Wednesday 1 August 2012

Lammas Tarot Blog Hop: Pentacles - the Fruits of the Harvest

Welcome to Alison’s Alembic!   You may have arrived here as a stop on the Tarot Blog Hop from either Elinor Predota's  blog or Mary Caelsto's blog.  Or you may have found this through TABI’s Facebook page, or though one of the many wonderful tarot bloggers in the ether... It doesn’t matter – what does matter is that you’re here! 

The topic for today – Lammas – is “Pentacles: the Fruits of Harvest”.  For those of you unfamiliar with Lammas, it’s the festival of the harvest.  Also known as Lughnasahd, the cross-quarter fire festival, it’s celebrated on the evening of the 31 July and on the first three days of August. Lammas is the first harvest, when farmers reap the rewards of their hard work. 

With this in mind, the Tarot Blog Hoppers have been asked to write about any card from the Pentacles suit – the one we relate to most, at the moment.  This has been a tough decision for me, but I’ve plumped for the Nine of Pentacles from the Sharman-Caselli deck. This was the first deck I ever worked with, so it feels like ‘going home’ to come back to it today. And in a sense, that’s part of what the Nine of Pentacles represents – being at home, a place of comfort, to enjoy the fruits of the harvest. 

Sharman-Caselli (Connections)
In the image in this deck, we see a well-dressed woman standing in the midst of her garden.  The garden is full of fruit, with nine pentacles entwined in the vines and foliage around her. On her right hand sits a hunting bird of some kind – a falcon perhaps, while a rabbit nestles into the grass-covered earth.  Behind her, in the distance, we see a castle on top of a hill. The woman appears to be very content – indeed, ‘success and enjoyment’ are the keywords for the Nine of Pentacles in this deck.

Astrologically, the Nine of Pentacles is linked to Venus in Virgo. Virgo is the sign associated with the harvest, while Venus symbolizes harmony – that sense of well-being that I feel whenever I look at this card.  There’s a real feeling of abundance, and the enjoyment of it.  I’m also reminded of the Empress here – this land is certainly fertile!  (see that rabbit?!) But it’s taken a lot of hard work on the part of the woman for the earth to have yielded such verdancy and richness, symbolized by the vines. 

I’m always struck by a sense of self-sufficiency in this card. There’s no one else in sight.  She’s alone (but not lonely), and is happy in that state.  She doesn’t need more, but she’s content with what she’s achieved, and with the promise of what’s ahead (in this deck, the hunting bird symbolizes her far-sightedness and imagination). The actual harvest is still to come, of course - this is only the Nine; the culmination, the Ten, is still to come.  

In some other decks the falcon represents discipline – the ability to give attention to the job at hand. That’s a very Virgoan quality. The discipline here is not imposed from an outward source; it’s about having the self-discipline required to devote time and energy to something that you really want to achieve. And when you do achieve it, you – like this woman - can luxuriate peacefully in the fruits of your harvest!

I hope that you have enjoyed your time here at Alison's Alembic. Please come back and visit me again!

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