Moving on from the Three of Pentacles, and that sense of initial completion – the result of patient, disciplines planning – we come to the Four. We’ve progressed from the expansiveness and benevolence of Jupiter, in the Two, through the determination and drive of Mars in the Three, into the power of the Sun – all in Capricorn.
The Sun in Capricorn conjures up a sense of creative energy being “coloured” by discipline and tradition – a single-mindedness, perhaps, working towards a well-defined target. Whatever that target or goal is, it’s going to be about being able to express ourselves and our creativity, but in a responsible way. On the downside, pessimism and cynicism can stand in the way of progress. We might also find ourselves overly concerned with ‘how things look’, or wanting to hold on to what we have. Either way, the Sun in Capricorn can represent a strong commitment to the material things in life – be they possessions and/or resources.
We see this in the Four of Pentacles, which often symbolizes a fear of letting go, especially in terms of material things. We may need to be reminded that although nothing is lost if we hold on to what we have, we may not gain anything either – we run the risk of stifling the flow of energy, instead of letting things run their natural course. The expansion that Jupiter promised in the Two could be hindered through our fear of ‘what might happen’ – the ‘what ifs’.
The Wildwood's Four of Pentacles is subtitled 'protection', which could be taken as being so protective that we run the risk of not allowing anything to grow. But with the vulnerability of the deer in the image, I also think there's something here about needing to protect what we create in order to let the sun shine on whatever it is we've created in the Three, the project we've set in motion. The rays of the sun can still reach the deer, even though it's sheltered.
In the Thoth Tarot, the word that Crowley chose for the card is ‘Power’ – the strength of the Sun in a strong, steady, determined Earth sign. It’s grounded. Just look at the image – a fortress, firmly anchored in four corners. Squares are solid, stable, powerful structures; it’s hard to move them, so there’s a sense of protection here, but also of rigidity. The solidity of the structure reflects our own integrity, but also reminds us of the danger of inflexibility and the inability to compromise. Nothing ventured, nothing gained!
The Four of Pentacles is also linked to the final ten days of Capricorn – from the 10th of January to the early hours of the 20th, when we move into Aquarius...
Sharman-Caselli Tarot created by Juliet Sharman-Burke, illustrated by Giovanni Caselli, published by Connections
Thoth Tarot created by Aleister Crowley, illustrated by Lady Frieda Harris, published by US Games Systems, Inc.
Wildwood Tarot created by Mark Ryan and John Matthews, illustrated by Will Worthington, published by Connections