Alchemical Study Group - Ten of Coins


In this card we see a merchant whose face and beard is covered with coins. Hi eyes are also covered. He has a grey beard.

Following the wealth and prosperity indicated by the previous card, the nine of coins, this card may indicate a more negative side of wealth. I would usually see the grey beard as representing wisdom, or at least showing that much time and work has been dedicated to accumulating wealth. This merchant is literally blinded by materialism. He is so focused on money that he can't see beyond that. On this card the bulk of the coins are gold, representing the male or active principle, compared to on the nine which had a balance of gold and silver. Again, this would indicate that the focus is on gaining rather than reflecting or enjoying the fruits of ones labour.


There is a thing as too much wealth or having wealth for the sake of wealth, and this is what this card is about.

Most of the coins are 'below' and not much 'above', there is a mis-balance here between the lower and upper souls.

The two coins directly under the coins under the eyes could indicate that the man is crying because he knows he has lost the way. It is the eye coin that sees the only silver coin so maybe he is not as blind as we first thought. He can see but only though the focus of money, he is aware of this and is upset by this. It is now he can move on--don't forget the 10 is a higher octave of the Ace--and restart his life or refocus his life so the above and below are once again balanced.

This card could be why Jesus said it is harder for a rich man to enter the Kingdom of God than a camel to pass though the eye of a needle--it is not the wealth that is the trouble but their life is unbalanced and they focus too much on the material world and not enough on the spiritual world.


(from the book)

A Renaissance merchant is literally made out of money. He represents someone who is rich and thinks about money a great
deal. This person is an entrepreneur, or an opportunist, someone who shrewdly sees the potential for making money in almost any situation. But notice that money covers his eyes, which can obscure his vision.

Tarot wisdom: You know how to make money, but don't see
beyond that. In a negative aspect, this could mean being
exploitative or self-centered. Remember to keep things in
perspective: money is not necessarily wealth, but is a symbol of
wealth, a means of exchange for it. The message also might refer
to being obsessed with health regimes, perhaps to the point where
the regimes themselves are not healthy. Or, it could mean you
are well-disciplined about your health habits, because in this situation strictness is called for.