Nine of Pentacles

After a morning spent on some hard digging in the garden in the hot hot sun, it was good to come in, gulp down a long glass of cool water, and draw this card.

As well as figuratively representing the rewards of hard work, the Waite-Smith illustration of the Nine of Pentacles also directly suggests botanical rewards to me, with a richly-dressed woman standing peacefully in her garden surrounded by grapevines laden with fruits. Okay, so I’m not planting grapes – I’m putting in potatoes, courgettes, broad beans, broccoli, but with blistered fingers, filthy nails and sore feet, it’s good to see something showing the rich rewards I’m hoping for.

Even more wonderful, I think, is the image below, from Tarot of the Trees, showing a big strong tree, and at its roots, the Pentacles, the source of strength and energy which enabled it to grow.

Nine of Pentacles, Tarot of the Trees

(Tarot of the Trees by Dana Driscoll)

On his Tarot blog, James Rickler talks about this card representing the importance of keeping your home in order, of investing in your home environement as well as focussing on our ‘inner space’. For me this rings so true – whatever it is I’m about to do, whether it’s writing, cooking, Tarot, phoning a friend or just messing about on the internet, I find myself spending a few minutes creating a pleasant environment around me first. It’s a short process which comforts me, grounds me and clears my mind.

…the Nine of Pentacles, reminds us that our “outer space” is important for our spiritual progress too.  As Denise Linn says in her book Sacred Space, “Our homes are mirrors of ourselves,” and our inner selves and our home environments do reflect and affect each other. This card’s message for today is to make your home a place of peace, comfort, and renewal. […]

So today consider questions like these:  Do you need to put your home into better order? Do you need to spend some time cleaning house? Do you need to throw out some junk? In addition, it’s important to remember that there are always little things you can do to bring a bit of beauty into your home. For example, are there a few wildflowers growing nearby that you can bring home to set in a cup on a windowsill?

James Rickler

Another important theme I find in the Nine of Pentacles is that of working alone. Fortunately my gardening projects are joint efforts – it’s hard to imagine myself finding the willpower and motivation to do all that digging without my partner spurring me on. But the theme of self-motivation and self-reliance comes through strongly in traditional meanings of the Nine of Pentacles, reminding me less of Saturday gardening than of my current situation at work where, though theoretically I should be working as part of a team of four, more and more this week I have found myself planning to break away from the others, frustrated by the barriers they seem to create to prevent them from grabbing the bull by the horns. We are community development workers, and yet I feel that, with one particular project, my colleagues are trying to make it as difficult as possible to work with local people, perhaps in the hope that eventually they won’t have to. I came home last night fuming anfter a difficult team meeting…and found myself building all of my frustrations into a plan for action – alone. Will it bear fruit? I don’t know, I just know that I can’t come home complaining about this any more. If I can’t persuade my team to act with me through words, then the only thing left is to get out there and act alone…in the hope that eventually they will come with me.

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