9 February 19: Ten of Cups & Three of Coins & Nine of Swords

The C Word. No, not that. I actually really like that word in context, like coming from a pissed-off (or pissed up) cab driver in London traffic . No, today it is Commitments or, Contracts.

In the past position is the idyllic, dreamy 10 of Cups, the maximum of the suit of emotion, Cups aka Hearts, and deeeeep water (Pisces/Cancer/Scorpio). It has the rather Victorian nickname of the ‘Happily ever After Card’ just so you know. Two arms reach in from opposite sides of the frame to raise a single gold cup high, catching a rainbow arching down from the blue sky. Why, it’s a wee pot o’gold! These are the luckiest people in the world, and they know it.

That’s important. Because here’s another C word for ya: complicated! Must you make it so?

The industrious 3 of Coins (Capricorn/Virgo/Taurus) is in the present position and we see a blueprint or contract being discussed or negotiated between 3 humans in a church that they all had a hand in building, from the architect’s plans to the artisan’s construction to the commissioner of the work, and it is a great work, all stone and stained glass, built to last. They agree the terms have been met on all sides, and everyone has had an equal hand in the magnificent accomplishment. These 3 humans on the 3 of Coins are all in vastly different ‘tax brackets’ as I like to say, but not when they each bring what they have to bring to the table, so to speak. The stained-glass guy or craftsman, or on the Russian deck, a musician; the Bishop or Cardinal, or on the Russian deck, simply the man with the ring of keys who obviously owns the place, and the architect. There is no 3rd human on the Russian 3, and there is only 1 human on the Morgan-Greer version of  3 of Coins, the blue-collar hands-on artisan who is left working after hours in the waning light of the stained-glass window.

This is the card of collaboration, and possibly obligation.

This could not have been built by any one human alone. Motivations may differ, but all 3 profit from the work. Coins are money. One thing is obvious: someone’s motivation for taking on these sometimes complicated contracts and commitments is doing it for home and family, or at least their concept of their future home and family. A lot of people have no idea what happiness is, but that’s the goal here, and none nobler. You are lucky to have known the happiness and love you have known.

Why then do we have the  ‘stay up all night and worry’ card in the future position, the dreaded insomniac of the Minor Arcana, the 9 of Swords (Gemini/Libra/Aquarius)?

This to me is just plain old worry about work aka when will the next job come? Or you may have been offered a contract with people you don’t really want to work with, and can see a whole lot more sleepless nights ahead of you should you commit to this. The one good thing we can say about this card though is that in the future position, we can  check ourselves, which is the point. This is a self-created, inflamed energy, all kinds of dark thoughts and potential painful scenarios, and you just can’t stop thinking about all the things that can go wrong. The Morgan-Greer card shows a pair of wrists tied up with rope, suggesting a fear of something ‘binding’. We long for and are inspired by a situation we had in the past with family or another deep relationship, even if it was only a ‘dream’ or vision in the past, it’s what’s motivating you now.

Is the architect building for his legacy? Is the Bishop building for his God? Is the craftsman working to feed his family? It’s not like they all hang out after hours.


Why am I doing this again?


27 December 18: Three of Coins & Knight of Wands & Eight of Coins

Wanted:  Handyman. So said the ad I ran recently, more or less. Need s*** done around here, and need to get this trailer restoration on. I’m getting old and can’t swing a hammer like I used to and can’t break any more bones at my age, so forget about anything on the roof like chimney cleaning or the ventilator on the barn.  But I also can’t have people working at the house all day, I’ll lose my mind and won’t get any writing or readings or recording or anything else done. Not to menton my power nap.

I digress.

The 3 of Coins traditionally shows a meeting in a church involving an architect, a craftsman and a bishop or nobleman of some kind,  the commissioner of the work The Morgan-Greer card shows a solitary stonemason putting finishing touches on a wall in the low light of a stained-glass window – one he probably hand a hand in crafting. It’s beautiful work, built to last for generations. This card always looks to me as if everyone else took off for the weekend or holiday, and this human is ‘moonlighting’.

In the center and the star of the show because he usually is wherever he goes is the energetic, restless Knight of Wands usually seen charging around on his horse but on the Morgan-Greer card stands ready for his orders (Aries/Leo/Sagittarius) shouldering a tool of his own trade, a thick, strong, wooden club. Today the helmet and faceguard of his armor and his yellow rubber-looking gloves remind me of a welding helmet and welder’s gloves emblazoned with the logo of the legendary salamander, long believed to be fireproof. He’s the guy for the job, he declares, and it won’t take him long, either. He’s not interested in spending any more time than necessary, he’s on to the next thing.

The craftsman on the 8 of Coins, Discs, Pentacles, or simply ‘money’ and all things of the Earth (Virgo/Taurus/Capricorn)  is working away, blue sleeves rolled up, his blue collar peeking out from beneath his leather apron. He has his head down, his hammer and chisel in hand and is turning out beautiful carvings. We see examples of his completed work lining the walls of his shop or studio – he or she is consistent and productive yet  pays close attention to detail.

It’s looking good. Coming today is a contractor who lives near by who is retired and in his words, ‘stir crazy’ who we agreed yesterday would work today for 3 hours but is hoping for a regular thing. Although retired, it seems he’s still got enough of the Knight in him to want to DO something! He’s ‘moonlighting’ from his retirement. I like that. A great combination, that fired-up enthusiasm for the job and the dedication and consistency and downright love for the work to get it done, and not only get it done right, but make it special, and of course a lot of ideas about ways to do things I couldn’t even think of.

Which is good, I have a very long list.



6 October 18: 3 of Coins

Pooling our talents.  High-level collaboration. On this card of the solid, material suit of Earth (Virgo/Taurus/Capricorn) we usually see in the olde tyme Renaissance-Faire woodcut tarot images 3 humans in a huge, stony, cold cathedral conferring over some building plans, usually a couple of monks and an architect. The discs are represented as round talisman designs in the ornate, stained-glass window. One could be the master  stained-glass artist, and the architect is the best in his field as well. The third appears to  be the head of the Church or institution commissioning the work. They are not all in the same tax bracket yet they have respect for each other’s talents, accomplishments and position(s).

This card is famous for representing teamwork, and on the surface this would appear to be a productive, equal merger of ideas and skills. Everyone’s specific talents and contributions are necessary in order to accomplish something enduring and magnificent. But is everyone really on equal ground here? This is a card of money, who’s paying for it?

I only ask because the Morgan-Greer card shows us a lone artisan, the light low in the cathedral, beautiful red and gold streaming in as he chisels away at the stones in semi-darkness, carving some Masonic sort of symbol in the wall. Has he outlived them all? Is he carrying on the work of those before him? Is he the only one left? Or is he team leader, up before anyone else? An earth sign, he’s exacting and meticulous in his work, taking his time. This has to last forever.

I’ll stick to the basics. This is a card of teamwork, making something real. There may be 3 people involved, but they are all the best at what they do, and they’re all committed to the work. 3 is the number of Creation, so whatever this supergroup is going to kick out, it’s going to outlast all of us.

May you Go Gold!

Or: I have eggs, you have a stove, he knows how to cook, let’s feed everyone.



Note: I always find this card to be a challenge. Back in the archives there’s a whole rant on this 3, where I try to interpret Salvador Dali’s version/interpretation which was like trying to untangle a ball of yarn puked up by a cat.






19 July 18: Three of Coins & Four of Coins

Pooling talents and resources. An uneasy combination, but a good one. Of course when we talk about Coins we’re talking about Earth and the material world (Virgo/Capricorn/Taurus), aka money. One of these two has a lot of it, the other may be working for very little of it.

The 3 of Coins is all about teamwork and collaboration in the physical world to create something of lasting value or to ‘make your mark’ as this stonemason is doing under the red diffused glow of the  stained glass window of a church. Unlike the traditional card which usually shows a team meeting –  2 monks consulting over a scroll with an architect or stonemason – the Morgan-Greer deck and other more modern decks show only one human on the card working away with a chisel on in a stone and stained-glass building   obviously not built by any one man in any one lifetime, so he continues or finishes the work of others – yet is still considered part of an elite ‘team’ who take a great deal of pride in what they do, and probably for not much money. In fact, artists in olden tymes often had no choice but to slave over church commissions…literally.

I decided to check with Dali’s deck to get his take on it. He shows us a bearded, colorful figure holding a book wearing what looks like a Christmas wreath on his head with a city in a tree growing out of his ass.

Well that’s clear.

The 4 of Coins is all about saving, stability and security. To a fault, some might say, but this miserly looking person clutching at 4 large gold coins so tightly he looks like he has cramps is no fool. No fun, maybe, but no fool. I notice with the cards side by side the stone wall of the castle or chateau of the ‘miser’ of the 4 is made of the same stone the stonemason is carving on the 3. So it is interesting that these 2 cards basically form the same image as the single 3 does in older decks: the worker and the boss(es). But there is  respect and cooperation here, each need the others’ skills – or money, and recognize the value in the collaboration.

If these two aren’t a team already, they certainly should be – but, like the image on the olde tyme cards, this is also more of an investor/worker relationship, or a commission of some kind.

As a team they would add up to 7, a rather unstable number that requires a lot of faith in any mutual undertaking. They both believe in what they’re doing even if nobody else does.

A loan for home improvement could also be forthcoming, or someone may be doing some fixing-up or restoration themselves to save money or even building their own beautiful home meant for generations to come (the 10 of Coins).

This is about considering partnerships in long-term investments, finances and general sustainability. ‘Art’ people and ‘money’ people don’t always see eye to eye, but this looks like these two could be on the same page. We see bright yellow sky on both cards, but neither character is out in it. The 3 has his head down in the dark intensely focused on what’s he’s doing and the 4 has his back to the yellow sky outside the castle wall and the world altogether, so concerned is he with holding on to his money. It looks like they may even live in the same stone mansion, but not as equals – yet both work for the same ‘team’ or ‘house’.

I hope the worker/artisan is being paid fairly for what he does and not being ripped off or taken advantage of.


Cheap f******.



3 July 18: Three of Coins

Craft, collaboration, commitment, construction. 3 on the 3rd. 3 is THE number of creation, and that’s what this card talks about.

Coins, or Pentacles, are of the suit of Earth (Virgo/Taurus/Capricorn) and always refer to the material world.

The traditional image on this card is that of a meeting.  3 characters stand in a stone cathedral and seem to be discussing plans for future work of some kind, most likely building. One of the men who is an architect or stonemason is holding a scroll or draft of a plan and presenting it to 2 religious men, monks or priests, consulting on the planning and progress of the work.

The Russian deck shows us a musician performing in a grand setting for a Patron, or the Master of the house, who wears a set of keys. Both the stonemason of the olde time decks and the musician of the Russian deck are masters at what they do, as they are being retained or employed by people who can afford anything. Money is no object, they’re saying, we want to create and build something great. Something that will survive generations to come (10 of Coins).

The Morgan-Greer deck shows us only one man (or woman, of course) under the familiar image of the 3 discs or Pentacles (in the traditional decks, the 3 coins are carved into the stone columns of the church. The Russian deck shows a gold column or pillar ornately carved with the coin images) which are of stained glass and incorporated in the design of the window above his head. He is working in this beautiful amber-colored light all by himself, a chisel positioned in his left hand and ready to strike with the mallet in his right.

This card usually means, and suggests, collaboration, so it is strange to me that he is alone but it is a holiday (tomorrow is 4th of July in America, and smack in the middle of the workweek)  and either left to work on his own while everyone else is out or he’s taking the day alone to work on his house, as there seem to be beams behind him. He could be just hanging a picture, but he’s really into his beautiful house and takes pride in restoring, improving or maintaining it.

On the Greer card we can really see the master craftsman putting his very soul into the work, and of all 3 versions of this card I’m looking at, this is the only card where we see him actually working.

Meeting with the moneymen has never been his favorite thing, he’d just as soon they go away so he can get something done.

F****** meetings. 

There are many instances of craftsman who so invested themselves into their buildings or gardens that they hang around even after death, famously even leaving tools of their trade ‘occupied’ by their spirit.

Just because they’re not in the flesh doesn’t mean they don’t want to collaborate. Who are your ‘unseen collaborators?’


They would love to work with you.