A Personal Journey Through the Tarot: 5 of Pentacles

Poverty Consciousness

As a Canadian, if I was destitute and living on the streets I would still be among the richest 10% of the world’s population. If I managed to score a spot begging for change outside a beer store I could pull in more than $300 on a good day. When I learned that, as a self employed artist, I realized I could make more money begging than selling my art. But do I want to beg? No. I do not. 

As a person of privilege this is a difficult post to write. I have gone to bed hungry perhaps twice in my entire life. For this I am eternally grateful. The year I got my first Tarot Deck I was sent to school in Europe, again I am incredibly grateful. One day we were touring Rome and outside the Vatican I saw a small child, legs mangled, begging on a mat against the Vatican wall. It was the 5 of Pentacles staring me in the face. The tour guide told us that it is common practice for the parents to intentionally cripple their children, drop them off in the morning and pick them up at night to collect their beggings. My attitude towards money changed that day.

There are some people who spend their entire lives chasing the buck, and there are others who spend their lives chasing their dream. Money is society’s lowest common denominator. It should be a means to an end and not the end itself. I have done tarot readings for over 35 years now and I never get the 5 of Pentacles for the really poor. I get it in readings for the very wealthy who are living in fear of losing it all. Those who have placed wealth as their goal live in the most fear of losing it. 

Today I draw the 5 of Pentacles and reflect upon my privilege. I am hugely grateful for the luck of the draw to be born a Canadian. I am forever grateful to live in a society that wants to educate and medically care for its citizens. I am eternally grateful I live in a country that believes everyone, regardless of race, religion, gender, or status, deserves a life of equality and opportunity. I am also immensely grateful I had parents who understood the responsibility of caring for and raising their children.

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