The Artist's Concept
The Ace of Pentacles contains more depth and meaning than most people realise; yet the concepts within the meaning are very simple to grasp once you dig your way to the core of this card. I took the opportunity to create this card because I have always had an image of what I would prefer the card to look like, which I wanted to share with a wider audience. In a way, my creating this card also gave me the chance to really get to grips with it and to become more familiar with it.
Usually when I see this card I feel there is another spiritual adventure waiting, and more hard work in store. My reaction is bittersweet, as it reminds me that I may need to knuckle down before I can relax and enjoy the ride. I am also overwhelmed by the card's representation of Mother Earth and the cycles and rhythms of Nature. This card is not just about the material side of Earth, but also the spiritual side of it, a concept we will come across later.
This card shows a scene from Glastonbury's famous Chalice Well gardens, where the Red Spring's source is. Around the Well lush green trees and shrubs fill out the corners and shadowy places, enclosing the Well and its small surroundings in a cozy, secure natural wall. I drew this scene from the memories I have of a visit to the Chalice Well gardens in July 2001, and the place I have drawn is ideal for meditation and deep thought.
The Red Spring is so named because the water from the Well runs through ferrous rock on its way down the hillside from the Well (seen in the card), which instills the water with a reddish tinge and irony taste. It is drinkable, and is said to have healing properties. This well is also said to be the resting-place of the Holy Grail (Or San Graal) of Arthurian legend, and is also known as the Blood Spring because of its colour. The covering of the Well is called the Vessica Piscis, and is made of wrought iron on an oak cover. This is a geometric design formed from two interlocking circles, passed through by a long spear known as the Bleeding Lance. This interlocking of equal-sized circles represents the concept of 'As above, so below'. This concept works in many ways, the first being that it represents the equality and balance of both spiritual treasures and earthly treasures. It can be seen as the Union of Heaven and Earth, and asks you to balance the spiritual and earthly within you.
The stone steps leading to a path that veers off to the left are representative of the journey ahead, as is the blossoming tree. The other trees and greenery are there to show that this card's element is Earth, and thus linked with Nature. I have created the card so that if you were to sit where the gap at the bottom of the card is, you would be sitting in the place people meditate when they visit the Chalice Well. This positioning harkens back to the spiritual side of the coin (or in this case, the pentacle!), and reminds us that the spiritual and earthly are not separate concepts; instead, they coexist in a symbiotic cycle- without either of them, we would be at a great loss.
Although this scene may deviate drastically from the more traditional versions of the Ace of Pentacles, I believe it only deviates pictorially, not in meaning. It illustrates the same concepts but with an image which, for me, epitomises the concepts far better than the Rider Waite does.
When this card shows up in a reading, it may be time to start a spiritual venture, or it may signify the need to be brought back down to Earth. It certainly signifies a fruitful time ahead, be it with money (the material) or with your spiritual journey (the heavenly). It also says that any results now are tangible, and they will bring you to a higher level of completion. Maybe it is time to recognise the Divine in Nature? Also, financial reward and recognition from others, especially your peers.
Coloured pencils, Biro ® pen, and black fine-liner pen. The original dimensions are 7.75cm by 12.0cm.
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