Quantum Tarot: The Nine Pentacles


Nine Pentacles wheel through space, one of them noticeably larger and brighter than the rest. What has ignited it is mysterious - it burns with a glare of light and radio waves that could only be put out by a quasar. A little bird perches on one of hte lower, less heated, Pentacles, head cocked to one side and aware, ready to take off at the lightest hint of danger. Behind much of the greenish light of this card, a woman's face meets our eyes complicitously, and smiles broadly. We are taken into her confidence, unlike anyone else in the universe: she knows we are outside of her reality looking at her, and she doesn't care. She is interested in us and friendly to us but not involved with us: when she wants she will simply fade further into the background or move beyond the boundaries of the card.

I like Kay's take on this card as it is given in the not-so-L not-so-W B: unfortunately she cannot free her mind of RW-type image for the card when discussing appearances (really, wheels-in-space works for me!), but unlike a lot of other Tarot writers, she is sensitive to the loneliness of this path. We all see the Hermit as indicating a lonely journey through life despite its rewards, and perhaps there is a loneliness in the Five Cups even though you share your losses with a relative or partner, but Kay rightly points out that the card of the independently wealthy shows someone who isn't forced into society by the need to go to a workplace and socialise with people one wouldn't otherwise meet in order to survive, and that perhaps one needs to be careful of whom one allows into the garden of one's life - are they there only to take a free ride at your expense?

Two pearls rest on the smiling woman's teeth - and it should be remembered that pearl is a soft, soothing material produced by an oyster as a defensive response to the pain of grit giving come into its smooth world and starting to damage its vulnerable tissues. A person living a Nine Pentacles life may be self-sufficient, but they are also vulnerable, and do not know who to trust and who will cause pain.


Well neither Chris nor I had any intentions of "freeing" ourselves from RWS symbolism in this deck. Quite the contrary. And this is one of my favourite RWS cards - the independent woman, financially and emotionally secure. I use the Quasar as a symbol of success in both this deck and my earlier "Universe Cards." Quasars are still not very well understood objects, but they are extremely bright. One current theory suggest that they live at the centre of galaxies and are somehow powered by black holes. I like the symbolism of harnessing the power of a black hole to create light - that to me speaks of great inner strength and security. Getting to this point often means a sense of isolation - psychologically if not physically - as you find you have outgrown your peers, or that some people you thought were friends are alienated or threatened by your success.


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