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Tarot Talk

April, 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

***

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