Blessed Lammas! Enjoy your first harvest of love and maybe blueberries and corn.
Favorite Pentacles card? For me, definitely the Nine. The number 9 is important to me since it reflects my life year in numerology (Hermit and Moon cards in the Tarot). I am often drawn to the nines in my decks, but actually most of all in the Pentacles/Coins/Disks suit.
Now, the question is, which imagery, which deck? I have them arrayed before me (just the RWS ones that have pictures of scenes and people, not just pip cards).
Four cards have the traditional RWS landed gentry or noble woman of means in solitary enjoyment of her property, although not a one is smiling, it seems. And then we go off in different directions with the other three. One with a maiden, yes, but in very different circumstances (a tree coming out of a piano–Shadowscapes deck), one with a woman and a man riding horses out of the mist (Shapeshifter–Success), and one with an antlered old grey male shaman figure and no harvest that I can see (Wildwood Nine of Stones).
Hmmm. The charm has always been the woman of power and comfortable wealth. You’d think I’d prefer the Ten of Pentacles, with its family theme, but I like the independence of the woman in the Nine, even though she’s not quite complete in the harvest of love and family, she’s enjoying her own power at the moment, and the fruit of her own labor (or perhaps also the labor of her farm workers–I do hope she’s treated them well).
I do note that all my decks with the more traditional woman and her garden show some flowers and stone or other structures, except one. And I will go with that one as my favorite because it’s true to the idea of the harvest of the fruits of the land and not just those of beauty. And we are more than just figures of beauty, although we are that, too. 😉
Pamela Colman-Smith’s original drawing, recolored by Mary Hanson-Roberts for the Universal Waite deck seems to be the truest to the meaning of Lammas as the early harvest. Our lady carries the energy of Venus (see the pattern of her over-gown) in Virgo (the order of of her land and togetherness of her person) in a vineyard filled with ripened grapes. Now that’s something to harvest! And perhaps soon a small mammal for the table caught by her little hawk.
It can be wondrous to see the artistic freedom and new themes taken by various artists, but the reason that the traditional RWS images have lasted so long and been derived from so many times is the way they include just what is needed to express a comprehensive interpretation of the card.
So, a Lammas wine-cup salute to Ms. Colman-Smith and her lady of the Nine of Pentacles.