This Ace is an excellent place to sum up so much of the esoteric wisdom of the Tarot.
At one level, the history of this suit is intricately tied with the purely mundane, but meditated upon for its esoteric lore, Pentacles represent the essence of the magic of manifestation, the principle of creative visualisation in a tarot card.
This Ace compels us to ask how we can best manifest our desires, at the same time it is a summation of all the Aces.
With the Ace of Wands, we have the message of energetic inspiration; with the Ace of Cups, the message of raw creativity; with the Ace of Swords, the message of conscious awareness. In this final Ace, we see the lesson of manifestation, which comes from incorporating each skill we’ve gained along the way.
The invention of playing cards themselves have been attributed to the Chinese, who created a money game using some of the world’s first paper playing cards. It’s entirely reasonable to imagine that the Chinese would have brought this game with them as they traded and traversed along the Silk Road, cross-pollinating ideas and values with the Mamlûks, amongst many other tribes.
This cross-pollination began centuries before the creation of the Italian game Tarocchi; therefore, it’s entirely possible we inherited the idea of the suit of coins from the Chinese, who, even today, hand out little red packets stuffed with money to encourage prosperity in the New Year.
However, money and material prosperity is only a surface manifestation of the energy of this suit. The esoteric roots of pentacles lie in their connection with magic, but when this connection is ignored by calling this suit “coins,” the deeper meaning of the pentacle is lost.
If you ever wonder why your deck emphasizes a pentagram shape, it’s because of the association between magic and the sacred geometry of the pentacle. Pentacles have a tradition steeped in magic, and because of this, learning how to see the mystical in mundane reality is the challenge of this suit.
The magician used the pentacle as a protective amulet, or as part of an invocation ceremony or rite. The Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, a spiritual and mystical order practicing these kinds of magical rites, inspired member A. E. Waite’s co-creation of the Rider-Waite Tarot deck.
Although most tarot readings begin with the belief that the cards can be used to gain insight into the past, current and possible future everyday situations of the querent, esoteric tarot begins with the querent asking what he can do to transform himself.
According to Webster’s dictionary, magic is the art of purportedly manipulating aspects of reality either by supernatural means or through knowledge of occult laws unknown to Classical Mechanics, but the real magic everyone is capable of, when they try, is to comprehend the mystical in the mundane:
A mystic tends to look at ordinary things as manifestations of a miraculous and infinite source of wisdom. From the mundane-seeming plethora of garbage and trash, to the high mystery of photo-synthesis, anything can be translated into or ignite a mystical experience.
A scientist, thinking she sees clearly the evidence of the eyes and empirical study, will announce that photo-synthesis is how plants grow and obtain a majority of their nourishment. The plants do this by exchanging sunlight into energy and then into chlorophyll. The analysis ends there.
A mystic, on the other hand, will use this as a starting point to reflect on the significance, both inner and outer, of such an obvious and mysterious miracle. Is there any relationship or analogy that can be drawn from this fact?
For example, if we compare ourselves to the plant, and the sunlight to the Creator’s life-giving essence, then perhaps might we also have the ability to transform that energy into something more than what we are given, into something more than what we think we are. Perhaps what we see is not necessarily what we get; that perhaps there is the possibility within us of transforming inner energy into something else.
In the following video, Sting sings a song that always makes me think of what tarot is about for me, and perhaps when you listen to it, and read the lyrics, you’ll understand what I mean. The cards he’s referring to are not tarot; they are the traditional playing cards once used for divination, but some of their meanings remain, even thought the suit names have changed.
The suit of diamonds are synonymous with the Coins in Tarot, but my own feelings about Tarot are like those of the man in this song, who sings “I know that diamonds mean money for this art/But that’s not the shape of my heart…”
I deal the cards as a meditation. Are you ready, when you lay down the Ace of Pentacles, to take a chance on what is to come?
If so, you understand this Ace’s fundamental nature, because you are the creator of your reality, and you hold the power of your future in your hands.
And that is magic.
- The Essence of the Ace of Cups: Inception of Creativity and Spirituality (beyondthestarsastrology.wordpress.com)
- The Ace of Swords: The Dual-Edged Blade of Clarity and Aggression (beyondthestarsastrology.wordpress.com)
- The Fire of A New Beginning: Invention, Inspiration, and the Ace of Wands (beyondthestarsastrology.wordpress.com)
- Ash Wednesday and the Five of Pentacles (corrinekenner.com)
- Initiation of Earth – [Page of Pentacles] (pageofcards.com)