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Five of Pentacles
by MeeWah

Description
Symbolism
Meaning
Artistic Media
Artist's Bio

Description

The figure in the foreground is perched on a mountainside, industriously working; perhaps struggling in his efforts to bring forth his crop. There are 5 gold coins: 2 visible on the side of the cliff, 2 emerging, 1on the door located between a pair of trees. The road before them is of a yellow hue, strewn with large rocks. The terrain varies. On the lower left a hand reaches upward with a shovel. In the distance on the far right are snowcapped gray mountains. Up in the sky is a line of clouds.

Symbolism

The half-man/half goat is a satyr, a horned creature from mythology. In Greek mythology, he was known as Pan; in Roman mythology, Faunus. His origin is unclear with some legends attributing him to be born of a union between Zeus (Jupiter) or Hermes (Mercury) and a nymph, a female nature spirit. Pan was said to be a god whose physical appearance caused the other gods of Olympus to ridicule and led him to flee to Arcadia. His natural domain is in nature, of the woods and the fields; hence, his association with the Earth element and with the suit of Pentacles. (As in the 8 of Pentacles for the FACT deck, I decided to retain the depiction of a satyr for consistency and on the chance of using those cards thus far created towards a personal Tarot deck).

The different coloured ground the various conditions of the life at different times, from the barren to the fallow to the fertile.

The pair of trees echo the pillars or columns depicted in the Major Arcana of the traditional Tarot, most notably in the Rider-Waite-Smith deck (2-The High Priestess, 5-The Hierophant, 11-Justice, 18-The Moon.) Also a reference to the concept of duality, the male and the female principles; choices; relationships (6-The Lovers; 7-The Chariot).

There are five Pentacles depicted: two below ground visible from the side of the overhanging cliff top or not readily apparent; two emerging from the ground, and one on the door between a pair of trees.

The purple door represents knowledge; enlightenment; the crown chakra.

The yellow path leading to the door represents the enlightened way. The road is lined on either side by rocks and its passage is blocked by various sized rocks as if from a rockfall that nigh obscure it from view.

The hand reaching upwards with a shovel is the help or knowledge that awaits the conscious recognition.

The pair of mountains represent the intellect; its snow tops the higher level of consciousness.

The line of clouds overhead those exterior forces out of man's control..

Card Meaning

5 of Pentacles is traditionally seen as representing poverty; the lack or absence of well-being or material security; loss or abandonment..

5 is the number of man; of the 5 senses of sight, hearing, touch, smell and taste with which man experiences his environment. Its meanings include change, instability, conflict, adaptability; imperfection, incompletion. 5 is also the number of freedom. The Chinese philosophy acknowledges 5 elements or agents of change: wood, fire, metal, earth, water, corresponding to the seasons of Spring, Summer, Between, Autumn, Winter.

I was moved to choose this card whilst in the midst of a 5-The Hierophant Year. In light of its apparent emphasis on material conditions and the need for healing, I decided to attempt to express the personal view of life and its experiences both humbling and illuminating. Thus the emphasis on the spiritual aspect. It alerts one to the need for healing on all levels of being, beginning with one's spirit before it may manifest in tangible form. It can be the impetus towards seeking self-development; to change things for improvement. To pertain to an intrinsic lack of perception or understanding; the absence of enlightenment such as that which can form the basis of a poverty consciousness; the feeling of lack in the material conditions to include health.

It is a given that one's life is subject to conditions; boundaries or perceived limitations. Such qualities or a state of being impact the individual progress and may even dictate the view and the decisions. On a higher level, all pertains to karma in one way or another; of the positive and of the negative influences; the soul experiences over the course of lifetimes retained and carried into each succeeding lifetime as part of the intrinsic body of knowledge.

Planting on an incline is not very conducive to growth--there is the erosion from the elements as well as gravity, a unique quality of the earth plane which automatically levels things, pulls things down to a lower or ground level. The slope of the particular piece of ground refers to man's instinctive reaching for the "higher ground"; the desire to attain goals. In the preoccupation with conditions, one may fail to exercise common sense and/or knowledge appropriately and wisely. Though the quality of the earthly life may be prone to "conditions", one can contribute towards one's own reality either by intent or by the thoughts held--albeit the latter may be inadvertent, through an aquired response mechanism or through force of habit. It is through the challenge of working with what one has at hand that one can learn and to adapt to changes. Exterior events or real life intrusions are always a possibility and can disrupt the rhythm of the life and the sense of self. Whether one is aware of a possible change or has the time to finish remains to be seen. Bad weather in the form of a literal or a figurative "storm" can wash away or destroy one's past &/or present efforts. A situation can be made less difficult or prepared for by foresight or a careful and judicious planning to organize & to prepare the known resources for their best application. That can include investing part of the resources in the event of a "rainy day".

The two underground Pentacles seen on the side of the cliff represent the potential; those resources yet untapped and lying fallow; the seeds sown in the past that may be in the process of gestation, yet to mature for harvesting. Two is a reference to harmony and balance; partnership or the union of opposites. For the successful completion of any endeavor, all the parts that may contribute to a whole must work in tandem towards a common purpose or the result will be scattered; less than whole or complete. The two emerging Pentacles are those things that have reached manifestation or fruition by one's labours or efforts. Whether by study, diligence or stubborness, it is largely by the applied will or with the focussed concentration upon an endeavor that one may achieve an end.

The Birch tree is of white bark with dark markings; known to grow on infertile ground. Since ancient times attributed with fertility, healing, rebirth and protective qualities. The Oak is of dark bark, known for its size, strength & durability. Attributed with grounding and protective qualities. They represent the division between the imaginative, unconscious mind and the logical, conscious mind; the principle of the feminine, negative and the masculine, positive.

A myriad of choices and decisions permeate the daily life whether one is aware or not of them occurring since some are instantaneous or automatic. Each and all contribute to the final product or result. The path to the door is any one of a number of life goals or the ultimate destination. In life, one can encounter roadblocks either from circumstance or outside forces; by the choices made or one's own hand.

Any decision is reached by the consideration between that which opposes. Between the trees is the door, the point at which occurs the decision or the access to a higher understanding. The single Pentacle on the door is symbolic of the One Source of Abundance from which all needs may be met. Understanding how to connect with It to gain self-powerment with which to direct towards a purpose or a goal can be of the occasional challenge or of a lifetime challenge.

The hand and the shovel indicate that the means or a possible solution may be at hand. It may be a matter of looking at things from a different perspective; accessing the unconscious level such as through dreams or meditation. Help may be available from an outside or an unexpected source.

In the distance, the pair of mountains are that which may be upheld or set as a goal to work towards. They also represent the left and the right brain intellect and are gray to denote wisdom..

Artistic Media

#2 pencil, Berol Prismacolour Pencils, Sharpie Fine Point on watercolour stock.

Artist's Bio

MeeWah resides in Virginia. The focus on Tarot is the product of a life-long interest in Art and the metaphysical with the latter a stronger influence. An early association with reading began with using a regular deck of playing cards. She works a regular job; also as a professional reader offering intuitive counseling with Tarot readings by private practice and through Aeclectic Tarot's reading site.

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