Ace of Pentacles/Coins Across Decks

I saw in my statistics page that someone had come to my site searching for images of the Ace of Coins. I thought to myself that this might make an excellent study.

Danger, danger, hours later after searching through dozens of decks and scanning, adjusting, rotating and labelling in Photoshop, I’m a bit punchy. When you’re in a funk, nothing helps like a bit of sorting, categorization, and organization. This was more than a bit, but hey it made for a keenly interesting day.

Dealing mostly with the Rider-Waite model (here used in the Universal Waite deck) I decided that there were three kinds of imagery with this card: the classic “hand of God” approach; the figurative approach related to the theme like in the Golden Tarot; and the pattern and shape decorated or changed similar to a pip in transformation playing cards, like in this marvelous Ace of Pentacles in the Sun and Moon.

In this study I am ignoring the figurative approach, and looking more at the other two.






I don’t see too many people using the Fradella deck but it’s one of my favourites.

















I’ve talked about that Universal Fantasy card before, it reminds me so much of an old brooch.

So that’s it, about 8 hours of work and 39 decks!




Compose Thyself Thumb Sucker

Oh-oh, the doctor is sick, the office is closed until next week, and I’ve got a corner of my right thumb under the nail filled with blood and pus! Rural living at its finest. What to do, what to do?




Today I need to think about composure and balance instead of being immobilized by fear and pain. “But Universe, finger infections can blow up quickly and take your finger with them!!!”

If all else fails I can go to a walk-in clinic somewhere. There isn’t one around here but if we drive an hour I might find one on Saturday. Otherwise the thumb feels slightly better in a gentle saline soak. If I keep soaking and soaking it, and imagine germ fighters from my immune system rushing to the spot and eradicating all infection it might work.

Of course, that’s the rational thing to do.




The Queen of Coins in Black and White

Daily Draw March 22nd, 2013

I drew a card from the Tarot of the Absurd, and then I thought it might be an interesting study to pull the same card from other black and white decks, so this is a small study of the Queen of Coins or Queen of Pentacles.

The one that started it all:


Many people seem to attach the mothering gene to The Empress, but for me she is always this Queen. She stops to smell the flower, stops to nurture herself and others. There is something about the chair in this card, the cut-outs seem to allow for growth or change if not innovation, and the idea of movement and air circulating is here, like the openness this Queen has to others, like the tracery in the window, allowing and nurturing different paths.


Steve Bright has retitled the Queen “Nurturer of Pentacles”in his Fragments of an Illusion deck. In this case the queen is a Dad making sure he spends time with a young child even though he wants to fiddle on his computer.

In the Hermetic, she is associated with a goat for fertility. I like that he’s drawn a spiral on her helmet for snails and the fertility of the Earth too.

The Enigma makes mention of comfort not being for you alone, but something you give to others along with support. This drawing was a study for one of the angels in Da Vinci’s painting Madonna of the Rocks, so there is an angelic security or support hinted at here.

The Ship of Fools card displays the Queen with a mirror, an emblem of vanity and pride and it looks like a demon is going to roast her over a fire, an image the reminds me of several saints being tortured and grilled in history. The Queen seems unconcerned, a product of her grounded nature, although there is a hint that she might get carried away with material things and vanity.


Well, Queen Victoria had a lot of children herself and the stewardship of her people, which is a mothering concern. This is another very secure and dignified Queen and obviously fertile, generous too. There is that reciprocal idea of care and concern, also found in the Tarokado.

Ah the Ironwing, this is the Madrone of Bells, and the name madrone comes from the Arizona madrone tree which is a type of arbutus tree. My mother loved the Pacific arbutus. I was just copying out a poem for my Dad and I put an image of an arbutus with it. For me it is MOTHER and it’s so touching to see it referenced here. Proof that when you least expect it, a card will reach out to you. Collaboration and generosity, yet with productive work as crystals in a dark cave were transformed to provide the fruitful berries, and this Queen shares with animals too.

The Ravenswood deck shows the Queen with a necklace with a gold bull’s head. She has the freedom and wealth to share and seems very quiet and contained.

Le Tarokado is a French deck from Quebec. My French fell down on this one but it says something about everything being sacred and what returns is dedicated or consecrated. So in generosity and nurturing, the Queen has it returned to her and then she dedicates it to others again. Also in this card she looks very calm and contained, very grounded.


This card is so big I had to put it on its own. Again, you can see the goat association with fertility and also earthy impulses. I was interested that the dark and light aspect of the halves of the Queen is associated with versions of the Earth Mother from early cultures, and there is a suggestion of a third eye in the image. The darkness reminds me of the cave description in the Ironwing, where it is not dark and wet but fertile. Soil and growth and invention—I like the idea of invention as you grow things from your mind.


The Kaos shows another mother, nurturing a child. Comfortable and generous, secure productive and practical. She is really a great influence on people as well as taking care of them, she inspires us to be better, to work and be fruitful in many ways.

The Queen of Diamonds in the Diary deck also seems to have a third eye. The spider web on her face and the spider-like qualities of the jewel in her forehead remind me of the mythology of the Great Mother or Great Weaver, the creator of the world in several world mythologies. The web of life and mothering qualities are here, but there is also a watchfulness to this Queen, as a guardian to the Earth, a nurturing omniscience.

I don’t often get this card, but with my Dad going into a care home and his condominium being sold off, it does remind me of my Mom. She has been dead for twenty years but that was her home and as such it was an anchor or home base in the family and a reminder of her spirit.

The Madrone of Bells came to say “I am still here.” The other Queens say the same thing, and watch and comfort.



Ideas and Angels

Daily Draw December 8th, 2012

I drew this in the morning but couldn’t figure out what it meant until later.



I found the angel on her breastplate rather interesting. Angel means “messenger” and they are bringers of understanding. I thought this was relevant today since I was puzzled by why this card would show up.

My husband had mentioned putting up the little table top Christmas tree we use, and we both said how nice it was to have some of ornaments from 36 years ago for our first Christmas in our own home. Then I was thinking it would be nice to have some new miniature ornaments for the tree just to brighten it up. Later on I was browsing for free patterns and saw some cute felt ornaments that were for real trees, but I could resize them as miniatures.

Then I hauled out my felt and fabric and ribbon. Then came the angelic understanding and holiday message. “Get thee some embroidery floss and stuffing” and that’s the sharp mind of this Queen today, taking initiative with ideas yet again.


Oh I know, the last thing I need is another project but they’d look so cute on the tree.

Later that evening…..


La Hire Hires The Chariot

Daily Draw May 2nd, 2012

I really like using these two decks together, so I’m doing another daily with them. One thing that bugged me was the pronunciation Ana used for La Hire. She says it is pronounced La Air but that isn’t quite right. Native French speakers say something closer to La Ear-uh. which you can hear at this site.



I am
the Chariot,
which carries calm
through torrent
and tempest;
quiet motion.

What struck me was the meditation depicted on this card and also the animals straddling the world or hemisphere, as if they could choose to go anywhere they wanted. Mindfulness meditation is recommended for chronic pain, something always to keep in mind.

La Hire, is not quite a trustworthy fellow. I feel his immaturity and irresponsibility need a firm hand on the reins. Today he reminds me of myself, or perhaps my body, which does have unpredictable ups and downs and is certainly a thief of my life. The Chariot will bring him into line.

We went for a nice walk in the woods, but I feel a terrible sadness since the two dogs we used to walk with are dead now. The one neighbour dog, Montana the black Lab, used to leap in and out of the ponds as we went. Our dogs knew we didn’t like them to do that since the muck at the bottom of the ponds was very sulphuric and sticky, but I miss Montana and her exuberance around water. Our old soul Abby made the walk last year but you used to have to stop and wait for her several times. She loved it though, so peaceful during green-up time. They both missed the coltsfoot this year.

I sit and wait for Chariot insight about it all. I have an embroidery planned for a bag for this deck and its attendant jumbo playing card deck with the hand drawn titles, so I might work on that a bit.


Spider Thrones Make a Heavy Day

Daily Draw May 1st, 2012


The 4 of Wands is about new vistas I suppose and celebrating that. I usually think of this as a happy card, but all I see beckoning me through the bridge is age and ill health. The spouse informed me this morning that he has had tingling and pins and needles in his face for some time, which might be nerve damage or something else.

And me, I’ve got the Throne of Spiders as every fibre in my body screams with nerve pain. The web reminds me of the web of nerves and connective tissue in the body, plus the tingling pins my husband is getting. It isn’t a good card, but I suppose one can always choose a better thought. I am having trouble doing that this week and just feel hopeless. The book says “a need to let go” and that is certainly my main issue; chronic muscle tension has destroyed my nerves because I won’t let go.

The 4 of Wands book (dear old Brian Williams!) says “The flowers and ribbons represent celebration; their ephemeral nature reminds that the moment to rejoice in life is now.” Brought home certainly by the deaths of the artist and author of this deck. I think perhaps progressing to a new stage can be nice to contemplate, but to keep yourself from being tied in knots, it might be wise to contemplate the reflective circle and enjoy sitting on the bridge NOW.

And here’s a cheery thing: I bought two purse patterns so I could make some summer purses and the envelope had some lovely stamps on it.

I can dangle my feet off the bridge and listen to the water and observe butterflies, eagles, tigers, and decorated coffee pots. You know how coffee pots appear bobbing along in rivers, wondering how they got there, wondering how one minute they can be pretty and vibrant and filled with flavourful, roasted coffee beans, and the next minute discarded and rusty, flaking metal as they float, full of spider webs in their spouts.

Oh stop it Judith, put a ribbon on a Wand or something.

I could send the spouse off to the library with a list for nine detective novels to borrow. Yeah, that lets me see something good through that bridge and sweep out the cobwebs.


Hybrid Will

Daily Draw December 26th, 2011

Continuing to survey the kingdom at the end of the year.


Rose and Lily crossed
for a hybrid will;
the influence of this plan reigns
over all the land.

Another card of gazing into the distance ready for the new year. I seem to be getting this card with more frequency lately. Hybrid will is interesting, as if I needed to blend two things for my will to bring into fruition what I want in life. Honesty and purity with rose desire, a somewhat dangerous, thorny desire, but then change or lack of change is always dangerous it seems to me.

What I thought when I saw this card was that by turning to the rose, he makes a decision to favour the rose. Hybrid will, but a sense of having to face one direction in order to get going. The lily will come along too, but you have to get moving. Similar to artwork and how when faced with several ways to complete something, in the end to finish it you have to choose what to apply and go in that direction.

The influence of this plans reigns.