08/27/2013 by syrbal-labrys
The fives of each suit are the next objective…while symbolic of man and the essence of action in matter, this number is also emblematic of low spots in progress, of quarrels and fights. The names assigned by folks like the Golden Dawn adequately show the distressing forecast these cards can yield.
For once, even the Pagan 2000 deck gets it right: discontent! The “Lord of Loss in Pleasure” card heralds regret, loss and discontent — emotional or, surprisingly for Cups, even monetary loss. When seen in conjunction with the Moon or the 10 of swords it signals serious depression that needs immediate care. It is often the signal of obsessing over a loss, and being unable to pick up and move forward. Grief is one thing, paralysis is another. Even the reversal still means an overturn in routines of life, and unwelcomed change. The key is in the symbols…not every cup is empty; take what you still have and start again.
I hate getting the five of Pentacles. All but the simple design of the Pagan 2000 hark to historic representations. The “Lord of Material Trouble” is just that…hard times, financial loss and hardship. The least evil thing this card warns of is dire physical need on other levels than money and poverty — abandonment and loneliness. Reversed, it is not mitigated and bespeaks long unemployment and even possible bankruptcy—but it reminds one to seek aid and amend budgets. In other words, don’t practice any of that happy-assed “prosperity manifestation” nonsense on the sight of this card. Tighten your belt and call in old debts!
The things books say about the five of Wands always confuse me because most representations show violent confrontations as pictured on the Steampunk and Cirque deck. But bookish descriptions of the “Lord of Strife” act as if there is merely bookish disagreement or mock battle like tomcats screaming on the back fence. Of course, the meanings change over time; and in this instance, I find Walker’s image and clue word, “Impasse” possibly the best representation. Of course, perfectly ageless things like stress, competition, opposition…(and reminded by a typo of the last word) just shit hitting fans in in the works when this card appears. It is a signal of no-win situations; even reversed it means acrimony, cruelty and legal disputes that could be avoided if reason was in charge. Me? I try to keep Walker’s exact image in mind no matter which deck I use…an “initiate” suffers only until they find the answer and the way through. Fight through with the fire of the mind and Will!
As usual, Pagan 2000 is wrong whether you attribute it to Fire OR Air. The “Lord of Defeat” in Swords is a depressing card at its very best; rather like the Cirque deck’s weary looking warrior in the smoke of battle –it can portend a hard won victory, but one tinged with bitterness due to the cost. More often this card forecasts failure, even cowardice and negative attitudes can be the cause. For me, this card speaks of a battle where even YOU are not on your own side. The reverse meaning speaks of indecision and paranoia, reinforcing my opinion that this is the card where you have subconsciously chosen your own misery; so Walker’s portrayal of the Fates working beneath the tree where Odin hangs, a sacrifice of himself to himself, is evocative. Oddly, the Steampunk deck of the shady weapons dealer is perhaps the least effective image for this card. I prefer the Cirque deck and often when seeing this card I think of it as the “PTSD” card…to me it speaks of haunting even when a battle is over, even when it has been won. I remind myself forcibly to remember to consider forgiveness and to recognize vindication when I see it.
Most of all, seeing any of these “low point” cards…remember, this is bottom in a lot of ways; time to bounce back and start the climb back up into the light. It’s only a real defeat if you quit the fight, and all of these particular troubles have a common point: YOU! Not to do a victim blame here, but in my experience, all of these cards tell a tale of avoidable trouble that is partially attributable to ones own attitudes and choices. Look to oneself first for both cause and solution!