Ace of PentaclesAce of Pentacles

Completed March 5, 2000

In many traditions, the Ace of Pentacles signifies the Root of the Powers of Earth.  When I was given this card as one of my two "assignments" for the Maninni III deck, I cast about in vain for weeks for an appropriate image.  One morning, just as I was about to reach the "despair" stage, my eyes lit upon a bowl of narcissus bulbs blooming by the kitchen sink.  It was a magical moment - there was my image, and it had been literally growing right under my nose the whole time!

I connect with the powers of the element of Earth by connecting with growing things - and by contemplation of the birth - growth - death - rebirth cycles of nature.  Bulbs might appear death-like - dried up and inanimate - but in reality they are both the beginning and the end of the wheel of life.

An Ace may be considered to be either the first or last card of its suit - Ace low, or Ace high, depending on one's perspective at the moment.  I see Aces as containing all the energies of their particular suit - they both start and end the sequence.

Bulbs, unlike seeds, contain an entire embryonic plant - complete with tiny roots, stems, leaves, and flowers.  Like an Ace, a bulb contains all the parts and energies of the plant - whether one views it as an starting point or a culmination.

This bulb picture was color-copied from an Ortho gardening book and then superimposed on a forest background from a National Geographic magazine.  When I first put the pictures together, I found the image of a giant bulb floating in the woods to be so surreal that it was almost disturbing  - but on further reflection, I realized that it was no more surreal than a big disembodied hand offering a giant pentacle in the middle of a formal garden!  Aces, as the root of the power of their suit, stand apart from all the other Minors; perhaps when they appear they should give us a little jolt. . .

The title and pentacle were computer-generated and printed before being glued onto the rest of the collage.   The font is called GaboniSCaps, and the pentacle is from a set of wiccan/pagan woolbats which can be found here.

This page & its contents copyright Kimberly S. Schwartz 2000.