Continuing with the Pips. The 4s & 5s of the Minor Arcana.
Let's start part 2 with the 4s:
The tarot numerology of 4: a square has four sides, the tarot has four suits, four elements, four members of each court are you starting to get a feel for the four? It's foundational, the most stable structure we can create (yep even the pyramids are built on a square)! It is a way to control our material life, a way to establish security, a solid base on which to now build our future.
Now let's take that numerology and add it to the suit/element and the images we will see in the Halloween Tarot. (reminder: numerology + element/suit + image/story = message)
Four of Imps: oh how fun, looks like four folks dancing, celebrating and having a good time. I wonder what they are celebrating? Could it be the completion of a creative venture (remember the Imps / Wands represent fire, the element of creation and enterprise)? Perhaps they've secured their first client and have confirmation that it is indeed a good concept upon which to build their future.
Possible meanings: celebrating prosperity, or recognizing a job well done, confirmation that what has been sown looks to have harvest to reap
Four of Ghosts: four happy ghosts, who appear to want to help the young man by the tree as the kitty looks on cautiously. But, why is the young man denying any help? No cocoa? No cookies? No pats on the back? Why is that? Perhaps he is being very selective about his choices right now and what he will allow into his energetic space.
He is building a foundation for his emotional and spiritual growth and it seems cookies and cocoa aren't nourishing to the soul. He may not know what he wants but, he can control his choice to deny what is presented to him.
Possible meanings: honoring spiritual borders, establishing emotional security or not quite feeling secure yet.
Four of Bats: a pumpkin knight at rest in a chapel, (inferred by the stained glass window with the moon peeking in) with kitty all curled up prepared to stand watch over his fearless friend. Clearly this pumpkin knight has encountered and won many significant battles (bats/swords/air = conflicts and they appear to be "mounted" to the wall rather than flying freely) and is enjoying a well deserved rest.
Possible meanings: rewards or recognition for battles won, time for a well deserved rest
Tip: take the time to pause with the artwork of the tarot. Not every image is obvious, not every message will pop out at you instantaneously. Really put yourself in the place of the little black cat to observe what is going on around you, what might have happened here, how does this image relate to the question you asked? The magic is found within the pause! If you don't understand right away it does not mean that the message is wrong or that you don't know what you are doing, it simply means that you need a bit more time to reflect on the image.
Four of Pumpkins: while the moon looks a bit skeptical to me, the happy vegetable guy is clearly planting pumpkin seeds in hopes of growing his pumpkin patch. He's investing in his future. He's also doing that behind a wall so that it's protected and others will not take his pumpkins (even the black cat appears to be sneaking in behind him hoping he won't notice).
Possible meanings: investing, protecting your investments, keeping yourself separate from others, a secret hiding place, ooh this could be a pantry couldn't it?
Do you see how when we ask questions of the tarot the images begin to speak to us? If I had asked what would be my best next step to take with a bonus I earned at work and got the 4 of pumpkins, I'd interpret this message as time to stash it away for my future maybe put it into my 401(k).
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Now on to the 5s:
The tarot numerology of 5: one of my favorite numbers as it represents freedom (freedom from restriction, routine, convention) which brings with it opportunities, choices that may be quite dramatic and change however with change comes chaos, conflict and instability.
Freedom, so sought after and revered, yet it comes with great responsibility and challenge. This is the half way point of our journey.
Five of Ghosts: oh dear, pumpkin man is clearly sad, or at least very disappointed as he's spilled his bucket of water. All of the ghosts seem to be as preoccupied as he with this one pail of water. But what about the other pail of water? It looks like he might have a full one right behind him. This reminds me of the saying... "crying over spilled milk" - there's a huge body of water right in front of him and truly would it be that difficult either to fill that one back up OR to allow his other bucket to be enough for what he needs?
Possible meanings: not seeing the good in the situation, resistance to change, not recognizing opportunities, dwelling on past disappointments
Five of Imps: Well now this one just screams "impish" to me! In fact, it feels like a brainstorming session where everyone is passionate about their own idea but none are truly listening to the other and instead are shouting more loudly to have their idea be "the one". There is certainly conflict and competition here but also an innocence to the image and no injuries, just all parties seeking to release/free their idea.
Possible meanings: creative brainstorming, competition, playful banter
Five of Bats: well now this guy is just a big ol jerk isn't he? He's taken advantage of the opportunities to take all the bags of candy and to enjoy them for himself. Has even got his bats out there flying around to scare the other kids away. He has a clear victory and has lots of bags of yummy candy but, at what cost?
Possible meanings: victory at the cost of others, taking advantage of others, pure determination to do whatever it takes to succeed - so, not all bad, just a matter of being responsible for our choices.
Remember our formula: the number 5 = freedom or change + suit of bats = conflict or thoughts + image/story = message
Do you see how this might apply if you received this card after asking the divine to send you a message about your upcoming presentation at work? It could serve as a caution to give credit where it is due and though your ideas are good one be sure to take responsibility for how this will affect others.
Five of Pumpkins: this is one of my favorite images for the 5 of Coins in the Rider Waite tradition (which is quite a dark and sad image). Two darling trick or treaters out in a cold winter night the little one clearly saddened that there is a bag of candy available on the ground but, his helper won't stop to allow him to pick it up.
Possible meanings: not being present, not seeing the help that is offered to you or not accepting the help or resources that are offered to you.
Here we really see the challenge of the 5s - the candy would be free to me if I would allow it or stop to take responsibility to pick it up.
So we see that the 5s are a bit of a tipping point, a challenge. Freedom is yours for the taking but, what will you do with the change required to achieve that freedom?
The 6s will show how you've grown as a result of the challenging 5s, how you react.
The Halloween Tarot Tutorial Spooktacular will continue with the 2nd half of the pips over the next several days. If you need a refresher or have missed any of the tutorials in the series you can find the other 2 parts here:
Pips Part 1
Until we meet again, I hope you are finding this a foundational and freeing experience!
I'd love to hear your thoughts and questions, please leave a comment here on the blog or feel free to Contact Me!
Yours through the journey,
p.s. If you're enjoying this series perhaps you'd like to go Behind The Deck with us more often! We will be launching a new online series soon along with a community of folks who want to interact with each other to learn, share and grow together. Dorothy didn't do it alone and you don't have to either! Click the image below and ask to be invited to the group! Or visit: BehindTheDeck.com to learn more today.