A Tarot de Marseille “Pips” Overview: Footnotes on the Suit of Coins

Because I commented on all of the Coins individually, I’m not going to do a detailed overview of them as I did for the rest. Unless I choose to develop my thoughts on the Ace of Coins or decide to amplify my brief cameos of the pips of the other suits at “book length” (and I have been encouraged to write one), this will be my last analytical study of the TdM pip cards. A few general observations are in order.

I’ve had people who are far more experienced with the TdM than I am tell me that they see the suit of Coins as representing money, period. They don’t bother with any other assumptions of a practical or material nature. Aleister Crowley (in an uncharacteristically mundane moment) stretched “money” to encompass “goods and such material matters.” As I see it, “goods and such material matters” include all kinds of domestic and commercial questions and situations regarding resources, as well as anything to do with worldly affairs that require a concrete, hands-on solution involving simple tools and methods rather than more subtle and sophisticated measures. Although Batons (Wands) is presented as the “work and business” suit, I treat the Coins as covering everything from the planning and execution of work to the wheeling and dealing of high finance. On the other hand, enterprise to the extent that it demands initiative and skillful maneuvering in the bruising realm of competitive give-and-take belongs under Batons; the talents of a warrior are more valuable than those of an accountant.

Coins are fungible; they can be exchanged for goods and services; in barter systems goods and services can be traded for similar considerations of equal value. “Money,” therefore, is a  fluid entity that at its most basic conveys the idea of value received for value tendered, whether real or perceived. Where I don’t see a lot of relevance is in the analysis of complex motives, since that delves into the arena of psychological speculation befitting the other suits. The urgent need to buy food to keep body and soul together is a Coins concern; the need to feel appreciated at work isn’t.

I thought I would wrap this up with a few divinatory snippets from my personal experience. I’ll see if I can come up with something I didn’t already say.

the Ace of Coins signifies a gambit, the first move in any deal-making scenario; it rewards self-reliance and grit of the “dirt-under-the-fingernails” ilk

the 2 of Coins involves a trade-off of some kind; it could also mean a juggling act, such as “balancing the books”

the 3 of Coins symbolizes the need to “plan the work” and the ability to convert that plan into reality

the 4 of Coins implies stability in all material things, but also the associated risk of succumbing to inertia

the 5 of Coins conveys poor judgment and wasted effort with little to show for it; in the worst case it could mean dishonesty, such as “cooking the books;” alternatively, breaking out of the financial doldrums without regard for consequences could be indicated (i.e. impulsively taking or quitting a job)

the 6 of Coins shows the pursuit of success for its own sake, not for what can be accomplished with the proceeds; thus, a purely mercenary undertaking is indicated

the 7 of Coins suggests leveraging one’s assets rather than simply hoarding them; unfinished business that needs to be concluded is another likely scenario

the 8 of Coins inspires cautious optimism about monetary matters; also, the possible need for a competent financial advisor or agent to assist with one’s affairs

the 9 of Coins emphasizes gain from the disciplined pursuit of one’s goals; undeserved entitlement is not “in the cards”

the 10 of Coins is a card of well-earned rest from labor, but also of humdrum domesticity

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