At first this card may seem a little chaotic. But looking closer, an important scene unfolds between the coins spread throughout the Ten of Pentacles. An older man lingers with his family amongst his expansive estate. His cloak, ornate and unique, flows about him, while his hounds sit obediently at his feet as his family congregates in the background. We can even see one of his grandchildren playing affectionately with his dogs. The patriarch of his family, this elderly gentleman with a white beard and long white hair rules over his family with gentle grace, respect, and love, full of family history and knowledge – he is the Sage of his kin, his robes reflect it, and his dogs recognize it. Legacy reigns supreme in this scene. This card is also a Gate – with the Sage, a gatekeeper. We see the archway above the family, beckoning us to step through. Should we step beyond it? Life is safe if kept mundane. When we toy with the idea that life can be magical, we begin to experiment with volatile realities and the unexpected, which may cause us to need to make big changes or adaptations quickly. Without risk, however, there is no reward. Magic brings depth to our lives and an ability to chart our own course – using the Divinity of the stars as our fuel. The Sage, perhaps grown a bit eccentric in his old age, wrapped in a cloak that is anything but ordinary, summons us to step forward. He is old enough to remember that not everything is exactly what it seems – magic is happening every day. And in the most subversive ways.
When coming across this card in a reading a windfall of some kind may be around the corner, or an inheritance, as some sort of legacy is unfolding. The Ten of Pentacles reminds us of our family roots and ancestry but also karmically what we will inherit in life. Though in some ways it represents tradition, when seeing how it invites us to enter past the Gate, we also understand how it represents more than just what society is asking us to do or how to be, but how to go beyond that. While offering a bit of stability, be it extra financial support or familial care, it also allows for us to push further in some deeper aspect of our lives. Oftentimes, traditions and family obligations may at times feel burdensome or can be seen as an extra responsibility. But if we use the resources they offer to help us grow and become better people, to help us tap into our inner magic, then we’re one step closer to enlightenment, one step closer to becoming greater magicians – and in this respect, the Sage would be proud!
A garden staple, Sage leaf is the obvious choice for an herbal pairing with the Ten of Pentacles. This aromatic plant from the genus Salvia can be found throughout the world, as it is of the Lamiacea or mint family which contains over 900 species, (alongside oregano, lavender, rosemary, thyme, and basil) most of which are perennials that have been used worldwide as cooking spices as well as herbal medicine. Turns out this tasty, earthy tea is good for the brain as studies on Common Sage (Salvia officinalis) reveal it helps prevent the formation of amyloid plaques that lead to Alzheimer’s disease as well as improve memory, brain function, and mood. For those with diabetes or heart disease, research has revealed that Sage also helps to lower fasting glucose levels as well as lower triglyceride and harmful cholesterol (LDL) levels. Loaded with antioxidants, Sage is particularly high in one called rosmarinic acid which decreases inflammation and blood sugar levels. Traditionally, Sage has been used as a tart and slightly spicy mouthwash for its antibacterial properties are well known. Recent science has confirmed this by also uncovering carnosol and camphor, another set of Sage’s curative compounds that aid in wound healing and skin regeneration. For this reason, Sage also works wonders in face lotions and anti-wrinkle balms.
The Ten of Pentacles and Sage work together to remind us of our legacies, the rich family history we all have, in one way or another, which we can use to move us further in life if we so choose. For our Sage grandfather is willing to show us the deeper magical layers that life has to offer – we just need to be willing to step through the gate. Shall we proceed?
*Tarot reading is based on the Rider-Waite Tarot Card deck, illustrated by Pamela Colman Smith
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