Sunday, 4 March 2012

Tradition and Time

The offering from the Mystic Spiral Tarot (Lo Scarabeo, 2012) for today is the Four of Pentacles.

This has some elements of the traditional meaning of the Four of Pentacles, though also a lot of alternate symbolism, too.  The pyramid is similar to the miser holding his pentacles close, in that the Egyptian Pharoahs were buried with huge amounts of treasure and physical property of all kinds, as well as food, and even slaves.  On the other hand, here the man in front of the pyramid seems to be tossing coins onto the reed mat beneath his feet.  I notice, too, the bright light of the sun shining off, or peeking over, the tip of the pyramid.

One possible interpretation is that he is tossing coins as a form of divination, using the start of the day as a propitious time.  This could tie back to Four of Pentacles ideas in the sense of trying to divine how best to guard and multiply his wealth...  I think I would stay very open with this card to interpreting it in light of the question and context.  Could be that some divination is necessary, that we aren't seeing clearly, or a recommendation to get advice from someone.  Another interpretation would be that it is time to let go of the material to move towards a more spiritual path.

This is one of the things that I like about non-traditional decks - they open up the possibility for novel interpretations.  That's always possible, just a bit more likely if the imagery doesn't throw us into set ideas of traditional meanings.

Today, the Pharoahs remind me of dynasties, and so of my little family.  The bright sun points to my own son.  And the pyramid points to the finitude of life, and the importance of making the most of our time on this plane.  So I come to the notion that today is not about work or practicalities, but just about enjoying time with my loved ones.

I am grateful for a day without deadlines, where I can focus on enjoying the company of Big Boy and my Dear One.


  1. Well, the thing that hit me about this image is, as you say he is tossing the pentacles not hanging on to them. That speaks loudly to me as an interpretation of the true value in what you do with something is how you use it. It in itself has no value but how you make it work for you holds the real value.

    I love how the sun rays burst out from the top of the pyramid, that's the highest point and from my Pictures of the Heart book it says " their apex symblising the highest point of, or connection with, spiritual attainment." That ties in nicely with the solar rays, and with the man tossing the coins. He has come to understand that one needs to branch out and not be afraid of the future but rather embrace it. I like your idea of him using them for divination, reaching out to that higherself through a tangible form in order to see what the best next move is.

    The Pyramid itself symbolises those secrets hidden within, the coins represent at least to me, those tangible aspects or material aspects of his life/world - together they seem to say that if one gets in touch with that hidden knowledge that exists within, then you can harness that power into his physical world.

    I've rambled enough here I think ^__^

  2. Hi Helen,

    Nice to *see* you! I love your comment about the value of something being in what we do with it, so true! And seeing the sun as the new understanding he has reached is lovely, too. Your take on the pyramid is so positive - instead of being about trying to hold onto what we had and knew, to see it as inner secrets - great interp! You really added a lot to how I see this card, thank you :D