Suit of Textiles (Pentacles)

Nearly all of our lives we are covered by textiles, supported by textiles, healed by textiles and sheltered by textiles, and yet sometimes, I think because they tend to be thought of as a “woman’s craft,” they have been overlooked as a metaphor for our path through life. This is the material world, though, and as we discover the true values we share in the fabrication of life, it becomes clear that as with all of our creations, textiles walk the line between necessary and superfluous and thus express our own dichotomy in life.

The Suit of Pentacles asks us to consider how the spirit is made manifest in the world, and the spectrum of good and evil can be found in the history of textiles. From the Silk Road to the cotton plantations of the southern United States and cotton mills in the United Kingdom and India, from the art of rug-making to the skill of sewing skins together to survive the Arctic Circle climate, textiles exemplify how we survive and thrive in the material world. The image of the star is like a the web of a spider, hung from limb to limb, a line from a single source, and so I chose to use this as the inspiration for the “Ace” of this suit. We begin at our inspiration, the spider who walks between the sky and earth, creating daily, spinning to eat, to sleep, to attract a mate and give birth.

Each card tells the story of a textile, a crafts person, a patron, a resource, a use for textiles. Each card tells us a way to develop a perspective about the world we live in and how we approach our possessions, our offerings and our place in the material world. Many of the cards suggest a natural inspiration from which a textile craft was born, an imitation we make of the natural world, and our true connection to this world in which we live.


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