It may not be the happiest of cards in the suit of Pentacles, but the Five of Pentacles is a card whose symbolism I’ve worked with before. If you’ve seen my earlier standalone assemblage piece, Blight (Five of Coins), you’ll notice the two works have some stylistic similarities. It was that original piece, created for a local art show last year, that first inspired me to create the Tarot of Bones.
In a way, you can say that financial strife is part of the purpose of this entire endeavor. As a fully self-employed artist, every month is something of a financial challenge, making sure all the bills get paid on time, materials are procured, and other resources pulled into line. I’ve had more than one Five of Pentacles time in my life, and the desire to avoid that is part of why I’m embarking on such a big, elaborate project. I’m hoping to get my work out to more people and, of course, sell some tarot decks and books!
But the Five of Pentacles isn’t just a motivating force. It’s also a reminder that even at the darkest of times I have had options and resources. In the original Rider-Waite-Smith deck, the poverty-stricken people in the foreground may be seen as taking some small comfort in the glowing light of the church window. I have my own sanctuaries, both in the form of other people and in the natural world around me, and the five vertebrae in this card are not alone but part of a set, a team perhaps.
So my relationship with this particular card isn’t as negative as it could be. I hope you like my artistic interpretation of it!