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Alchemical Tarot — Seven of Pentacles

· Tarot

Everything’s coming up Pentacles!

Inch by inch, row by row…you gotta stop and contemplate your Pentacles because otherwise they won’t grow. Our hero is pausing in the middle of his gardening, leaning on his magic-wand-hoe, and checking in with the state of his union.

This card is about the tension between what looks like a moment of stillness, and the card number: seven. Odd numbers are action numbers, they get you where you’re going. So this pause is actually the way forward. Underneath the dirt, those roots are growing.

Sevens are a time to ask, “what the hell is really going on here?” With Pentacles, do the values and goals that fit you back at the beginning of your journey still fit? How is your crop coming along? Is this still the crop you want to raise? How are the leaves looking? Any weevils? What if you take a moment to set aside the curse of knowledge, and try to see how far you’ve come through the eyes of who you were at the beginning of this journey?

Pat yourself on the back for all the hard work you’ve been doing? Admire how well your crop is coming along? Or if it’s not coming along well at all, ask yourself what you could do differently, and if you want to do anything differently? Take a rest for a sore back, the aches and pains that go with tending a garden?

The Constant Pentacle Gardener has already tended his crop for many seasons, and it’s looking pretty good. His Pentacles are abundant, round, and golden. The leaves are big and full. The plants have grown all the way up their stakes. “Maybe it’s time for higher stakes,” one might think.


Constant Gardeners work in Taoist cycles, constantly responding to their crop’s needs. They know that “for everything there is a season, and a time for every purpose under Heaven.” They know that to get their crop to grow and thrive, they can’t just throw resources randomly at their Pentacle Plant; they have to give it what it needs when it needs it. Not too much, not too little. The Middle Path.

Which is not to say it’s easy. The sky of this card is grey; not bright golden or a cheery blue. What are you wondering, as you lean there on your staff? Has it been worth it? Do you want to keep on, or would it be better to chuck it and start over with tomatoes? There is uncertainty in this card, and no easy answers. Maybe the answers come later.

For now, it’s time to pause, check in, and see how everyone is doing. How is the crop doing, and how are you doing? Maybe not put too much pressure to jump instantly to an answer.

Maybe better just to say, “this is what’s going on right now.” And trust that this check-in is the way forward. Take stock of the weather. Observe.

“My dear Watson, you see but you do not observe!”

Sherlock knows that if you truly observe closely, instead of fishing for a fake answer, one true one will come to you by itself. You will know the next step in good time, and then the next in its own good time too.