Thursday, 24 December 2009

Four of Pentacles

This card makes me smile because I can so relate to it. A young man sits on a bit of stonemasonry in front of a smallish city/townscape. Swathed in a dark cloak, he has wrapped himself around four golden pentacle coins. Hunched over the one in his lap, arms wrapped around it, chin resting on it, he has two more under his feet and one balanced on his head! He looks for all the world like a little kid trying his best to hoard all the toys, or like a puppy that has gathered things around itself, gripping them in its mouth and between its paws.

He's nicknamed the miser and he gets a lot of flak, but I can't help but warm to the old boy.

'Me! Mine!' says this card. He's just a young thing, look at that face. It's open and innocent--it's practically guileless. He has earned a bit of cash, or gained some sort of security, a bit of groundedness, a bit of whatever it is that makes him feel safe--and he ain't letting go. He doesn't want to lose it. His face says, 'This is mine. You can't have it, thank you very much. I'm not interested in taking yours, but I'm going to make sure you don't slip up and get what's mine. Those over there are YOUR toys. These here are MY toys. You don't touch my stuff, I won't touch your stuff. We'll both be happy.'

A lot of people are living their lives at Four of Pentacles level. I know I do. I certainly wish no harm on anyone. In fact, I wish prosperity and joy to all of them. I don't want to take what anyone has got, and I don't spend time envying what they have, either. I just want what I've got--MY money, MY time, MY energy, MY attention--and I'm not willing to give one iota of any of it to anything not of MY choosing. It's not personal--I just come first. To me, that's what this card means. It's saying, 'I don't wish ill on anyone, but this stuff is mine and I intend to keep it.'

Look at that guy's face. He's leaning toward you. He has an open expression. He's willing to be your friend. He'll definitely talk to you. Might share ideas, a laugh, maybe have a real heart to heart. He might even decide to give you one of the coins--if HE decided to. Because HE wanted to. (He probably won't but he might!)

Of course, I know that this is a low level of personal development. We have to learn eventually that no amount of clinging is going to protect us from loss. But this lesson, I think, is hardest in the area that pentacles represents: things of this world. The physical realm, our comfort as physical beings. Think about it. For all your big talk, would you willingly ease your grip on your warm home, your supply of clean water, your endless access to food, your physical survival and comfort? I bet not. And that's just one level of worldly clinging that this card addresses. Surely we can all relate.

Overall, this is probably not 'technically' a positive card. It shows there's some growth required. But I believe it's a very human card, and sometimes, a necessary card. Certainly a very normal phase, at the least.

I'm honest enough to say, when it comes to altruism, I'm not quite there yet. Neither is the lad on this card. The two of us, we understand each other.

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