The Four of Pentacles is one of the few cards that I prefer to see reversed. Upright, this card is all about blocking energy and trying to be controlling. On the RWS card, the pentacles cover the crown chakra, the heart chakra, and the bottom of both feet. This person is trying to hold on to everything they have right here, right now, by blocking anything that could come in or go out. They are trying to prevent change by staying out of the flow of life.
You might as well stand at the ocean shore and throw out your arms to prevent the coming tide. Sure, the person in the Four of Pentacles might have a more powerful effect on their environment in the short term, but eventually it is an exercise in futility—change always comes regardless of whether you cooperate. The more you try to prevent it and live in denial of it, the more you might find your old world eroding with nothing new to replace it.
With the reversed Four of Pentacles, the control that was once exerted is being lost. The impact of that can depend on how that control came to be lost. Is this person finally becoming aware of the impact of their attempts to hold on to everything so tightly? Hopefully that is the case, because that means this person is ready for the release and is at least attempting to get into the flow.
The alternative is that something has happened. Maybe the people in this person’s environment are simply ignoring him and not letting him run their lives. If this card comes up with The Tower, for example, it could indicate that the universe has or is about to give this person a graphic illustration of why trying to control everything is a really bad idea.
This card is likely to pop up in a reading that relates to a co-dependent relationship, since one or more of the people in that relationship will be possessive and/or trying to control the behaviour of the other, as is the nature of that type of relationship.
Of course, the person in this card isn’t always aware of their actions. We don’t always see ourselves as clearly as others do. If this card comes up for you, take an honest look at the relationships in your life and ask yourself whether they are all flowing freely. There may be one or more instances where manipulation is involved. The reversed Four of Pentacles says, “Maybe so, but not for long.”