Tuesday 3rd December 2019: 7 of Pentacles

Alistair Crowley refers to this arcana as the Lord of Failure, which Ellen Goldberg softens somewhat with the attribution Lord of Unfulfilled Success, ruled by Saturn in Taurus whose ability to manifest on the material plane he limits. The leaden weight of Saturn constricts and deadens the growth of the crop and the farmer merely leans on his hoe and passively, lethargically or discontentedly surveys the scene.

On the Tree of Life the seventh Sepiroth, Netzach, is ruled by Venus and is low down towards the plane of material manifestation; and yet there is not much manifestation going on, except of frustrated desire, which may be felt with a special vehemence when Mars is in the frame and in sextile with Venus as he is today.

As such, the Seven of Pentacles is a far cry from the (7) Chariot which we saw (with a tinge of Saturn, it should be noted) on Saturday and which also presides over this, the first week of Advent as one of the liturgical arcana. Thus it behoves us to offset the Seven of Pentacles by meditating deeply on the (7) Chariot in which understanding and will work together in harmony, for, as Ellen Goldberg notes, where the Seven of Pentacles is well dignified, it is often the case that we are not seeing what has been attained; we may be doing much better than we realize.

Certain it is that we are not tapping into our full potential. That is in part because of the scattered (or too minutely focused) attention suggested by the Seven of Swords. That the Nine of Rods is framed by these two arcana suggests that strength and persistence is needed. As the Quarter Moon approaches, the Sun and Moon will be square to each other, so it would be a good moment to integrate the intellectual potential of Sunday’s Eight of Swords with the flexible strength of Monday’s Nine of Rods, which is favoured in its location this week by the waxing of the Moon. Indeed, this suggests that the best way to work with the Seven of Pentacles is to pause, like the farmer, and take stock of our intentions; why are we planting the seeds we are planting. Does it serve us to continue cultivating them? And then, with the Quarter Moon, the time of decision has arrived.

What if everything we have planted so far is actually dead in the ground? In his book, Tarot and the Path of Initiation, Henry Ho comments that the dead plants (which are evident in the Thoth version of this arcana) can be used as compost for a future harvest.

Speaking of future harvests, the Moon has entered Aquarius which also makes this week a good time to consider and cultivate our future ideals. At the same time, Venus is passing over the South Node, which can represent releasing some past patterns, values, resources, and relations. Finally, with the Sun in sidereal Scorpio this week is certainly a good time to look deeply into the soil where the seeds have been most deeply planted.

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