Spend time with a 2-year-old, and you will soon hear the sounds of the Four of Pentacles: "No!" and Mine!" These are the cries of the ego, which is just developing in the young child. The ego tries to guarantee power by imposing its will. The desire for control is the hallmark of the Four of Pentacles.
Some control is valuable. In chaotic situations, a firm hand is needed to provide structure and organization. Too often, however, the urge for control gets out of hand, stifling creativity and individual expression. In readings, this card asks you to weigh carefully the level of control in your situation.
The Four of Pentacles can stand for issues of ownership. You may be involved in getting and keeping money or some other commodity. You may be having problems with possessiveness or jealousy. Use the energy of this card to preserve and defend, but not to lay claim. People need to be free to determine their own lives.
The Four of Pentacles also implies blocked change. It's as if the stubborn little man on the card is thwarting your every move. Opposition may come from those who want to maintain the status quo. It may also come from within yourself. Are you resisting change that is truly needed? We often cling to the familiar even when we know it's not for the best.
The lesson of the Four of Pentacles is that control is impossible. We stand in the world as in a great ocean. Who could manage or possess such power? The only way to keep from drowning is to ride the currents. The ocean will support us as long as we swim with the flow.