To start off - please go check out this post by Beriani, “C is for Civic Paganism”. Stunning, heartfelt, amazing. The piece makes me want to return to Seattle, my City, and find the places that are my own, the places that claim me.
Another note before delving into today’s post – I will be participating in Pagan Tea Time. I’m really excited to participate in this and already have a chat set up with someone. I would love to chat with anybody that wants to. I’m free pretty much every weekend, though I am returning to school (tomorrow!) and so am busy some hours of the week.
Now, onto business…
Every Monday I will do a quick one-card draw from one of my Tarot (or oracle) decks and interpret the card. This isn’t going to be ‘introduction to the Tarot’ or ‘intro to divination’ or anything like that, and my interpretations should not at all be seen as the only or correct way to read the cards. In fact, my interpretations will more focus on how the card is at play in my own life, how it is connected to the Otherfaith and our symbolism, or my impressions from the card.
The way I read Tarot is very, very intuitive. I’m not writing these posts to teach, but rather to share my thoughts and hear other ideas about the cards and their influences. If you’re expected someone who has read endless books on Tarot or can tell you their history, I’m not your girl! I read the cards the way they speak to me, and that’s pretty much it.
Today’s card is Seven of Pentacles from the Shadowscapes Tarot.
Personal Relevance: I have a complicated relationship with the Pentacles in the Shadowscapes deck. They’ve shown up more than any other suit in the deck when I read for myself. During one period two years ago, I watched as my weekly Tarot pulls revealed each card from the Pentacles suit in ascending order, matching up to my stabilizing financial and housing situation. (In the Shadowscapes deck, I’ve always interpreted the Pentacles with their more ‘traditional’ connection to material wealth or power.)
The Seven of Pentacles is about harvesting – reaping what we’ve sown. Huge heavy peaches hang from their branches, ripe and ready to be picked. We’ve worked hard and are now achieving our goals. (Or, we haven’t worked hard at all, and we’re seeing what happens when we don’t sow anything in our lives.)
But this card is seventh in the suit, not last, so we still have work to do (with our goals, with our harvest). We have to prepare to keep cultivating and keep pushing forward.
In my own life, this card is speaking to schooling – I’m returning to school after a long break, and that is exciting. But those positive emotions need to be backed up with more concrete actions, with studying and commitment, so that I can actually achieve what I’m aiming for.
Otherfaith Interpretation: I’ve been using the Shadowscapes deck almost since the conception of the Otherfaith, and it has been instrumental in discerning symbols, myths, and spirits in the faith.
Originally, I associated the Pentacles suit with the obvious: the Clarene. Eventually the Clarene showed she was more interested in the fox-heavy Wands suit. Still, I associate the Pentacles with her various faeries and their roles in our lives. They watch over the harvest, as well as the rise and fall of cities, and are tied to death/burial.
The Pentacles, in the faith, have a similar meaning of material wealth or power as they do elsewhere. In the Shadowscapes deck, they bear heavy lizard and dragon symbology – a mythic animal which is not seen as able to live in the West/the holy landscape of the Otherfaith. So, when we pull these cards, we’re faced with some interesting interpretations.
We can interpret them simply – as I did above – or with the added knowledge of dragons in the faith, which puts a bit of a darker spin on their meaning. The faeries of the West considered dragons to be prey, and if we combine the harvest-interpretation with the dragons-as-prey idea, we can find ourselves arriving to an interpretation of these Pentacles that revolves around death or the slaughter.
We see that we achieve goals through the loss of another. Every choice has its shadow, the choice not made or turned away from. What did we choose to plant, and are we reaping what we really wished to receive? Are our goals factoring in the bigger picture or are we, like the faeries with the dragons, pursuing our own goals to the destruction of others?
(I feel the need to note again that there is an incredible amount of intuition that goes into my readings. Concerning the interpretations with the cards and the Otherfaith – they should not be applied willy nilly, as they are incredibly specific to both the faith and to the deck being utilized. A deck with different Pentacle symbolism, for example, would have a different meaning in the context of the faith.)