Three (III) of Pentacles b

 Three (III) of Pentacles

3 of Pentacles Upright


 Growth, Study, Learning, Scholarships, Mentors, Teamwork, Apprentice, Material Growth, Building on Solid Foundations, Commitment, Long Term Plans, Craftsmanship, Quality, Dedication, Attention to Detail,  Hard Work, Promotion, Recognition, Achievements, Efforts Paying Off, Determination, Goals, Renovations, Building Trade, Architects,  Plans



When the Three of Pentacles appears in a reading it is a very positive card indeed and is strongly connected to work, career and finances.  Any struggles of the past in relation to these arears have now passed or are passing.  A doorway or two have opened for you and at last you have been given a break.  Make sure you take full advantage fo them and use them to your best.  Circumstances are definitely improving but this is not just down to a stroke of luck or fate.  Luck always has a little bit of input in life but this type of break or fortune comes from good old hard work, blood, sweat and tears and gritty determination.

This card is an indication that you are getting stuck into your work whether it is building a house or business, learning the ropes in a new job or getting stuck into a project in the work place.  It is a sign that you know what you are doing and where you are going.  Planning ahead and having the right strategies in place are some of the qualities the Three of Pentacles can offer.   You have the Green Light now so make the most of it.

The Three of Pentacles turning up in a reading can suggest that at last your skills have been recognised by others and you are beginning to get a reputation for the quality of your work.  It is a time for being rewarded at long last for all the effort you have been putting in for so many years.  Others are prepared to back you now and offer support where in the past you struggled alone with  your ideas and plans for the future.  You are now  seen as a good long-term investment and others admire your professionalism and attention to detail.   Your very best work is demanded of you when the Three of Pentacles turns up.

The Three of Pentacles highlights the Group aspect in your life.  It can represent the coming together of a team who work together in a cooperative and collaborative manner to ensure the success of a project or venture.  Each member of the team has something to offer which compliments the skills and qualities of the other team members.  This card demonstates the power of collective energy in numbers.  We may all want to take the sole credit for our wonderful ideas and plans but going it alone may make the journey much, much slower and much, much lonlier.  Progress is possible when we join forces with other like-minded people so don’t be afraid or reluctant to call on the help of others.

The Three of Pentacles can suggest it is time to pull together in order to get something done.  If there are family issues then call a meeting and put your heads together to see how you can move forward and what needs to be done.  You will be surprised to find out that others want to help and have much to contribute.  Don’t try to do it all on your own. It may also be time to get expert help or advice.

The Three of Pentacles is also associated with building and can suggest that you are putting much effort into building a house, an extentsion or just renovating an existing building.  This card advises you to work with a clear plan of action and do not rush the process.  Know what you are doing and equally know what you can’t do.  Put your very best work into it and make it a building you can be very proud of.  If there are areas of building work you do not know then why not do a night course or call in the help of suitably qualified friends.  If you are employing builders, then get the best you can afford.  Look for references from previous customers and even view their work.  Check all qualifications and credentials. Go over and over all plans and check the fine detail.  Find a builder who is as keen as you are about quality and finish.  Make sure to project manage the building and be a constant presence. A lot of hard work will go into you realising this project and only quality raw materials and craftsmanship should be used.  Awards and prizes may be in the offing if you get this right. Others may consult you for advice on their own builds when they see the work you have done.

The Three of Pentacles often appears in a reading when the querant is pursuing a long-term goal or has strong ambition.  It is a positive sign that this person has the gritty determination to build on solid foundations and is not in rush to get to the finish line too soon.  It shows the understanding that they still have an awful lot to learn and are quite happy to put the necessary time, effort or study in to master their skills or gain qualifications.  As a person, it shows us someone who is proud of the quality of their work which is consistent and reliable.  It also shows us a person who believes that they can aspire to even greater heights.  Instead of coming across as a know all this person will seek out, and take on board the advice of those who are expert in their fields and this card can suggest seeking a mentor to further your aims or that you are mentoring another.

The Three of Pentacles represents the Student or Aprentice so depending on where it is positioned in a reading it may suggest that the querant is going to college, planning to or saving for it.  It can also suggest the need for further education to improve your circumstances, build self-esteem or just taking a couple of night classes to broaden your horizons.  If you have been thinking about doing a course through Distant Learning or Home Study, the Three of Pentacles suggests that you may prefer the dynamics of a class or group as opposed to learning on your own.  However, you must study something that really interests you and not just a subject that others expect you to.  Families can  put pressure on their off spring to follow a certain traditional occupation such as medicine, accountancy or farming.  Just because your father, mother, grandfather and great grandmother were all doctors does not mean it will be suitable for you.  The Three of Pentacles demands you very best effort and unless you have a burning desire to be a doctor, all the initial effort and good intentions will fall by the wayside and you can become deeply unhappy and resentful.

All in all the Three of Pentacles happily suggests committed study and exceling in exams so keep up the good work.  This is all part of your master-plan and you have what it takes to be a success.    Great teamwork is often evident or needed when this card appears.

In a relationship spread this three suggests that you are putting in the necessary work and effort to ensure you build your relationship on good foundations. There is a strong sense of commitment and growth within this relationship.  Perhaps you are attending courses or counselling to improve your relationship with your partner.  As a couple you may be building your own house.

In a career spread The Three of Pentacles is a very positive card. It suggests learning on the job or studying to improve job prospects or to develop ones skills. This is the apprentice who puts in the years to become the highly skilled craftsman in his profession. There is great commitment and effort put in as the long-term goal is kept in sight alngside burning ambition.

Maybe your work to date has been recognised and you have been awarded a sponsorship or promotion. You may have to make a presentation of your work at a meeting and are keen to make sure you have everything covered. Careerwise, the Three of Pentacles suggests possible involvement in the building trade, structural engineering or architecture.

For businesses The Three of Pentacles is a very welcome card in a spread.  It suggests great growth in the business and plenty of opportunities for substantial contracts and commissions.  It also indicates that your business is building a good strong reputation for itself based on the quality of work, reliablity and professionalism.  For fledgling businesses it suggests the contract that will begin to open doors for you.  It is a sign that after all the struggles, your business is beginning to take off for you.


3 of Pentacles Reversed


Poor Growth, No Growth, Not Learning from Mistakes, Lack of Commitment, No Effort, Shoddy Workmanship, Mistakes, Mistakes in Plans, Weak Foundations, Lack of Interest, No Team Spirit, Failing Exams, Careless Work, Mediocre, No Goals, No Motivation

When the Three of Pentacles reverses it suggests there are reasons why you are not getting things off the ground or making progress in your situation. Regardless of what you say you are not putting any real effort into your work or the task at hand.  You must ask yourself why this is?  On the front you are all talk and full of plans but nothing is getting done.  This could be down to a lack of commitment or belief in what you are doing.  It could simplybe that you are getting no joy out of it and it all seems like too much work.  It could also be as a result of fear.  Do you think that you haven’t got what it takes to be a success? Do you fear losing everything if your plans fail?   Could you possibly have taken on too much?Negativity may be eating away at you and preventing any positive growth.

Impatience and lack of concentration is evident as you fail to apply yourself to your work.  The Three of Pentacles Reversed speaks of rushed jobs and taking short-cuts.  There appears to be a lack of pride in what you do and a careless attitude about you. All you want to do is get the job done and move on so your heart is really not in this at all.  Intense boredom may be an issue or just plain laziness.  In the Upright card the young builder was busying chisselling away when the monk and architect came on site.  He was so intent and focussed on his work that he didn’t even stop to put his tools down for he wanted to get stuck back in as soon as they left.  In the reversed, there is more of a chance that he was taking yet another break when he saw the two arrive and very quickly had to make it appear that he had been hard at it all day.  He has neither respect for himself nor the people who are relying on him to complete the build.  He is only in it for the money and will be long gone before any of his botched jobs come to light.

If you are involved in building your own house or buying a property the Reversed Three of Pentacles can unfortunately suggest a building survey that fails.  Subsidance or structural problems may be an issue. Plans need to be checked in detail as there may be mistakes discovered.    You may be enthusiastic to do as much of the work as you can but do you really know what you are doing?  Try to get as much advice as you can and allow some of the budget for the essentials such as plumbing and wiring. Get the best builders you can afford as this reversed card can represent cheap builders who lack quality and qualifications.  Double-check credentials and references of all builders for they may not be trust worthy. You get what you pay for and you may live to regret it. It can represent problems getting a build complete due to builders not turning up or knocking off early. Either be a constant on-site presence or hire a reliable Project Manager to make sure the job gets done on time and that work is completed to regulation and standards . Scrimping here may cause expensive problems down the line.  If builders are asking for money up front then this reversed card would strongly advise against it.  Make sure the price agreed on is based on a certain completion date otherwise it may drag on indefinitely.  Sadly, with the reversed Three of Pentacles, shoddy workmanship and poor finish is likely to be problem. Cowboy builders with lack of skill and interest are highlighted.

The reversed Three of Pentacles can often highlight delays in getting work done or reaching goals due to a problem with a group of people who cannot cooperate or join forces.  A lack of positive teamwork can raise issues of superiority, pulling rank or possessiveness about the project.  You may feel that all your efforts are in vain. No matter what you do, your work it is criticised, picked at or dismissed.  You may feel that you do not receive the recognition you deserve or that others take the credit for you work. This is not a group who work well together as there may be too many chiefs and not enough indians.  They are the wrong people for the job.

On the other hand you find it impossible to take constructive critisism or advice from your superiors.   You may also try to muddle through a situation as you refuse to seek expert advice.  You may view it as an expense you cannot afford or that it would not be worth the time and effort.  You may be completely out of your depth but you continue to plough on regardless.  All you are doing is digging a deeper hole for yourself and penny pinching now may cost you dearly in the long run.

The Three of Pentacles Reversed is a flag or warning that you do not know what you are doing.  You haven’t thought things through properly and have no real plans to work by.  You may be making it up as you go along.  You need to do more research into your situation as you still have a lot to learn.  Slow down and take stock of the situation.  You might need to do a course or gain some extra qualifications.  This reversed card questions your education or lack of it and can be a sign that you are underqualifiied or unskilled.  Don’t pretend to be someone you are not.  If you want success then you will have to work hard for it.  Set long-term goals for yourself and work towards them.  It is the only way as there are no shortucts.  However, you have to show some determination and commitment if you are ever going to make it. However, ambition may not be not one of your strongest qualities.

When the card is reversed the imagery now suggests a building that is sinking into the ground instead of rising out of it and we must question how strong the foundations are.  We didn’t need to question the strength of the structure when the card was upright but once it reverses we cannot be so sure.  If what you are doing or embarking on is built on sticks or pure mud then it will not last the course of time and is bound to come tumbling down sooner or later.  It highlights shallowness and lack of commitment.

In The reversed Three of Pentacles we find the student who is not applying himself to his studies. This is usually the student who has not had to work hard to pay for his college fees or contribute towards them. It also represents the student who has no interest in the field he or she is studying in.  This can be for a variety of reasons.  The student may have been uncertain of what course to take and now realises he or she has made a mistake or it can represent the son or daughter who embarks upon a course of study chosen for them by parents or dictated by family tradition.   This is bound to reflect in their work as lack of quality and poor grades.  We may also find the college drop-out when this card reverses especially if a reversed Page of Pentacles appears in the Spread.

A change of college, course of study or an alternative career may be the simple solution to uprighting this card again.  The student needs to sit down and carefully decide on what it is they want to do with their life before committing to anything else.  Otherwise a negative pattern of failed ventures can set in.  The upright Three of Pentacles suggests learning, learning and more learning in order to promote growth and development.  When it reverses it can often indicate the inability to learn and especially the inability to learn from past mistakes which keep repeating over and over again.

In relationships this reversed card can be a sign that no effort is being put in to making it work.  It indicates a lack of commitment and growth within the relationship.  You or your partner may not be able to sustain initial efforts and good intentions fall by the wayside over time.  It can suggest that it is not the first time relationships have gone this way for you as patterns of behaviour repeat themselves.   You may ignore advice to seek counselling from well meaning friends family prefering instead to work it out your way.  However, your way has never worked in the past.  There is a definite lack of solid foundations within the relationship represented by this Reversed Three. One must ask the question as to why the couple were drawn to each other in the first place (may not be the stuff solid relationships are built on).  Are you continuing to drift from one meaningless relationship to the next.  What are you learning from all this?

As far as career goes, what has happened to you? After such a promising start, what a letdown. Lack of effort and desire to build on your skills or expertise has left you under qualified for the best positions and openings.  Sponsorship and support may be withdrawn. Careless work and lack of commitment is evident.

No Goals, drifting from job to job. Meaningless mundane tasks.  Quality control

It may have been discovered that you oversold yourself to get a job.  Your work lacks quality and is really not up to much.  This cardYou may lose your job if you don’t sort yourself out. Time to shape up or ship out.  Job problems and possible boredom on the job front.   If you are making a presentation it may not go well. Have you put in the necessary work? Lack of success in job interviews as what you have to offer is mediocre at best.

Are you working just for the money?

You need to go back to the Upright Two and decide what it is you want to do with your future.

Brief Versions –  Ace of Pentacles     2 (II) of Pentacles   3 (III) of Pentacles  4 (IV) of Pentacles   5 (V) of Pentacles  6 (VI) of Pentacles   7 (VII) of Pentacles   8 (VIII) of Pentacles  9 (IX) of Pentacles  10 (X) of Pentacles

Brief VersionsWands  Cups  Swords   Pentacles

Back to 78 Cards – Brief Page

The 78 Cards – Detailed Study Version (Card Description, Keywords, Upright & Reversed Meanings)

The 78 Cards – Shortened Version (Keywords, Upright & Reversed Meanings)


Copyright © 2006-2013 Vivien Ní Dhuinn
Truly Teach Me Tarot Part I

Copyright © 2006-2013 Vivien Ní Dhuinn

3 replies »

  1. This description is fascinating, as i have had this card 3 times in the last few days, i decided i need to know a deeper meaning, so came to your site which i have found to be the best one with regard to detail which is astounding! Anyway, i am currently working on two projects (houses with businesses) as a Feng Shui Consultant, so this tied in perfectly with the building project work you described. Amazing, thank you 🙂


    • Hi Claire,

      Thank you for your lovely comments and I am so glad you found what you were looking for in The Three of Pentacles. Yes, it is a very appropriate card for you right now. Best of luck with your work.


      Vivien (your tarot teacher)


  2. Hello, Vivien. Thank you for interpretation on the Three of Pentacles. I just did a financial horseshoe reading asking: What do I need to do to become financially stable? I think it means if I invest I won’t have to work so hard?

    Past: Star R.

    Present: King of Swords

    Hidden Influences: Seven of Pentacles

    Obstacles: Queen of Wands

    Outside Factors: Judgement R.

    Best Course of Action: Ten of Pentacles

    Probable Result: Three of Pentacles R.

    Getting the three of pents reversed in the outcome position after seeing 10 of pents as an action didn’t sit well. Then, I did a Clarification reading and got Four of Wands. Maybe it means I won’t have to work so damn hard???

    Any thoughts would be greatly anticipated and appreciated. 🙂



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