Tuesday 26 December 2017

Capricorn in the Minor Arcana: The Two of Pentacles

Of all the cards in the tarot that have associations with Capricorn (in the system of correspondences that I follow), the one that seems most appropriate for my last blog of 2017 is the Two of Pentacles, linked to the first ten days of Capricorn. Why? Because the association I use is that of Jupiter in Capricorn.  Big, expansive, benevolent Jupiter – in the cardinal, initiating, down-to-earth, practical sign of the sea-goat... Just what we need as we approach a new year: sea-change.

Jupiter in Capricorn symbolizes looking to expand and grow through hard work. Self-discipline will be required in order make progress – which will be steady but sure.  There’s plenty of optimism around, as long as the Saturnian side of Capricorn (remember this sign is ruled by Saturn) isn’t allowed to constrict that expansive faith and confidence by becoming too serious or fearful.  The faith and optimism of Jupiter here is rooted in reality and experience – while the opportunities for change and development come through reliability, sense of responsibility, and patience.

Two of Pentacles (trimmed):
© Universal Waite Tarot
So how might this play out in the Two of Pentacles?  Let’s start with a relatively ‘traditional’ depiction of this card – as illustrated here by the Universal Waite deck. Here we see the familiar figure juggling two pentacles.  Keeping things up in the air, keeping things moving, allowing for change and fluctuation.  The ships, representing fortune (Jupiter also being associated with luck and fortune), are making steady progress through choppy but not life-threatening waves.  And the lemniscate, the symbol for infinity (from the Latin lemniscus, meaning ‘ribbon’), surrounding the two pentacles in the RWS version reminds us that the only constant is change!

Two of Pentacles (trimmed):
© Shadowscapes Tarot
The Shadowscapes deck gives us a more 'ethereal' image to work with, but the idea of juggling, keeping things moving, is still there.  The dragon or iguana or lizard, however you see it, on which the juggler stands, to me is a symbol of fire - you need to keep the fires burning in order for gas to expand (thinking here of Jupiter as one of the 'hot gas' planets).  Heat (in terms of temperature) is also part of the equation of state or thermodynamic equation...without delving too much into the science, I see this as a reminder that fire (Jupiter) is needed to make things happen (Capricorn)!

Two of Stones (trimmed):
© Wildwood Tarot
Then there's the Wildwood Tarot. Although not created with astrology in mind, we can still see the need to keep a balance between things, even when sparring! It requires a firm base to stand on, so that we feel grounded, as well as a willingness to fight to establish ourselves - that's the link to Capricorn. Through that hard work, new possibilities and opportunities open up - for both hares. 

Two of Disks (trimmed):
© Thoth Tarot
One of my favourite versions of this card comes from the Thoth deck. The serpent is coiled in the shape of the lemniscates, which we also see in the pattern of the juggled pentacles in the Rider-Waite-Smith deck.  In the loops formed by the coils, we see the yin and yang symbols, representing balance and harmony - and both internal and external change - which will bring the stability and security so important to Capricorn.  The boundless optimism of Jupiter initiating change for the better - good fortune, health, stability, and harmony ... a great message as we move into the new year! 

Shadowscapes Tarot created by Stephanie Pui-Mun Law and Barbara Moore, published by Llewellyn
Thoth Tarot created by Aleister Crowley, illustrated by Lady Frieda Harris, published by U.S. Games Systems, Inc.
Universal Waite Tarot created by Mary Hanson-Roberts & Pamela Colman-Smith, published by U.S. Games Systems, Inc.
Wildwood Tarot created by Mark Ryan and John Matthews, illustrated by Will Worthington, published by Connections

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