A woman gazes at a Pentacle in her lap as she sits on her throne. Flowers form a trellis that covers her as a canopy, and flowers abound in distant fields. Yet the ground nearest her appears half-parched and sunbaked, and her face wears a pensive countenance. A rabbit scurries past her in the grass, and in the distance, a river snakes its way through a high mountain range.
The Queen of Pentacles represents the “watery” element of Pentacles: the element of earth that is most mutable and adaptable. To divine her identity, we need only look in the mirror. Of all earth’s creations, humans are the only species that has been able to adapt to any and every natural environment on earth. It has been the key to our success, and it may be the key to our downfall. With her ambiguous symbolism, the Queen asks us to ponder the choices we make in our waking existence.
The Queen is traditionally assigned to the astrological sign of Capricorn the Goat, cardinal sign of earth represented in the ram’s heads carved into her throne; this draws a connection to Taurus, another earth sign. As the bull is a traditional fertility symbol, so too is the rabbit, whose breeding ability is legendary. For this reason, this card is often associated with the agricultural professions.
While we consider the ram and the rabbit—both givers of abundant life—perhaps we should consider how we use our powers of fertility: To uplift Creation, or to satisfy our mindless lust? To protect the precious world God has given to us, or to extract every last dollar from it? Capricorn the goat, for one, can be a nurturing presence that gives nutritious milk, but the goat also has a darker side:
The Queen poses this question to us: Which would we rather be—angels of mercy, or defilers of the temple? Would we rather light a candle, or curse the darkness? She is too proud to admit it, but she needs our help if she is to restore her queendom to full health; for she appears tired, as if weary from enduring our serial abuses of her. Therefore we should always look upon our world, our Mother Earth—and upon each other—in a spirit of love, forgiveness and mercy.
Meanings in a reading can include: Fertility, motherhood in all its aspects, a giving nature, generosity and kindness, and conventionally, an older woman born under an earth sign; but also the “cruel stepmother,” lack of resolve, weariness, licentiousness and lust in all its most debased forms. The Great Mother has given us so much; let us ask no more from her so that she—and we—would be healed of our sickness.