The Five of Pentacles is generally a card about loss (whether it be financial, poor health, bad luck, etc.) but also a reminder that this too shall pass. In this scene, the sweet doe-eyed girl is doctoring the young, old, and ailing onions. As onions have their place in history as folk remedies ranging from raw onions being placed around the home to absorb flu viruses/cold germs to the Ancient Greeks rubbing them on sore muscles, this image is a bit tongue-in-cheek After the last four cards were about smooth sailing, it shows that even the strong may have to weather a storm. So don't see this as a negative card, but rather a reminder of the valuable lesson that growth and strength comes from the difficulties in life.
Iconic Five of Pentacles from the Rider Waite Tarot 😉
Iconic Five of Pentacles from the Morbidly Adorable Tarot 😉
Suit of Pentacles
When I started painting the Suit of Pentacles, I decide that the thread weaving them together would be one of "earthiness." I wanted to bind them with themes of plants, animals, trades, earthly delights, etc. This was the first card I painted with onions kicking off a vegetable theme. The second card was the 10 of Pentacles with the Jackalope. You may be questioning how a mythical creature counts as "earthly", but remember, JACKALOPES ARE REAL. You'll see a strange mix of plant, animal life, and "other" weave through the Suit of Pentacles as we go.
Onion & Garlic
There is a great deal of history and lore surrounding these bulbs. The onion teaches us the magic of tears. Onions involuntarily wrench tears from our eyes with the gasses produced when they are cut into. They also allow us to hide behind them as we voluntarily cry our own emotional tears. Onions will be our fall guys when we want to purge our emotions. Nothing's wrong. I was just cutting some onions. Sometimes crying is a necessity. The onion won't judge. Remember when Rapunzel cried tears into her blinded Prince's eyes (Grimms' Fairy Tales)? His vision was restored. Tears can be sacred.
On a personal note, I never thought much about garlic or onions when I was younger. I thought they were just stinky little things that grown ups put in my food for me to pick out. Garlic was just the fancy cousin that kept vampires away. These days I'm almost excited when I get to caramelize some onions or use my garlic crusher. It's strange how things shift in life. (I'm sure my pallid little friends in the paintings would be aghast reading this paragraph! LOL)
I think part of growing up for me has been finding magic in what was once mundane. As we grow up, we are supposed to lose our sense of wonder, but mine has only grown by leaps and bounds. Growth is hard and painful and beautiful and wonderful.