Thursday, 8 March 2012


Another highly unusual Minor from the Tarot of the Mystic Spiral (Lo Scarabeo, 2012) confronts us today.

In this version of the Five of Pentacles I see an infinity sign around which five ants trek, coins held in their mouths.  The whole thing hangs over what looks like it is either a black and yellow yin-yang sign, or possibly a yellow ladybird.  Behind, a starry night sky twinkles gently.

The traditional meaning of going through a time of material hardship does seem traceable here.  The ants struggle up and down a track without end, all for the sake of some coins.  Yet there is also spiritual redemption there for the taking, if they would release their eternal toil and turn either to the starry sky or to the balance of life offered by the yin-yang.

This card makes me question whether today my daily pursuits will feel worthwhile, or if they will seem like make-work, an unnecessary burden.  Should I turn my gaze to something more spiritual?  Or perhaps it is the friend we are meeting for lunch: will he tell us tales of woe working for a multinational bank?

I am grateful that my work generally feels emotionally satisfying.


  1. This reminds me of a couple of the cards I've seen from the Science Tarot.

    In particular, look at the card with the ant colony on it:

    Anyway, it's not the same card. It's the 9 of Cups rather than the 5 of Pentacles but it's another unusual depiction of that card.

    I like your interpretation about the tales of woe working for a bank. Hah! Sounds like a worker ant story to me.


  2. Hi MM,

    Yes, I hadn't thought of it, but it's true that it's very like the Science Tarot 9 of Cups. That card also talks of being a small part of something bigger, though it sees it in positive terms. And it's true we need the support of community and must do our part to earn it. Yet also true that sometimes it can take over and leave little space for us...

    Unfortunately, I was right about the banking tales of woe - he's not a happy worker ant right now. Hope he'll find a satisfying path!

    And I hope we find satisfying paths, too. I shall keep my eyes peeled for your new plans once you've had some time to settle after the move!