Four of Pentacles § Temperance § Ten of Cups

After a period of uncertainty, the Four of Pentacles offers stability. If you are still pulling your thoughts together where the recent past is concerned, you are not alone. Notice what is under your feet and the sound your shoes make as you take steps. Notice your thoughts—even the ones you don’t like—and be mindful about what you say. Through this Four of Pentacles we can achieve a sense of what we might call base reality—at least in terms of our own life. Colin Wilson wrote, “it is as impossible to exercise freedom in an unreal world as it is to jump while falling.” In other words, we need to know where we stand with others and what we should be able to reasonably expect from them in order to make meaningful choices. We should be able to get clarity from those around us without feeling like we need a secret decoder ring. Use the Four of Pentacles as a tool to check all of your own senses. If you notice that you are consistently confused by someone or find yourself waiting on them to make decisions before you can advance, you can choose to end the cycle. One choice is all it takes to break a perfect circle of indecision.

Temperance is creative when it comes to the art of anticipation. She is expert at teasing our senses—maybe even confusing them a bit—but she never lets us forget that we can trust her. She is here to remind us that we should never be asked to offer our trust to that which frightens us or makes us feel unsure of ourselves. She is a highly sensitive instrument when it comes to power relations and negotiations so she knows what she is talking about. Temperance is an alchemist who is most at home in the magnetism between two people, ideas, or narratives. 

She uses uncertainty as a tool to uncover ingenious connections or solutions. If you want to get closer to this archetype or simply use her current offering to your best advantage, spend time in consideration of this: should one come to a river obstructing the path, it is wise to remember that it is not required to swim the waters but only to cross to the other side. Or should you find that your feelings about a current event are tethered to a long submerged past, Temperance will hand you the buck knife she keeps in a sheath at her waist. She is here to help in practical matters and if we let her, those matters turn magical just like that.

This Spring is best filled by an easy-going approach to, well, everything. This is good advice in general, but right now it will actually be pretty easy to do. The keys are to keep plans simple and flexible and to be extra expressive about your meanings and feelings. Say the words you think you don’t need to say if they are sweet ones. But talk about your preferences and what you need too, even if you think it should be obvious. If we approach seeking meaningful resolution we will either be met with the willingness of a collaborator or with the song and dance of a manipulator. Either way, it’s just data to use when we make our next choice about that person. Being genuine and open is ideal right now because we can tell when we have enough healthy detachment from an outcome to make the ask. You have to be able to accept and survive getting a no answer before you can reasonably take the risk required to get the yes answer. The times are always changing and these times are no different. The future will have little use for frivolity worn like fashion or clever schemes to trick people into buying things. So, you don’t have to think about all the things you should have done because our days and years are not meant to be offered as only food to fuel our worst memories and heartbreaks. May we remember that people are born to be loved.

illustration by Gurleen Rai