Here then, in the new life of the New (18) Moon (the arcana of this, the week after the Ascension) we find ourselves in a garden having passed through the arcana of (13) Death. Before us there is a topiary arch through which we can glimpse a promising new vista. The topiary arch itself is in the middle distance and is viewed between a rose and a lily which occupy the foreground and symbolize love and fecundity, Aphrodite and Hera, and in the Christian mythos, Christ and the Virgin.
Thus, what is on offer is the fertility of the earth element, like a seed which must first pass through (13) Death by falling from the plant that has sustained it into the soil from which it will then bring forth much fruit, as we are reminded each year in the New Testament reading for Palm Sunday that prepares us for the Easter season that is now drawing to a close:
Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die it bringeth forth much fruit.John 12: 24
The Topiary Arch of the Villa del Priorato di Malta in Rome
Incidentally, the Ace of Pentacles always reminds me of a time in my life, many years ago now, when I lived in Rome. I would sometimes walk up the Aventine Hill to the Villa del Priorato di Malta, which is the property of the Knights of Malta and a sovereign territory in its own right. There is a keyhole in the gate to the priory, and if you peep through the keyhole you will see the dome of Saint Peters in the distance, perfectly framed by a topiary arch in the gardens of the Priory: