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The Four of Pentacles depicts a merchant lord sitting on a simple stone block throne in the middle of a thriving metropolis. This man is so cheap he doesn’t even have his throne embellished beyond the most basic indications that it is a platform.
He tightly grips a coin in an “infinite loop,” and prevents two from escaping while boastfully proclaiming his sovereignty of wealth by wearing yet another coin on top of his self-stylized crown.
This man needs to display his smallness as much as he needs to display his wealth and “power.” He is as fixed as his pose. Please do note that this is the only metropolis setting in the entire Tarot.
Money works best when it flows. The idea of great wealth is not to stop the flow at all. It is the process of diverting some of the vast flow of golden coins to jingle your way as you create a small pool for them to circulate in before they flow out to parts unknown, preferably at a much slower rate than they come in.
Having large amounts of money and not being able to spend it (on food, clothing, luxuries, or necessities) is not wealth. It is hell.
The Four of Pentacles card presents us with the complete stoppage of the flow of money. This man hoards what little he has, and so he gets no more. This card indicates being too controlling with any resources, to the point of being locked in a box. This card says, “There is no money available. Period.” End of story.
Tight-fisted boss or landlord, or someone who publicly wears excessive amounts of gold or other status and wealth indicators to intimidate and impress others. Obsessively greedy people, corporate feudal lords and their political cronies. Dictators.
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