Tarot of Prague cafe club 10 of pentacles


In the front, a soldier and a dog They seems to be good friends. In the background, a couple with 10 pentacles around them. The couple seems happy and are worries free. There is no extravagance with the people on this card. They seems very grounded and seems to take pleasure in simple things.


Oh goodness, it's going to take me some catching up with this Annik!

So...I LOVE Rachel Pollack's description of this card (78 Degrees of Wisdom) as a "Gate" card - in this case referring to magic at the gate.

The man and dog at the front of the card are taken from a bronze panel on Charles' Bridge, which is believed to be magical. The legend is that if you touch the panel, you will get a wish. Some people say that it can't be just any wish, it will only grant you the wish to come back to the city. Other people say that any wish will be granted.

In fact, the piece of the panel that you are supposed to touch is NOT the piece showing the man and the dog (the other side of the panel shows the death of St John of Nepomuk, and strictly speaking it's the saint that is supposed to grant your wishes if you touch him and say a prayer), but somehow, everyone touches the dog's head also (I think it's just so attractive to do so) and it's become shiny and slightly worn over the years by being touched by so many hands - people from all over the world and of every age and type. I love the way that the head of the dog literally glows from all the loving attention.

When I was first in Prague I only ever saw tourists touching this panel, and I decided that perhaps it was just a tourist thing. Then one early evening in the winter I saw an elderly man walk along the deserted bridge and touch the panel (in fact, he touched the dog as well as the saint :) )- all the while obviously intensely praying or asking for a wish. It was quite moving to see this, and I realised that many local people here also believe in this magic.

So if you take the part of Rachel's interpretation about "magic at the gate" for this card, then the particular image we chose fits almost perfectly.

I just hope that some of that magic comes across in the final image.

Bean Feasa

That's wonderfully interesting background information Karen, thank you. I know what you mean about the 'gate' idea being so magical. The old man in the 10 of Pentacles is so mysterious, isn't he - if I remember right he has stars on his robe in the RWS deck, a hint perhaps that like Merlin or Gandalf he has certain powers - perhaps even a hand in the happiness of the couple in the background, and a habit of appearing unexpectedly. Here, his armour gives him a romantic aura, a sense that he's seen the world and learned much. Like a version of Odysseus maybe, finally arriving home, lingering at the gates, prolonging a moment of anticipation.
On a more mundane, but equally powerful level, he could simply be the grandfather of a family, discreetly spending a minute with the family dog, so as to give the young couple some time to themselves. The 10 of Pentacles is about family and tradition and roots.
On a more personal level - since my father passed on last summer, I see him, from time to time in the cards, and I'm always glad to. Here he is again. I like the idea that maybe our beloved forefathers are always with us, hovering just the other side of the gate, keeping a keen, kind eye on us while we're still embroiled in the lovely, earthy pentacle-laden world.
It is, most definitely a magical rendition of the 10 of Pentacles.


Humour me ...

Sit the Ace next to the Ten Pentacles and what do you see? Literally the start and the end of ... the yellow brick road. The beginning and end of the journey, which has encompassed all the numbers in between.

It was Karen who first brought up the yellow brick road when we discussed the Ace in this thread -


At that time I got rather excited (and posted) about Dorothys companions in the film. The lion looking for his courage (wands), the tin man looking for his feelings (cups) and the scarecrow looking for his brain (swords). All represented (imo) the very elements that we find ourselves studying in the tarot.

I have often wondered why in almost every deck and book the creators assign the coins/pentacles to the end e.g. the pentacles are always last to be discussed in the book and are almost always sequenced last in the deck. Why is that? Its the most earthly suit and yet on the spiritual journey we encounter them last. So does this suit integrate all of the others as in Dorothy's journey?

Anyway enough rambling. I really like the way we see the beginning and the end of the suit in these two cards. In the ten the couple are dancing their way to the final post where the old man and his dog so lovingly wait. A wonderful card to illustrate family responsibilites and closure in a traditional sense - generations and legacy's maybe.

We see where the old man has come from and this card speaks to us of loyalty, respect and honour within a family setting.

The green fabric in the top left corner is very rich and luxurious but for some reason also gives a real 'nature' feel to the card.



Again, I apologize because commenting on cards without the reading context is something I find absurdly difficult. I'm hoping it will make more sense to me as I get a few more under my belt.

First, I love Jewel-ry's comment about the yellow brick road. Funny! And I totally see it too. It's a charming image and gives me a starting place to talk about the young couple. I like to see them frolicing here on the Yellow Brick Road, because so often the Ten of Pentacles shows an older couple with children, fully established. I get to wonder, in this card, if they will make it so far. They are still in their courtship phase. And he's a shepherd, isn't he? How many material possessions does he have? Few, I would think. So these pentacles are less about money than they are about the land. The bounty of the earth. How will their idyllic innocence fare now that they've arrived in the big city? Frankly, I worry about them.

But all that is secondary to the soldier and his dog. The look between them is pure love, and I treasure that suggestion, that not all love is romantic, between a courting man and his courted maid. There are so many kinds of love we each experience in this life, and the devotion to a loyal non-human companion is so sweet to see here. A full life, an "end of the yellow brick road" life, has so much more to it than a two-person romance. We make so many connections, take on so many responsibilities.

The image that touches me more than anything else in this card is the patina of age covering and beginning to obscure the soldier's right foot in the bottom corner of the card. His left foot, stepping forward, is shiny and solid and clear to our perceptions. His right foot, still in the past, is fading, becoming obscured, lost to us. The past is always fading from our senses, we can do nothing but step into the future one foot at a time.


This looks like memory to me.
The soldier looks down at his dog, his seeming last link to the past.
As he gazes at the dog, the memory of himself in his youth with his beloved dances in his mind.
A simpler, purer time, when perhaps his heart, soul, body weren't covered in armor.
He wears his armor lightly, as if he has forgotten what it is to be in only skin, but the delight we all feel in smoothing back the hair of a pet lets me know he is merely gaurding his tender insides, as if the armor could heal the bittersweet taste of his memories.
Gardener I love what you write about his foot, and the whole side of his body seems to be fading into the past.
But, the curtain of green above his head seems about to fall, and another act of this play will open shortly. I like to think he will make his way forward, but still, leaving behind some part of his lightheartedness, his joy, in the past.

I also agree that commenting on cards individually without the magic of being in the reading is difficult.


Yes, Gardener says she isn't very good at this, then pulls out THE word that seems to resonate with this card - Patina.

The panel is worn to a shine because of all the hands that have touched it - over years and years. Think of all those wishes and hopes - what have people asked for when they touched this figure? Were the wishes granted? I think I said that some people here say that the only wish that this action grants is the wish to come back to Prague.
This man and his dog - when you look at them the dog is in the here and now, but the man is absorbed in reminiscence - does he want to go back in time? Are the happy and naive (that's a good observation) young couple a memory? Is that free shepherd boy in fact this old soldier years ago?

Patina - A thin greenish layer, usually basic copper sulfate, that forms on copper or copper alloys, such as bronze, as a result of corrosion.
The sheen on any surface, produced by age and use.
A change in appearance produced by long-standing behavior, practice, or use: a face etched with a patina of fine lines and tiny wrinkles.

The green curtain is actually bronze by the way - when you take Gardener's word and look at this card the concept of patina seems to touch every part of it.

Lovely Gardener - thank-you.