The Two of Pentacles
So uh. This is the last regular week of Pop Tarot. Next week, for the last card, I’ll be doing a single, longer post instead of two, which I’ll send out on Wednesday. A week or two after that, I’ll send out a mushy wrap-up post. And then, that’s… it. I will turn off subscription payments, and Pop Tarot will melt into the archive.
This Wednesday, though, I will be sending out a final guest post! It’s a James Factora piece about Hannibal and leather, and honestly, how possibly could I ask to go out on anything better?
Let's count/ The ways we/ Could make this/ Last/ Forever. I did not save the Two of Pentacles until the end for romantic reasons, but it’s kind of a romantic thing to do nonetheless. Like many cards, it’s about balance and growth, but unlike those other cards, I feel like I kinda get it. Even with 78 specific cards, they’re still all about large-scale shit, archetypes and concepts and ideals and whatnot. But the Two of Pentacles feels like something I can actually do. If the Ace of Pentacles is a seed, the Two is two seeds planted in the same pot. (For me, this imagery is taken from the Raven’s Prophecy deck, but I think it’s relatively common, at very least for the Ace.) The windowsill the plants live on only has the amount of sunlight that it has. You could angle the pot so that the sunlight hits both seeds insufficiently, or so that it hits one of them completely and the other not at all. With the first, both seeds will grow, but neither to their full potential; with the second, you’ll have one extraordinary plant, but only one. (I am not actually sure at all that this is how plants work, but definitely do not correct me if I am wrong, it’s a very functional metaphor.)
The Two of Pentacles is about deciding what you’re doing to do with that square of sunlight. There’s no objective right or wrong here. Morally, practically, personally. Sometimes, quantity beats quality, and sometimes it’s the opposite. Mostly, it’s muddy.
It’s not so cut and dry/ It isn’t black and white/ What if it’s all black, baby/ All the time? One answer is the repot the plant. A scarcity mindset is, after all, often unnecessary, and good to push past. And if you’re a person for whom that idea feels hot or raw or new, I think it’s great to take the Two of Pentacles as a call to arms to lean into it, try to rewire your thinking. But if you’re a person who’s been repeatedly told that scarcity mindsets are unnecessary and is starting to feel like that is maybe perhaps a lot of the time pretty much bullshit, the Two of Pentacles can be a strange sort of affirmation. Yes, actually, you can’t do everything that you want, or even that you need. That deserves mourning, and often anger, and at the same time, it’s simply a fact. The Two of Pentacles is the moment after the emotion. It’s the time to take stock of what you do have. I don’t mean time to get unnaturally optimistic, but to be really clear and practical about it. The resources aren’t enough, but they’re still resources. Where can they go? What can they do?
I'm alright with a slow burn/ Taking my time, let the world turn/ I’m gonna do it my way, it'll be alright. I love the beginnings of the Minor Arcana suits. I mean, they frustrate me to no end, because they’re all ripe with the promise of a future and a self that you simply can’t speed up. But I think they’re also all inherently hopeful. The Two of Pentacles, particularly, feels grounding to me. Sure, you may not have sufficient light for two plants, but there’s no version of the Two of Pentacles where there’s no light at all. There’s give and take in this sort of growth. Finding the balance is this early in the suit not because it’s something you need to figure out before you can move forward, but because it’s something you’ll always be learning.
Pynk, Janelle Monáe
Hardline, Julien Baker
Slow Burn, Kacey Musgraves
Second-to-last week, so I’m not going to advertise subscription anymore, but get in touch any time for a tarot reading, tarot tutoring, or if have any questions, and you can tip me at @james0ctober on Venmo and Cash App and at jamiebeckenstein at gmail dot com on PayPal. Be safe, watch TV. <3