5 of Pentacles and the Lesson of Dependence

Tarotkaarten Pentakels 5, de Kluizenaar en Gerechtigheid

Half a year ago I wrote a blog post about pentacles 5 and the choice to sometimes place yourself ‘outside the group’ and go your own way, even if it means that it is often difficult and lonely. Just recently, I’ve read an article on a New Age website that was about experiencing gratitude and the ability to accept help from others. Immediately, Tarot card Pentacles 5 popped into my mind and I thought about how I could add this to the interpretation of this card. And when I was figuring this out, the tarot cards Justice and the Hermit also came along 😉

Most people value independence and autonomy. We prefer to have our affairs organized and under control, we don’t want to be dependent on others and we want to show that we don’t need anyone to ‘take care of us’ (because we can take perfectly care of ourselves!)

But sometimes things happen that makes this very difficult; Illness, injury, new job, new baby. Things are getting over our heads or we don’t know how to cope with some situations anymore. The first thing we are going to do is get into the  ‘fight mode’: we are going to work harder, stubbornly do things against health advice and deny that we have ‘a problem’. Quite often, ‘the Ego’ is blamed for this. And yes, it is true that the Ego is the one who values the feeling of ‘control’ the most and who would indeed ‘toughly’ turn down the help offered to protect our independence.

But… Do you recognize the situation that after a fight (with yourself, with the circumstances) you given in and accept the situation? And this results in you having such a wonderfully relieved feeling? You can also achieve this by saying ‘yes please’ when someone offers you help. The feeling of gratitude and vulnerability makes us realize that we are not completely alone in the world. Moreover, by reflecting on this, we can also help others who have ended up in this or that situation.

This reminded me of Tarot card 9 The Hermit. The Hermit is a wise person who has been through a lot. He reflects and looks within himself (instead of worrying about what others think). This also allows him to help others who need to walk the same path.

But it also made me think about Tarot card 11 (or 8): Justice. I tend to interpret Justice as someone who not only looks at the strict ‘letter of the law’, but also at ‘fairness’: You get more tolerance and empathy when you have experienced what it is like to be ‘helpless’ or to be in a hopeless situation. And this increases your ability to be able to make a ‘righteous’ judgment.

I tried to find what others say about these combinations, to see if more people would make this connection. And indeed, I ended up on Spotify where a guy named Martin George Selwood had composed music inspired by Pentacles 5 and the Hermit; He has also created the artwork:

Tarot Card Pentacles 5 and the Hermit by George Selwood
Artwork by Martin George Selwood

It takes courage and strength to surrender to our own helplessness and to accept that, like any other human being, we have limitations. This ‘surrender’ teaches us many lessons;  We discover humility, gratitude, and also compassion and understanding for others. I think this is a nice addition to tarot card Pentacles 5.

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