The Four of Coins (or Pentacles) is a card about stability in the material realm. It can denote security in terms of material assets or finances, or a solid reputation. It may also have something to do with tradition and time-tested reliability.
In the Waite deck, this card depicts a character that I have always thought of as “the miser.” He sits atop a bulwark or building, high above the city, with the coins or pentacles beneath his feat, covering his heart and over his crown. I tended to think of him as a “poor little rich boy” – one who is protected by, but also isolated and impoverished by, his wealth.
That changed when one day I drew the card while holding an intention in my mind for a friend with a terminal illness. That day, instead of seeing a miser, I saw someone who is simply protecting or guarding himself. The phrase “let’s hang on to what we’ve got” came to mind.
Now, I tend to think of the message of this card as “guardianship.”
In the context of the sadness, anger and unrest that has come in the wake of the murder of George Floyd, the appearance of the Four of Coins set me to thinking about our societal attitudes and institutions relating to security. Can we find a way for all to be healthy, happy, safe and free?