Tarot for the Modern Reader
King of Pentacles


Image of The King of Pentacles cardWhen a court card shows up in a reading, we need to determine if it represents another person, or an aspect of ourselves. It can indicate how we are acting or feeling in a given situation, or suggest a personality to emulate.  Sometimes it's a quality we project onto others, and occasionally, they represent situations. However, I typically find that it represents either someone else involved in the situation, or some aspect of the querent.
Kings typically represent the "mature masculine" of the court cards. Like Queens, they have reached a higher level of mastery, they are no longer learning as much as they are teaching.  They manifest the qualities of their suit in a very outward manner. They are usually teaching or leading by example in their respective suits.  They are the fathers, leaders, bosses, and rulers. They have been given power and authority because they have earned it and know how to use it. Their long gowns connote wisdom, respect, authority and tenure. Also to note, the qualities of each king can just as easily be seen in a female querent, they are not gender specific. Kings are responsible for leading their people, so as they represent mastery and success, they also represent social responsibility.
The King of Pentacles is a rich stately looking card.  The overall coloring is a deep rich gold and luscious greens, with some dark purple thrown in for good measure.  The overall look to this card says wealth and abundance.  Our king sits on his solid stately looking throne adorned with bulls, the symbol for Taurus, a sign he rules.  There is even a bull under his left foot, symbolizing his dominion over money and prosperity.  Taurus is the sign for abundance and also associated with the Empress. Unlike the other kings, his gown and robe are one and the same, again connoting his wealth, they are rich heavy drapings covered in grapes and their vines, which symbolize fertility, abundance and blessings.  They are considered the fruit of the earth. All around him are signs of abundance, the vegetation springs up green everywhere, and there are bunches of grapes as well as flowers growing.  Even his golden crown is adorned with braided vines and flowers. Unlike the queen who sits in a field, the king has a castle in the background, symbolizing that he has built material wealth and abundance as well. In his right hand he holds a globed scepter befitting of a king, tilted to the right, the side of action in the world, and in his left, a large gleaming pentacle.  His primary focus is on money and the financial wealth and stability he has built, hence even his gaze is directed at his large coin.
The King of Pentacles is a relaxed comfortable man. He has worked hard to get to where he is financially (symbolized by the castle in the background), but now just wants to sit back and enjoy life, enjoy the fruits of his labors (symbolized by the garden).  He has built quite a life for himself, and has spent years pursuing work and career to get here, so that now he may enjoy the finer things, and share them with those he loves, as well, the King of Pentacles is a generous loving man. He takes pride in what he has built. He is not the adventurous leader like the King of Wands, but like the King of Swords, he is suited to the leadership role, and quite comfortable in it, however he truly does take a much more relaxed approach. This however does not take away from how powerful this king is.
In terms of generosity, if this card represents you or someone you know, it says that while you have quite a bit of material wealth, it is known by others, and you are open to sharing it with those you care about.  You are also open to sharing the secrets of your success, or leading and teaching others how to create financial abundance in their own lives as well.  This king is not selfish. He would love to help those around him.  If you are looking for a benefactor or an investor for something, receiving this card is a good omen, as it indicates someone with the ability and willingness to help could be on the way. It is a good sign to see this card in relation to any type of money you are hoping to receive; he could symbolize a friendly loan officer or even a kind and generous boss.
As a person, if this card represents you, or someone you know, it indicates a person who is stable, grounded, and down-to-earth.  It represents someone who is a hard worker, who isn't afraid to get hands-on with a job, and yet, he could also be well-educated, either from schooling, or many years of hands-on experience, where he has shown commitment and discipline and has worked his way up through to being a leader in charge of showing others the way to success.  He is certainly very ambitious. Often this card represents a successful businessman.  He is excellent at money management.
If he isn't in a hands-on practical line of work, he is likely in the world of finance.  He could be a CEO, a banker, a money manager, a finance officer, a loan officer, a stock broker, a Wall Street analyst, or any other job that revolves around large amounts of money or money management. Again, he is a powerful man. He could even be a real estate agent, mortgage broker, or land developer, as this card is also associated with property.
He lives life fully on both ends of the spectrum, when he is at work, he is the best at what he does, and is fully committed to the job, details are met, and he is able to "teach" others through hands-on techniques and patience, how to do the job right.  At the same time, when he is home, he is fully capable of totally kicking back and just enjoying the solid, stable and abundant life he has worked so hard to build for himself. He is the ideal boss, patient and relaxed, a good teacher, and financially rewarding to work for as well. You would NEVER find him promoting a get-rich-quick scheme, slow and steady wins the race here.  This is the man that will spend a lifetime building the family business. He is NOT a gambler.
He has tested out a variety of methods of doing things and sticks with what he knows works.  Just like the money making schemes, he isn't interested in the "next best way".  He wants to find a system, the best way to get something done, and then perfect it and stick with it over time.  If you pull this card in an advice reading, you may want to consider doing the same.  Do not attempt to be flashy, or constantly jumping to the latest trick or gimmick.  Stick with tried-and-true.  Be practical and economizing like this king, make a solid plan and pay attention to the details.
Outside of work, he can be a bit like the Knight in his suit, with a tendency towards conventionalism and a risk for becoming boring.  But he is a predictable "meat and potatoes" kind of guy.  He does well when there are systems in place; he thrives in the consistency of routines, and he is dependable.  The finances are always well-managed; no one will ever go to bed hungry.  You can count on him. He is rather conservative, but it serves his family well.  Traditions are meaningful to him.  He does take to the tangible and material comforts of life and nature itself.  You could easily find him snoozing away a Sunday afternoon in the hammock in the backyard under a tree.  He also likes good food and drink, and even has a penchant for animals, like his counterpart the queen.
He is a loving father and partner.  He does tend to show his affections in tangible, physical or material ways.  He may buy nice gifts for those he loves for their birthdays or special occasions, or just because he can.  Kids can always get a hug and sound practical advice from this dad.  As a partner, touch is very important, he is a very sensual man, and will both show, and like to receive physical attention to and from his partner. He feels most loved and worthwhile as a husband and father when he is appreciated for being a good provider. He takes great pride in being able to provide a stable home for his family, where the bills are always paid, there is plenty of food to go around, and everyone feels safe and secure. Having a cushion for the extra's in life for his family, vacations and nice things are important to him.  His family recognizing and appreciating these things makes him feel valued.
This card represents the culmination of the suit, and of the other court cards in the suit.  He no longer struggles to learn as the way of the apprentice in the page or to continue to plod through and build, as in the Knight.  Here we have reached the pinnacle. When you receive this card in a reading, it can mean that you have finally achieved your goal, you no longer have to continue to tirelessly work to get there.  You have arrived and can truly sit back and enjoy the prosperity you have built; you can "live off of the interest" so to speak. While you are smart to maintain what you have, you no longer have to work so hard to attain it.  You have used all of the resources of the suit, such as attention to detail, and proper planning, as well as hard work, consistency and determination to reach your goals, and can now give back to others, a social responsibility of this king.
As a Taurus, he loves wealth and abundance, he is sensual, and loves food, wine and nature, animals, land, and its bounty.  In Virgo, we see his habits that have made him wealthy; he is practical, detail-oriented, routine and methodical.  Capricorn is the sign of the hard worker, one who continues to plod away slowly until he reaches the peak of the mountain. It is a sign for material wealth and career.

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<Queen of Pentacles
Ace of Pentacles>


King of Pentacles Reversed

Image of The King of Pentacles card reversedIn the King of Pentacles reversed, we see a person who is very materialistic, or concerned mainly with money, status or possessions.  He attaches money or status to personal worth, he deems people important or unimportant by what they have or how much they make, and he is a total name-dropper, always bragging about who he knows at the top somewhere as if that somehow makes him more impressive as well by association. He is always talking about what he owns, what he drives or how much he is worth.
This could also be a person who constantly feels like they do not have enough, that they must work harder, attain more.  Many times there is a feeling of insecurity financially, which leads to physical insecurities as well. He is a work-a-holic, putting in too many hours at the expense of family and other relationships.
He could be very greedy, always looking to get what he can where ever he can.  This is the story of King Midas, who was so greedy, he wanted everything he touched to turn to gold, and indeed it did.  This backfired on him one day when he attempted to hug his daughter, and he then turned her to gold forever as well.  There are some things that are worth much more, and family relationships should be considered as valuable, if not more, as material possessions.
On the other hand, he could represent someone who wants everything money can buy, he wants to have money, status and possessions, but does not want to work for it.  He is lazy. This is the man who wants to give orders but doesn't want to actually do anything himself to make money.  He may literally be too lazy to go to work, or he could be lazy AT work, taking shortcuts, not getting his hands involved in the work, or showing employees how to do things the right way that ultimately lead to stability and growth for a company.
He could be someone who is too rigid and domineering as an employer.  He is not concerned with his employees happiness or how it contributes to the bottom line, just results, and he employees means that are unrealistic to get it.  He cuts corners to cut costs, eliminates paid breaks, cuts back on vacation time and doesn't give out bonuses. Policies are all about keeping the money flowing at any other expense.  His rules are very rigid and unyielding.  It is hard to learn and grow under him.
He could be a failed businessman, or someone who takes financial risks.  The King of Pentacles represents someone who is solid and well-versed in business, someone who makes sound financial decisions, but in the reversed, this person is risky, greedy or in a hurry for the quick buck, which leads them to making rash or unsound judgments, therefore his decisions do not lead to financial gains, but to failures.  It's possible this King is corrupt in some way or may even take a bribe.
On a more mundane level, it could indicate someone who is simply bad with money.  It seems there is always more going out than coming in, or you just mismanage what you have.  You feel you cannot provide adequately at this time.  You may be having difficulty balancing your checkbook, or you didn't file your taxes, perhaps you owed more than you planned for and can't pay it right now.  You could be not paying the bills in an organized timely fashion, finances are a mess. You are having difficulty with a land or property issue.
The King of Pentacles reversed describes a person who can be lazy at home as well.  This guy expects to be king of his castle, but surely does not expect to have to pitch in like the help!  The place may be messy or unkempt; though likely he will make sure his expectations are known to the others who live there as to how the castle should be kept! He can become somewhat gluttonous as well.  This king is known for his indulgent side, a lover of good food and drink, but in the reversed you must be very careful, as there is a tendency to overindulge in sweets, and other delicious but high calorie, or bad-for-you foods and beverages, both alcoholic and non.  Any number of food related health issues could arise, or you could simply be feeling sluggish and tired, or have no stamina.
In relationships, there can be tensions due to the fact that this king represents someone who lives beyond their means, constantly creating financial stress on the partner.  It could indicate someone who simply can't, or doesn't provide.  He could be looking to marry someone simply for their money or at the very least, he has taken your financial standing, and how it will benefit him into account. It can represent someone whose sensual side is incompatible with their partner, someone whose sexual appetite has gotten very indulgent as well.
As a father, this man can be rather rigid, setting forth more rules and regulations for the house than the average kid can manage.  He may have expectations for kids that even most adults don't live up to.  He could be always "teaching a lesson".  Children may be expected to start paying rent at home the day they turn 18. Alternatively, he could be failing to provide as a parent.
As a reversed king, we see the negative qualities of Taurus emerge as extremely stubborn, boring, gluttonous, indulgent or materialistic.  In Virgo he can become absolutely obsessed with details, ordering everyone else around as to how things should be done, or conversely, a total lack of attention to detail, and nothing is done properly, or attended to.  In Capricorn, he is lazy and just refuses to work for anything, instead of the mountain goat always climbing for the top, he is the garden goat, happy to stand out in the pasture and do nothing but graze.

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      I'm Liza, professional Tarot reader, writer and mentor, and this is Tarot Liza. Everyday we're working to bring our mission of delivering more value and Tarot education to the Modern Reader to life! Welcome! Read more...