Do the ten of Pentacles mean riches?…

pents10

According to The Pictorial Key to the Tarot by A.E. Waite, the Ten of Pentacles is described as the following:
A man and woman beneath an archway which gives entrance to a house and domain. They are accompanied by a child, who looks curiously at two dogs accosting an ancient personage seated in the foreground. The child’s hand is on one of them.
Divinatory Meanings: Gain, riches; family matters, archives, extraction, the abode of a family.
Reversed: Chance, fatality, loss, robbery, games of hazard; sometimes gift, dowry, pension.

The elder looks to one side, the dogs watch the elder, and the child looks behind himself. The mother’s face is tilted on an angle, and the father has completely turned his back. Instead of facing us, he faces the world outside.
To see a family where no one is focused on the same thing is particularly intriguing. This card is related to “gain” and “riches”, and clearly to “family matters”, but none of these things explain the divided attentions.
Perhaps, then, we should turn to ideas of inheritance and values—the things we treasure, and the things we leave behind.

The Things We Treasure
The suit of pentacles is related to money matters, and with the finely dressed elder on this card, this suggests that questions of inheritance are at hand. This elder looks very old, but he isn’t being tended to by anyone, nor are his family members waiting around to take their share of his treasure when he passes.
The dogs are very focused on the elder, but the three other family members are not. The little boy seems concerned with something we cannot see that lies beyond the limits of the card. The father is preoccupied with the outside world. The mother is preoccupied with the father.
If we think of the wealthily dressed elder as representing the material world and its treasure, then it makes sense that the dogs would want something from him. Dogs tend to be more concerned with the material world than the intellectual one—they want bones, not philosophical questions.

Your card today is patterned with ten pentacles across its surface. Behind the pentacles, we can see a family under an arching ceiling. There is a man; a woman; a child; an elder; and two dogs, one of which the child is touching.
This card might remind you of a family portrait: the family is on display within what we expect to be a home, and we even see some animals—a classic feature of the Renaissance portraits we might think of. The parts of this card that contrast more strongly with our ideal imagined portrait might include the fact that there is a city beyond the archway to be seen, and the fact that the attentions of the people sitting for this “portrait” are divided.


The suit of pentacles is related to money matters, and with the finely dressed elder on this card, this suggests that questions of inheritance are at hand. This elder looks very old, but he isn’t being tended to by anyone, nor are his family members waiting around to take their share of his treasure when he passes.
The dogs are very focused on the elder, but the three other family members are not. The little boy seems concerned with something we cannot see that lies beyond the limits of the card. The father is preoccupied with the outside world. The mother is preoccupied with the father.
If we think of the wealthily dressed elder as representing the material world and its treasure, then it makes sense that the dogs would want something from him. Dogs tend to be more concerned with the material world than the intellectual one—they want bones, not philosophical questions.
Maybe, then, this card is asking us to examine what it is we treasure in life, what kind of a legacy we want to inherit, and what kind of a legacy we want to leave behind.
Are we like the dogs who spend their days looking for something material to take and treasure?
Are we like the little boy who wants to explore the unknown?
Are we like the father who is fascinated by the outside world, plotting how he might make his mark?
Are we like the mother who is concerned with her husband, making her own mark by affecting the lives of others?

The Legacies We Leave
We cannot plan a legacy in one day. We can, however, take some time to check in with our values. Set some time aside today to think about what you treasure in your life. Do you want to gather riches, create change, affect others, or leave an impact? What do you want the people who come after you to take from your passing?
Imagine you are the elder on the Ten of Pentacles. As your day progresses, ask yourself with each choice you make: is this supporting the legacy I want to leave today?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: