COTD – King of Pentacles/Man of Painting (Hudes & Blake)

 

Kings are associated with control, mastery, discipline and resolve.  Pentacles are associated with the material world, acquisitions of wealth and possessions, our connection to Earth and Nature, sensation, matters pertaining to the physical plane and the element of earth.  Pentacles can also be connected with practicality, groundedness and being realistic.  The King of Pentacles represents someone solid, reliable, mature and comfortable with his physical nature.  He may also be very materially comfortable.  This is a person who is comfortable with his authority and able to use it with common sense and practicality.  This card is someone who is at home with his material world and comfortable with the sensuous, physical side of human nature.  He is a master of all he surveys and understand how to work with his environment.

“This shows an end to a physical, material, or financial patterns in your life.  There is no point in re-committing resources, physical energy, or money to this project.  It is important to recognize that your investment in this security pattern has run its course.  It is time to take some action to end the old pattern, and withdraw from your involvement in that direction.” – Gail Fairfield

In the Blake LWB, Ed Buryn writes “In the creative process:  Test and refine your ideas or product to see if it works as planned; be practical yet innovative.”

Once again I was drawn to the image on the Blake Man of Painting.  Something about the ability to create such a colorful, artistic and beautiful reality appeals to me.  The fact that he is naked also means he is vulnerable to the elements but also that he is open and exposed to new ideas, new experiences and new sensations.  He bares his body and his soul in order to manifest the destiny he has created.  He is a master of his art and has the discipline and resolve to continue pushing himself.  He may currently be at the pinnacle of his skills and achievements but that doesn’t mean he isn’t willing to pursue new avenues of interest.

The Hudes King of Pentacles appears a bit more somber but he is comfortable holding the large pentacle in his hand and offering it to those in need.  He is comfortable enough with his possessions and his world that he is able to offer assistance to those who might benefit from his largesse.  This king projects maturity and calm.  He seems like someone you can rely on to help you solve whatever challenges life might through your way.

I drew this card exactly one week ago (although it was reversed that day).  It is very appropriate on many levels.  I am the president of a professional organization and my terms ends in June.  Today we conducted a conference that I had a large part in organizing.  It was my last official act as president.  When I saw this card it made me think of how a king must sometimes function as the senior diplomat – welcoming visitors to the castle and providing them with food and shelter.  The king must also be a problem solver.  That role was evident today as myriad minor challenges (forms that weren’t received, payments that weren’t made, etc.) occurred.  I think I handled it well and we received positive feedback about the conference.  And in a few weeks I’ll pass my crown along to the next victim, I mean president.

It also made me think about the original relationship between a king and his subjects.  Although it has now become about privilege, ceremonial duties and charitable work, at one time the king was seen as the physical embodiment of the kingdom.  If the king sustained some sort of injury or illness, it was believed that it would taint the prosperity of the land too.  The king (or local lord) was entitled to certain payment, support or tithes from his subjects but he was also expected to protect his subjects and keep them safe.  The king needed to ensure that his subjects would be able to plant and harvest their crops and not suffer from invasion or other dangers.  It was a reciprocal relationship.  Being the president of an organization is a similar relationship.  The president may be the leader but without the support of other board members and the general membership, not much can actually be accomplished.  There needs to be a two-way dialogue so that the members feel their opinions are valued and their needs are being addressed and the board and president are providing useful, beneficial services for members.  It’s about more than just having meetings once a month where board members get a free meal.  To paraphrase Ed Buryn, a good president or ruler must be practical yet innovative.  This is not always an easy task.  In fact it is more often a thankless one.  And yet, if one is not willing to at least try to achieve this goal there is not point in pursuing a leadership role.

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