Tarot for the Modern Reader
Winter and the Suit of Swords
Winter, and the suit of Pentacles. This week we are officially moving into the season of winter here in the Northern Hemisphere. Whether you love or hate the cold weather it brings, I always enjoy the change of energy a new season brings, and the opportunities to celebrate those changes spiritually.
The Sun will make it's annual move into Capricorn, and with that, the Wheel turns once more. We now enter the fallow period of our lives. Winter brings the time of regeneration. We may not all love it, but we do all NEED it. A garden needs a period for the soil to compost before it can nourish new life. The phoenix must return to ash before it can rise again. All things in nature need this inward time, and so do we.
As we begin the season, we start out at the Winter Solstice. Hooray! While this is the longest and darkest night of the year, it is the moment where the sun begins its ascent again, and from here forward, each day gets just a little bit longer than the one before. On this day, we also celebrate Yule if you are so inclined. This is one of my favorite Sabbats.
With Autumn we began to slow down. The days got shorter and colder and we continually harvested our crop. Now, our gardens lie fallow, nurturing the soil, and we too, stay inside, snuggle up against the cold, and nurture ourselves. While holidays can make this time of year particularly busy, they will come and go.
The season begins with the final week of holiday preparations and continues into the New Year. But come January 2nd, the holiday hustle is over and we are settling back into our routines. This begins a solid 2-3 month period where the days are still short, the temperatures are cold, and we must find ways to protect ourselves from the seasonal depression that can nip at just about all of our heels at some point.
Winter begins in Capricorn, this is a cardinal earth sign. All of the solstices occur in cardinal signs, these are the leaders of the zodiac. A time of beginning things or initiating new actions. Capricorn is the workhorse of the zodiac. In Capricorn we can find ourselves determined, committed and steadfast. And willing to work hard to accomplish it.
We often throw out a list of goals at the New Year, however, I would encourage at the winter solstice, for you to think about one thing that is really important to you, and create a plan for how you can accomplish that goal. It's ok if it takes all year, but beginning this early and maximizing the amount of time you have under the Capricorn sun is a good idea.
The World and the Minor Suit of Pentacles
Capricorn is the ruler of The World card. How fitting! Capricorn is ruled by the planet Saturn and these energies are tied very closely to The World card. The World's about achievement, it's about completing a cycle, reaching the pinnacle of success, closing out one chapter and successfully starting anew. These are all things that can only happen when we use Capricorn's strong work ethics and Saturn's discipline.
Capricorn is also a ruler of the Pentacle cards in general, alongside fellow earth signs, Taurus and Virgo. But it's Capricorn that begins the winter season, and one of the reasons the Suit of Pentacles as a whole is attributed to Winter. Pentacle cards are slow moving energy. Think of how slow molasses moves in the cold of winter.
When the cards of the Pentacles suit come up in a reading, we have much of the same energy. Things are slow and solid. Things take time. In the suit of Pentacles, we see that energy of Capricorn and the fellow earth signs, such as building, structuring, and responsibility driven behavior in general. This is a time, much like Capricorn symbolizes, that we are focusing on doing the work.
Associations for the Suit of Pentacles
We may see more Pentacles cards show up in our readings now. This was certainly true for me with Swords cards after the Autumnal Equinox. I don't know about you, but I welcome the change to the money cards! Let's do a bit of a deep dive on the associations for the Suit of Pentacle cards:
The Suit of Pentacles corresponds beautifully to the luxurious playing card suit of Diamonds. You may also see this suit named:
and more in other decks….
This does not change the inherent meaning of the cards. As it relates to people, the Pentacles Court Cards are usually used to represent those with an Earth Sun sign:
Major Arcana Cards that correlate to the Suit of Pentacles are as follows, in each of these cards you will find Pentacles energy:
Some Keywords to associate with the Suit of Pentacles:
Moving through the Minor Arcana
So how do the cards of the Minor Arcana relate to the season of Winter specifically? Let's begin with the Ace. Aces always bring new beginnings, just like the Winter Solstice brings a new beginning. As the year turns over just a week later, we are often beginning new opportunities related to the Ace of Pentacles. Take your health and fitness goals. Starting a new way of eating or just picked up a gym membership? Yep, that's in the Ace of Pentacles' wheelhouse.
As we move through the suit we see more signs of the season. The two which is our financial juggler often shows up as those holiday bills come in, but also, we are trying to balance what is important to us. We have these new things we've added to our lives and schedule when we hit Jan 1 and made new goals. In the three, we find ourselves working to integrate these things and even create the systems and processes we need to help us meet our goals.
We reach the four after we have been in the winter season long enough to feel lethargic and maybe a bit depressed by the short days, long nights and cold temps. We reach that fallow point after the holiday hub-bub and new year excitement begins to wear off. We begin to wonder what goals and tasks that we took on are worth holding onto and building out further.
In the 5 I feel we have reached that hardest part where we are slow moving and questioning our choices and goals. The six always asks us to make choices. Which goals should be kept, which should be given over? This happens in the seven. We decide what projects we began at the new year that are successfully taking shape, and which ones need to be pruned. The eight finds us now doubling down on the things that worked, and as we reach the end of the suit, we are rewarded for that work in the nine and the ten.
The Suit of Pentacles is associated with the season of Winter in general, however the first month, the month of Capricorn is where the energies will play out the strongest. I would recommend you use this time to think about what things are most important to you, and put your efforts there in January, while you have the cosmic help of the Universe at your back. You can use The World card as your totem, take it out and keep it in front of you as a reminder of your hard work and dedication to your project, and the rewards that will come when you see it through to fruition!
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I'm Liza, professional Tarot reader, writer and mentor, and this is Tarot Liza. Everyday we're working to bring our mission of delivering more value and Tarot education to the Modern Reader to life! Welcome! Read more...
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