Tarot Introspections: Mother of Pentacles

Tarot is one of my abiding loves for introspective guidance. Not in a fortune telling sense but as a way to tease things out of my subconscious or unconscious mind. Shortly before my state went into lockdown, I found The Wild Unknown Tarot at Half Price Books on their 50% one item day, so for the past several weeks I’ve been trying it out. One card that keeps appearing is the Mother of Pentacles.

Many people view court cards as the most difficult to read and suggest they will usually represent someone in the querent’s life. This deck is no exception, with an interpretation in the guidebook pointing towards a person who the card describes. Sometimes I can see this interpretation in my spreads, but I tend to read them as symbolic, as one might any other tarot card. In this way, the people in the court cards function more like archetypes, which is not an interpretation unique to me.

from The Wild Unknown Tarot

image from The Wild Unknown Tarot

The Mother of Pentacles, given the designation Queen in most tarot decks, is a very domestic card. The Mother of Pentacles is, unsurprisingly, quite motherly, sometimes to the point of being smothering or losing her identity in what she chooses to care for. As in all Pentacles (aka Disks), there is a connection to nature, and this card has an overtone of healing through the natural world. The suit also tends to focus on the practical activities of living, with this card shining a light on the domestic activities of daily living (ADLs).

I think a lot about ADLs, as I have limited mobility and chronic pain. One thing quarantine is giving me is a break from doing much pet sitting, which means I can focus on exercises designed to make ADLs easier to accomplish. I can also better gauge how the exercises affect my pain level as I am not spending so much time wrangling dogs, which, as you might imagine, lends itself to aggravating my arthritis and degenerative disk disease.

Quarantine gives me space and residual energy to do limited projects around my house. My pain overall is less but there are still flares. If my gym wasn’t closed and I could use the pool, I think I might be in quite good shape.

All this inevitably leads me to question the wisdom of pet sitting as much as I was prior to quarantine. I get pretty attached to my regular furry clients, and like the Mother of Pentacles, I have trouble letting them go. Yet, cutting my workload may be the best route for my health (although certainly not my cash flow). It would also free up energy to help my husband with some light chores.

So what would the Mother of Pentacles do? I’m still sitting with that. I’ve got at least a few more weeks before I can test out how more work alters my current patterns of pain and energy depletion. Just how much pain I can take vs. what I want to accomplish is such a delicate balance and an ever-moving target. In the end, I don’t believe there is a perfectly correct answer.

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