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UPRIGHT: Teamwork, collaboration, learning, implementation.
REVERSED: Disharmony, misalignment, working alone.
The Three of Pentacles shows a young stonemason working with his tools on a portion of a cathedral. In front of him two architects hold the plans for the design. The soaring ceilings and intricate engravings signify that both parties are skilled in their respective crafts. The stonemason appears to be discussing his progress so far with the architects, and even though he is less experienced, they value his opinion and specialist knowledge. Their body language insinuates that this young man is an essential contributor to the cathedral’s completion and the architects want to make sure that everyone is on the same page.
NOTE: The Tarot card meaning description is based on the Rider Waite cards.
The stonemason couldn’t build the cathedral without the help of the architects, and they couldn’t build it without him. Each person has an important role to play, and when they come together as a team, they can create something much more significant than if they were to undertake the project on their own. So, when the Three of Pentacles turns up in a Tarot reading, take it as a sign to collaborate with others, creating synergies to achieve big results.
The Three of Pentacles represents the value of different ideas and levels of experience in collaboration. The architects respect the specialised knowledge of the stonemason, and the stonemason appreciates the wisdom and experience of the architects. Even though their backgrounds, experience levels and expertise are very different, they can come together to share their insight in a way that creates synergy and improves the finished product. There is no ‘us and them’ or any sense of superiority. Instead, each person has something to offer and is willing to learn from the others involved in the project. Everyone is getting the job done collectively and contributes to the group through active listening and sharing. As you work on projects with others, acknowledge the value that each person brings to the table. You will also learn from each member of the team when you see his or her unique contribution.
The Three of Pentacles, like the Threes in the other suits, marks the initial stages of implementation that follow the Ace‘s idea phase and the planning step of the Two. You know what you want to create; you’ve laid out the plans, gathered your resources (money, people and time), and set to work – you may have already reached your first significant milestone. Of course, you are nowhere near the finish line just yet, but you have got the ball rolling and are making things happen.
As you implement your plans, you will realize that you have the skills, capabilities and resources you need to accomplish your objectives. See the Three of Pentacles as an encouragement that you are on the right track. You are competent at what you do, and you are making progress. Keep going! Adequate preparation, management and organisation are also integral components of the Three of Pentacles. Achieving significant goals, such as building a grand cathedral, requires detailed planning. This card, therefore, tells you to create a comprehensive plan and to follow a schedule. Now is when good project management will pay off.
Reversed, the Three of Pentacles suggests you may be grappling with a lack of harmony with fellow team members, making it difficult to complete a project. You’re not on the same page as one another, or you’re not listening or valuing one another’s opinions and ideas. If this resonates, you need to realign with the original goals of the project and make new agreements about how you will work together to achieve those goals. You may need to renegotiate timelines, resources, and the amount of energy you each put into the project. Given that the upright Three of Pentacles is about proper planning and organisation, the reversal of this card can suggest that you need to bring more systematic energy into your job. If you do not have a clear view of how you will accomplish your goals, then it will be beneficial to stop work momentarily and plan out your next steps at a detailed level.
There may also be a lack of respect between team members, with individuals trying to prove themselves and gain superiority over others. If this is the case, set clear guidelines for the team, especially around respect and collaboration. Acknowledge the unique contribution each person makes, no matter his or her experience or knowledge.
The Three of Pentacles reversed can also point out that you are working in a relatively mundane job in which your contributions and experience go unappreciated and under-valued. There is not much opportunity for growth and advancement, and you feel as if your skills and capabilities are not being utilised. It may be a good time to make a career move and find an organisation that values your talents.
At times, the Three of Pentacles reversed can indicate that you prefer to go it alone and get the job done yourself. You may be fed up waiting for others or feel inclined to just do it all on your own. You may be right. However, if you find yourself struggling, be open to asking for help.