We all have desires that can get out of control. When this happens, it often manifests as greed. Think of all the times that you have been greedy: with childhood toys, food, money, friends, lovers, and possessions. Is your closet stuffed with clothes you’ve never worn? Do you sit back when the check comes, hoping others will pick it up? Do you crave all the attention in the room? When consulting the Tarot, there are several indicators that you may be in the grip of greed. They vary in their severity. We will look at the more common combinations first.
Pentacles and Cups
If you have one of these cards in the past, present, or future position of your Tarot spread, you may have an issue with greed. Any Pentacle, especially when reversed; the three, four and five of Pentacles, either reversed or right side up, indicate petty, material greed. If you have one of these in your reading, you have dealt with petty greed in the past, present, or future. The other cards, which may indicate a problem with greed, are the seven and nine of Cups. The suit of Cups is primarily emotional, and these two indicate heartbreak or unhealthy fixations on luxury goods. If any of these cards show up in your past, present, or future, then you can be sure you have some area of your life that needs to be examined for greed. This is the kind of greed that has given you those ten unwelcome pounds, an overflowing closet, and possibly trouble with a credit card, along with a feeling of dissatisfaction. You can overcome this garden variety greed. We all have these tendencies. After all, we are all human.
If your past, present, and future cards contain both a Pentacle and a Cup in a negative aspect, you may be under the influence of a corrupted balance along the Scorpio/Taurus axis. Astrological principles overlap with the Tarot, especially in their shared foundation of the four elements: Earth, Air, Fire, and Water.
Scorpio is a water sign, relating to Cups, and Taurus is its complement, or opposite, an earth sign, relating to Pentacles. The dark side of Scorpio contains a deadly sting. The dark side of Taurus is greed. These cards indicate that you have important work to do in this arena. The good news is that because these cards are part of the Minor Arcana, they can be overcome with your own insight and desire to be the pest person you can be.
This is a more serious card, part of the Major Arcana, and represents forces over which you have no control. If the Devil is either reversed or right side up, you are chained by greed in some form. The Devil would have us take risks. The Devil also rules desires that are not healthy. If you have this card in your past position, you have had significant issues with greed in your past. You may have lost friends as a child because you wouldn’t share. You may even have had a problem with addiction, which is often the endpoint of greed-driven indulgence.
Of course, if the Devil is in the present position in your spread, you are in the immediate grip of greed and may need professional help of some kind. Look at your finances, health, professional status, and relationships. Are you on the verge of losing any of these because of your own greed? This reality check is actually a gift of insight from the Tarot to you. A warning of imminent difficulties. Heed this warning.
The Devil may also show up in your future, and it is always distressing to think that you are about to enter a period of vulnerability to your own desires. Be forewarned and be forearmed! You can look at the other cards in the spread to see what your strengths are. Use your better self, as represented in the spread, to follow a path to self-empowerment.
Recovering from Greed
Look at other cards that surround the card in question. There is a possibility that your greed could radically change the direction of your life. The two cards that may show up along with the Devil are Death and the Tower. These cards are much more positive than they sound. They are not the end of your existence! You have an immortal soul, after all. Death and the Tower are about destruction of old habits and ways of being, in order to construct new ones.
If you have the combination of Death and the Devil in your past, present, or future positions, you have access to a new way of life. Death is a transition, not an end. It clears the way for new growth, like winter giving way to spring.
The Tower is associated with violent change and revolution. It is a more tumultuous, often more painful transition that you will make with your greed. In this case, you may have to go through a bankruptcy or a divorce. You may lose your job, or an important relationship. Trust that this upheaval is your access to a life unchained by greed.