In the Minor Arcana, tens represent the completion or culmination of the suit’s journey. The suit of coins (also known as discs or pentacles) is associated with earth: Money, finances, hearth, home, stability, groundedness. This card is all about fulfillment in the material world.
While I’m familiar with the concept of material fulfillment in the abstract, let’s just say I’m not so familiar with this concept on, ahem, a material plane. In other words, I’m a broke-ass grad student. I don’t have money. I do have an adorable and cozy house, two adorable and snuggly dogs, an amazing girlfriend, and many, many books. But I’m not exactly rolling in material goods.
I still love this card, though. When it shows up for me, I think about the two cutie-pies on the unicorn’s back, saying “Wheeeee!!!!!” and trailing stars behind them.
This past week, I’ve spent time visiting Oregon. The rain and clouds and fog are a welcome respite from the incessant sun of the desert where I live. A couple days ago, my girlfriend and I packed up the car and took off for the coast. We embodied the Ten of Coins as I interpret it: Singing “Wicked Game” at the top of my lungs as the car swung around curves that hugged a river’s bank, sunlight and fog playing with evergreen trees and rolling hills. In that moment, I had everything I needed. That feeling when you’ve got good tunes on the radio, windows rolled down, snacks in the cooler, your love next to you, and an empty road ahead—possibilities abound. I treasure the panoply of possibilities. I revel in prospects, dreams, and hopes. To me, these ethereal ideas are as material as actual goods.
Here in Astoria, where we’ve been staying, you can visit the Flavel house. This house is the epitome of the materiality of the Ten of Coins: It’s 11,600 square feet of too much space decorated with gilded mirrors and rich woodwork. One of the front rooms is a parlor that the Flavels kept closed off most of the time, opening it only for super special visitors. Can you imagine actually living in a house that has so much space, you keep it closed off? I sure can’t. The house also included a four-story tower, because what home is complete without one?!
Do you think the Ten of Coins, as focused on material goods as it is, can also represent the happiness of possession of other types of goods, such as possibilities and an open road?