Quantum Tarot: the Five Pentacles


Well the study-group thread list tells me we haven't discussed this one yet, but I'm *sure* I've written about it at length before! but I *have* been doing a lot of Tarot-work in my dreams recently - maybe that is why I remember writing about it and can't see it on the list.

Like all of the Earth cards, its primary colour is green, and in fact we see an area of space filled with green gas clouds. Two melancholy male figures, obviously the same model but depersoonalised by the negative photograph treatment, stand back to back, the one on the left closer to us, unaware of each other's presence. their body-language is about melancholy and defeatism. remember when I talked about Judgement, I talked about the three rents in the clouds that resembled guarding-figures? We have one of those here, too, but tilted at an angle. Two free-wheeling Pentacles are spinning slowly towards hte outer edges of the card, three others are behind the cloud, visible through that head-and-shoulders rent.

The scientific subtitle of this card is "Leptons" Leptons are the subatomic particles that most laymen are most familiar with: electrons which orbit atoms and which create electric charge, are a kind of lepton seen and used in daily life (hell, I'm inconveniencing a lot of them right now!)

We've talked about neutrinos before, the particles that wander through the universe as lonely as, and as unable to communicate, as the Greek nymph Echo. Neutrinos are another flavour of lepton. In fact, they are all around us and within us - pretty much what people like to say of God. In this image, I like to see the two free Pentacles as wandering Neutrinos, unspotted by the melancholy figures, and the three that are overlapping in that guardian-spaced darkness as electrons or something, in a stable, perhaps atomic, configuration.

This card speaks about material loss: leptons unable to be retained as they wander away. Some of them remain, but the sad figures do not see that. In their grief for what they know they cannot retain, they do not utilise what they can retain and in fact what is being held together for them.


This is one of my personal favourites. There's something very Star-Trekky about the imagery in this card that really appeals to me :D

I know the 5 of pents is supposed to be a downer, but the Quantum version seems more gently melancholic than the full povery-and-suffering of the RWS version. To me, it's a reminder of the limitations of the material world, where loss is inevitable. It's just something you have to come to terms with - mourn what's gone and appreciate your blessings. Some leptons are just not meant to be captured. ;)


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I'd agree - after all, you've got nines and tens of Swords for the greater pain cards. This is more about missing physical things, reduced circumstances or possessions. Someone about to embark on a Fool's Quest or a Hermitage up in the distant mountains may well have an entirely different take on how much melancholy should be involved in being divested of property - perhaps it could be seen as freeing!