Friday, September 6, 2013

The Ten of Pentacles in the Tarot

One of my favorite cards, and one that often appears when I do readings, is the Ten of Pentacles.  I love this card for its beauty as well as for its symbolism.  I would describe it as follows:  A woman clothed in orange and red floral robes is standing among a fruit-laden vineyard during sunset.  Her pet bird (possibly a hawk?) rests on the gauntlet on her left hand.  Among the grapes and vines are ten gold pentacles.

This card has many interesting things happening.  First of all, look at the background.  It is lush and green, with a calm sky.  I feel that it's sunset, because I'm not seeing a rising sun, but also because the woman seems to be at leisure and that her work is done.  How do we know that the bird is her pet, and not just some random bird that she picked up and is hanging out with?  She's wearing a gauntlet to protect her hand.  The bird is her friend, but its talons are sharp.  She protects herself against anticipated and possibly unintended pain.

Also, look at the vines.  Her vineyard is prosperous, filled with deep purple grapes.  The pentacles are evenly distributed around, suggesting prosperity and enjoying the "fruits" of one's labor.  This is not abundance that comes from the blue sky, this is a hard-earned and well-deserved return on one's investment.  Again, to me this suggests that the time of day is sunset.  It's the end of a well-worked day; time to rest, enjoy yourself, and possibly plan a little about tomorrow.

To me, this card represents a true sense of peace and calm.  The woman brings to mind the famous "Proverbs 31 Woman," that miracle wife-homemaker-businesswoman who works day and night, takes care of everyone, and still manages to look lovely and stay positive.  The card itself suggests that everything will turn out fine as long as care is taken, good sense is used, and the person in question makes sure to work on what they have.  The Ten of Pentacles encourages all of us to appreciate our natural gifts, and to cultivate them in order for us to find true happiness and peace.

Reversed, this card reminds us not to hold an unrealistically optimistic attitude.  Perhaps one is underestimating the work that needs to be done, or is behaving too Pollyanna-ish about the issues at hand.  The reversal of this card implies that it's still possible to have a happy ending, but the querent must be willing to do the work involved in making it come to fruition.

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