Sunday, December 4, 2016

This Week's Writerly Tarot: The Five of Pentacles

Let's be honest — there's very little appealing about this card. Whenever I see it, I get a pang in my stomach and my chest constricts. It's a touchstone, the Five of Pentacles, and as such, it opens up a world of hurt for me. I remember every sad story I've ever heard, every lost puppy, every broken heart.

There are many interpretations for this card, and there's grief at the heart of every one. There are questions: who are these poor and needy people? Why are they in the cold when the lights of the church are lit and warm and right there? Is this a criticism of the church, rich in stained glass but poor in compassion? Or are we to question the down-trodden, ponder what leads them to prefer the snow over the sanctuary? Do they not recognize it? Have they sought and been rejected?

We do not know. Arthur Waite was clear in his interpretations that this card meant material trouble, although perhaps not as dire as depicted. So what are we to make of it, we who ask the tarot for guidance on creative matters?

I'll take a stab at that. Our creativity is a living thing, and as such, it must be nourished and nurtured, it needs care and tending. Ask yourself: in this season of bright lights and parties and shopping and indulgences, is your creativity being neglected? Are you giving your Muse the attention she deserves? Or have you spent your energy and attention in other areas? Closed the door on your art and left it in the cold?

This week, consider your creative soul. Is it well cared for, warm and safe? Or is it right outside the circle of your everyday, hunched against a rising cold?

Only you know the answer. And only you have the power to open — or close — the door.

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