In the suits of the Minor Arcana, things move in cycles. The aces are the beginnings, twos are when things start to get moving, fives are the height of conflict and action, and things continue to progress toward their culmination in ten.
The Two of Pentacles is no different here.
About Two of Pentacles
- Keywords: Financial balance, resilience, adaptability
- Keywords (Reversed): Overwhelm, lack of balance, resources stretched thin
- Yes or No: Maybe
- Yes or No (Reversed): No
- Element: Earth
- Zodiac Sign: Capricorn
The art for the Rider-Waite-Smith Two of Pentacles is relatively simple. A dancing man, dressed in a very tall hat and shades of red and orange, holds a pentacle in each hand.
They are connected by a twisting ribbon in the shape of an infinity symbol. The sky is featureless, as is the ground beneath him. In the background, a pair of tall ships navigate the ocean waves.
Chaos is a theme here. The man dances and juggles, and the ships move over the high waves. Nonetheless, the waves are smooth — they rise high, but there’s no sign of them breaking.
The ships seem to sail on just fine. The sky is a bluish-gray overcast color, but there’s no indication of danger. The man’s expression is calm, and he seems perfectly capable of juggling his pentacles without dropping them.
His hat is tall, but, despite his dancing, shows no sign of slipping from his head. Despite the chaos around him, he can handle everything that comes his way.
Another theme is balance. There are two pentacles, and two ships. The man stands on one foot in the midst of his dance, but he’s able to keep everything steady and moving just as it ought to be.
Two of Pentacles Meaning (Upright)
In general, this card marks the ups and downs that we all experience. Life has a natural ebb and flow, just like the tides of the waves that carry the ships in the background.
It’s a sign that you’re currently performing a balancing act. You have the capability to maintain this balance, but still should exhibit caution — just because you can handle this right now, doesn’t mean you’ll be able to keep putting more on your plate.
Take this time to prioritize. Right now, your energy is balanced, but that balance can be disrupted. Figure out where to allocate your resources so you can continue to take care of everything you need to.
Two of Pentacles Meaning (Reversed)
When this card appears reversed, the balance is tipped. It’s a sign that you’ve taken on more than you can handle, and are trying to juggle too much at once.
As advice, this card cautions against accepting more responsibility right now. You need to take a step back, take a break, and figure out what you need to trim in order to bring things back into balance. Right now, trying to handle everything isn’t helping you or anyone else.
See also: Check out alternate Tarot decks here.
Two of Pentacles Meaning – Love & Relationships (Upright)
In love, the Two of Pentacles is generally a warning. It’s a sign that you’re juggling too many other things to focus on love — you may be able to balance work, health, hobbies, and socializing right now, but how much energy does that leave for your partner?
The good news is that things aren’t past the point of no return. This is your chance to course-correct and figure out how to devote more of yourself to your relationship.
This card can also signify choices. The suit of Pentacles typically relates to monetary matters and prosperity, so this may be a major purchase like a house or car.
It can also represent making decisions about the future of your relationship. If you’re having difficulty keeping things balanced, it may be time to evaluate whether you want to stay with your partner.
If you’re single, then the Two of Pentacles can indicate that you’re juggling too many other things to take on a relationship right now. You may need to either put that on the back burner, or make some decisions in order to make room for a partner in your life.
Two of Pentacles Meaning – Love & Relationships (Reversed)
When the Two of Pentacles appears reversed in a love reading, it’s no longer a gentle warning — it’s a siren.
You’re struggling to keep things together, and your partner is feeling neglected. Worst of all, you may have no idea that this is the case until this card makes an appearance.
In other situations, the Two of Pentacles can indicate a very difficult choice. Issues like choosing between relocating for a job and staying with your partner, or even choosing between two lovers may be represented here.
If you’re single, the Two of Pentacles indicates that now isn’t a great time to pursue a relationship. You’re spread very thin, and may be better off taking some time for yourself.
If you enter a relationship in your current state, it may lead to conflicts, resentment, and feelings of neglect.
Two of Pentacles Meaning – As Feelings (Upright)
The Two of Pentacles upright can represent feeling torn. This person is juggling a lot right now, and possibly even more than one relationship.
It can also indicate that this person’s feelings change, and they’re trying to come to some kind of balance. It can be a while before they figure themselves out and tell you how they feel, because it isn’t a priority for them right now.
Two of Pentacles Meaning – As Feelings (Reversed)
Reversed, the Two of Pentacles loses balance. This person isn’t successfully juggling all of their responsibilities, they’re overwhelmed. As a result, they’re not prioritizing you right now.
It’s up to you to decide if you want to have an honest heart-to-heart talk with them or move on to someone who’s able to give you the attention you want.
Two of Pentacles Meaning – As Reconciliation (Upright)
Upright, the Two of Pentacles warns you that something has to give if you want to reconcile.
It’s possible that your relationship wasn’t balanced in the past and someone likely felt neglected.
Both you and your ex need to give up something if you want to reconcile and build a lasting relationship. Otherwise, it won’t happen.
Two of Pentacles Meaning – As Reconciliation (Reversed)
Reversed, the Two of Pentacles says that there’s simply too much happening to even think about a reconciliation right now. One or both of you are overwhelmed with other things.
Even if you did manage to reconcile, it’s likely that your relationship would crumble from neglect. Give it time — the suit of Pentacles is slow moving.
Two of Pentacles Meaning – Careers, Business & Money (Upright)
When it comes to careers and business, the Two of Pentacles upright represents a decision. You might be toying with the idea of leaving your current job, switching departments, or starting your own business. It’s time to pay more attention to these feelings.
You may also be under a lot of pressure at work. It’s likely you’re being asked to handle a lot of different projects, some of which probably aren’t even in your job description.
While you’re likely doing okay now, this state isn’t exactly sustainable — the dancing man has to stop dancing eventually.
In any case, avoid taking on more than you can handle. This includes the risks inherent in making a major career decision. Carefully consider how much of yourself you can allocate, and where.
Financially, the Two of Pentacles indicates that your finances are balanced right now. Be warned, however — you might be engaging in “robbing Peter to pay Paul.”
Be very careful not to let things fall out of balance. Stay flexible, adapt, and try to keep up with your ever-shifting situation. This state of affairs is only temporary.
Two of Pentacles Meaning – Careers, Business & Money (Reversed)
Reversed, the Two of Pentacles shows that you might be taking on more than you should. If you’re trying to impress your boss, you might think it’s a good idea to accept every project you’re handed — but will they still be impressed if everything falls apart?
You’re better off doing a few things well than many things poorly. Don’t be afraid to ask for help or discuss adjusting deadlines to accommodate your workload.
When it comes to money, the Two of Pentacles represents a mess. Things aren’t balanced, your funds are probably overextended, and you might be spending your paycheck before you even get it.
Part of this might just be a temporary circumstance, but part of it might be because of poor financial decisions. See what spending you can trim, allocate your finances to the highest priority bills, and figure out if it’s possible to bring more money in.
You need to find a way to create some breathing room for yourself, or things will only get worse.
Two of Pentacles: Yes or No?
The Two of Pentacles can’t really provide a clear answer to a “Yes or No” reading. It represents a careful balancing act, weighing options, and making a decision. You may get a clearer answer if you ask at a later date.
When reversed, the Two of Pentacles becomes a firm “No.” There may be too much going on right now, too much confusion, or your focus may simply lie elsewhere. Whatever the case, the outcome you’re asking about is unlikely.
The Two of Pentacles juxtaposes balance and chaos. The dancing figure and the ships are all able to navigate the difficulties coming their way, but they can’t keep doing it forever.
When this card appears, it means that you’re doing a good job of handling everything life’s throwing at you — but it’s up to you to strike a more sustainable balance for yourself.
See also: For more Tarot Card Meanings, check out our list of all 78 Tarot Cards and their meanings here.
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