In this card we see a showman, intent upon his act. The suit of Coins or Pentacles, representing the element of Earth, symbolizes the material world, money, the work of our hands, and the things we can hold. Twos mean a dynamic coming together of separate concepts within this realm. It is a snapshot moment that demonstrates a balancing act we get caught performing in the material, work-a-day world.
This card came up a lot when my twins first arrived. Babies are one thing, but this could also be juggling bills, working two jobs, or even trying to live two lives at once. If I could add sound to a Tarot card, I would add circus music to this one.
The character is dressed a bit clownishly in bright red with that tall hat. Perhaps he needs it to hold his big ego and all that desire (red = desire, will , passion) he has. From it’s shape, we may assume so. The roller-coaster waves behind him, carrying ships into harbor and out again, are large and unpredictable.
Our juggler does not see, or even notice, the dizzying waves however as his focus is on the dance and the coins he holds. He cannot put one down, as they are attached by an infinite loop. This makes his job easier, as he cannot possibly drop the ball, but also means the two are tied together. He cannot throw one coin higher to gain time in the act, or even toss one aside – he just has to deal with all the movement and keep up the performance.
But that is what I love about clowns. Just when you think everything is going to fall apart, a true professional will make the pratfalls and glory moments all part of the show. Perhaps this character is just having fun and doing his best, but it is the twinkle in his eye that makes you think he knew what he was doing all along.
Images from The Smith-Waite Tarot Centennial Edition Deck are used in this blog. They feature the artist, Pamela Colman Smith’s, original coloring and lovely back design. The cards are a bit oversized and printed on sturdy cardstock. This deck is one of my personal favorites. =:->AD
Rider-Waite images used with permission of U.S. Games Systems, Inc., Stamford, CT 06902. c. 1971 by U.S. Games Systems, Inc.