Tarot Talk

April 1st, 2019

Two of Pentacles

(The Two of Pentacles card is from the artist Ciro Marchetti http://www.ciromarchetti.com/)**

Let’s return to the Pips this month and talk about the last of the Twos, the Two of Pentacles. As I’m sure you know by now, a Tarot deck consists of 22 Major Arcana cards with archetypal correspondences that deal with broad and far-reaching life experience issues, and 56 Minor Arcana cards that are customarily grouped into four categories or suits corresponding with the four elements (sometimes called “Pips” or “Pip Cards”) that usually deal with day-to-day issues. The Two of Pentacles is part of the Minor Arcana; as we have discovered, one effective way to understand a Minor Arcana card is to examine its number (or in the case of Court Cards, its rank), its suit, and its traditional image. In this case we are dealing with the number 2, the suit of Pentacles, as well as the traditional images associated with the Two of Pentacles.

We know right away that the message offered by this card will most likely be more immediate in nature, or will most likely be connected to more day-to-day issues. However, “day-to-day” does not mean insignificant or mundane, and we need to remember that the message of the card can also possibly be a symptom of a deeper or wider issue.

The typical image on the Two of Pentacles is of a man standing on one foot and holding two coins connected by a band or rope in the shape of a figure 8. The ground below his feet is usually flat, but in the background is a body of water filled with waves, sometimes with a sailing ship, its sails filled with wind, riding those waves. Some cards show a fence or a low wall between the figure and the water in the background. Some cards show the figure balancing on that wall; one card shows the figure walking a tightrope while juggling his coins.

The suit of Pentacles (or Coins, Stones or Disks) corresponds with the element of Earth, and of the physical body, physical manifestation, career, health and wealth. Many Tarot decks use images of pentagrams or coins or disks on their Minor Arcana Pentacles cards as well as trees, flowers and green, verdant growth, all of which will make it easy to connect with the symbolism of this suit. A nice place to begin is with the element of Earth itself.

In its natural state, Earth is cool and dry, and it binds or shapes the other elements. Earth is of the physical or physically formed or manifested world, and of nurturing, care of the body, finances and security, and the wisdom associated with living simply and being well-grounded. Earth is the element of form and substance; it is connected to material world security, and to our physical bodies and physical senses, and the pleasures and pains they bring. Earth represents the fertile, nurturing and serene side of Nature, and it represents the tangible end result of our labors. Earth is about stillness and about knowing what to expect; it is about strength, discipline, and physical manifestation of all kinds, and about enjoying what we’ve achieved. Earthy energies are fertile, practical, and slow to change.

You can see how easy it is to connect the element of Earth to our daily lives, our physical bodies, our careers and our finances, our families, and the natural world around us. These things are all the main correspondences of the element of Earth, the suit of Pentacles, and of course, are connected to the realm of our Two of Pentacles.

When dealing with the Minor Arcana, another important ingredient is the number of the card. In the Tarot, the number 2 usually represents balance, polarity, comparison and the energy of “distance between.” The number 2 offers creative partnerships, duality, cooperation, and diplomacy; it offers both direction and connection, and can be considered a gateway. In the Tarot, this number represents the first time the element is manifested. Within the suit of Pentacles, we have the beginnings of a connection to our own body and to the physical world around us and the material forces present in the physical world, as we use skills, talents and abilities to make use of these connections and forces (all possibilities offered by the Ace of Pentacles and manifested within the Two of Pentacles).

On the Tree of Life, the Tarot Twos correspond with the sephira of Chokmah, the first actual manifestation after the pureness of Kether (Kether represents the cause or catalyst of manifestation). Chokmah is found at the top of the Pillar of Force/Expansion. It is seen as dynamic thrust, and as the Ultimate Positive, the Great Stimulator and the Great Fertilizer (one of the symbols of Chokmah is the penis), and thus this sephira is connected to the Wheel of the Year. It represents dynamic male energy and is the origin of vital force and polarity. In Chokmah, pure being becomes pure force (and thus, pure formlessness), and independence is possible. Thus, the Twos of the Minor Arcana show the full power of their element and correspondence, in the purest expression that is not yet influenced by anything else.

Astrology is a tool that can offer subtle effects for us to consider as we analyze the Two of Pentacles. The Two of Pentacles corresponds to the planet Jupiter when it is in the astrological sign of Capricorn.

In Roman mythology, Jupiter is the ruler, guardian and protector of the gods. Similarly, the planet Jupiter is in many ways the ruler of our solar system. Some astronomers believe that Jupiter with its massive gravity actually protects the rest of our solar system by attracting or deflecting comets and asteroids that might otherwise threaten Earth. Like passions and emotions, Jupiter is brightly colored and covered with large and intense storms; the planet is symbolized by a lightning bolt. Jupiter is associated with growth, expansion, prosperity, freedom, exploration, and good fortune. Jupiter is connected to long distance and foreign travel, higher education, religion, all humanitarian pursuits, and the law (and its role as a protector of society). Jupiter is also associated with gambling and merrymaking.

Capricorn, the tenth sign of the zodiac, is a Cardinal Earth sign. Capricorn people are stable, hard-working, practical, methodical, and ambitious, never losing sight of goals regardless of how many obstacles or distractions are in the way. Capricorn people are a bit stoic and rigid, and they will stick to their beliefs despite convincing evidence to the contrary. More than anything else they enjoy power, respect, and authority, and they are willing to toe the line for as long as it takes to achieve those goals. A Capricorn person may seem unfriendly, arrogant, or without humor to outsiders, but remember the image of this astrological sign has a fish’s tail. The emotions are there, just hidden within that inhibited exterior. As far as material wealth is concerned, Capricorn approaches finances with prudence, planning, and discipline, and thus, there are not many Capricorns who are lacking in physical-world resources.

When Jupiter is in Capricorn, the energies are confident and traditional. Hard work will bring success, even in the long term, and devoting energy to a task that is too risky might be a waste. Organization and following a plan while visualizing the end result (and believing that the end result can be obtained) is what happens when these energies combine. The icing on the cake is that society usually also benefits when Jupiter and Capricorn work together. The one problem could be focusing too much on the details to the point of missing the big picture.

The Thoth Tarot Two of Pentacles has the title of “Change.” The image of the card is of a snake in the shape of a figure 8, with its tail in its mouth. Crowley sees this card as representing the complete manifestation of the dynamics of the Universe. To Crowley, Disks represent Earth and Earth is the throne of Spirit, and arriving at the bottom allows us to come out at the top. Interestingly enough, the image on this card can be seen as similar to the first dividing of a cell, a sign of fertility and creation. The card tells of change, of gain and loss and weakness and strength. It also predicts good fortune through prudent management as well as unaccountably foolish choices.

The Wild Unknown Tarot LWB keywords for the Two of Pentacles are “balance and change”; the image is a black and white butterfly with a pentagram on each wing, with a multicolored symbol of eternity circling each of those pentagrams. The butterfly often symbolizes complete metamorphosis; after all it goes from egg (which could symbolize potential) to caterpillar (which could symbolize the decision to do something with that potential) to chrysalis (which could symbolize the manifesting of development of that decision into reality), and then finally to exquisite butterfly (the end result). This process follows a “ritual” of sorts, and it takes time to complete. The end result, the butterfly, looks nothing like the other stages in this process. Perhaps the balance being represented in this card is achieved by accepting both change and the status-quo. Or, since the butterfly also represents the element of Air and the workings of the intellect, perhaps the balance is connected to the physical world and the etheric realms of feelings and thoughts and beliefs. They are also difficult to balance!

The Naked Tarot description of the Two of Pentacles is kind of stressful. It tells of juggling day to day activities and trying to please everyone, and maybe not doing so well. However, we are told that our choice is to give up (never!), or to simplify, delegate, and do our best. The challenge here is to create harmony, and to play up to our strengths rather than our weaknesses. Approach things with a sense of play . . . what if our greatest revelations and meaningful moments come to us via recreation?

The Legacy of the Divine Two of Coins shows a man pedaling a bicycle while holding two large coins, one engraved with the symbol of Jupiter and the other the symbol of Capricorn. He is focusing intently on one coin, and a rainbow shines out of the other coin, lighting his way. This card reminds us that change is constant and energies always flow, and our job is to ride that flow. This takes talent and practice, and the ability to multitask. Balance is the key.

The Two of Pentacles reminds us that adaptability allows us to effectively deal with both the ups and the downs of our lives. Now might be a good time to reorganize priorities and release the things that no longer serve us so that we can concentrate on the things that will allow us to accomplish more. Balancing things out in the physical world might involve “robbing Peter to pay for Paul”; be careful if that is your plan, for that kind of balance only works for a short time.

Finally, the Two of Pentacles could very well represent our efforts to balance the past and the present in order to manifest a brighter future. Or it could be telling us that while a pause is okay, in the end change is healthy for it prevents stagnation.

Most important, take time out to play. Laugh at yourself if you stumble and struggle to stay upright. Balance your work time with some time enjoying yourself; you just might find that you are more effective!

** We Feature the art of Ciro Marchetti as part of Tarot Talk. You can view his work and Decks at http://www.ciromarchetti.com/.

The Gilded Tarot (Book and Tarot Deck Set) on Amazon

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About the Author:

Raushanna is a lifetime resident of New Jersey. As well as a professional Tarot Reader and Teacher, she is a practicing Wiccan (Third Degree, Sacred Mists Coven), a Usui Reiki Master/Teacher, a certified Vedic Thai-Yoga Massage Bodyworker, a 500-hr RYT Yoga Teacher specializing in chair assisted Yoga for movement disorders, and a Middle Eastern dance performer, choreographer and teacher.  Raushanna bought her first Tarot deck in 2005, and was instantly captivated by the images on the cards and the vast, deep and textured messages to be gleaned from their symbols. She loves reading about, writing about, and talking about the Tarot, and anything occult, mystical, or spiritual, as well as anything connected to the human subtle body. She has published a book, “The Emerald Tablet: My 24-Day Journal to Understanding,” and is currently working on a book about the Tarot, pathworking and the Tree of Life. Raushanna documents her experiences and her daily card throws in her blog, DancingSparkles.blogspot.com, which has been in existence since 2009. She and her husband, her son and step son, and her numerous friends and large extended family can often be found on the beaches, bike paths and hiking trails of the Cape May, NJ area.

The Emerald Tablet: My 24-Day Journal to Understanding on Amazon


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