Daily card: Three of Pentacles

Three brightly-coloured pentacles in front of a towering mountain, echoing the three peaks visible on the horizon. All the peaks are part of the mountain; one stands above but all three are part of the whole. This card seems to suggest a major journey ahead, but not an intimidating one – a challenging and rewarding one. Threes mark an initial completion, and pentacles suggest a professional project (which suits my day well). Determination and effort are needed to carry this project on, but you’ve made an excellent start.

Traditionally, the three of pentacles is a reference to hard work, but more specifically the value of teamwork and collaboration, of acknowledging contributions at all levels. This card seems to pull in less of the collaborative idea, but is also more (quite literally) grounded; scaling the foothills of the mountain may not be as exciting as arriving at the peak, but it’s just as essential a step.

This is a particularly well-suited card for today as I’ve made a substantial start on a new work project, and am feeling really inspired about the amount of work I can see ahead of me.

Daily card: Ace of Pentacles

The Ace of Pentacles is powered by the potential of the tiny seed at the heart of the ancient tree. It’s often a card of beginning prosperous domestic or business ventures, though today I’m also seeing some of that beginning-energy in earthier emotions than Cups usually deal with.

It’s also a day in which I’ve been making domestic plans; coming up with concrete solutions to sorting out the corners of ‘miscellaneous’ that somehow every home seems to develop (…right? It’s not just me?) and doing a few little jobs that have been on my to-do list for a while. I’m hoping the energy of this card means these are the first steps to something bigger and more significant!

Daily card: Ten of Pentacles

Tens represent completion; looking on back on what’s been achieved (for good or bad). Tens don’t have much energy in them, as a card type – they’re more about contemplation, stationary enjoyment. Ten of pentacles, then, is about appreciating abundance, stability, final fulfilment – financial and domestic completion. It may represent something as big as setting up a major inheritance to pass on, or finally comfortably retiring, or as small as finally sorting out that clutter drawer, or sitting in your kitchen with the windows open appreciating your tidy home.

This card is a very simple one – the ten (yes, there are ten! Look closely at the centre) pentacles appear against a background of rainbow-coloured circles radiating outwards – not the usual lines of many of the cards in the Wild Tarot, which can often suggest the direction of energy in the card. Instead, circles are contained, complete, finished. They’re not going anywhere; they are eternal. The Tens have a very slight – though more positive – touch of Death about them, too, in that if nines signify the moment of completion and achievement, then tens are both endings and beginnings; the breath before you exhale and move on to the next thing. Pleasingly, the ten of pentacles in this deck contains its end within its beginning (or perhaps vice versa) with the tenth pentacle at the centre.

It’s hard to spot where the energy of this card might sit in my day, so far; I’m not sure of anything that would merit the significance of this (other than a fleeting thought about how nice it would be to finish my tax return months before it’s actually due…) but let’s see. For now I’ll take it as a broader reminder to make sure practical and domestic things are as much finished off and taken care of as I can, in anticipation of this sense of fulfilment in future.

Daily card: Eight of Pentacles

The industrious spider here is a lovely illustration for the eight of pentacles – this card is about hard work and craftsmanship; of reaching the top of your game and of being rewarded and recognised accordingly. That’s not to say that you’ve achieved it; it’s about the journey to mastering a skill, as much as the mastering itself. The concentration and determination involved can be enjoyable in themselves, as much as for the final outcome.

In a small way, this featured in my day; I was planning for something exciting all day, and managed to find the time to write a heartfelt poem that I was genuinely pleased with. Thanks, busy spider; I like to think of writing as craftsmanship and as a skill I’m constantly improving.

Alternative Tarot Course, week 2: Four suits, four elements – four aces

Thanks to LittleRedTarot for this course! This week I’m focusing on the suits, and the elements they represent.

Ace of Swords

Depicting an ouroboros wrapped around the hilt of a sword, against a dark background with two streaks of lightning striking. Swords connect with air, and with the mind and mental clarity; this strongly suggests a strike of inspiration, a new idea, a ‘lightbulb moment’. The light in the darkness also suggests a sudden new clear-sightedness, a flash of clarity to illuminate something previously confusing or shrouded. The sword held aloft is reminiscent of ‘fighting the good fight’, inspiring others, taking on battles for justice; perhaps it suggests a new cause or a call to action is presenting itself.

The ouroboros also gently suggests eternal renewal, the cyclical nature of things, that all beginnings are endings and vice versa; a reminder that no matter how illuminating this inspiration may be, you may follow the same cycle in future and will need (and have) another moment of inspiration to lead you out of as-yet-unforeseen problems! The ouroboros also connects this card, curiously, to the Wands suit, which uses snakes in this deck – making it clear that new intellectual inspiration relies on plans and creativity to drive it onwards.

Ace of Cups

A simple cup drawn against a subtlely-coloured snakeskin background; that snakeskin links (again) to the snakes of Wands, remembering that the energy of the Aces requires your input, it won’t just happen to you – your planning and creativity is needed. Cups I always find to be the simplest of the suits to understand; these are pure emotion, often love (in all its forms – romance, friendship, empathy, compassion, protection, desire, loss), and also reflect the emotional or spiritual side of ourselves – expressed through religion, art, spirituality, creativity.

The new beginnings of the Ace of Cups are gently muted here, as befits the start of an emotional journey – this isn’t yet fulfilment, or love, or whatever it is leading you towards. It can suggest a new emotional connection, a friend or a lover, the start of something beautiful and significant coming over the horizon, like the yellow light of the sun rising against the blue of the night sky. Cups being the suit most closely connected with water, the colours in this card also make it reminiscent of the fresh start after rain; the blue-grey clouds are fading away, the bright sun is slowly returning, and everything is damp and fresh and new.

Ace of Pentacles

This is the tiny seed at the heart of the enormous tree, that red-hot spark of life at the root. Pentacles are the suit of material tangible concrete things – sometimes money, but often home, work, craft, things we can do or touch with our hands. The Ace of Pentacles is the prosperous card of new ventures – perhaps a new job, even a dramatic career change; perhaps a new era for your domestic affairs. Just as the tiny seed quickly puts down deep secure roots, this is the moment to root yourself firmly in the earth, in reality, in preparation for what is to come. The many rings of the tree here are a reminder that this is no flash in the pan; what you are embarking on has the potential to be long-running, substantial, significant, and to branch out in new directions.

Ace of Wands

As befits the suit most closely connected with fire, this card – the most brightly-coloured of the Aces – has red-hot energy firing off in every direction, radiating from a flowering wand at the centre. This is a card of inspiration, of excitement, inviting you to reach out and take hold of the power that’s right in front of you; more visceral than the intellectual inspiration of the Ace of Swords, but more planned and creative than the emotional journey begun with the Ace of Cups. The enormous energy of this card has even forced the carefully carved and constrained wand (pictured) to burst into bloom; this is unstoppable creativity and enthusiasm, the kind that makes you fired up, burning to get on with it. Like the fertile abundance of spring, this card can feel like anything is possible, like you’re seeing a whole new world. Be bold, be courageous, be expansive.

Daily card: Nine of Pentacles

This card can represent reaping the fruits of one’s labours; a happy home, loyalty, security, achievement. It can suggest some well-earned luxuries, too. The design here is beautifully enclosed – not trapped, not restricted, not closed off, but just a gentle feather-light set of boundaries around ‘this. This is important; this is mine’.

In the aftermath of last night’s attacks, not very far away, what I’m taking from this is the need to recognise and be thankful for the security and the happy home I have, and acknowledge the life I have built. After Manchester, too, this all feels a bit close to home.