In keeping with the quality of the 7’s, this card extends the theme of detachment and choice to the more material, tangible concerns in our life. While the 7 of Swords was more concerned with flawed beliefs, attitudes and ideals originating in the mind, the 7 of Pentacles points to the need to redefine the practical aspects of day-to-day living such as health, finance and career. As with each card of the numerological suit of the sevens, be they Swords, Cups, Pentacles or Wands, our most deep-seated needs and wishes are called into question. We are challenged to appraise our goals and desires with nothing short of perfect honesty, and to decide if those aims that fall short of meeting our core values might best be left behind.
The 7 of Pentacles in the Rider-Waite deck shows a man leaning upon a garden hoe, surveying his crops with what appears to be a pensive expression on his face. The Aquatic Tarot’s rendition adheres to the traditional RW symbolism. Note how the colours in this card are dull and somber; there seems to be little reason for him to rejoice despite the fact that the results of his labour have now born ‘fruit’, as evidenced by the six pentacles on the shrub. What is the significance of the lone pentacle at his feet? Does he view it as the sole joy of his endeavors? Or does he ignore it altogether, keeping his gaze trained on the six others still awaiting harvest, harboring a wish for something that has not yet fully reached maturity? There are multiple ways in which this card can be interpreted, the most common of which points to a need to take a time-out from our labours. Here, we are being asked to pause and take stock of all that we’ve achieved. Was the toil worth it? Are we satisfied with the ‘harvest’ of our efforts? Or do we battle with dissatisfaction, waiting for other ‘fruit’ to ripen while not seeing the all-too tangible evidence of success already present at our feet?
Reading for clients, I’ve come to recognize this card as a sign of material discontent in which the querent is always pushing for quicker results. Frequently, this can be experienced as frustrations, blocks and delays in both private and professional spheres of life, but rather than be seen as an obstacle, the appearance of this card in a spread should herald an opportunity to reassess, reevaluate and revise our goals for the long-term. In the context of the recent Mercury retrograde of August (2nd-26th), the 7 of Pentacles comes as a perfect match to my mindset during that period. Though several important opportunities in both my personal life and career cropped up in the first week of August, they had significant caveats attached: watch, wait, and then decide. Similarly, this card advises taking a step back to see how all the pieces of the puzzle fall into place. Over time, issues become clearer of their own accord, more so than they would have if I’d pushed against the natural grain of things in a bid to make them happen faster. Sometimes, the 7 of Pentacles can also point to the need to make an important decision. Do we harvest the remaining pentacles on the tree or do we leave them attached to their vines in the hopes that the fruit they bear will be lusher, riper? If we leave them as they are, will they wither and die or continue to flourish beyond our wildest expectations? In such cases, the 7 of Pentacles advises that taking a calculated risk might be in order.
Astrological Association: Saturn in Taurus.
In the Thoth tarot, the 7 of Pentacles is known as Failure. While this is hardly an appealing prospect to contemplate, it is important to note that the 7 of Pentacles taken in its astrological context suggests the fear of success rather than outright failure. Saturn represents a restrictive force, and under the domain of the Lord of Karma, we are reminded that success will never be gained without first knowing hardship and some measure of failure. The sign of Taurus governs material wealth and prosperity, stability, productivity and achievement. When Saturn is placed in Taurus, we are left questioning our worth and abilities, especially with regards to our capacity to provide for ourselves and those dear to us in practical and financial terms. Those with this position of Saturn have a pronounced sense of ‘lacking’ when it comes to their material resources, and have an almost irrational fear of failure. Note too that there is an element of self-sabotage implicit in the 7’s due to self-induced neuroses and anxieties. Just like how our fear of rejection in the 7 of Swords might keep us from developing healthy beliefs and attitudes about what we’re capable of, the 7 of Pentacles extends this theme to more tangible endeavors, actually preventing us from taking the necessary action to manifest our wishes. This is the card of the serial procrastinator.
In keeping with the theme of reassessment, reevaluation and revision, when the 7 of Pentacles crops up in a romance spread, it comes as a sign that you need to take a closer look at your intimate relationships. Are you getting what you want? And if so, what can be done (and what are you willing to do) to implement the changes you wish to see take place? Because the 7’s are passive, this card suggests a time-out to properly evaluate your relationship needs but once awareness has been achieved, the requisite steps must be taken before change can happen.
From a health perspective, the 7 of Pentacles encourages the adoption of a sensible exercise and eating regiment to maintain the results of good health. Frequently, this points to a period of well-being after an illness, and new-found knowledge of what to do and what not to do in the quest to achieve optimum health.
Financially, the 7 of Pentacles advises that calculated risks would prove beneficial once ample research has been conducted. Here, it is important to be patient and not be seduced into schemes that promise quick returns. Sometimes, investment in agriculture can be indicated. From a career standpoint, this card asks you to examine whether your needs for fulfillment are being met in your current job. Sometimes, this card can coincide with a time in your life when you are given the exact opportunity you’ve been hankering after, only to realize that once you have it, you desire something completely different.
All 7’s emphasize soul-searching and self-awareness, and the suit of Pentacles is no different. Here, we are being asked to confront our deepest needs with regards to financial and material security. How do we best go about obtaining what we want? And perhaps the most important question of all that needs to be asked is if what we want is truly what we need.