Inverted Three of Pentacles


Inverted Three of PentaclesThis inverted card shows a figure barely hanging on, and the pentacles form what looks more like a shovel than an arch. The card points to problems with work.

These problems can take various forms. There can be a breakdown in machinery or tools necessary for work. Production might be sloppy or inferior. You could be bored with the work you do, or not fully appreciated for your efforts. You might even receive criticism. If you are bored or criticized, this might be a time for you to evaluate if you are working in the right field or environment. We all experience down times, but if this situation has been steadily getting worse, or hasn’t improved, it might be time to move on.

Shovels can get stuck in heavy mud. You might feel stuck in a profession or job that is keeping you immobile. If this resonates with you, take a step back. Find a transitional career counselor to help you move toward a more rewarding position. Moving to a new work environment can get you unstuck. But, sometimes a complete occupational shift is necessary. Don’t move your shovel to another muddy patch. Plan a little before you move and you’ll feel the lightness of being where you need to be.


The Three of Pentacles only interacts with the Magician and Emperor.

Major Arcana

Magician: The Three of Pentacles with the Magician (Cobbler or Magus in other decks) can indicate a solitary undertaking.
Emperor: Any cards from the suit of Pentacles can indicate an offer of a position of authority. This position is likely to involve finance and carry heavy responsibilities.

The Suit — Pentacles, Coins, or Diamonds

The pentacle is a symbol of earth magic. The coin is wealth and wages. The diamond is a symbol of wealth, pulled from the ground and refined by human hands into something enduring and elegant. This suit represents all things related to the earth. It represents the work of our hands. It represents those conspicuous signs of wealth that show us and our neighbors how successful we are, but this is merely material wealth. We can pass this on to the next generation, but it is worthless if we choose to bury it with ourselves.

Number — 3

Three is a number of creativity, cooperation, and integration.

The Inversion

There is nothing to fear with an inversion. Mary K. Greer explains in her book, The Complete Book of Tarot Reversals, that an inverted card may be interpreted in one or more of these twelve ways:

  1. Blocked or Resisted
  2. Projected
  3. Delayed, Difficult, Unavailable
  4. Inner, Unconscious, Private
  5. New or Dark Moon (if you are reading cards from a round deck)
  6. Breaking Through, Overturning, Refusing, Changing Direction
  7. The Opposite of the Upright Meaning, or Lacking
  8. Excessively
  9. Misused or Misdirected
  10. The Upright Meaning Backward
  11. A Rectification or Cure
  12. Magical, Unconventional, or Humorous

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