Encountering the Suits: Weight of Influence

Spinning golden plates, that shimmer like a bull’s eye. If batons embody potential and power, coins denote power of a different kind. The power of acquisition and persuasion. Persuasion as a secondary to acquisition, in that through crafty words one can persuade the other on the value of a thing.

Not so long ago, actual coins where more of an active part of daily life, a tangible value system. Jangling in our pockets, the coins came with us wherever we went. We transacted with them, and often hid the excess from prying eyes. With these coins in our pockets, we invested in hopes of higher returns, and acquired things, re-positioning our place in society. Golden shiny and round, we kept them close to our bodies, held them in our hands, keeping them hot. In turn, these round pieces brought riches, and resources. In this way, coins mirror the cups, the more the merrier.

Image by katkaZV from Pixabay
Image by katkaZV from Pixabay, Halic Castle.

A notable aspect of the coins suit is that they embody the potency they disseminate through the holder (the person that has many coins) and those that this person comes into contact with. In other words, the suit embodies both what we do with the coins, how we use them, and how they affect and effect our lives. To have many coins is to hold the potential to gain or take possession of. The weight of influence. Navigating in a sea of desires, we hone the ability to discern how much of these desires we are able to grasp, and how far we are able to go, it is in this milieu that we arrive at the weight of influence. We shift our material influence over the world around us in relation to the resources we hold in our hands. How much influence you or I carry depends largely on how much coin we each carry.

Some of the more subtle elements of the suit are comforts, luxuries, bookkeeping and accounting. It is good to note that this suit also denotes analytical articulations, deductions, and mercurial thinking.

The Spanish Tarot published by Heraclio Fournier, Spain.
The Spanish Tarot published by Heraclio Fournier, Spain.

One is a plate of opportunity, a chance at turning luck into profit or favor. Two is giving definite form to opportunity, by contract or agreement. Three is progression through the investment of time and resources. Working towards a goal with the aid of astute calculation. Four is building the funds. As always, fours denote what is foundational. Here we find that the weight of influence is established over matters. Moreover, a coat of arms is at the center of the four coins, the base upon which legacy is built. Five is a returning to our body, indulging in luxuries and what we covet. Five of coins holds the question of desire, what we want and how we can get it. Aspirations, fancies and indulgence reign.

The Spanish Tarot published by Heraclio Fournier, Spain.
The Spanish Tarot published by Heraclio Fournier, Spain.

The Six is when the flow of opportunity given, opens outward into different and varying routes, or paths. A good omen. Expansion and movement. Seven, as with all sevens, has us stuck, a plateau has been reached, an interruption perhaps, the entrepreneurial spirit is momentarily quelled. Division and strain divert cohesion.

Eight is reorganization. All the eight coins in perfect lines, equidistant and in equilibrium. After the pause, we reorganize, re-frame, and then keep going. Outside help and input is brought to bear here, fresh eyes to see what there is to see and where the potential for growth can be found. How much coin is available, and what can be achieved with this? Nine is fruitful, as the work put in in the previous phase generates its due promise. Ten is the culmination of all the work. Or it could just be a lot. There are many coins here, many spinning golden spheres. Fortune, and tangible prosperity.

All this talk of resources and money glosses over the details. These golden disks are more cunning than they let on. Fiery, mercurial and quick, like money, slippery if handled unwisely. It can be the cause of headaches and pain if avarice seizes the heart, or greed grips the fingertips. Coins are held close, and also exchange hands. Alluding to a cold (not close to the heart) and calculating fire, shrewd. We discern the value of a thing and how much in value translates into how many of coins.

market marketplace
A market, image by Chris Spencer-Payne from Pixabay.

I take my jangling bag of coins to the market and enter into the fray, holding the coin bag close to my body and piercing with my eyes into the value of things. Here I arrive at the crux of the coins. In essence, the suit elaborates on the material value of things vis à vis our desires. What we want, what we can get, and where within this tension we situate the value.

Mirror, mirror, which Trump do I see reflected in the suit of coins?

Sly and cunning, le bateleur skillfully negotiates possibilities with onlookers, the curious, the lost, and the wandering. Le bateleur applies with razor sharp wit the right words and actions that persuade. A masterful artist of calculations and expressions. This very bateleur knows just the right points to hit, revealing only what is necessary for the moment, and nothing more.

Here we can take a look at one of the traditional depictions of this character:

The magician, the cobbler, le bateleur marseille tarot jean dodal jean noblet
Left: Tarot de Marseille Jean Dodal reproduced by J.C. Flornoy, editions le-tarot.com, France, 2009. Right: Tarot de Marseille Jean Noblet, reproduced by J.C. Flornoy, editions le-tarot.com, France 2014.

The crafty bateleur stands at the table,  tools displayed, one hand raised and the other lowered and close to the body. This person clearly reveals only what gives weight to his/her influence over others. Colorfully dressed, with an overly large hat to tip down and veil the eyes when the situation demands it, and an expression that lets nothing pass unnoticed. Then there are other alternate depictions:

Pointner Tarot Piatnik Wein Marseille Tarot Fantarroco Franco Anichini
Left: Pointner Tarot, Ferd. Piatnik & Söhne Wein, 1974. Right: Fantarocco di Franco Anichini, published by Modiano, Italy.

However le bateleur is approached, this character cobbles for us worlds upon worlds of possibilities, pulling on desires and repositioning value accordingly. The suit of coins hold these same possibilities just there, at the beginning, will the bull’s eye of the Ace.


∆ If you’re catching this post series midway, Animating the Tarot Pips, the introduction along with a master list (with links) of the installments can be found here.

Mist and Ether Natalia Lee Forty Tarot Divinatrix

 Creative Commons License
Animating The Tarot Pips by Natalia L Forty is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
Based on a work at mistandether.wordpress.com

Published by Natalia

An eternal lover of the literary arts, I am fascinated by words and their power. I am a diviner that writes, reads, enchants, dances and dreams.

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