvings of bulls, linking him to the astrological sign of Taurus. Taurus is one of the earth signs, characterised by an appreciation of lush and beautiful surroundings and by valuing security and stability highly.

The sceptre

In his right hand the King holds a golden sceptre, topped with a golden orb, a sign of completion and fruition. The sceptre itself is a classical symbol of royalty.

The pentacle

Balanced between his left knee and his left hand is a large golden pentacle with a five-pointed star emblazoned on it, signifying the King’s ability to work with and control the other elements, not just earth. The pentacle itself is a solid symbol of the King’s ability to manifest wealth and abundance.

The abundant landscape

The King is surrounded on all sides by a lush and plentiful landscape, similar to the one we see in the Empress Tarot card, making it clear that his is a prosperous domain. There is a profusion of vines and flowers, a large, clear body of water supplying ample sustenance, and a large castle symbolising the pinnacle of worldly success.

King of Pentacles Tarot card meanings

When the King of Pentacles tarot card appears upright, he is showing himself from his best side; all of his positive qualities come to the fore. These are the primary King of Pentacles Tarot card meanings and interpretations.

A born leader

The King of Pentacles is a born leader and a consummate captain.

In Tarot readings, he most often signifies a mature man, someone well-established in life and in their chosen field. The King of Pentacles knows who he is, and he exudes the calm confidence of someone who has long since proven himself and earned his title. Others trust and admire him for his skill and wisdom, and he is much sought-after as a mentor.

Financial acumen

The upright King of Pentacles knows his way around money. Because he prioritises earthly success and security, works hard and possesses a natural business acumen, he is often wealthy.

A person with a King of Pentacles-like personality is naturally attuned to the ebb and flow of money. He is excellent at both making and managing the green stuff, and just like his element, earth, he has the ability to make a little grow into a lot.

Stability, security, support

The King of Pentacles is reliable, stable and solid through and through. He relishes the role of the provider and it brings him great joy to be able to take care of his loved ones, supporting them both materially and otherwise.

Patience

The King of Pentacles is a tortoise rather than a hare – he plays the long game. Just like his element, he has the wisdom to let things grow in their own time. When others are giving up on their business endeavours or investments when there is no immediate payoff, the King of Pentacles is happy to let things slowly grow and develop. He knows that seeds, if planted in fertile soil and tended well, will eventually grow into flowers or fruit-bearing trees.

Reversed King of Pentacles Tarot card meanings

When the King of Pentacles shows up reversed, so do his qualities and abilities. These are the most common reversed King of Pentacles Tarot card meanings.

Financial ineptitude

The reversed King of Pentacles may not share the upright King’s ability to work hard on growing his wealth – in fact, he may be a sign of financial illiteracy and ineptitude.

The reversed King of Pentacles often points to a tendency to squander resources and to generally be irresponsible when it comes to money. The reverse King of Pentacles may accrue excessive credit card debt, develop a gambling addiction, or struggle to make ends meet.

Inflexibility

Another reversed King of Pentacles meaning is inflexibility, being stuck in your groove and set in your way. The King of Pentacles reversed may point to an inability to take even the most calculated of risks.

A superficial focus on status and money

The King of Pentacles reversed takes his love of gold a little too far, becoming overly obsessed with status and wealth. Whereas the upright King maintains a healthy perspective on his materialism, the King of Pentacles reversed points out a toxic tendency to value things over people.

What the King of Pentacles means in a Tarot reading about love and romance

Upright

The King of Pentacles indicates a healthy, supportive and fruitful liaison. There is a sense of wanting to build something something solid and lasting.

Reversed

Things are unstable, unbalanced, potentially toxic. There is a misalignment; perhaps one partner in the relationship is overly dependent on the other, or your priorities and plans for the future may be mismatched.

What the King of Pentacles means in a Tarot reading about career ambition

Upright

The King of Pentacles Tarot card meanings really come to their right in readings about career and finances, representing business acumen and a highly developed financial intuition. Now is a good time to lean more into your potential and explore what financial magic you might be able to work. Consider where you could invest or plant new financial seeds.

Reversed

When the King of Pentacles shows up reversed in a business and career context, it is a clear indication that all is not well. Identify and own up to the problem – are you making enough to support yourself and anyone who may depend on you? Are you living within your means? Are you planting your money where it will grow, or are you spending all of it as soon as it comes in?

Lucius Nothing

Lucius has been slinging tarot cards professionally since 2014. He’s taken the tarot to places most wouldn’t think of: His best-known patrons include Torture Garden, The Dark Circus Party, Handel & Hendrix, A Curious Invitation and The Candlelight Club, where he has been resident tarot reader for the past half-decade. His writing on divination, magic and creativity has been published in Sabbat Magazine and on Medium.

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