Sunday, August 13, 2006


TODAY'S CARD is The Four of Pentacles. This version is from Spirit Hill Tarot, by Stone Riley. (I will be posting a rave review of the full deck/CD here in a couple of days.)

For comparison, here's The Four of Pentacles from the Rider/ Waite/ Smith deck:

THE FOUR OF PENTACLES: I find the Spirit Hill version of this card very pleasing. It's reminiscent to me of the American Indian Kokopelli, who wanders playing his flute. (Years back, this myth came into my life when I'd just begun playing and collecting flutes and didjeridus.) And Stone's version of this card sent me off on a mini-quest. I'd forgotten that Calliope (see bottom of his card above) is the muse of epic poetry. Well, not to over-identify simply because I'm a Capricorn and this four is one of my "family" of cards since it's often attributed to Sun in Capricorn, but it does seem at least somewhat appropriate for me, given I write poetry and have also taught it. Then there are the words "The Owner, and his power, and his love of power." These put me in mind of something I'd just read in "Gnostic Philosophy," by Tobias Churton, so I went thumbing through the book to find the exact quote: "Words express powers. The right use of words (poetry or the making thereof) invokes or evokes psychic energies." And that brings us right back to Calliope. What an intriguing new level this brings to the The Four of Pentacles (well beyond any personal identification I obviously have with any of its light or dark aspects :-D).

DIFFERENT OR LESS COMMON, EVEN QUIRKY MEANINGS FOR THE FOUR OF PENTACLES (i.e. the below is not intended to be an exhaustive exploration of this card; a quick google will produce a wider variety of takes should you not be familiar with this card):

Body shame (covering up).

Fear of or actual loss or privation.

Someone who "plays their cards very close to their chest."

You're being controlling. Lighten up.

They may never admit it, but they really do understand. You'll just have to be content with knowing this.

Yes, you can control this. But do you really want a situation you have to work so hard to control? And at what cost?

A disciplined activity would be good for you right now.

An avid collector.

Experiencing one's power to create order internally and/or externally.

Careful and appropriate management of material affairs.

* * * *

Resource: Hippie Tarots, being an aging hippie, I enjoyed this site -- six cards from each of six different decks.

Please see the top of the sidebar for my background with the Tarot and a recommendation to beginners.

‘til next time, keep managing your power joyfully and enjoying The Tarot,


[aka: Patricia Kelly]

****If you wish to copy or use any of my writing, please email me for permission (under “View my complete profile”)**** SEE ALSO: Roswila’s Dream & Poetry Realm for some articles about Tarot.****



Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi-- I can like the Spirit Hill card as art, and I can study it to understand the possible meanings of the card. I can even grasp the 'earth' aspect from the image instead of 'pentacles.' But I don't see '4' in this except by the title. Shouldn't '4' be part of the image? What glaringly obvious thing did I miss? :-)

Also, why Earth and not Pentacles?


11:30 AM  
Blogger Roswila said...

Yes, all of his cards are art to be thoroughly appreciated. His CD gives an in-depth explanation of the art theory behind his cards. My future review will speak a little bit to that, I'm sure. BTW, one can even print out a copy of his deck from the CD! Yaaaay!

You ask important questions:

(1) The number referenced in a card's name is usually somehow represented in its design, but not always. (I don't know what Stone's reasoning on this is. It may be on his CD which I haven't finished viewing and reading.) I do know that in the study of numbers one can develop an interior "feel" of that number that the design can represent, as opposed to a literal representation of that many objects. Or the meaning(s) or feel the artist is portraying may not require that the number be represented. And so on .... Yes, like the English language, the language of Tarot has almost more exceptions than "rules."

(2) Pentacles are corresponded to Earth; Swords to Air; Cups to Water; and Wands to Fire. This is almost a rule across the board. Though, even here there are a few exceptions -- e.g., decks that correspond Wands to Air and Swords to Fire. As to why Earth instead of Pentacles in the name? I think some deck designers like to get away from the rather medieval associations that come with the names Pentacles, Swords, Cups and Wands by calling the suits by the more basic four elements of earth, air, fire and water. (And some decks call Pentacles - Coins, and Wands - Rods, and so on.) What the four suits can be seen to be about is representing various stages/states of being: Pentacles, the material; Swords, the mental; Cups, the emotional; and Wands, the spiritual. (Very generally speaking.) BTW, I do not presume to speak for Stone here. Maybe when I've completely read the text on his CD I'll know more what his reasoning on this point is, too.

Thanks for visiting and asking questions. What fun!

2:26 PM  

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