Queen of Pentacles Reversed and Gender in Tarot – Smith-Waite Centennial
At last, Queens have made an appearance in our free daily tarot reading series! And the Queen of Pentacles reversed is an on-theme card for Valentine's Day, too.
Like we did with The Lovers card a couple of days ago, we'll be taking an opportunity today to think more deeply about love and connection with this queenly court cart. So buckle up! Let's get sappy.
A word on gender in tarot
Remember, in reading the tarot, Pentacles or Coins are the suit of earth, material abundance, and physical wellbeing. And we've seen already in our Card of the Day readings that I view Pages and Knights in the context of a hierarchy. For me, Pages represent freer, more junior novices in their respective fields. Meanwhile, Knights are more seasoned but also more burdened by responsibility.
But the traditional hierarchy of the Court Cards gets less resonant for me when we reach Queens and Kings. Traditionally, they're viewed through the lens of a gender binary. And as you may have noticed, I don't tend to gender many of the tarot cards—sticking instead to the singular "they" when figures aren't explicitly gendered.
Now, there's no right way to understand gender in tarot or to differentiate the meanings of Kings and Queens. And plenty of tarot readers and deck makers have adopted new understandings of gender and Court Card hierarchies in their own readings. However, plenty of these alternatives adhere to frameworks of "feminine" and "masculine" energies or personalities that just don't resonate with me.
So where does that leave Kings and Queens in my readings? If I don't think Queens are centred on the home, emotional intelligence, or fertility, then how do they differ from the Kings? Do I think Kings represent authority, greater responsibility, and stifled emotions? I don't. And for me, the differences between the two types of tarot cards are often quite personal in one-on-one readings, where each client has their own relationship with gender. I do tend to view these cards, as well as The Empress and The Emperor, as men and women. But basically, I think that says more about how the world treats them than about their innate personalities or roles.
In collective readings like this, I view Kings and Queens as equals in the Court Card hierarchy. I think of them both as regents, and neither of them as royal consorts. (There have been many queen regents in history—meaning queens who ruled in their own right, not through their connection to a king.) My relationship as a professional tarot reader each Queen and King is based more on the mood of each card. As a woman, I tend to identify more with the Queens than the Kings, and probably this does inform my readings. But it's not a defining factor.
The Queen of Pentacles card in the Smith-Waite Centennial tarot deck
In the Rider-Waite-Smith tradition of tarot cards, the Queen of Pentacles exudes the abundance and prosperity that the Pentacles suit represents. She is seated on an engraved stone throne, connecting her to the earth element that's also associated with the suit. She's surrounded by summery garlands of blooming flowers, and the earth at her feet is teeming with greenery but also turned up and brown, as if recently tilled. This is a figure who is enjoying not only wealth and wellbeing now, but also the promise of luxuries to come.
What stands out about the Queen of Pentacles is the contrast between her comfortable position and gloomy disposition. Her head, perhaps heavy with the crown she wears, is bent. She is facing leftward, suggesting a preoccupation with the past rather than a mindful presence or enthusiasm for the future. And she is scrutinizing the coin in her hands with a dejected frown. This is a figure who possesses material stability now, but who also carries old wounds that money, health, and outward prosperity just can't heal.
Coupling loving gestures with deeper healing
In the reversed position, I view the Queen of Pentacles not as a description of how you, dear reader, are feeling. Instead, the reversal signifies that someone in your life is represented by this tarot card, and you will have an opportunity to engage with them today. And with Valentine's Day today, the meaning of the Queen of Pentacles card is especially timely!
Keep your eyes peeled today for someone who seems to have it all on the surface but is actually grappling with intense inner pain. If you're celebrating Valentine's Day with a lover or friends, see if you can provide an open space to share vulnerabilities. With the sappy commercial vibes of this holiday, we tend to treat the underlying ideals of love and devotion with sardonic irreverence. And at best, it tends to be a day where we go through the motions of expressing care.
But the reversed Queen of Pentacles invites you to make room for sincerity today—even if it feels tacky, even if you're afraid. This card suggests that someone in your life is having a harder time than even their dearest ones realize. So go deeper today than heart-shaped candies and sexy lingerie (though by all means, don't skimp on those things either!). Show the people you care about that you're committed to them and that you really have their back. On this extremely materialistic day, authentic care takes courage, but today's card suggests it will pay off.