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(For a list of all card articles, open March 2008 on the sidebar).

Thursday, 6 March 2008

Two Of Pentacles

I stood beside a mirror
and it cut me into two
Two eyes, two hands
two strange-shaped forms
two souls, two flames, two hearts
my crown is an hourglass
an infinite space in my mind
but all outside is an infinite wash of colour
and I am inside the mirror
small, still

The Two of Pentacles is that life that happens while you're too busy doing other things. It is when that lovely spiffy earth energy from the Ace gathers momentum and eats every minute you put into it. That sounds bad, but I honestly miss this card; filling your every moment with accomplishments feels wonderful. But it's precarious - every hour, and every penny, will be allocated to something and an unexpected nudge can make it shatter.

The Two of Pentacles often contains a lemniscate (∞); a reminder, perhaps, that the resources which feel so stretched and fragile right now are, in truth, eternal. The Intuitive card shows this just above the head of a distorted silhouette; it's huge, white, swirled and symmetrical. The RWS shows a juggler with two objects wrapped in a ∞-shaped sash. Keeping things balanced, symmetrical, is important to this card; it requires the budgeting of time (and often money and other resources). But the balance includes the rest of the deck, in its infinite extent - it tells you to not neglect the rest of your needs. (Many Major Arcana cards involve balance - notably Justice, the High Priestess and Temperance; you can look to them for guidance when dealing with any Two, this one especially).

Images of the Two of Pentacles

The Marseilles shows two coins, a broken lemniscate that sprouts flowers, and - tellingly - is the card that features the deck's maker's mark, as the Ace of Spades sometimes does in modern 52s.

Did I mention the RWS juggler is doing his thing on the beach with the tide coming in behind him? This image makes me think of Morecambe Bay, which I used to live not far from; a treacherous six-mile stretch of sand which should only be negotiated with the aid of the official guide (who is paid £6 a year by royal decree). The bay is place of myth; it is pitted with quicksand, and it is said that the tide comes in faster than a galloping horse. It was on Morecambe Bay that 23 Chinese cockle-pickers were killed in February 2004. (I will not say they drowned or simply died; they were killed by their piece-of-shit gangmaster. Pentacles know the difference between what is and what is caused to be).

The Osho Zen 'Moment To Moment' card shows a man taking stepping stones over rainbows.

This is probably the only Thoth card I am ever going to link; here we see the balance of yin and yang, within a loop formed by the ouroboros. (This is a 8 rather than a ∞; eh?) As with most Thoth images, it's a very simple blending of symbols, one that emphasises symmetry.

And the Mythic Daedalus, whose work is just begun.

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