Four of Pentacles: Power
Historical: Lord of Earthly Power
Ruling Pentagram: Pent #4 “Overflowing” – Fire of 艮(Kên) Keeping Still, Mountain
Berashith: “And Elohim saw the Dawn”
Ruling Hexagram: Hex #19 (臨 lín), Approach
Tiered Bigrams: Water (Above), Water (Middle), Fire (Below)
Element/Planet: Earth of Jupiter (Chesed, Benevolence)
Planet/Sun Sign: Sol in Capricorn
Keywords: Inexhaustible, Protection, Fortune, Wealth, Investment, Resources, Consolidation, Stability, Focus
Keywords (Ill-Dignified): Evil, Miserliness, Pollution, Obsession, Greed
Golden Dawn: Called The Four of Pentacles, Lord of Earthly Power, the Four of Pentacles card corresponds to the planetary Sol and the zodiacal Jupiter. It places at Sephira #4 (Chesed) in the Golden Dawn system. Its angelic correspondences are Keveqiah and Mendial.
Symmetrically arranged pentacles, two emerging from a central rose or ordinary flower, are capped with a winged disc with a solar cross in each. A magen star with a swastika formed unicursally, in the center, is in the middle of each disc. A hand below emerges from clouds, grasping the thorny stem upon which the flower grows.
Thoth: The Four, he says, represents “the establishment of the Universe in three dimensions, that is, below the Abyss. The generating idea is exhibited in its full material sense.” The four towers of the fortress represent the four elements. It is inferred that the castle is guarding something and has idle parts which can spring to life to defend at a moment’s notice.
Mutational Alchemy Interpretation: The Four of Pentacles has come out pretty well in the long run, usually including authentic occult elements and avoiding a lot of dross. The scene itself could have gone a lot of different ways but an epic space scene signifying real earthly power of spacefaring human beings was important rather than the medieval trappings of castles and old military banners.
This card carries Sol of Capricorn, and for those initiated it is known Capricorn represents the highest possible apex of wealth, money and earthly power in the natural course of Sol, as it is exalted by this planetary and also reigns during the Sun’s rebirth. So what we are looking at is an establishment of Ra’s reign in the material plane, which is, as always, glorious and enlightened.
The hexagram of the station, Approach, suggests that the power comes from good management. “The superior man is inexhaustible in his will to teach, and without limits in his tolerance and protection of the people.” (The I Ching Wilhelm/Baynes translation.). In the tiered bigrams we find two water elements in the above with a strong fire bigram in the below, progressing steadily. The element of work suggested by the Two and Three of Pentacles is now well underway and virtually unstoppable now. Here we have Earth of Jupiter, the bombastic King of the Planets.
An auspicious, stable and encouraging elemental card in any reading, it should be taken as a gesture of support from universe. If reversed, beware heading down a path which goes against Sol or Ra, or takes you away from one’s True Will.
The Scene: I remember the circumstances surrounding this card’s creation well, as it was during the first few weeks following my journey to Olympia to finally live with m1thr0s permanently. The deck was a project we began when I was still living in Memphis, Tennessee, and that was two years prior. I burned a lot of bridges and crossed many fjords to get where I was and so it seemed the natural scene to paint next, for both of us. I had arrived on November 9th, after a nonstop drive across Arizona and up the California coast from my tiny trailer in New Mexico where I had been living in order to raise funds for my relocation. m1thr0s was staying with his friends who had moved back down from Alaska. I stayed with them for a few weeks while I scouted out a job and an apartment. This was the first opportunity that m1thr0s had to explain his concept to me in person and we were both excited to see it come out so well, exceeding our hopes for what it should look like.
It was the point at which we both became quite determined to finish the project if we could, and it felt very good to complete it and see it in its fully embellished form with the corners and pentagrams. These were slightly different looking than the corners on the final product, but gave the same effect of course. It was glorious and most of all, right. We did not feel like there was a deck for us yet in the world, not for Mutational Alchemy at least, even though there were a few packs we both enjoyed, the Thoth of course, m1thr0s liked the Dakini Oracle, and both of us were fond of Selena Lin’s The Manga Tarot.
But these were all picture decks, no more useful for full fledged professional occultists than a book of photos of occultists doing rituals with no descriptions, or a book of text about geometry with no illustrations. The Thoth was the only useful deck of its kind available. The Visconti was also great, but very obscure and not widely available in print, and many reprints available are greatly degraded from the original – mere copies instead of photographs of the originals. The mysteries in them are also more difficult if not impossible to decipher and have no accompanying book.