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Join Date: 24 Nov 2002
Location: Prague, wonderful Prague, Czech Republic
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Bohemian Gothic Tarot Study Group, the Five of Pentacles


I put these thoughts in The Fool thread and then realised they really didn't fit (half asleep I think), so I'm starting this thread specifically. The Five of Pentacles was one of those cards where we saw a Victorian picture and immediately knew we wanted to use it. I'll post the original just for interest. We redrew the figures and I think made them starker in many ways. I find this card very successful in terms of symbolism, but also perhaps the most disturbing Five of Pentacles that we've done. The woman seems so very unaware of the desperate situation of her children.

The background is a church which is dedicated to St Martin, patron saint of beggars (though that's hard to read, it's written around the door):
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Martin_of_Tours

I think that one reason that this woman does not turn and ask "St Martin", or his church, for help, is that she simply won't accept her status as a beggar - she seems to be someone who has fallen into poverty quite recently.

Is it a good or a bad thing that she is still refusing to accept her neediness? It seems very much to depend on whether you read this as admirable pride or a stupid refusal to face up to reality. The children seem much more able to see their own plight - which in fact makes this a very sad card to my eyes.
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