9 of Pentacles

The sewing reference in this quilt is a chatelaine and a pair of scissors hanging by her side.

This quilt appeared in Quilter's Newletter Magazine, April 2003 issue.

Abundance ---
Nine of Pentacles

24" x 36"
Copyright 2000 by Susan Brittingham


When I first really noticed this card, I was drawn to the image of the garden, the bounty of nature and of an independent woman who seemed content. It appeared to be a happy card, promising a measure of prosperity and I was excited about the possibility of creating this lush garden. Thoughts of birds, flowers and vegetables in abundance filled my head as I planned the quilt to represent this card.

As I worked on the quilt through late winter, lush images of flowers faded from my mind. The garden still sustains the woman, but in a less exuberant fashion than when first conceived. Instead, I particularly enjoyed working on the figure and the details of her costume. In keeping with the imagery of the traditional card, she is standing in a grape arbor. The pentacles represent material prosperity. The woman has achieved her comfortable place in the garden through her own efforts. Prosperity has not come to her without labor or sacrifice, but through her hard work. For that reason, it is even more valued.

As one looks deeper into the meaning of the card, it addresses important themes in society today. The suit of pentacles represents material wealth and earthly goods. Can the constant seeking of material wealth and consumer goods, in fact, be any sort of compensation for the rapidly accelerating loss of the natural world? Surely the sacrifice of our habitat, the garden that sustains us, cannot be worth another shopping center or fast food restaurant? Better, I think, that we cultivate our garden, as does the woman depicted on the card, and work a little harder before we squander what we have been given.

A second theme of the card is aloneness. In our culture today, people are constantly bathed in electronic stimulation that provides them with an illusion of connectedness. The multitude of superficial relationships and endless busy tasks which surround many of us, mask a deep and pervasive fear of being alone. The value of solitude, quiet meditation and contemplation of nature and of our own minds has been lost. The woman depicted in the card is alone, but not necessarily lonely or unhappy. She is content with the fruits of her own work and at peace in her own mind.

My other Tarot Quilt, Indecision

Other Pictorial Quilts
Previous QuiltNext QuiltQuilt Gallery Home

This page was designed by Susan Brittingham
All photos and images are copyrighted 2000 by Susan Brittingham
and may not be reproduced without her written permission
Created on : 03/14/01
Last Updated : 04/19/12