Among the four minor suits of the Tarot, the Coins seem to have had the most name changes. In the earliest decks, Coins were Coins, represented by circles of gold which linked them to money and prosperity. Centuries later, some decks represented them as Pentacles, and authors linked the suit to “materiality” in all its forms. And even later still, this suit became known as Disks in some circles, keeping most of the “material” significations, but adding or subtracting certain subtleties.
But what are Coins, really?
For most of us, they’re those little hunks of metal we let pile up in the cup holders or unused ashtrays of our cars. We almost never really even use them now, unless it’s to throw them in a jar or can which we later haul to a bank and trade in for “real” money. Otherwise, they just get in the way or get sucked up in the vacuum cleaner whenever we decide to clean under our sofa cushions.
Honestly? We just don’t think of them as money anymore.
Money, to most of us, means paper, but even that is a bit of a stretch these days. I almost never carry cash of any kind, and I know very few people who do. Instead, most of us rely on debit and credit cards, or even apps on our phones, for our mercantile needs.
And of course by “mercantile,” I mean “Mercury.”
Trade and commerce today is almost entirely under the rulership of Mercury in every sense. Money changes hands as fast as electrons can fly through the air. It’s ephemeral, intangible, and interconnects every aspect of our world in innumerable and often-imperceptible ways.
And when we see the stock market booming while record numbers of people are out of work, well, it’s hard to imagine money as being anything other than under the rulership of a capricious deity too clever for their own good.
There’s absolutely nothing about money which can be properly called “material” in this day and age. It’s as immaterial as a thing can get, so equating Coins with money doesn’t make a lot of sense to me.
Instead, in my opinion, Coins best represent tangible things which possess intrinsic value.
Take a look at the suit of Pentacles as illustrated in the world’s most popular Tarot deck, the Rider-Waite-Smith.
In the Ace of Pentacles, a hand issues forth from a cloud, bearing a single, enormous Coin. The scene takes place in a garden, with a path and archway leading out, to twin mountains beyond.
The handle cradles the Coin both gently and securely.
Is it presenting the Coin to us? Receiving the Coin from us as an offering? Or has it plucked the Coin from the bounty of the garden in which we stand?
Is the garden itself the Coin in some way? Aren’t the fruits, flowers, herbs, and vegetables we might find there more “real” than the zeroes and ones flipping about in our bank’s computer system?
In every bit of the scene below the hand, we see tangible, recognizable things which have intrinsic value. We see (or can infer) food, for instance. The walls of the garden provide us with a kind of shelter, don’t they? And the mountains beyond can provide us with stone to build with.
There is a solidity to the ground in this card which echoes that of the hand wrapped around the coin, even as the hand itself seems somewhat ephemeral, what with it coming out of a cloud and all.
If you look at the other cards of this suit, you’ll see patterns emerge which echo that of the Ace. In the three, we see a clear picture of an artist at work, crafting something which likely will outlast themselves. In the four, we see someone holding the Coins close, almost like armor. Are the Coins protecting the person, or is the person protecting the Coins?
Most clearly, though, I think the image on the eight most clearly shows the true meaning of this suit. A laborer, carefully and methodically creating piece after piece. They sit on a bench, hammer and chisel in hand, bringing tangible things into the world. We see a castle in the background, with a path leading out.
And just there in the corner, at the opposite end of the path from the castle—is that a forest? Or is it the edge of a garden? Is the laborer on this card actually in the garden of the Ace, and we just can’t see it from our perspective?
If so, might not the hand in the garden be the hand of the worker? Or is it our hand, receiving the fruits of the worker’s steadfast labor?
The concrete things we create. The physical objects we can hold in our hands to feel that “spark of joy.” The tangible items which fulfill our needs through their intrinsic value. These are all Coins, and the Ace is the source of them.
A Quick-and-Dirty Prosperity Ritual
One of the simplest ways to both see and use “Ace of Coins energy” in your life is to do a little “quick-and-dirty” prosperity work.
Variations of this spell or ritual can be found all over the place, most of which involve the use of paper money. For the reasons I discussed above (among others), I don’t do prosperity work with currency. I use Coins.
For this ritual, you’ll need a small candle, either white or green; a copy of the Ace of Coins (or the Ace of Diamonds from a regular deck of playing cards); a fire-proof or heat-safe plate; and a safe place where you can set a candle burning and keep an eye on it.
When I say that you want a copy of the Ace, I mean it. You’ll be getting wax on it. A photocopy is fine, but I usually just use an Ace of Diamonds from one of the ten million decks of playing cards I’ve somehow acquired.
As for the candle? Don’t be shy about using birthday candles. They’re cheap, come in an assortment of colors, and burn quickly enough that you don’t have to wait around for an hour or longer for them to burn down.
When you’re ready to begin, gather your materials where you’ll do the work, and take a few minutes to relax.
Put the plate down in front of you, then lay the Ace face up in the middle of it. When you do, imagine that this Ace is the seed or root of the prosperity and bounty which is to come. Remember, this isn’t the seed of money, but of the tangible rewards and goods which are about to come into your life. It’s better to think about the Ace as the root of the things you would use money to buy, rather than to think about the money itself.
As you place the card down, say something like this…
Ace of Coins (or Ace of Diamonds)
Seed of prosperity, root of good things
Promise of all that I need
Set your candle on top of the card, preferable in the middle of the Coin or Diamond. If you need to use a candle holder, you may. If it’s safe to do so, however, you can instead melt the wax on the bottom of the candle and stick it directly to the card.
After you’ve done this, light the candle, saying something like this…
As the Sun gives light to the seedling
Let this candle give light to thee.
Root of all I need
Fulfill your promise to me!
Allow the candle to burn down completely, imagining the light nourishing the Ace, allowing its gifts to grow. Imagine the heat and the smoke from the flame bringing the gifts of the Ace to life, and carrying them to you.
The words I provide above are just a suggestion, and I vary what I say a great deal whenever I do this work. Sometimes I’m looking for something specific, but most of the time when I use this for myself or on behalf of others, I’m looking for “generic prosperity.” It works either way.
And if you give it a shot yourself, let me know how it works for you!
If you would like a Tarot or natal astrology reading, please visit my Consultations page. I would be happy to help.