Tarot Draw #4

As I settle into my job search (it’s going fairly well, all things considered, and thank you to those of you who have asked), I’m finding a somewhat surprising lack of perceived time for writing. I have a bit of freelance work going on at the moment, and that’s work I can do from home – which is a blessing that I’ve never had before, and in a lot of ways I love it. In some ways, though…well, I’m realizing just how set some of my patterns are. The computer I use for the freelance project is one that’s never really been used for work before. It’s a happy little netbook that I’ve used almost exclusively for either writing or (let’s be honest here) futzing about on the internet. And while I can take a break from work at any time, I’m finding that I have a curious block when it comes to actually writing for pleasure in the physical space where I’m working.

All of which is to say, it’s been 8 days since my last post, and I’ve missed it. I’ll try and do better.

Recently, an idea was posted to the email list used for Mystery School – basically, the suggestion was made to use the Tarot to look for something to take into the mysteries of the coming year. That felt like a good place to go with my next draw, so without further ado…

Question: What is one thing I can take with me into the coming year?

Card: Ten of Pentacles

10 of Pentacles
10 of Pentacles


First impressions: Wow. There’s a lot going on in this card. People and dogs and buildings, oh my! This is one of the (many) cards that I have no background with whatsoever, so this should be interesting.

About the card: In the foreground, we have an old gentleman sitting down, facing away from us. He’s sitting down and wearing what look like very lavish (and certainly very colorful) robes. I’m not sure what all of the designs on the robes are, but there are what appear to grapes in the design somehow, though this might just be me looking for something that isn’t really there. Anyway, our old guy is petting a dog and looking out through an archway upon what feel to me like his holdings (we can see a field and some trees in the background, along with some buildings). On the inside of the arch are a couple of banners, one with a castle in the design – it feels like a coat of arms of sorts, so I’m reading the old guy to be either a lord or at least the most influential person around these parts.

There are 3 other people in the scene: A younger man, facing away from us and toward a woman, who has a small child standing beside her. The child is petting the rump of another dog.

The story without words: When I look at a card, generally I’m waiting a day or so before writing about it. Mostly that’s out of laziness and lack of time, but this time that delay was kind of useful, because I missed something rather obvious on the first viewing. At first, I read the younger man and the woman as a couple having a conversation. The obvious narrative conclusion was that they were the parents of the small child. But when I looked at the card again today, I saw that the man is actually holding a spear. Noticing one item changes “husband” into “guard”. More to the point – it changes the younger man from being “the woman’s husband” to “the old man’s guard”.

Funny, how adding a weapon shifts the narrative so fundamentally.

The story I’m seeing here, now, is that the woman is seeking entrance to the older man’s home for some reason, and the younger man is at least questioning her, and perhaps keeping her out entirely. The presence of the child makes it *feel* like she’s looking for aid of some sort, but I’m not sure why. The older man is dressed rather extravagantly, to be sure, but nobody in this image is wearing a beggar’s rags or anything.

I think I liked the card a little better before I saw the spear, actually – then it was an old rich guy watching a couple talk outside his house. Now, I’m wondering about whether or not he’s even going to give the woman the time of day.

But what does it mean?: I’m not getting a whole lot from the card, honestly, other than a general sense of material wealth on the part of the older man. There also seems to be…hm. This is harder to define, for me. A sense of propriety, or convention, I guess. It doesn’t seem like the woman and her child are being turned away out of hand, but I do get the idea that there’s a particular way that one is expected to approach those with wealth, and the older man wants those forms to be followed.

How that actually speaks to my question about the future, I have no idea. I don’t feel like I’m taking a lot of material wealth and plenty into this coming year, and I’d like to think that part of what I can do with the coming year is to set aside some convention. I’d like to find ways to do more of what I love and have less of a sense of obligation. I’d like to feel at ease with less, rather than feel like I’m trapped in a particular job because of the perceived financial security it offers.

They aren’t all going to smack me upside the head with obvious insights, apparently. Also, one of these days I’ll stop turning all draws into questions about my job search. Probably not anytime soon, mind you, but one of these days.