This is the third installment of a 5-part series regarding the Ace of Pentacles. You can view the previous posts below:
There are two ways to look at the suit of Earth in the Tarot: that as Pentacles and that of Coins. Papus explains that the suit of Pentacles is where we transition ourselves. Just as tens can be the end of a cycle in each suit, so too are the Pentacles, and they elevate us to the next level.
The element of earth can only come together when all the other elements have been brought together to be manifest in the physical realm. This is the beauty of Earth. Air and Water and Fire (sun, energy, light, etc.) come together to create growth and life.
It isn’t just the literal earth that represents the element of Earth. It is the material things around us, and the physical labor we give in order to obtain them. This can be wealth, land, food, clothing, general possessions, or even the creation of family. It is energy in exchange for physical things.
Again, this can mean the work we put in to making manifest. For example, cards such as the 7, 9, and 10 of Pentacles all deal with work in one way or another: the 7 is focus on the work rather than the goal, the 9 is enjoyment of the fruition of the work, and the 10 is the legacy left behind as a result of the work.
Earth is also creation. All the elements have an aspect of creation in them, but the element of Earth is the physical creation. Thus, the Pentacles are sometimes represented as a garden, of things that have been created of the seeds we’ve planted.
The Aces of course are the beginning of things. They are the newness, the chance of recreation, of renewal. Thus, the Ace of Pentacles can be thought of as a literal seed being planted. It is a card of potential in the material world.
The Decks Used
Faerie Tarot by Nathalie Hertz, published by U.S. Games Systems, Inc, 2008. Hertz is a French artist, and the creator of several other beautiful tarot decks. The Faerie Tarot was ‘inspired by the flora and fauna of the French countryside,’ and ‘invites you to see the world in a delightful new way…blending fantasy, whimsy, and nature.’
Impressionist Tarot by Arturo Picca (artist) and Corrine Kenner (author), published by Lo Scarabeo in 2015. This deck takes works of classic impressionist paintings and recreates them to fit the meanings of the tarot. It pulls from works of Edonard Manet, Claude Monet, Pierre Auguste Renoir, Edgar Degas, Vincent van Gough, and Paul Gauguin. A truly beautiful deck, especially for those who have interest in the art world.
Prisma Visions Tarot by James R. Eads, 3rd ed., published in 2016. The deck itself is beautiful, though perhaps not for the beginning tarot reader. The suits all fit together to create a master picture displaying the energy and progression of the suits. The figures and images flow from one card to the next, showing movement within the stationary cards.
Rider-Waite by A. E. Waite. The deck used in these photos is currently out of print. I won’t say much about this deck, as it is fairly standard and probably one of the most produced decks. It serves as a standard for many tarot readers and artists, depicting classic images relating in part to the original playing cards that tarot developed from.
The Spiral Tarot by Kay Steventon. With turn-of-the-20th-century style art, this deck takes from the classic Rider-Waite deck and brings it up to the late 1800-early 1900’s, a time of industry and contemplation for the western world as it moved forward into a more technological era. I am a little biased toward this deck as it’s been my main deck for 15 years. The cards are thick with additional symbolism that can be tricky to pick out of the traditional Rider-Waite, and adds layers of Greek myth throughout the Major Arcana.
Thoth Tarot by Aleister Crowley (designer and author) and Lady Frieda Harris (artist), published by U. S. Games Systems, Inc., in 1978. This deck takes from most esoteric imagery, and requires the reader of the deck to have deep, initiate knowledge of the symbolism used. There is nothing within the cards that is without meaning. However, on a more surface level, the deck draws from Egyptian symbolism and from the style of the Marseille Tarot (mostly seen within the Minor Arcana). For those looking for deeper understandings of the universe, I recommend this deck. I would caution that this deck is highly advanced, and might be avoided for the budding reader.
Vampire Tarot – by Nathalie Hertz, published by U.S. Games Systems, Inc. in 2000. As mentioned above in reference to the Faerie Tarot, Hertze is a French artist who gained her notability through the publication of her tarot decks. The Vampire Tarot was a bestselling deck upon its release, and plays on more gothic symbolism, providing more jarring interpretations to allow for the accepting of negative forces within the world to compliment the positive forces. The deck brings together myths and legends in the form of vampires, which ‘gives tarot readers a macabre passport’ into the world of divination.