03. Three of Pentacles

Rider-Waite
Alchemical
Thoth
Tarot of the Sephiroth

Number: 3
Card Title: Three of Pentacles
Esoteric Title: Lord of Material Works
Numerical Keywords: 3: Form, Container, Fertility
Numerical Attributions: Saturn, Black, Year, End
Intelligence: Sanctifying Intelligence
Element: Earth (cold, dry)
Elemental Keywords: Physical, Materiality, Worth
Elemental Attributions: North, Winter, Midnight
Astrological Attribution: Mars in Capricorn
Dates & Timing: December 31 to January 9
Qabalistic World: Binah in Assiah
Translation of World: The Understanding of the Material World
Suit Color: Pentacles – Green

Keywords: Success, completion, paid employment, constructive force, cleverness, gain in business, productivity, financial gain, skilled labor, glory, rank.

Ill-Dignified:Overqualified, Loosen up, falling open, narrow, prejudice, selfish, bored, lazy, too critical.

Interpretation: Containing and understanding wisdom. Effort with result of some stability. Long cooperative effort. Active & Stable. Achievement of expertise and mastery. Attention to detail. Using one’s talents. The energy to build and construct.

Reversed Interpretation: No patience for details. Things are disassembling and falling apart. Nothing new to learn. Bored at work. Stopped short of mastery. Preoccupation with money at expense of good work.

Rider-Waite Imagery

The suit of pentacles governs the physical world and is related to material matters. The number three is a container for that energy. It provides structure and boundaries for the physical world. This card shows a building being build by three people. The first person is wearing a grey (divine balance) robe and has a tonsure (the monastic shaving of the head). The work is being done for this man and he represents a spiritual or higher purpose. The man in front of him to the right is the master architect. He is holding the plans for the building. The man on the right is the apprentice who is doing the actual labor and learning from the architect. He is standing on a bench which is his practical foundation. The apprentice’s is wearing a yellow apron (working with intelligence) His tights are blue (contemplative action), his shirt is white (purity of spirit) and his tunic and boots are violet (brings opposites together). The arch way is in the form of a Vesica Pisces which is formed by overlapping circles and is among other things a symbol of the divine feminine. The number of this card is three and threes show up in many places on this card. Three are three people, three Vesica Pisces arches, three pentacles, the Roman numeral three; there is a rose-cross ornament in a three sided opening in the arch way. The structure being built takes patience, planning and the cooperative work of a group of people. It is worth doing and worth doing well.

The Pictorial Key to the Tarot by Arthur Edward Waite (1911)

A sculptor at his work in a monastery. Compare the design which illustrates the Eight of Pentacles. The apprentice or amateur therein has received his reward and is now at work in earnest. Divinatory Meanings: Métier, trade, skilled labour; usually, however, regarded as a card of nobility, aristocracy, renown, glory. Reversed: Mediocrity, in work and otherwise, puerility, pettiness, weakness.

4 Some Additional Meanings of the Lesser Arcana

Three.–If for a man, celebrity for his eldest son. Reversed: Depends on neighbouring cards.

The Recurrence of Cards in Dealing

In the Natural Position: 4 Threes = progress; 3 Threes = unity 2 Threes = calm.
Reversed: 4 Threes = great success; 3 Threes = serenity; 2 Threes = safety.

The Tarot of the Bohemians by Papus; tr. A. P Morton, [1896]

Signification of the Four Series of Minor Arcana in the Divining Tarot

PENTACLES. Development. Money. Trade.

THREE. Realization of this commencement of fortune. A small sum.

The Tarot by S.L. MacGregor Mathers [1888]

Meanings of the Cards

75. Three of Pentacles.–Nobility, Elevation, Dignity, Rank, Power; R. Children, Sons, Daughters, Youths, Commencement.

Three Books of Occult Philosophy by Henry Cornelius Agrippa

Capricorn II

Two women, and a man looking towards a Bird flying in the Air; and the signification of these is for the requiring those things which cannot be done, and for the searching after those things which cannot be known:

Picatrix the Goal of the Wise by Ghayat Al-akim

Book "T" The Tarot

XXXVII. The Lord of Material Works.:
Three of Pentacles

A WHITE-WINGED Angelic Hand, as before, holding a branch of a rose tree, of which two white rosebuds touch and surmount the topmost Pentacle. The Pentacles are arranged in an equilateral triangle. Above and below the symbols Mars and Capricorn.

Working and constructive force, building up, creation, erection; realization and increase of material things; gain in commercial transactions, rank; increase of substance, influence, cleverness in business, selfishness. Commencement of matters to be established later. Narrow and prejudiced. Keen in matters of gain; sometimes given to seeking after impossibilities.

Binah of HB:H (Business, paid employment, commercial transaction).

Herein are HB:YChVYH and HB:LHChYH Angelic Rulers.

Often the General signification of the Majority of a particular suit and of the particular signification of the either 3 of 4 cards of a sort in a reading:

  • A Majority of Pentacles Business, money, possessions.
  • 4 Threes Resolution, determination.
  • 3 Threes Deceit.