As people grow increasingly weary of capitalism due to its long trail of environmental, social and economic tragedies, the pursuit of money can sometimes be seen as selfish and immoral. While there are definitely people and corporations who attain money via unjust means, it is dangerous to paint all those who aspire to make money as greedy and evil. How can anyone thrive in a society that scorns those who want one of the most basic elements of survival?
Society, especially those who are most at risk, will benefit from a more positive relationship with money. One way we can develop a healthier attitude is to see money from a different perspective. Many people think that money and wealth are synonymous, but they are not. Money is only one of the many components of wealth.
Tarot teaches us that wealth isn’t something we should resent or be ashamed of. Rather, it is a noble pursuit. In fact, there is an entire suit in the minor arcana dedicated to it. (A tarot deck is made up of two parts: the major and minor arcana. The minor arcana is further divided into four suits, much like a deck of playing cards). The fourth suit, most commonly referred to as Pentacles in modern day, was once called the Suit of Coins. Embedded in this composition is the idea that wealth is a crucial part of our spiritual journey here on earth.
The following cards from the Suit of Pentacles show us what wealth is and how to achieve it.
What is wealth?
Card: 10 of Pentacles
In this card, we see a type of happily ever after that money alone cannot achieve. Yes, these people wear nice clothes and their grand home suggests that they are financially well off. However, it’s obvious that the couple’s commitment to each other is their primary source of joy. Furthermore, the child peering out from behind his father symbolizes the future, which implies long and lasting success.
Many concepts are painted into this picture. Love, comfort, security and bliss are the primary themes. These are all components of happiness. In other words, wealth is the pursuit and achievement of lasting happiness.
Please keep in mind that this card isn’t meant to present a specific ideal. In fact, this image may not match your vision of happiness and that’s OK. The key is to understand that wealth is the attainment of lasting joy instead of fleeting pleasures.
How wealth feels
Card: 9 of Pentacles
While the 10 describes what wealth can look like, this card describes what it feels like.
On a conscious level, wealth is the feeling of abundance. This card, however, speaks of the underlying factor that produces abundance, and that is independence. Wealth lies not only in the possession of what we value, but also the ability to manifest and maintain these things.
While it sounds simple, this is perhaps one of the most crucial lessons in this suit. Having things we desire — whether it is money, status or a large collection of rare books — will make us happy while we have them. But as long as we rely on others to provide them, such happiness is transitory.
How do we achieve lasting wealth?
Cards: 2 and 3 of Pentacles
The 2 of Pentacles speaks about rising above our emotions to meet the challenges and expectations of the external world. While we must acknowledge our own feelings and desires (symbolized by the waters upon which our heroine treads), we also need to balance this with what is realistic. Correct expectation is the most basic requirement for happiness.
This isn’t easy. Acknowledging that I’ll never become the next Celine Dion because I’m tone deaf was hard. However, in the long run, this acceptance allowed me to pivot my focus and energy on other pursuits. I eventually discovered other fulfilling passions that favour my skills and personality.
Once proper expectations are set, the 3 of Pentacles shows us that work is the other key to wealth. This card often depicts people from different strata of society working together harmoniously. Every member performs their work conscientiously and proudly. The key to hard work is to take pride in your labour because it will produce the confidence and energy you need to work through the toughest situations.
Now, I know the lessons of these last two cards aren’t particularly fun or sexy. People often look to tarot for a mystical revelation or instant solution, but these aren’t what the cards are offering. Instead, what is being offered is empowerment, granted from the knowledge that wealth is a goal we are all capable of attaining. We don’t need to be particularly smart or be born to specific parents or culture. As long as we adopt the correct attitudes, we can attain our own version of wealth.