Suit of coins
In occult uses of tarot, Coins is considered part of the "Minor Arcana", and may alternately be known as "Pentacles", though this has no basis in its original use for card games. Like the other tarot suits, it contains fourteen cards: ace (one), two through ten, page, knight, queen and king.
Divinatory and occult meanings
In occult and divinatory usage the suit is connected with the classical element of Earth, the physical body and possessions or wealth. Coins as a Latin suit represent the feudal class of traders, and therefore to worldly matters in general. Associated physical characteristics include dark hair and eyes, dark complexion, and sturdy build.
In the Rider-Waite tarot deck and derivative decks, the suit is called the suit of pentacles, and each card incorporates one or more discs each displaying a pentacle. In the Book of Thoth it is called the suit of discs, and the cards are associated with the Taurus, Virgo and Capricorn signs of the Zodiac.
Cards in the suit of coins
- The Ace of Coins is depicted as a hand holding a Pentacle or a coin, with a five-pointed star on it, out of a cloud. There is a lush garden behind, suggesting plenty. It can also be seen as the Garden of Eden. Outside the garden can be seen two mountain peaks, suggesting the right and left pillars of the Qabalah. Both lead to higher amounts of wealth. The flowers in the garden are white—symbolizing innocence, perhaps innocent relationships such as the friendship shared by Adam and Eve before the fall. One of the flowers is in the shape of a cross, possibly representing self-sacrifice. This sacrifice could be as simple as suffering a natural death, as self-sacrifice is the only way into heaven. As with all the Aces, the Ace of Pentacles symbolises a beginning and something new coming being offered. This will often be a new source of money coming to someone. It is usually extra regular money of some description. It can indicate new opportunities leading to increased prosperity. The card indicates a change for the better financially, or at least, the opportunities are there to improve one's financial situation. It can also point to improved cash flow through better money management.
- The Two of Coins, when upright, means to juggle, to struggle in a positive influence, to balance (indeed, to juggle and balance at the same time), to maintain. The balance of equilibrium is actively being maintained here; there is a self-realized aspect of maintenance. The Reversed meaning of the card means imbalances, excess juggling, excess struggle, the advice of the card is to re-dress balance.
- The Three of Coins has numerous positive attributes assigned to it, including the mastery of a skill in trade or work; achieving perfection; artistic ability; and dignity through renown, rank or power. Negative attributes (when card is in reverse) include sloppiness resulting in a lower quality outcome; lack of skill; banal ideas; and preoccupation with off-task concerns.
- The Four of Coins refers to a lover of material wealth, one who hoards things of value with no prospect of sharing. In contrast, when the Four of Pentacles is in reverse it warns against the tendency of being a spendthrift.
- The Five of Coins suggests a grim and hard situation, a quagmire which the subjects won't soon be out of. The Querent may be ambivalent, trapped in indecision, and feeling left out or shut off, but determined. The church windows imply charities and hopes, difficult to satisfy, but still worth fighting for. The right figure pictured isn't obviously friend or foe to the man on crutches, suggesting an uncertain relation. Obviously someone is in need of help, and you will be either drawn or repelled by someone or something in slow degrees. The bell around the crippled man's neck means the issue is insistent, and though you may want to ignore it, you should not, cannot, because ignoring only worsens a problem of severity. This card foretells of material trouble above all, whether in the form illustrated, that is, destitution, or otherwise; it is also a card of love and for lovers — wife, husband, friend, mistress — showing a state of concordance and affinity between the two figures. When upright, the Five of Coins means to lose all faith, losing resources, losing a lover (mostly shows up when you've had a breakup), and losing security whether financially or emotionally (or both). The reversed meaning of the card is when hope returns slowly but surely, you can be positive from the troubles you've recently experienced, mostly shows up when you are back into a relationship again that was once broken, a renewal of faith. The advice of the card is to see a glass as half full not half empty, to seek help when you need it and not fear rejection.
- The Six of Coins depicts a merchant weighing money in a pair of scales and distributing it to the needy and distressed. It signifies gratification, but also vigilance, for one cannot always gratify all the distressed. Reversed, the card represents desire, cupidity, envy, jealousy and illusion.
- The Seven of Coins often means movement. This could be moving house or moving up in your career. When upright, it means to show your commitment towards your work life or dreams, it may seem like charity work to you but it is on the value of receiving emotional and spiritual rewards, like the saying "success is a journey not a destination". The reversed meaning of the card means, excess energy and personal resources used that can cause a strain, the feeling of giving too much of your time and resources with little reward or assurance of moving forward. The advice of the card is to re-assess your commitment levels, if for too long you are not receiving the results you desire, it may be best to cut your losses especially when it seems to be a bad investment of your time and money.
- The Eight of Coins depicts an artist in stone at his work, which he exhibits in the form of trophies. Divinatory Meanings: Work, employment, commission, craftsmanship, skill in craft and business, perhaps in the preparatory stage. Steady patience with achievement kept in mind. Reversed: Voided ambition, vanity, cupidity, exaction, usury. It may also signify the possession of skill, in the sense of the ingenious mind turned to cunning and intrigue.
- The Nine of Coins depicts an aristocratic woman surrounded by an abundance of grapevines on a large estate, most likely representing a fine material status. Her robe is decorated with flowers, with a hooded falcon rests at ease on her arm. A young snail, denoted by a blue shell, makes its way across her path. She is unaware of its potentially fatal proximity. When upright, it means having financial independence, the self-reliance of personal pursuits, the ability to treat yourself with luxury, and being on a stable financial plateau and steady security. Reversed, the card means excess spending, being co-dependent on your financials or on others, to feel lonely in your personal pursuits, to feel inadequate financially, to have everything money can buy but yet still feeling impoverished emotionally and spiritually. The advice of the card is to look within the root of your existing problems, to look and focus on what will make you feel complete and secure, yet to learn and grow along the way.
- The Ten of Coins orders the coins according to the structure of the kabbalistic Tree of Life. It depicts an old man with a bodyguard talking to a woman. It is often associated with family matters, financial matters or a mix of the two. Some sources associate it with affluence or even riches. It may reflect a working environment. In the Thoth Tarot deck this card is labeled Wealth, and is associated with the third decan of Virgo, a Sign said to be ruled by Mercury, the third decan is ruled by Venus.
- The Page of Coins (Pentacles) is often used to represent a young person. Can mean a changing of your line of work and/or taking on more responsibility. But primarily, this is the card for students (all those who choose to study). The Page of Pentacles shows a young man who stands alone in a field full of freshly blossoming flowers. Behind him in the distance to his right is a grove of lush trees, probably fruit-bearing trees of some sort, and to his left lies a newly furrowed field which promises an abundant harvest. The Page walks slowly as though he were unaware of anything around him other than the golden coin in his hands, which he closely examines. The bright sky above him suggests that all is well in his world and that this is a tranquil moment spent planning his path towards future success. The Page of Pentacles, like the pages of all the suits, is a card of new beginnings, of inspiration and the initial stages of a creative project or venture. Pentacles correspond to the alchemical element of earth, and in this sense the coin that the Page holds may symbolize the beginnings of sensual awareness not only in terms of money and its value but also in terms of a growing awareness of the importance of health and other material needs. The Page of Pentacles is a card of dreams and the desire to manifest those dreams in the material world. You may be in the midst of a new project such as a hobby, business venture, or the beginning of a new educational experience. In any case, the Page is a sign of enthusiasm and desire, focused around a goal or a ‘dream’. The card does not indicate the fulfilment of dreams as much as the initial motivation and energy to begin the process of creating those dreams in reality. Therefore, this card encourages you to begin to put in place clear plans and actions that will ultimately lead you to achieve your dreams and goals. This is a time when you need to be able to apply careful planning in order to manifest your dreams and achieve your goals. You need to remain focused on the practical and tangible elements, keeping your feet firmly planted on the ground and not getting carried away with more ideas and concepts but rather being focused on what is realistic and achievable. This is when your common sense and pragmatic approach will lead you to success and to finding a solution that actually works. Now is the time to start acting on all of those grand ideas and concepts that have been brewing in your imagination. Now is the time to make them real! The Page of Pentacles also asks you to grow and expand in a way that generates prosperity and wealth for the future. You are just at the beginning of a new project or venture that will require you to remain focused on tangible outcomes and results. Be clear on what skills and resources you will require in order to draw wealth and abundance to you. The Page of Pentacles has the desire to learn all things. He is dedicated to knowledge and the attainment of wisdom and new skills. He is devoted to all in which he is engaged and he has great concentration in his interests and pursuits. Thus, the appearance of this card suggests that success will come to you after you have mastered new skills and have set your mind to achieving specific, tangible goals. You may need to consider further study, expanding your skill sets at work, or learning completely new ways of doing things. Do not be afraid to be the apprentice again, even if you are a master of another domain. Think of those 70-year-olds who enthusiastically start a University degree! The more skills you bring to your portfolio, the more goals and dreams you can achieve. Sometimes, the Page of Pentacles can represent a young person who has an entrepreneurial spirit. This person may be eager to attain wealth by pursuing a new business idea, by learning new skills or by applying themselves to a new situation. This Page might be young but there is also great enthusiasm, commitment, dedication and a strong sense of responsibility to see the project through.
- A Knight of Coins can be used to represent a young man who is dark of complexion and features. This combines the symbolism of dark completion with the suit of coins, and teenage/young adult males with knights. The card may also represent someone who is stubborn or hard-working, serious, or set in their ways. One might also use this card when someone is grappling with a question where one of those issues is coming up—when they have a question about work or home life, or a question about whether to stand their ground on an issue.
- The Queen of Coins is described as "Sensual and earthy, she enjoys abundance in many areas of her life. A lover of luxury, she is quick to share her wealth". The Queen of Pentacles can indicate fertility or a pregnancy. Like all court cards, the Queen of Coins is commonly interpreted to refer to a person playing some role in the life of the questioner; although it may represent the inquirer. Queens are said to represent mother figures and adult women, or young women mature for their years; women of knowledge and wisdom. She can also be a business woman, a patron of the arts, a provider, or one that works hard for material success. She is a maternal, nurturing, down-to-earth person, who is concerned with the welfare of others, especially those she cares for. The interpreted physical characteristics of the suit of coins include dark hair and eyes, dark complexions and sturdy build. In the Reversed aspect, this Queen neglects her responsibilities, keeping up appearances regardless of circumstances.
- The King of Coins depicts a mature man of considerable earthly power, usually depicted as a diplomatic business-man with a lot of practical wisdom. The king of pentacles can be miserly at times. He has a taste for sensual delights and earthly gifts. Here is a man who has a social standing and is big on keeping up with the Joneses. On the downside, he can be a man of phenomenally huge ego, the one whom the querent dare not cross. The card depicts a man who can help the querent grasp the social and practical knowledge that he needs to acquire wealth or respectability. As with the rest of the court cards, the appearance of this card may signify contact with a person of this high stature. It does not necessarily indicate material riches to the querant, unless this has been further supported by other cards. The Rider-Waite deck depicts a man sitting on a black throne adorned with a gold bull. Grapes appear on his clothes, and a castle is in the background.
Card images in the Rider-Waite tarot deck
In French-language decks, the suit is called Deniers ("silver coins"). The picture cards are Valet (Page), Chevalier (Horseman or Knight), Reine (Queen), and Roi (King). This suit was later changed to Diamonds.
German and Swiss decks use round Schellen ("Hawk Bells") instead.
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