Quilting the world: The Queen of Pentacles

I recently completed a card for a collaborative tarot deck, which will be sold to raise money for the Fred Hollows Foundation, for providing optical health care in developing countries. Here she is, and the accompanying text for the book:

The Queen of Pentacles

queen finalOne of my earliest memories is sitting under my grandmother’s quilt frame as she worked, her needle darting silently, the quilt spilling into a fortress around me.

A quilt is a very labour intensive project, sometimes taking hundreds of hours to create, but made to last for generations. Quilts show economy and thrift – often being made from the scraps of clothing too worn for further wear. Quilts comfort, warm, wrap, and swaddle. Quilts witness our dreams, our conception, our birth, our illnesses, and our death. Also historically, making a quilt was a safe way for a woman to express her creativity – it was a practical art that resulted in a finished, usable (not just decorative) object.

This Queen of Pentacles came to me in a dream. She is the Creator, a master of manifestation. You can see the same landscape out her window as what spills forth from her quilt – she is quilting her reality – quilting the world. The quilt frame is egg-shaped, emphasizing the fact that this is the point of creation. She is taking raw elements, represented by the four colours of the fabric in the quilt, and sewing them together to create reality. In her hand she wields her needle, her magic wand, her instrument of creation, and the thread that binds the universe together.

This Queen is a grandmother. The card’s point of view is from a comfortable chair or sofa in the corner of her warm kitchen, where the kettle is always on for tea, and the sleepy cat drowses on the hearth. She is smiling and winking – she takes joy in the act of creation and in having your company with her.
The houseplant behind her shows her connection to gardening and growing green things. The bunny on the pot symbolizes fertility.

The jar of strawberry jam on the stove represents her resourcefulness, and also highlights her role as the preserver of knowledge and tradition.

The mortar and pestle show she is a healer. Two hundred years ago in my village in Nova Scotia, before there were doctors here, the healers were called Grannies. They were the wise women – herbalists and midwives, the keepers of knowledge, and repositories of good old fashioned common sense.

The cat represents her connection to animals and nature, and also represents her nurturing and sheltering aspects. The Queen of Pentacles is a warm, generous, and hospitable person who welcomes all to her hearth. She enjoys being the hostess and takes pride in her home, not in a materialistic way but because she loves to provide for and make a home for those she loves.

UPRIGHT: Creativity, manifestation, fertility, gardening, kindness, resourcefulness, earthiness, generosity, hospitality, healing, connection with Nature, groundedness, common sense, practicality
REVERSED: Materialism, greed, stinginess/miserliness, coldness, infertility, wastefulness, impracticality, ungrounded, inhospitable, unkindness

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