Today is international Blog Action Day. The topic is poverty.
I want to discuss the card that is most often associated with poverty in the Tarot. It is a card I compare to the Little Matchgirl fairy tale from Hans Christen Anderson.
In this tale, the little matchgirl sells matches on Christmas Eve. She sells all of her matches, including her very last one, to people off to light their Yule logs. Sadly she doesn’t save her own match to light the fire that she so desperately needs. So she wanders the streets peering through windows catching glimpses of happy families celebrating the birth of Christ.
And she freezes to death.
Now there’s a happy ending in that she is lifted up to heaven to be with her beloved grandmother.
She freezes to death while looking in on other people’s happiness.
This story moved me when I first read it and it still does. I think the metaphor can be looked at from both sides. The little girl should have kept her last match or at least asked for help. More importantly the people who were warm and well-fed should have spared one thought for the little girl on the street.
The Five of Pentacles shows a couple huddled together in the snow. Often they are outside of a church. In some cards, a shadowy figure can be seen in the window of the door. Who is that person? Is it someone you could ask for help? Is it someone who needs your help? Who are you in this card?
When you need help, do you ask for it?
Do you give help?
One task I’ve given myself is to give to the homeless. Not in any grand ways but when I pass someone on the street. I try to have some change. And more importantly for me, I don’t judge. I don’t think “he looks healthy” or “if she’d just stop drinking.” I just give them what I can.
What do you do? How do you address poverty? What do you think you can do on a small personal level?