Will Worthington, authored by Stephanie and Philip Carr-Gomm, and published by Connections Books. It comes with a very interesting, attractively presented book that covers the cards by number - all the Aces, all the Twos, etc. This is especially relevant with regard to the Fives, of which today's card is one.
In the foreground, a woman in a yellow dress and blue cape leans against a tree, her head against her arms. It feels to me like she's unwilling to acknowledge what is around her, perhaps because it's too painful to recognise the difficult situation she's in. I like that she leans up against a tree, as though to draw strength from its wisdom and groundedness.
In the background, a hare is chased by a greyhound. This is a segment of the tale of Cerridwen. She had a beautiful daughter and an ugly son. So, she decided that her son could at least be wise, and brewed up a potion to this effect. She left a servant boy, Gwion, to stir the brew, but three drops accidentally flew out and he drank them, thus taking the entire power of the potion. When Cerridwen realised she was incensed. Gwion fled from her, transforming himself into a hare to try to evade her. Cerridwen followed and changed into a greyhound. Next Gwion changed into a fish, but Cerridwen morphed into an otter and hunted him (Five of Cups), so he took to the skies as a bird, but she became a hawk (Five of Swords). Finally, exhausted, Gwion changed himself into a grain of wheat, which Cerridwen as a hen swallowed (Five of Wands). Nine months later she gave birth to Taliesin, who became a wise bard. This story is used in the Fives to illustrate the idea that it is through hardship that we grow.
Unlike in many depictions of the Five of Pentacles, the lady on this card is dressed in a golden dress and a blue cape, rather than rags. Nevertheless, these seem inappropriate to the winter scene around her. The blue cape suggests a superficial ability to communicate, but with the sense that at a deeper level this communication is failing her in some way - hence her despair. I associate the yellow dress with her ability to process what is going on around her - in this case her ability is not living up to the requirements of the situation. As for the clothes being quite sumptuous, this seems to suggest that she has the werewithal to take care of herself, but is currently unable or unwilling to do so. Perhaps she first needs to accept her situation, be willing to really look at it, before she can respond appropriately. Part of that acceptance may come from sensing the support available to her.
On a musical note, my inspiration for this post:
I am grateful for the times of hardship that have lead to deep transformation.
I give thanks for the people and situations in my life that have supported me through hard times.