The Minor Arcana (Five of Pentacles)

As promised, here’s part of the structure I’ve come up with for the Texas Tarot:

  • Wands (fire) will be pictured as wildflowers for Ace through Ten cards and butterflies for the Court cards (Page, Knight, Queen and King)
  • Pentacles (earth) will be grasses and brush for Ace through Ten cards and four-legged critters for the Court cards.
  • Swords (air) will be cacti and prickly plants for Ace through Ten cards and birds of the air for the Court cards.
  • And Cups (water) will be vessels for Ace through Ten cards and birds of the sea for the Court cards.

Last night I drew the Five of Pentacles …

having decided it would be a good idea to let my subconscious work while I slept. Sure enough, I woke up with an idea of how it might go.

First off, apparently there’s no sugar-coating the Fives:

  • 78 Degrees of Wisdom: “conflict or loss of some kind … material troubles”
  • Kitchen Table Tarot: “those things that keep you up at night”
  • The Creative Tarot: “you’ve been cast out … the best thing is to do things your own way.” Hmmm, that actually sounds positive to me.

So taking those quotes along with the dark imagery of the card, I chose Texas Mountain Laurel to depict toxicity. While its blooms are beautiful (especially if you like the scent of grape bubble-gum), the resulting seeds, aka mescal beans, are hallucinogens that can be fatal. Combined with the floodplain cloth background, this card/collage sends a warning to be careful …

And even though I’ve got tons of bookcover art to draw on, I’ve been trying to use pictures from the blog as much as possible. Luckily, I discovered that glossy brochure paper works well with my inkjet printer and even survived a trial by water test …

Next up: the story behind the symbols for the Ace through Ten cards.

12 thoughts on “The Minor Arcana (Five of Pentacles)

  1. Oh, you Drew it! Not you actually drew it! Okay, now that I get that, I think, the rest completely confused me…but I won’t mind learning. Continue the fun now 🙂

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    1. Ha! Drawing cards … must be a northeast regionalism that I’ve carried with me all these years.

      And yes to confusing … it’s all new to me, so I’m learning by doing

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  2. testing to see if I’ll be allowed to speak. LOVE what you’re coming up with Liz – as a way of learning and creating in the same flow you applied to collage a lot more generally. It’s so inspiring and I can only imagine how gratifying it is to feel your original desire to make this deck begin to manifest. Your organization plan is solid and that’s a great fulcrum while navigating some of the spacier esoterica mind-bridges. etc.

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    1. I had assumed the same thing, but here’s a brief explanation from Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dermatophyllum):

      “All parts of the mescal beans are very poisonous, containing the alkaloid cytisine (not mescaline, as suggested by the name). Nevertheless, there is evidence of the seeds of the plant having been used in a ritualistic context as a hallucinogen by some Native American peoples.”

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