By Sarah Taylor
As the central and uniting card in this week’s reading, the Two of Pentacles invites us to consider a balancing act between two states depicted in the flanking cards — at precisely the same time that both figures in these cards are looking away from each other. Both are devoting their attention to what is going on in their immediate surroundings; neither seems aware that they are part of a bigger picture, a triptych.
How then can all three dance together?
The female figure in Strength is engaged in her interaction with the lion as it pertains to the animal instinct. She is a visual contradiction of sorts: dressed in white, she is virgin; with a lemniscate above her head, she represents the eternal — the eternal feminine.
And yet this figure of the eternal feminine busies herself with matters that to some may seem unfitting for a maiden. Her hands enfold a beast’s head, its tongue licking her inner wrist. This part of a woman’s body is deceptively intimate: body language experts have found that a woman’s wrist is exposed to potential suitors in fleeting glimpses, and only if she finds favour with them. Here the lion is more than suitor; he is granted physical access to her — as is she to him. There is a reciprocity, a place offered where the spiritual and the carnal come together. Which might beg the question: in which ways do we deny what it is to be fully human?
On the other side of the Two of Pentacles, we have the Page of Pentacles, whose attention is fully upon the object of his desire — in this case, the material world. Pentacles are our manifested reality. Yes, they are money, but they are not limited to that. They are anything with which we engage with one or more of our five senses.
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