Deep in the mountains
Striding through red, fallen leaves
Stag calls for his mate.
And hearing its plaintive cry--
stricken, by autumn sadness.
This is the fifth poem in tanka format of the Hyakunin
Isshu or Hundred Poem series game. Cards of a hundred
classic tanka verses are matched to various poets. I
matched this poem together with my meanings for the
Knight of Pentacles.
The Knight of Pentacles in this design was originally
a color collage of sunset, earth and forest colors.
The switch to black and white is so that your
imagination could color the settings to how you
wished. His ideal setting was evergreen backdrops,
golden sun, rosy sunsets and stretches of golden
clearings and fields. His aspect of fire and earthy
strength came across to me in different ways in a
Thoth design next to a sturdy Shire horse or a BOTA
prancing steed or the still, dark horse in the Rider
Waite. I choose to have him surveying a forest scene
while hearing the call of the stag in the wilderness.
The pine trees, deer silhouette and feminine presence
in the foreground reminded me that even in earthy
settings and strength, we were also subject to the
dreamlike, tender nature of the earth.
In the highest aspects, the Knight of Pentacles makes
earthbound goals come into being with consistent,
steady application. If this knight was striding
through leaves, walking and searching for his heart's
yearning as the stag would called for his mate, then
the knight is in an essential stage of a romantic
quest. He may not be striking at first glance, but his
determination and heart's calling might touch one's
heart over time.
In a reversal, the yearning and despair of the stag's
call can be heard, but the knight's activity is
stilled, as if the knight was heartbroken and in
The mixed media collage was a background of textured
papers, ink and watercolor washes and small 'romanji'
lettering of the Japanese poem on the knight's armor
and gear. This final version was a black and white
diffusion of my final black and white scan of the
color version. I preferred the dreamlike result. A
small thread of red was added to recall the autumn
Go back to the project index, read the traditional card meaning, or get a free tarot reading with this deck.