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Ten of Pentacles
by Alissa

Artistic Media
Artist's Bio


Two hennaed hands are brought together beneath the sun, creating a central pentacle design, from which stardust and stars spill forth. Each finger is tipped with a pentacle motif, shaded with several types of henna.


The act of wearing henna is believed to bless the wearer, and assist the wearer in Divine communication. Prayers are more readily heard and answered for the supplicant wearing henna, especially when petitioning a Hindu Goddess such Lakshmi, Goddess of Bounty and Fortune. From Lakshmi's hand pours forth coins, symbolizing the wealth we attain. Wealth surrounds us when we learn to see it.

The intricacy of the fingertip's, under-over pentacle design is obscured by the second application of a lighter henna. Like the pentacles, magic (although often unseen, or unnoticed) is around us at all times, beneath the action of the "pale" every day world in which we live and create.

The pentacle centerpiece forms when the two hands are brought together. Reminiscent of the Hindu greeting, "Namaste," when the hands are brought together in prayer position before the heart, it symbolizes the joining of the "you" and the "I" -- the pervading oneness of humanity when dualities are no longer perceived. "Namaste" can be translated, roughly, as "I bow to the God within you." In recognizing the Divinity in others, we honor and acknowledge the godhead inherent within ourselves, and the quality which unites us all.

Also held in dual balance is the sun, pictured here as it manifests in one's material life, and the universe which exists in the imagination of the henna wearer. The reality of the sun, and all it's creative forces, is held in balance with the imaginative power behind the stars, symbol of the mysterious and the unmanifest.

The centerpiece pentacle itself features a six sided star, as opposed to the 5 sided stars pictured on the fingertips -- one triangle pointing up, one pointing down. This piece, a symbolic reckoning to the star within the RWS Hermit's lantern, is specifically chosen for this design to remind us that in joining together, we open ourselves to both the wisdom that exists above us, emotionally and spiritually, as well as to the wisdom that exists within our bodies and our material lives. By uniting the spirit with the body, we can know, in a profound sense, the gift of being human -- a creature of spirit and matter, indivisible.

Lastly, in Tantric terms, this design incorporates both the "right hand" and "left hand" paths. "Right handed paths" are called thus because they are the socially acceptable paths to wisdom, predominantly in cultures where only the right hand is considered clean. A "left handed path" would therefore entail paths to wisdom that society shuns as taboo -- but for the supplicant, it is the ability to join together these two paths that paves the way to authentic personal wisdom. If we can remain open to both paths, both possibilities -- holding them both in our hands -- we may better gain a view into our own authentic selves. Soul wisdom is a magical path inwards that one can share with others, but ultimately can only take on their own. It is in your hands.

Card Meaning

Magic surrounds you in this time, and unseen possibilities exist within the subtext of your every day life. Do not look far for what is already so near, and even, already inside you. Magic comes from within, and when allowed to happen, it manifests itself naturally and unstrained in the physical world.

Artistic Media

This pentacle is shown painted in henna. Henna is a spiritual medium to work in, and many religions include henna rituals as a means of blessing, before and after significant events.

Artist's Bio

This design was created over three days time, with four separate henna applications. This in itself was a learning process for me, as I am still training my non dominant hand. Also, the ability to return to the task, with equal concentration each time time, was a mediatation in itself.

The shading effect is created by using several powders, with varying dye strengths. The shading is evident on the tips, multicolored stars and stardust.

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