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Feeling the Squeeze: Cultivating Abundance with the King of Pentacles

Feeling the Squeeze, Growth in 2024
Photo by Conscious Design on Unsplash

Feeling the Squeeze

We celebrated the half-way point of Spring last week, and before you know it, we will be halfway into 2024.

At the beginning of this year I wrote about how 2024 is an 8 year (2+0+2+4=8). Like the number and like the infinity symbol, we come into this year in one way, and we’re going to leave it on a different yet connected path.

How’s it going for you?

If I look at my path this year as a figure eight, I’m feeling the squeeze. I set some very ambitious goals in January and I’m worried they’re now out of reach. This contraction is calling me to confront some old fears.

And, even within my worry, I can’t help but feel gratitude for this contraction, because it’s pushing me past my comfort zone.

I’m working on new offerings. I’m going to begin recording meditations. I’ll be unveiling a digital course this year. It’s scary, and it’s time.

It’s growth.

Growth doesn’t need to be painful. We can grow with ease. A victory can be a classroom as much as a mistake. But when we’re feeling the squeeze, when we’re experiencing a contraction, when our fears become believable, growth becomes unavoidable.

Taurus New Moon

We’re currently in the earth sign of Taurus, and we had a Taurus New Moon on the 7th.

In Tarot, the Pentacles represent our earth energy and The Hierophant (Major Arcana V) represents Taurus.

The Hierophant and the Pentacles ask us to examine our belief systems. 

They ask us to listen to our bodies. They move slowly, which can be frustrating, especially when fear shows up.

The two cards that most reflect what it feels like to be in the squeeze are the Five of Pentacles and the Seven of Wands.

In Tarot, the Pentacles represent our earth energy and The Hierophant (Major Arcana V) represents Taurus.

The Hierophant and the Pentacles ask us to examine our belief systems.

They ask us to listen to our bodies. They move slowly, which can be frustrating, especially when fear shows up.

The two cards that most reflect what it feels like for me in the squeeze right now are the Five of Pentacles and the Seven of Wands.

Tarot The Smith Rider Waite, Five of Pentacles and Seven of Wands
The Smith Rider Waite, Five of Pentacles and Seven of Wands

In the Five of Pentacles we see two figures locked out of the church. They are poor and injured. 

Fives represent a time of contraction and Pentacles represent our beliefs and our bodies. 

When we’re in the experience of this card, our hyper-vigilance is triggered and at its most acute, it can feel like we’ve been abandoned by God. We’re not, but it can feel that way. 

In the Seven of Wands we see a person ready to defend his hilltop against an unseen army. He’s so busy being reactive to his perceived threats that he ran out of the house with different shoes on. 

Wands represent our passions, our work, our hustle and Sevens show up when we feel like we should be making outward progression, but the truth is we need to pause.

When the Seven of Wands arrives we’ll do anything to try and protect our business, our loved ones, our ambitions; anything except slow down or step back, which is what’s actually called for.

If we turn to our cards in the midst of the squeeze, it can be comforting to see our fears reflected back to us in a card like the Five of Pentacles. It’s nice to look at a card like the Seven of Wands and see, yep, that’s me right now.

But validation isn’t growth.

Seeing our challenges reflected in the cards can be a starting point for growth. It can be comforting to be reassured that we’re not alone in our fears and we’re not crazy in our behaviors. 

But then what?

If we want to get out of the problem and into the solution, we need to turn towards peace.

That’s why I’m reaching out to the King of Pentacles for guidance today. 

The King of Pentacles

Smith Rider Waite, King of Pentacles Tarot Card
Smith Rider Waite, King of Pentacles

The King of Pentacles is earth (beliefs and body) and fire (passion and purpose) mastered. He demonstrates how to cultivate a sense of inner contentment, no matter what. 

In the Smith Rider Waite, the King of Pentacles is draped in grape-embroidered robes that flow effortlessly into an abundant grape-filled garden. It’s hard to tell where his robes end and his garden begins.

His foot rests on a stone, he is connected to the earth. His crown has roses and his throne has bulls carved into them, like Taurus.

In my experience, when the King of Pentacles shows up in a reading, 93% of my clients (and myself) feel like he is there to represent someone or something else, that has it all. Or more pointedly, that has everything we feel we lack.

For example, is there someone you know who seems to always be in a relationship with an attractive, kind, and wealthy partner? After a bad date, have you ever said to you say to yourself, “If I were more like Tina I wouldn’t have this problem”?

What about at work? Is there a boss or coworker that seems to get all the recognition and never breaks a sweat, while you are hard at work making sure all the details are executed? (I’m thinking a Vanessa Gekko to your Princess Caroline if you’re a BoJack Horseman fan.)

At first glance, the King of Pentacles may seem to represent external wealth and success, prompting comparisons and aspirations within ourselves.

And for the rare individuals who effortlessly identify as the King of Pentacles, they face the challenge of being resented.

For example, when I was much younger, a girlfriend of mine was experiencing a real heart-break. I couldn’t comprehend how she managed to keep herself together. 

I asked her how it was that she could possibly care about this relationship, and not cry on his doorstep, or make a wild romantic gesture. She simply replied, “I don’t think that would work.”

At the time, I thought she was cold and unfeeling. But she was right. 

She was handling a hard situation as the King of Pentacles. She had faith that she was enough.

Authentic Abundance

Faith in Abundance
Photo by Gabriel Garcia Marengo on Unspl

For any card to be of service, we need to be able to access it in the now.

When I revisited what some other Tarot have said on The King of Pentacles, I expected to find lots of old-school interpretations that see this card as a wealthy business owner, a leader, a father, and a provider, and I did. 

But I was surprised by how almost universally this card was written about only in terms of the future — even from deck creators that I respect, specifically for being focused on the cards as tools for the present.

Some of the keywords that are most commonly associated with the King of Pentacles are wealth and abundance, but what good is the prediction of future comfort while we’re in the midst of the squeeze?

As I said, it’s very difficult for 93% of us to look at the King of Pentacles and say, “yep, that’s me”; hence, we see it as some far off fantasy.

Historically we’ll get cards like the Five of Pentacles and the Seven of Wands followed by the King of Pentacles and the interpretation might be, “Times are tough now, but just stay vigilant. There is a wealthy husband in your future.”

If that kind of prediction were to give someone the confidence to move ahead with faith that there would be enough for them, it might be a back-door kind of abundance mentality, but everything I know about being human and reading Tarot knows better. 

When we use the term “abundance mentality” we can picture two extremes on a spectrum of thinking. 

On one end of the woo spectrum, cultivating an “abundance mindset” can quickly become a cure-all kind of magical thinking. 

On the other end of a “realist” thinker, that language kicks up resistance and a firm belief that resources really are scarce and only someone who’s hyper-privileged or delusional could ever entertain an abundance mentality.

The kind of authentic abundance that I see in the The King of Pentacles is grounded in reality.

How to Cultivate Abundance with the King of Pentacles

The King of Pentacles
The Light Seer's Deck

Even when there is an objective scarcity, be it money, time, social support, opportunity, you name it, there are ways we can cultivate our experience of abundance. 

To begin, here are three resources that are unlimited and available to us at all times:

Awareness: Awareness can be practiced at any time. It is boundless. If we want to widen our focus beyond the fears that are calling for our attention, there is no limit to what our awareness can perceive.

When we widen our outward awareness, we can then also recognize our abundance of strengths and skills within.

When we’re in the squeeze, it’s easy to overestimate threats and underestimate our own capabilities. But when we step into our inner King of Pentacles, we acknowledge our grit, intelligence, resilience, and creativity.

Heart: There is always a capacity to find connection and feel kindness with others in heartfelt ways. There is no constriction of our heart’s capacity for love.

When we’re in the King of Pentacles, there is an underlying genuine feeling in the body of enoughness, contentment, and love. 

This grounded sense of being isn’t cognitive, it’s a broad subtle background feeling of peace.

There are endless ways to tap into this. Anything from mindful eating, meditation, exercise, being in nature. Our hearts are gratitude muscles that cannot fatigue.

Wonder and Possibility: Wonder beckons us to embrace ourselves with a sense of awe and appreciation. At its core, possibility is about envisioning alternative pathways, and daring to dream beyond the confines of the present moment. 

There are always new avenues to traverse, fresh ideas to pursue, and uncharted territories to discover. 

When we approach a challenge with curiosity and a sense of adventure, we can step into the unknown with a spirit of openness and anticipation.

Children typify the our capacity to marvel at the intricacies of existence, to find beauty in the ordinary, and to cultivate a sense of reverence for the world around us. 

As adults, rather than fixating on what once was or what we lack, we need only attune ourselves back to wonder in order to experience it.

Growth In The Squeeze

Growth in the Squeeze
Photo by Cameron Edwards on Unsplash

2024 is a transformative 8 year, and perhaps like me, you’re feeling the twist. 

When we’re in the squeeze, struggling to feel safe and cared for, it’s easy to compare ourselves to others and beg for a fairy-tale future someday. 

But at its best, Tarot can help us feel safe and abundant right now, in the present.

It’s true that the King of Pentacles can feel like one of the most challenging cards to interpret, and even more challenging to embody. 

He reminds us that true prosperity stems from a recognition and an integration of our talents, values, our practices, and our purpose.

It’s easy to collude with our own self-doubt, it takes courage and practice to cultivate a trust in abundance that is grounded in reality.

If we want peace, we must come from peace.

When we’re feeling the squeeze, when we’re experiencing growing pains, the King of Pentacles can help us recognize that authentic abundance is real, and can always be accessed, no matter what.


Reading the Tarot is my joy and my vocation. If you would like to receive a reading from me, I would be honored to serve you. You can book with me, either in person from my San Francisco location, or remotely from anywhere in the world here.


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