A Tarot de Marseille Thumbnail: 7 of Coins

Here is a kind of “trial balloon” floating some of the ideas I’ve been talking about in my most recent posts. The image in the Conver 7 of Coins suggests a trellis bearing ripe fruit, some of which have fallen (or are in the act of falling) to the ground. It shows the harvest at a critical stage, where some of the wages of one’s labor are in danger of being lost to spoilage. The three coins embraced by the foliage show that the creative urge is still  present, but the four outlying coins suggest that it has sacrificed some of its generative power. It is obviously near the end of the growing season. There is also the reasonable assumption that we see here a post-harvest state in which the coins are seed-pods and the four detached ones have already been broadcast to winter over in the soil. In that case the image could be showing not so much a bumper crop ready for picking (that’s more evident in the 6 of Coins) as an uncertain investment in the future. The advice could be to carefully husband the three remaining “pods” for systematic planting as a hedge against the vagaries of nature. In business terms it makes me think of the back end of the product cycle, where sales and profits are declining as demand slackens, and there is little point in spending a lot of money on R&D and marketing. Mercantile salvage houses (think TJ Maxx) loom on the horizon to scoop up the unsold surplus.

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This idea of an interrupted harvest is echoed in the RWS 7 of Pentacles, where two of the “fruits” lie on the ground while the farmer seems to be standing idly by leaning on his hoe rather than trying to finish the job and get all seven off to market. The Golden Dawn’s title “Lord of Success Unfulfilled” seems perfectly aligned with this impression, as does Aleister Crowley’s “Failure” and his mention of the barren geomantic figure of Rubeus (Saturn) and its poor fit with the agricultural ebullience of Taurus, where Saturn enfeebles everything it touches. It reminds me of the Game of Thrones maxim, “Winter is coming.”

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