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It’s difficult to imagine a more appropriate-seeming card for summing up the collective mood of this time than the Five of Pentacles/Disks.

Mercury, the fleet-footed messenger is slowed down by heavy, earth-bound Taurus. In this situation, with a lack of information, it is easy to spin off into worry about whether or not we will make it through. It can feel like we don’t have the strength to continue this way, plodding through without a clear idea of an “end”.

The figures depicted in the Rider-Waite-Smith version, and the many decks inspired by it, show two desolate people, injured and destitute, trudging through the falling snow. One usually supporting the other, and a golden light comes through a stained glass (presumably church) window that can be seen in the background. It is unclear whether or not the figures are even aware that it is there, a potential respite from the cold, as their heads are bent down, focused on the difficult terrain before them.

We can become so intent on the difficult material conditions in our lives, that like the people in the image, we cannot see the support that is there for us in other areas.

This is indeed a time of collective fear, worry, illness and poverty here in the realm of pentacles (this material, earth existence). But like the sojourners in the card, we will support each other through and perhaps, even recognize that there are other sources of light than those that exist in the material reality, in which to rest and take refuge.

The tarot speaks of four realms of experience, and the physical is only one of them. In a Five of Pentacles moment, it is easy to forget (or not be able to even see) the support available in the realm of Wands (spirit, creativity, desire), Cups (heart, emotions, relationships), and Swords (the mind, communication, ideas).

Reach out to trusted people for emotional support, lean on your friends. Hold each other up, help each other through. Seek meaning and understanding through creative acts. Investigate what you are most struggling with, with as much curiosity and compassion as you can manage. When worry about the future arises, breathe and bring yourself back to this present moment. Over and over again.

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