Three of Pentacles, Judgement, Five of Wands: Styles of Collaboration

3 of PentaclesJudgement5 of Wands

I pulled these cards this morning and discovered a whole new perspective on the Judgement card.

I usually think of Judgement as taking an honest look at oneself, making amends, seeking forgiveness, a calling or awakening, or some kind of “coming out.” Today, next to the Three of Pentacles and the Five of Wands, both, in part, cards with themes of collaboration, Judgement seems to illustrate another style for working together.

The angel reminds me of a snake charmer—the people rise hypnotically, answering the call to get the job done. Soon the blood will start flowing, and those ashen figures will come back to life. The angel might also be like a choir director or choreographer, uniting people in song or dance.

The figures in the Five of Wands need someone to take charge. They have great energy and are willing to work hard, but they haven’t figured out what to do with those sticks. The situation threatens to disintegrate into a literal battle.

It is difficult to tell what everyone is thinking in the Three of Pentacles. The religious figure seems to have regard for the artist—he is attentive, in any case. The figure in polka dots—a patron perhaps—holds out blue prints. Is she reminding the artist of their original plans? Admonishing him for deviating from the plan? Or maybe she offering guidance or offering him another project. The artist stands on the bench and seems to be accommodating. These three are civil and work is getting done, but we can’t tell what the power dynamics have been, nor whether or not there has been costly compromise.

This brings me back to Judgement with its powerful sense of unity.

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Exercise for Reflection:

Think about a time when you were called upon to collaborate with others. Go through your deck and find a card that symbolizes the role you played. Find other cards to represent the other people you worked with.

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Illustrations from the Rider-Waite Tarot Deck reproduced by permission of U.S. Games Systems, Inc., Stamford, CT 06902 USA. Copyright 1971 by U.S. Games Systems, Inc. Further reproduction prohibited. The Rider-Waite Tarot Deck is a registered trademark of U.S. Games Systems, Inc.

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