Five of pentacles


I'm not really seeing a connection.


I guess visually it does seem to resemble the 5 of Pentacles, what with the crippled man walking in his crutches and the other one seeming to be begging. It does exemplify the themes of privation, hardship, and lack of the 5 of Pentacles, but the idea behind the leprosarium seems sterner and much more harsh. The 5 of P does not indicate stark hopelessness - in other interpretations this want even asks the querent to meditate on his present state and to still think of all his blessings, to perhaps use whatever meager advantages he has to get back on his feet. Specially with auspicious surroundjng cards, it does not have to be all gloomy. In the Middle Ages though, leprosy could not be treated, so aside from the debilitating disease he could very well be locked in this wretched state for life.


What do you think of this? ---
It's from the Wikipedia article on leprosy.
I can see similarities, yes: it looks like the person at the church or castle gate is saying, "Oh, no you don't! Keep away!" to that sickly-looking pair... And I remember reading before that the 5 of Pents' cowbell is actually a 'leper bell', worn in the Middle Ages by people with leprosy. As this Wiki article mentions, the Church saw these people as "unclean"/sinners, put them in quarantined 'lazar houses', and had them wear bells to warn others to keep a safe distance (and maybe to attract donations)... It all fits snugly with the poor health, misfortune, and rejection components of this card, as well.


Hi Arnie and welcome to Aeclectic!

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Thank you for the welcome.

I figured the comparison between the painting and the card would speak for themselves.

This deck incorporates a lot of elements from classical and renaissance paintings so I didn't think it would be a stretch to compare the subject matter in this card with "Leprosorium" - and I use that title in quotes, as that's not the title of the painting, but how Wikipedia named it's image file. The structure in the WP painting is of a walled village or city, while the Five of Pentacles depicts a church. Both are basically "walled" structures, in their own sense, so I don't feel there's any difference in the metaphor being presented in either medium.

To me, this was clearly the inspiration for the card.


There are a lot of similarities. I can see how this image could've definitely inspired Pamela.

I was looking at the GD 5 of Pents. and noticed something that never registered before. The rose petals are falling off. The description says: "Hand holding a branch of White Rose Tree, from which roses are falling, leaving no buds behind." This might explain the missing panes of glass at the top part of the window. They could've fallen to the inside of the building, or could be under the snow. :)

GD 5 of Pentacles