T. of Prague Cafe Club--5 of Pentacles


This card is about agony, specifically the agony of women, which in & of itself is a connection with the divine. This woman--twisted up, in a deep extreme of feminine experience, for whom the sky itself weeps--is a beginning and an end . . . she is REAL, this moment is real . . . the entire structure of the society from which, due to the intensity of her anguish, she feels cut off, exists both because of and for her . . . she has given birth to the all which rises in state behind to watch and support her struggle, giving birth to the all . . .

She is a reservoir of strength, THE reservoir from which sustenance flows (note the muscular arms, the breasts); the gentle power who makes happen what must happen, quietly & simply, just because it must. She transforms what is available (snow) into what is needed (milk) simply by holding it cupped in the palm of her hand. The simplicity of her magic is such that the whiteness of the snow becomes sheer light, energy, a brilliance far greater than that reflected by emblems of masculine power, the 5 solar discs on the edifice beyond.

Even these discs' positioning in & around the vastly greater rose acknowledges her centrality, as she is the rose: 3 x 4, to medievals a complete & perfect number. Unity, wholeness, the path through which light itself enters this world: she is all of these things: she is the window. Her agony is the middle place between the safe world we know, and the weather beyond. She transmits for us, but at the price of exposure.


Oh goodness, I want to go down to Charles Bridge and look at this statue again.

I don't think it's my place to take part too much in this discussion as I don't want to limit it in any way - and I just LOVE your description of this card and wouldn't want to inadvertantly change it by commenting.

However, if it's helpful I can post some of the original photos. Sometimes when you see where some of the images came from it can add another dimension (though I think not always).

Let me know :) - or just shout if I can help in some other way.



Please do, as you feel it will be helpful, post pictures. Also by you participating, I think would only add to these threads! I plan on adding my own as well, when I have the time.



Yes baba, a wee link or two would be quite appropriate . . . we wouldn't have to click on it unless we wanted to!



Punchinella, you made me see detail and essence in this card which I had not observed in such reality before reading your post. One has certain associations about cards and it is too easy to overlook the gifts in the image itself. Thank you for reminding me of that.

This woman and her child appear to be dead, frozen to death as a consequence of their exclusion. I know it is only a statue, but what a powerful image. It reflects reality. One would never want to see this happen again.



I'll put up the original photo over the weekend. In the case of this card it isn't so different from the final image, but maybe the context of the site will be of interest.

It may be worth adding that Prague, like many cities in Central Europe (indeed, like many old cities all over the world) has seen a lot of suffering. On the Charles Bridge itself there was a huge battle in the mid 1600s when the Swedish invaded, and many, many people were slaughtered there. I think of the woman as a widow, left alone with a baby to try to fend for herself. Just for a moment, she feels that it is impossible - and despairs. She almost throws the baby away from herself, but in the end keeps him/her with her.

We photographed the image in the snow of course as a reference to the original RWS image, but also because the naked baby in the snow and the weeping woman are such powerful images of vulnerable people left without defence and help in a cruel world.

But behind them is the church of course - and maybe there is help there. Though to me the church does not specifically stand for any religion in particular, but for charity in general. But charity in a good and pure form.


Moongold said:
This woman and her child appear to be dead, frozen to death as a consequence of their exclusion.

baba-prague said:
She almost throws the baby away from herself, but in the end keeps him/her with her.

I would probably never have 'seen' either of these things, thank you (both). Baba, your point especially enriches the card for me--as it's so very, very frightening--P.


I see a building sheltering those who are allowed inside, and a pair of outsiders being slowly engulfed in snow. The ornate building has a reputation for community and charity and looms close, yet seemingly far. One imagines the inside to be warm and perhaps filled with people. Why are she and the baby outside? Did she reject a prime tenet necessary for membership, thus suffering for her individualistic beliefs at the hands of an inflexible group standard? Was the baby born out of wedlock, or is the father someone who is "unacceptable"? An indiscretion that shows on the outside can be banned, thus bringing the group closer in their shared disapproval, and also, perhaps, their shared fear of their unseen indiscretions being found out, and of having to share this woman's fate. The most insightful will conciously realize, "There, but for the Grace of God, go I". The most charitable will love her unconditionally and invite her in.

Ruby Red Slippers

Okay, peeked my interest, went and pulled the card......

Is she on her way out of the building? Was the door locked? In this particular card, it is not apparent that the building is open. In other words no "inside" lights shinning through. She also has her back to the building.

This scene reminds me of a story of the mountain climber, climbing alone. He is almost at the top, it begins to snow, and he loses his footing and begins to fall. In the falling, he sees things before his minds eye. He comes to a stop, hanging by the rope tied to the cord around his waist. He screams out, "God, hekp me". A voice comes from above, "What do you want me to do"? "Save me God", the climber replies. God says, "Do you really think I can save you?". "Of course I belive you can" replies the climber. "THEN CUT THE CORD AT YOUR WAIST". Silence from the climber. He decided to hold onto the rope with all of his strength.
The rescue teams tells, that the next day they found the climber dead & frozen with his hands tight around the rope. He was hanging 10 feet away from the ground.

This card says to me, How attached are we to the "Rope"? Can we let go?

In the T of P, can she just turn around, get "out of herself", especially for the baby's sake. Standing there freezing to death, gives new maening to the word "victimhood" and as harsh as it may seem, "there are no victims, only volunteers".

5's are about Loss, conflict, challanges, hard choices.

While this card first projects a "forelorness", it also appears to represent a mother who has forgotten that all you need to do is "ask" . This is true in the spiritual world and the physical world.

Practically speaking, I think too often we wonder why no one helps us be they angelic, God or people. Perhaps it is because we "are too attached to the rope we have created" and don't ask for help or trust ourselves OR others enough.



Ruby Red Slippers said:
While this card first projects a "forelorness", it also appears to represent a mother who has forgotten that all you need to do is "ask" . This is true in the spiritual world and the physical world.
Wow! Pretty powerful interpretation. Never thought of it that way RRS.

5 is midway through the cycle 1 - 9 so you're right. It is a pivotal point and does indicate choices.

Depends on the context though. I have generally seen 5 Pentacles as representing the Outsider. Being an Outsider can be a choice. It usually does involve some measure of suffering but not always out of balance suffering.

In this image the Mother and her child are ouside the institution of the Church but look how strong she is. As I speak, I notice how grey and unlifelike everything in this image is!

I have trouble with dim colours but the only bit of colour seems to be the gold pentacles but they are almost indistinguishable.

In readings this card has often appeared in the context of choice. The Querent might make a choice which has difficult consequences. It is usually transitional. I've never seen 5 Pentacles as a final outcome card. And would not want to!