A Tarot de Marseille Thumbnail: Ace of Coins

I consider the TdM Ace of Coins a “gambit” card (an action that is calculated to gain an advantage), one that entails some “grit” and requires getting one’s hands dirty. The expression “dirt under the fingernails” gives an idea of how much hands-on engagement and self-reliance are required. It has no patience with the proverb “All things come to those who wait,” although seeing it in a reading might create the temptation to sit on one’s hands, since Aces are often associated with the latent urge to take an action rather than actually taking it. This situation is least likely in the suit of Coins, which is pragmatic and results-oriented. But a little “push” is still required to get underway.

Inertia or the disinclination to act – an increasingly  prevalent theme among the Coins as the series progresses – is at its lowest in the Ace. I’m going to break my rule here and quote from the Book of Thoth: in any suit as it advances in number, there is a “gradual exhaustion of the energy” and, ultimately, “the force is completely expended.” The Aces represent the energy newly-minted and ready to step out into the world. Since the Ace of Coins follows the 10 of Swords, the implication is one of getting a fresh grip on a situation that has become complicated to the point of indecision and immobility. Another cliche I like is “A new broom sweeps clean” as the new cycle unfolds, although – to invoke the extension of this thought –  it may miss some of the corners.

In the world of work, the Ace of Coins shows the untested initiative or the “wet-behind-the-ears” recruit; it holds great promise but no assurance of success. It’s too early to say what will come of it, since it has yet to meet any constructive push-back (the Two) or undergo any real planning (the Three). The “proof is in the pudding” (the Four) but its proponents have yet to “walk the talk” (the Five). Where the Ace of Batons can show the desire to change jobs, the Ace of Coins imparts the resolve to change careers. (And it seems the suit of Coins pushes my platitude meter into the red!)

In the RWS Ace of Pentacles, the key feature is the path leading through the open gate in the wall and on into the distance. To me it signifies “getting on the stick and heading on down the road” from the fertile field where the impulse for productive action originates. Another proverb inspired by the image of an angelic hand holding what looks like a bowling-ball is “A rolling stone gathers no moss.” The Thoth Ace of Disks incorporates Crowley’s characteristically coarse but compelling sensibilities: it is essentially a foreshortened view of the erect male sex organ, implying enormous fecundity.

This concludes my extended study of the suit of Coins and of the TdM “pip” cards in general. I hope you’ve found it useful.

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