Ten of Swords

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Synthetic Meaning

            The number 10 represents the final equilibrium of a first evolutionary cycle in order to serve as the basis for following cycles, the Ten of Swords makes this operation manifest, both of completion and of transition, by the arrangement of two swords depicted literally, whose points remain in the interior of the oval of the eight stylized swords and whose hilts are positionned at the exterior, whereas this arrangement is inverted in all preceding cards with an odd number of swords.

            It symbolizes, in this way, the conscious direction imposed by Being on its vital activities, as much to assure an interior protection by the awareness of forces which are balanced as to synthesize them in one unity, likely to be repeated anew with the benefit of what it has achieved.

Analytic Meaning

            The design of the Ten of Swords shows that one is able to regard it as representing 8 + 2 = 5 + 5 = 10, according to whether one can regard it as representing 8 + 2 = 5 + 5 =1-, depending on whether one takes it in its entirety (8 stylized swords + 2 concrete swords) or successively, by the left one (4 + 1) and the right one (4 + 1).

            In the first case, 8 constitutes a state of passive equilibrium, fermented by the internal activity of the two.[1] In the second case, each 5, by its nature, implies a state of transition but, with the analogies evoking qualities and not quantities, the two 5s are of different natures and, in particular, opposed and complementary, owing to the number 2. These two 5s correspond to a state of vibration, one on the physical plane, the other on the mental plane; together they result in a passive operation, which is to say, internal.

            The points of the swords remain at the interior of the oval and lean on the red and yellow handles of the stylized swords in order to show that they have not been positioned to cut through the oval and act on the outside of it, but in order to discipline or stop, by the protective stop and the unifying  of the will, the disorders which could result from a relaxing of the anima (the blue, crossing swords) from currents of the subconscious.

            The placement of the handles of each of the literally-depicted swords at the exterior indicates the free will of Being, because, due to its disposition, it is able to guard itself freely with its hand (analogically, by its act of will), in order to gather scattered psychic currents (the blue color of the swords) and permit them to penetrate into the 8.

            The real sword on the right has a black cross on its blade; and its yellow handle and its red hilt guard have their colors reversed on the left sword. Furthermore, these two swords cross, at their center, the four stylized swords and emerge, through the central yellow parts to end with their points touching yellow and red stops, showing therefore the psychic and spiritual activity ready to manifest itself.

            There are but two flowers on the outside, at the top of the card, instead of the four as seen on the two cards or the Nine of Swords. These flowers are the result of the perfection of the Ten of Swords and their equilibrium: activity and passivity, and only the spiritual flowers have been preserved.

Meanings As They Relate to the Three Planes

            MENTAL. Fair judgement, humanity.

            ANIMISTIC. Satisfaction and mystical agreement about any feeling.

            PHYSICAL. Philosophy before material things. Happy attitude in the face of the events through a mastery of oneself, like a sentimental balance. Providentially bolstered matter of business. Health based more on nerves than physic, possibility of nervous anemia.

            INVERTED. Sentimental disorder which impairs judgement.


            In its Elementary Sense, the Ten of Swords represents the animistic sensibility of Man, who, when he is enlightened by the equilibrium of what he has achieved, permits him to act knowingly and to be able to realize the affections enveloping him, in the manner of a maternal figure who guards and protects her creations.

[1.] The reader will refer to the meaning of the number 7, [page 104].

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Nine of Swords

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Synthetic Meaning

            The central sword, precisely defined and of yellow color which, in the Nine of Swords, divides the oval formed by the eight stylized swords. The central sword symbolizes a mental effort made to rupture the stability which the harmony of 8 tends to create, thus realizing an evolution in the organization of the most complicated and richest idea.

Analytic Meaning

            The evolutionary wealth to which the 9 can lead depends on ending the system of individual units, because the next number, the 10, has a meaning analogous to the general and synthetic organization which concludes a cycle in order to open a perspective of indefinite points. 

            The small flowers on the exterior [1] are the expansions which necessitate the word of mental activities of the Nine of Swords, so that it can be accomplished with clarity and understanding of its repercussions; in other words, these are the discriminations which Being is obliged to make in the course of its deductive inquiries, which is to say, of its investigations in the atmosphere.

            The horizontal line in the middle of the sword represents a hairline fracture due to the effort of the painful will which Being is obliged to exert in order to break up the strong passivity of the 8.

            The greatest number of stylized swords occurs on the 8, because the number 10 has but the same 8 swords. This is due to the balance of the two quaternaries of the 8, which realizes a synthesis and allows the currents of mental activity produced in the subconscious to be complete.  A new activity, introducing the number 5, would imply a transition, that which would be incompatible with the notion of finality which characterizes the 9.

            Nevertheless, the idea of continuity of the numbers reappears, not successively, which would be contradictory to that which has just been said, but virtually, by the sectioning of the swords into four segments, which leads to the number 16, which is doubled again and forms 32 arcs, if we add them to the end of the swords at the four corners of the card. These four repetitions of 8 engender a dynamic equilibrium which is effectively positioned in the 8 and which evokes the idea of an indefinite repetition in the form of successive octaves.

            To complete that which had been said on the subject of these segments in the Two of Swords, it is necessary to remark that the four dividing points are located at the end of the four axes. The junction of stylized swords in blue on the vertical axis indicates a psychism which mixes the total number of swords in the part above and the part below. The number of swords characterises, in such cases, the number of impulses based in emotion which enter into an act of will, while the interruption of yellow on the swords indicates the act of will in itself in its mental expression. The impulsivity is situated on the vertical axis owing to the active character of this last thing; the will which triggers and which is the fruit of internal and external work of Being is placed on the horizontal axis, by analogy.

            The blade, the hiltguard and the pommel are yellow to mark the intervention of intelligence, the handle remains red, ribbed with black lines as all literal swords.

Meanings As They Relate to the Three Planes

            MENTAL. Mental activity, clarity, inspirations in all that which is of an intellectual order.

            ANIMISTIC. Emotional state; love illuminated by intelligence, powerful, not owing to its material side, but owing to its depth.

            PHYSICAL. Matters which shine, directed by a mastery which delivers success.

            INVERTED. False judgement (the mirror of the 8 is cloudy and reflects, while distorting them, cosmic qualities). Unjustified pretension to make judgements.


            In its Elementary Sense, the Nine of Swords represents for Man the necessity of accomplishing a perservering task in order to get free of the contingencies likely to create in itself a deceptive sense of stability, which may arrest its evolution, the impediment which would prevent the intellectual rays from penetrating in the elaboration of the material, and from acquiring mastery over it.

[1] They have been made smaller than those appearing on any of the preceding cards.

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Complete Translation of Marteau in English Now Available!

I am always awash with diverse projects, and I had to keep putting my translation of Paul Marteau’s Le Tarot de Marseilles on hold. So, I was delighted–and a mite relieved–to see that some other enterprising fellow just released a complete translation of his own, and in a print version, too. Hooray! No more need for me to chip away at my own translation. All the same, I’ll leave the parts I’ve translated—which includes all the Major Arcana and a third or so of the Minors–up on my site for anyone to consult who cannot avail him- or herself of this new English translation (which can easily be found on Amazon).

Now, I haven’t seen the new English translation and so I’m in no position to offer critical comment on it. I’m just pleased to see Marteau accessible to the Anglophone world.

Eight of Swords

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Synthetic Meaning

     The synthetic meaning of the Eight of Swords is characterized by the blue flower in the the oval which, placed at the enter and representing a square with two crosses, one spiritual and the other material, symbolizes an internal balance between the two infinities which coexist on the higher plane of Being, and indicates therefore the possibility of future liberation.

Analytic Meaning

     The 8 is resolved into two squares (8 = 4 + 4) which, as all that which is seen by analogy, differs at the extremes. The square breaks down geometrically in two ways: by the two line in a cross and by the two diagonals; the first symbolize the spiritual and the second the material. Their union in the shape of a square establishes a perfect stability; and the blue, which colors it to the exclusion of yellow and red, shows that it is uniquely produced by the psychism of Being.

     The four flowers on the outside on which yellow is equally absent are the sensible manifestations of work which is internal and conscious of Being, which uniquely realizes a fusion of the spiritual and the material.

     This fusion, taking place in a harmonious balance, engenders in Being a mystery, a desire, to reach out onto the planes of the Above.

   The yellow only appears in the operation of mental activities of mulling something over [malaxation], and this takes place in the subconscious currents of Being, represented by the stylized swords, an operation which takes place outside of his will.

     The Eight of Swords is the only even set of of Swords in which the hilt guards of the swords are placed like those of the odd cards: yellow on the right at the top and red to the left. As was already explained in the Three of Swords, it is because of its representation of a quaternary equilibrium and to indicate that divine intelligence, by this Arcanum, penetrates human activity.

Meanings As They Replace to the Three Planes

      MENTAL. Elevation of the spirit, a connotation of spiritual effort, of mystical momentum.

      ANIMISTIC. Disinterest, love servingthe masses, apostolate.

      PHYSICAL. Stability in action, stagnation, by virtue of the status quo, and which constitutes an established balance which would have to be disrupted in order to go in other directions.

      INVERTED.  As the Arcanum is symmetrical it cannot be inverted, indicating that it represents a balanced form from which nothing bad can emerge.


In its Elementary Sense, the Eight of Swords represents the effort of liberation of Man through an interior evolution, the consequence of his mental activities and which objectively translates as a reward conferred by fate.  

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Seven of Swords

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Synthetic Meaning

            The blue sword, precisely drawn, which on the Seven of Swords passes through the oval formed by the six stylized swords, represents an animistic impulse which sets free currents of mental activity buried in the subconscious.

            This Arcanum symbolizes, therefore, the enthusiasm we feel from verifying our innermost knowledge acquired through experience.

Analytic Meaning

            7 = 6 + 1; 6, through its work balancing the spiritual ternary with the material ternary, has accumulated riches; the purpose of the strength added to the 6 is to put them in play. For this, the sword cuts through the oval and symbolizes the act of will which follows the momentum and, through this internal shock, allows the work of the subconscious to become sensitive and to know the possibilities which are in it; in other words, it is Being which, having become conscious of its balance (by the 6), reaches out to know itself through action, that is, through the imposition of its mark (the opening of the oval).

            The literally-drawn sword is blue because 7 is a number of sensitive action: the struggle therefore takes place on the psychic plane with success and must complete the work of the Arcana which precede it, spiritualizing with the blue color of the sword their heaviness. It bears a single black line along its length, while the blade of the blue sword of the Ace has at its base an enhancement of two other lines, and the flesh-colored blades of the 3 and 5 of swords have a double black line at the base, since the Seven of Swords, being more active, meets less resistances, symbolized by the black lines.

            The yellow hilt guard and red grip are similar to those of 3 and the 5, but the shape of the yellow pommel is different, showing thus an activity more concrete and intelligence in matter.

            The explanation of the stylized swords does not vary for this Arcanum. That of the flowers on the outside is similar to that on the 2 and 3 of Swords, but with increased power.

Meanings As They Relate to the Three Planes

            MENTAL. Understanding of things, clarity of ideas, equitable judgement.

            ANIMISTIC. Harmony, psychism, altruism, union, agreement of viewpoints.

            PHYSICAL. Smooth beginning, outcome.

            INVERTED. Depression, darkness, lack of inspiration, groping about to get free.


  In its Elementary Sense, the Seven of Swords represents the test which Man is obliged to submit in order to become aware of some knowledge and without which he would be able to penetrate its intimate meaning.

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Ace of Coin[s]

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The coins symbolize offering, the thing given in addition: the coin of St. Peter. Added to the other cards, it represents an additional divine contribution. The Coin also suggests the work of Man, but in view of his exterior activity and, for this reason, indicates activity in passivity.

Synthetic Meaning

            By representing in the center of the card a yellow circle dived into three concentric areas, the Ace of Coins symbolizes an undulating emission of mind limited by the resistance of its surroundings.

            This coin is represented differently from those depicted in the following cards; a simple black line marks the outline, because the unity it symbolizes the radiance which penetrates all.

            The repetition of the elements drawn in the different areas, corresponding to the numbers of the construction of the cosmos, indicates that this projection is balanced; this is why it causes, through contact with its surroundings, the flowering stems to pour out whose identical disposition, up and down, shows that they are able to manifest as well in the spiritual world as in the material world.

            If the Ace of Cups represents the receptive side of Man, followed by an internal development, the Ace of Coins corresponds to the tendencies of its interior constructions realized externally. The former gathers elements in the cup, the second gives birth to constructions which remain in their latent state and whose gestation and resolutionare indicated in the nine cards which follow.

Analytic Meaning

            The Coin has been chosen to characterize not only the internal kneading of feelings stored up in Man, as happens in the case of the Cup, but also their layout for building. Furthermore, with its circular shape implying movement, with its monetary nature implying exchanges, it symbolizes the balance of the mental and the physical in view of making their union fertile from a material point of view. It becomes the agent of the necessary relationship between the Sword and the Baton, between the Cup and the Baton, that is to say, between mental activity and physical work, between the psychic and the material world.

            Being works as a creator: Being tends to project into its environment something complex in its own image, and the branches flowering from it represent concrete manifestation. It endeavors to project diagonally psychic emanations (blue), combined with intelligent actions (yellow) and vital forces (red) to achieve, not through a straight line that would be lost in abstraction, but a germ, by folding back on itself, prone to arriving at its own birth, symbolized by the flower at the tip.

            These branches equally signify that all power of the Cosmos is maintained in balance by the poles of spirituality represented by the branches ending in flowers. Their yellow color indicates that there can be no link between spirituality (blue stems) and materiality (red flowers) without divine and human intelligence. The flower is a tulip whose six petals represent the five senses plus one, on the inside, opening up to receive and closing when it has received; it is a chalice which receives and which keeps.   

            The Ace of Coins represents the radiance of Man in the image of the Cosmos and, with its circle, express its emanation being made in regular waves, whose characteristics are indicated by the lines drawn in each, namely: sixteen triangles, large and small, symbols of projections into space, and by the central flower with four round petals and four triangular ones: the quaternary (the flower), the octonary (the eight petals), the duodenary (the twelve stamina) and the successive extension of the octonary in the universe by 16 and 32 (the triangles of the third zone).

            At the center of this circle there is a flower forming six other circles; the one in the middle, containing twelve points, recalls the notion of the duodenary which, in the Cosmos, translates to the twelve planets or the twelve signs of the Zodiac, depending on whether we consider the active forms or passive elements; the four circles which surround it contain the quaternary and its different senses, the four elements, etc., and the three trinitarian lines that each contains, as well as the intermediate points which reunite them, show that these four planes are indissolubly linked to the planets, thus they have their destiny marked and represent the four elementary planes.

            The triangles around the edge of the circle indicate an activity radiating into all domains and the area which separates these from the central flower, a conciliatory passivity between the foundations and the exterior; the yellow color of the Coin shows that intelligence impregnates all activity.

            The stems are the extension of this activity which crosses the material world (the red collar) and transmitted by the flower, symbol of harmonic fertility, after having produced manifestations of an intellectual and psychic order, as indicated by the blue of the stems and the yellow of the twigs.

Meanings As They Relate to the Three Planes

            The Ace of Coins is the reservoir, the capacitator of activities in all domains, in all parts of the Cosmos.

            MENTAL. Active support, well balanced and realized.

            ANIMISTIC. Radiating, flourishing.

            PHYSICAL. A card of luck whose effects are delayed or advanced, according to its place in relation to the Arcana which surround it. Abundance of health. Profit continues. Affirmation of success.

            INVERTED. The inverted Arcana of Coins are barely different in meaning. Being generally symmetrical, they relate to the principle of the Universe whose equilibrium is constant, symbolized by the circle which has neither a top nor bottom.


            In sum, in its Elementary Sense, the Ace of Coins represents the desire of Man to project into the environment a complex work made in his image and likely to bloom on its own for his benefit.

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Ace of Baton[s]

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Synthetic Meaning

            The baton of green color, in the shape of a club with its branches cut off, held vertically in a closed hand, indicates a material energy created by a condensation of universal life, for the unnecessary extension have been pruned.

            The handling of the Ace of Batons, specified by the line followings cards of which it is the synthesis, engenders a fertility on the three planes, marked by the rain of colored flames.

Analytic Meaning

            The Baton, concentrated strength, indicates material energy, allowing action and shaping of matter. Contrary to the projection before the Sword, it is made to describe, in its handling, a circle consisting of a closed closed curve which envelops, circumscribes, and symbolizes the shape in an elementary fashion.

            The firm way in which the hand holds the baton indicates the power which is between the hands of Man and his mastery over matter. It is a right hand, signifying as does the Ace of Swords, will and control, but opposed to this latter, the wrist is turned to the right and the hand is presenting its internal side, because the energy in matter is manifested immediately, without prior deduction, as is the mental activity of the Sword. The palm suggests a direct actin, the interior being visible and not hidden by the thickness of the hand.

            The Ace of Batons stores up strength and brings about the consolidations and energetic powers which he has in it. With it, Being enjoys its strength of resistance,  by the manner it resists, by its weight and its solidity, in an external shock.

            It is an active power of construction and of realization in matter, having enclosed in it a supply of spirit. This supply is indicated by the arm which passes through a flesh-and-blue colored, fluted sleeve of a circular shape, indicating a material universe and its psychic waves. The red bracelet affirms the bond of this card to matter and its essentially material significance.

            The falling colored flames have the same meaning as they do in the Ace of Swords.

            The baton is represented by the trunk of a tree from which one has cut the branches, because, its spirituality amounting to nothing, it is not able to raise up its branches to what is Above.  It is strictly a terrestrial state on the material plane, but its green color indicates its grand power of fertility on this plane, and the red border of its cut branches express that the branches come about in the material world. The lower extremity, bordered with yellow, signifies that despite the entirely physical state of this symbol, it takes its origins in the Divine Intelligence.

Meanings As They Relate to the Three Planes

            MENTAL. Inspiration in the domain of the practical, an idea coming forth in the course of a matter to activate it.

            ANIMISTIC. Overwhelming feelings, a little exaggerated, more expressive than affective.

            PHYSICAL. Active, brilliant transactions. Success through force. Abundant health, a little excessive, causing incessant activity.

            INVERTED. Bad, lack of energy. Continuous restarting of that which has been undertaken. A result obtained through force will be negated by another force.


          In sum, in its Elementary Sense, the Ace of Batons represents material energy put into Man’s hands to permit him to resist collisions coming from outside, or for him to use as leverage for building something in the physical world.

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Ace of Cups

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Synthetic Meaning

            The cup implies passivity in passivity because it deals with a man’s interior work involving himself.

            With its red-colored cup, the Ace symbolizes symbolizes a receptivity on the plane of material activity, grounded in the intelligence of the ternary, the fulcrumof the worlds (the yellow color of the triangle pedestal) and receptacle of divine thought made concrete in the tangible image of of a reliquary.

            This arrangement shows that the Cup is the point where the spiritual and the material come into contact with each other. This communion is symbolized by the red semicircle representing the Host; and the cup, concealing its contents, indicates the internal work which is accomplished in everything to balance in itself that which it was able to retain of the riches of divine love with the achievements accomplished in the material world. This internal work permits man to become aware of himself by means of the imagination and sensibility, the one being the point of contact of the soul with the spiritual plane through mysticism, the other being basic awareness with matter.

            The Cup, by what it contains, will always suggest an internal elaboration, hidden in passivity and in the uncertainty of action.

Analytic Meaning

            The cup has been selected as a symbol of an essentially-receptive passivity because i is a recipient which, with its covering, becomes a sphere, which is to say, a closed receptacle, maintaining its internal forces and permitting their development in isolation.

            The Ace of Cups opens the door for clearing the mind and for the internal feeling of riches and the things which have been acquired by Being on the different planes of the animistic, spiritual riches dressing up in matter and entering into the sensitivity with which it animates the different planes.

            This card represents spiritual thought transposed onto a concrete form. It is represented in the shape of a cup to show that Man is able to be enveloped and absorbed by his higher mind. This is surmounted by a construction in the shape of a reliquary or a symbol of the Grail, signifying that the spiritual contribution of the divine is a kind of wealth which is able to be contained and protected, because all divine thought made concrete which is scattered does not reach its goal and does not bear fruit. Its gold color, as well as its base and the central part, red, bringing them together, indicates a polarization between the High and the low; the Divine Intelligence descends, by a communion, into the base of beings and things, after having crossed through matter, but as the reliquary it is larger than the base, that which predominates is the spiritual.

            The red cup supports the septenary indicated by the seven yellow turrets which, with their seven red summits, shows through the number 7 that the elevation of Man must be established by all the ranges of vibration of the soul, expressed in the highest part of the material plane.

            The central motif of the highest part, in the shape of an ogive surmounted by three balls, and a triangle above, brings to mind the universal intelligence which builds on the perfection of the triangle, a symbol of the Trinity.

            The three blue spurts make manifest the psychic momentum which rushes towards matter, while the later marks the momentum towards the High, first by its three red ovals at the base of the reliquary, then by the red extremities of the 7 columns. This momentum thus shows its manifestation in the three worlds, then its expansion in the Universal, by the activity of the septenary.

            The base, by its ternary shape, bearing a triangle and four waves on one of its sides, recalls the quartenary within the ternary, evoking also the latent state of the number 7 which will find itself fulfilled in the 7 elevations of the reliquary.

            The blue color of the mount indicates spiritual support, existing before all communion; this cannot take place without it. The five blue leaves at the base are a symbol of activity and affectivity at the Spiritual level (the 5 indicates a vibrational note within an activity).

            The ground, partially flesh colored [sic] and striped with black lines, and partially white, specifies that this animistic cup rests as much on the vital activities of the physical plane as it does on the light of the abstract plane.

Meanings As They Relate to the Three Planes

            This card maintains a rapport with the Universal, because it is based on the septenary and essentially on the ternary. It is a powerful spiritual contribution, a great psychic protection. It does not descend into the into the individual anima like maternal love, but it maintains itself in the higher planes.

            The cups are in rapport with altruism and spiritual offerings, and the Ace of Cups, through itself, opens the doors for engagement with the spirit.

            MENTAL. Clear, inspired judgement, against which there is no turning back.

            ANIMISTIC. Beauty of feelings, rising above a personal note. Altruism, works of charity. Mass education.

            PHYSICAL. In contact with the higher things of the material world. Great enterprises. Artistic productions of genius.

            INVERTED [1]. Protection is not withdrawn, but its effects are less felt and is unknon to the person who receives it. Being deprives itself of matter and loses all spirituality. Gross materialism.


            In its Elementary Meaning, the Ace of Cups represents in Man the internal development of riches acquired on all planes of the anima.


1. In general, the Cup cards inverted signify that the readings which concern the physical plane are accomplished almost without remission. The upright cup represents plentitude and, inverted, the inability to receive.

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King of Coins

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Synthetic Meaning

            Not wearing a crown, his head covered with an intricate hat resting on white hair, and in a rich and elaborate outfit, the King of Coins, sitting, with one leg crossed over the other, his body turned to the left and his head towards the right, symbolizes thereby mental richness and the human sciences [i.e., psychology and sociology, which used to be grouped under the rubric “sciences morales”], allowing by their judicious use and, from case to case, the gradual or immediate realization in matter of constructs engendered by the mind.

Analytic Meaning

            The complexity of the hairstyle of the King of Coins indicates the ensemble of working plans which he embodies and which he reflects in the material world.  The absence of a crown shows, in effect, that he does not radiate in the Universal the way the other kings do, but that he operates through the  leans at the disposal of Man, in other words, through psychology which, by itself, cannot give communication with the Universal, that is to say, mastery through a higher plane.

Specific Analogies

            The triangles on his hat represent constructions, because the triangle, through its immutable balance, is the essential schematic element of every edifice [1].  The blue colors of his cap, the flesh color of the higher section, and the yellow of the lower section indicate deduction and inductions, exercised over vital work, which allows matter to be directed and controlled. Its shape in an 8 indicates an undertaking in a closed circuit, thus complete and with the possibility of being realized.

            The white hair below it is a rich supply of knowledge, in various currents and in the effluences from a higher plane; it denotes that in the King of Coins is powerful erudition, elaborate and luminous.

            His white beard, an indication of will and the means of carrying it out, confirms an emission of synthetic currents, while his moustache, flesh colored, represents the contribution of nervous force.

            The part of his blue cloak which his left hand is lifting implies, in as much as it is a coat, an envelopment by intuitive forces and, by his drawing it back, a willful condensation of auric fluids, a collection of psychic activities for a specific and precise action. That fold being made on his raised right leg accentuates a disposition towards action and makes it evident that it is soon.

            The numbers 3, 2, and 7, marked by the three black points on his yellow collar, two buttons on his red vest, along with six white diamonds and a white line on the black back of his armchair, by their shapes, preside over the nature of the operations which the King of Coins effects on the three planes: mental, animistic, and material. On his collar, the three units, or points, indicate abstractions in a ternary mode, and, consequently, the application of mathematics to the triangular constructions of his hair. The two circles of his vest constitute a polarity, one which implies the reconciliation of opposites and presides over all combinations. The seven white figures (four squares and a line) traced on the black part of the chair, raised over four legs, shows by the seven the range of knowledges acquired in the material plane, represented by the double quaternary. The overall consideration of these three numbers affirms the materialization of the designs of the King of Coin, since the last number can be found inscribed outside of him.  The six black dots on the flesh-colored crossbar of the chair define the small struggles which he encounters in the physical world; the four black lines connecting the base of the two visible legs of the chair represent the small points of resistance in his development, and the five black lines above are the small points of resistance in the transition that leads to the result.

            The coin held in his right hand, therefore active, and placed on his raised knee, representing therefore the hinge of a levering arm ready to act, confirms an imminent setting-into-motion and an almost immediate realization. The coin is small because it represents a gathering of the human sciences, which is to say, an ensemble of means of construction more abstract than concrete, the smallness symbolizing the synthesis which, at his greatest, is reduced to a point.

            On this Arcanum, the royalty of the figure is not indicated by the crown, this being absent, but by the richness and intricacy of his clothing, whose multiplicity of elements means an abundance of powers.

            The King of Coins the only one who reposes on uneven ground. Because of this he stirs up matter through his mental and material activity. The tufts of grass which grow on the rough ground are flourishes of intelligence, and the white part of the soil represents the equipoise which he brings.

Meanings As They Relate to the Three Planes

            MENTAL. Powerful, universal, insightful intelligence, the capacity for introspection in all domains.

            ANIMISTIC. Not very lively, it is neutral in matters of affection. The materialization of hopes, support in the material world.

            PHYSICAL. Diverse and very active affairs, changes in nature.  Health, with the conflicts due to changes of temperament, for it is charged with fluid currents.  

            INVERTED. Great disorder, failure. Complete absence of scruples, imagination led towards evil.


            In its Basic Meaning, the King of Coins represents the mastery of constructions in the material world through science and knowledge.  

1. We see it by noticing that the trusses and frames at the base of all constructions are an assemblage of triangles.

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