The Queen of Pentacles and the Sensual World

The Queen of Pentacles is easily one of my favorite works thus far, offering a dimensional doorway into my mythological phantasy with more accuracy than many of my other efforts. She embodies a sense of pleasure attained through accomplishment, standing proudly against a backdrop that presents earthen bounty and golden luxury. For me, her portrait exudes a rustic sense of achievement that I equate with autumnal power and confidence in a pagan bond with the spirits of nature. It’s easy for the Queen of Pentacles to exhibit faith in the occult because she has mastered it. In her voluptuous frame we find both the toil and the harvest. She is pleasure but she is also pleasure earned. 

Inverting the Rabbit

Despite autumnal leanings, I would consider the Queen of Pentacles to be my Easter card, offering the fertility of the spring in the same breath as the harvest of the fall. This fertility is underscored by her pet rabbit, wearing its ornate golden harness and cradled affectionately though proudly in the fold of her arm. Throughout the Pentacles suit, the rabbit appeared to the mystic as a symbol of fear, resulting in barren times in both the Four of Pentacles and Five of Pentacles. But the Queen of Pentacles demonstrates a talent for inverting the fear associated with rabbit, turning it instead to lucrative, fertile success. Where once was horror now stands power. Themes of fertility are further reinforced by the Queen’s tendency to travel in her egg-shaped golden carriage, visible over her left shoulder. The carriage features a padded interior and red upholstery of the finest textiles because the Queen will only travel in the most luxurious of manners. Easter eggs decorated with Pentacles also decorate the border of the card.

The Heightened Power of the Queen of Pentacles

The crown of the Queen of Pentacles is fashioned to look like a pentacle descending into a pair of horns, representing the cloven-hoofed earth creatures. The goat is often associated with the earth sign of Capricorn and decorates the inverted pentacles that adorn the borders of the card. The last time we saw an inverted pentacle was in the Five of Pentacles when the mystic had lost everything. At that time, the symbolism played on modern misunderstandings that an inverted pentacle reversed the bounty. Between the Five of Pentacles and the Queen of Pentacles, I learned that the negativity of the inverted pentacle is ignorance and that an inverted pentacle may actually indicate heightened power. Thus, in a happy accident, the parallel between the broken Five of Pentacles and the abundance of the Queen of Pentacles is even more pronounced. Here, the inverted pentacles indicate that intensified power.

Material gain and abundance is etched into every detail of the card: the Queen of Pentacles’ golden gown alight with the red lights of mysterious machinations, the towering Palace of Pentacles in the distance, the golden coin-operated horse (similar to the steed of the Knight of Pentacles yet serving a different purpose), the inviting green fields, the metallic golden apples crowding the tree with prosperity. Even the Queen’s eyes are green; the color of both nature and money. 

Enjoying Earned Pleasures

In designing the physical appearance of the Queen of Pentacles, I wanted to get across the sensual nature of abundance. Therefore, she is presented as voluptuous with full breasts, lips swollen and flushed with life, tan sun-kissed skin, and hair as gold as her priceless possessions. The Queen of Pentacles may seem to be languidly enjoying the finest that life has to offer but her stoic expression reminds us that she’s not a socialite but rather a shrewd businesswoman who used a combination of wisdom, intelligent strategy, and work to attain the things she so enjoys. As her servant fills her pentacle-embossed golden chalice with expensive champagne, she enjoys every drop knowing that it is rightfully hers.

We’re often warned from childhood of the meaninglessness of a life without accomplishment. Sadly, we’re less often warned about the pitfalls of a life devoted to labor with no importance placed on relaxation and pleasure. The Queen of Pentacles is wise in that she’s learned a balance of both. She’s willing to work hard to achieve her life’s purpose and visions but she has no time for work without meaning. She’ll work smarter instead of harder but is not afraid to break a sweat when it’s the only option. The Queen of Pentacles, though acknowledging that her efforts earned her rewards, does not wear her work history as a martyr’s badge of honor, nor does she hold her work over her play. Instead, she recognizes that enjoying her desires enriches her life just as much as achieving them. 

The inclusion of the apple tree was more personal than symbolic, although it obviously ties into themes of abundance. It came to me in a vision of a beautiful orchard stretching across rolling hills beneath a sky much like the one above the Queen of Pentacles. It’s unclear as to whether this sky is the twilight of sunset or the dawning sunrise, but this uncertainty further recounts the parallels so prevalent in the Queen of Pentacles: Spring/Autumn, natural/material, toil/harvest, business/pleasure.