The meanings are contradictory. Money and success, but also success unfulfilled.
The Seven of Pentacles shows a man waiting for the harvest—a theme repeated in many tarot decks.
The need for perseverance and employing a long-term vision may be called for. If you’ve worked hard, then it may just be a matter of time before you receive the reward of your investment.
Or perhaps you’re being asked to commit to some sort of long-term investment—perhaps a financial one; or perhaps taking a course, or developing your business or career in some other way.
However, the Seven of Pentacles has some contradictory elements and can also represent success unfulfilled.
I once drew this card for a 70 year old man keenly interested in advancing his career. I read it as success unfulfilled, which several months later turned out to be true—the advancement he’d hoped for never materialised.
For a younger person (or even for a different person of the same age) I may have read the card as perseverance or waiting for the results of previous hard work. The card can work in both ways, and it’s important (as always) to interpret it in relation to the other cards you draw.
Another contradictory aspect of the card is that it might sometimes show that the wheels are in motion, although perhaps unseen; it may be a time for patience, and/or for evaluating your situation.
One the other hand, the card can also warn not to idly spin the wheels, to waste time, but to actively focus on building something that will pay off in the future. As previously mentioned, interpret in relation to the other cards.
Literally, cultivation of the land might sometimes be suggested.
The Seven of Pentacles reversed can indicate limited success. Perhaps plans don’t work out as hoped. There may be a lack of long-term strategic vision.
You may feel anxious about money.
There may also be impatience or a feeling of uneasiness. Beware of taking hasty action or of making unwise investments.
As always, the reversed card may have the same meaning as the upright card, but to a lesser degree. The energy may be less. Perhaps there’s some sort of blockage in this area of your life.
The Animal Totem Tarot stresses the just out of reach aspect of the Seven of Pentacles. Wait, keep growing, and you’ll be able to reach what you want.
The Seven of Pentacles shows a man in a field leaning on a hoe or other farming implement. The field behind him is bare and has possibly been ploughed, but before him is a large plant with seven pentacles on it. He hopefully looks down on the potential harvest.
The esoteric title of the Seven of Pentacles is the Lord of Success Unfulfilled.
Yet the vegetation in front of the man on the RWS card sometimes gives me the feeling of the life teeming inside it; something is ready to burst forth.
Astrologically, it relates to Saturn in Taurus.