Four of Pentacles: Find the Edges

I wrote this week's newsletter in the first session of my new writing group. After arriving late due to time zone confusion, I recovered only to find that I really didn’t feel like writing. All I knew is that I needed to stay in my chair so I decided to at least pull a card for us and see what happened. One of my tarot teachers, Lindsay Mack, says that tarot cards do not report on the current state of affairs, they make offerings and invitations. But in my experience, the cards are damn good at reading the room. Which, brings us to the card of the week, the Four of Pentacles, and what it means to be STUCK. What kind of stuck you ask? Traditional readings of the card are about a rigidity that results from holding on too tightly to what you think you need to protect. That’s not the vibe this time though. This is the kind of stuck where you know the way to make yourself “feel better” but the remedy is the very last thing that you feel like doing. This happens to me often with creativity. I know that the space I inhabit when I make something is a powerful antidote to rumination and despondency, but in those feels, I lack any sense of inspiration to be in that space. It’s difficult to confront this and not look for someone or something to blame (I usually default to blaming myself). But in reality, that’s often misconceived and there may be plenty of valid reasons why things feel stalled. What if we started by just finding the edges?

Jessica Dore wrote about the Four of Pentacles: “…the fact that you’ve even identified something as a block means movement is happening. When you hit a wall, that’s literally only happening because you’re trying to move energy in a different direction, walk through a new doorway, or dig a new tunnel.” I don’t know about you, but being told to hold tight can be frustrating BUT it can be a valuable test of faith. Most blocks can’t just be shoved aside or we would have done that a long time ago, they need to be given the time they require to relocate. Their immovability can also be for our own protection - we may not be ready for the level of permeability their absence would create. So perhaps instead of feeling angry at the block, we can be curious? We also don’t have to be unstuck to start moving or be “making something” to benefit from being creative. What if we imagined a giant ice cube as the barrier - something that is decidedly in the way, but is also in the midst of moving one drop at a time. It's even possible to see through to the other side as distorted as it may be. All barriers are impermanent and as hard as that may be to believe, our disbelief is not what’s going to make it melt faster. Ice cubes remain solid in frozen environments and nothing stifles a good idea like worrying that it will be the only one. Maybe the remedy isn’t to make something but to trust that we will make something again.

IMAGES: (1) Four of Pentacles digital illustration, available as a print on my site. (2) Four of Pentacles from Modern Witch Tarot and Tarot of the Holy Spectrum.

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