Three of Coins — Tarot of the Absurd

Thursday, October 31st, 2013

craftsmanship • artisanship • skill • talent maximization

 3 of coins tarot meaning

This card is often called the “teamwork” card. However, as an introvert, I prefer to call it the “talent maximization” card.


“Introvert” and “extrovert” are words that describe how one responds to stimulation, especially external stimulation. While extroverts crave large amounts of social stimulation, introverts generally feel most capable in quiet, low key environments. This is because the brains of introverts and extroverts are wired differently. The ratio of introverts to extroverts is possibly 50-50, with most people falling along a continuum somewhere close on either side of middle-ground: a bell-curve.


The key to maximizing individual talent is to put ourselves in situations where the mode of stimulation is right for us.  Unfortunately for introverts, the current trend in schoolrooms and workplaces is to maximize productivity for extrovert teamwork: classrooms have little pods of desks and kids are expected to act as committee members in all subjects; most offices are open-plan, without walls. It is difficult to maximize one’s talent when one’s social setting works against it.


It is important to realize that different people have different productivity requirements. It is also important to remember that their are many people on our “team” who remain unseen, behind the scenes. Whether we work best alone or with a group of people, when we work toward the fulfillment of our dreams and improve manners that may be hindering our success, we move closer toward achieving success in our goals. Whether the skills that make our craft come out best in an isolation chamber or at a rave, we are still interdependent within society. The Three of Coins tells us to maximize our own skill and to be appreciative of the teams of people who make our work viable.

Three of Coins — Bruegel Tarot

Friday, March 9th, 2012

“Tell me something about gluttony,” I said with a mouthful of food.


I find it interesting that cards come in groups. I mean, for a while I was drawing lots of fives, especially the five of cups. Then I pulled a bunch of kings in a row while I was finishing up my own kings. Now two days in a row I get the Three of Coins.


When I first learned this card, I learned it as craftsmanship, artisanship, and skill. It was the card of the artist. Looking at it yesterday, I realized I missed something essential: teamwork. And today, this little white book says improvement. First, there’s a dirty-looking scoundrel who seems to be saying, “Heh-heh-heh, if I pay off this angel dude, I get to go to heaven! Cool!” Then there’s the middle guy saying, “Here, angel, take this coin, for you are of wonderous beauty!” Then there’s the angel who sort-of looks like he’s thinking, “Geez, why do these guys keep giving me so many coins?” As fast as he can, he gives coins out to everyone in need— but new coins keep appearing in his arms. It is a progression towards selfless giving.


(Brief aside: as a professional arborist, I must say there’s no way that little grafted twig in the foreground is going to take. If you graft a top onto a rootstock, the two need to be the same size. If you graft a twig onto a tree, it needs, likewise, to be grafted onto a similar-sized twig. And the tree needs to be alive. A vibrant twig dies dead rootstock. If this is the situation, I recommend planting seeds.)


Going back to what I thought I missed: teamwork. The truth is, sometimes it’s really hard to see the rest of the team. The craftsmanship takes total focus. As skill improves toward perfection, the rest of the team may be forgotten. The mason, upon completing a building, cannot forget the architect who drew the plans. Students, upon finishing a book, cannot think themselves top in the field and forget the author of primary research. The seed cannot forget the soil that anchors it. The potter cannot forget the formless mud or the Supreme Mud Former whose actions s/he mimics. None can forget the teacher. In reverse, the architect cannot take pride in how well his plans turned out without giving thanks to the mason. The author would be a nameless nobody without a readership. The soil would erode without anchoring roots. And both potters and gods cease to exist without their creations.


We cannot forget our origins. We do not exist in a vacuum. The definition of “individual” is nebulous. A solitary success implies a team. To think otherwise is pure venom. One could read in the Bruegel Tarot image that when one learns to give without thought of receiving, the gifts received are endless.

Three of Coins — Ship of Fools Tarot

Thursday, March 8th, 2012

Brian WilliamsArtist & Author: Brian Williams


I ask: “Where am I going with [this situation]? How do I progress?”


Excerpt From the Book of Fools:

Divinatory meaning:

Great plans, big setback.

Architects, builders, and workmen mean: anguish.

Constructive ambitions, ambitious constructions.

No monument is built without delays and obstacles: success requires risk.
Von narechtem anslag — Of foolish designs:

“He who would build without regard

Of what costs are required

Will find himself at the end before he begins.”


The Three of Coins sends encouragement. Dreams are made real with persistence, determination, and effort. Teamwork is essential. The knowledge and experience of my partner is needed. There is no superiority. Feedback and input are important to continually improve.

Oh! But this is exhausting!

Three of Pentacles — New Age Tarot

Thursday, December 22nd, 2011

[NOTE: Notes within brackets within quotes are my notes, not quotes.]

Artist: Walter Wegmüller


Interpretation: “Symbolic of a profitable training course or experiences. [Knowledge as wealth.]


“The Three of Pentacles also represent the three time references where money is concerned: savings (past), use (present), and investment (future). [These numbers may be negative or positive.]


“In yet another sense, it also stands for coined money [most often fiat money, without intrinsic value yet endorsed by the government], toy money [unendorsed, legal money: virtual money; Monopoly money; money from another country] and counterfeit money [unendorsed, illegal money: stuff that seems real but isn’t; something too good to be true].”

The oldest decks depicting little round discs with symbols on them used the term “coin” to denote the suit. “Pentacle” is a later term, associated with tarot after the deck took on occult meaning. Technically, a pentacle is an amulet used in magical evocation on which the symbol or spirit or energy being evoked is depicted. In tarot decks, a pentacle it is usually denoted as a coin with a pentagram inside.

I like how the author/ illustrator of the deck calls the suit “pentacles” without illustrating the usual pentagram. Instead, he fills his coins (and his cards) with magical images from around the globe. However, his use of the term “pentacle” conflicts with how strongly he relates all his pentacles to actual money instead of to more general, practical, earthy and material matters. Money is a societal convention. It is not the most important form of wealth at all. Our society is too focused on money money money.


I leave money out of the suit of pentacles— tho I do call it coins. The three of coins reminds us that one form of wealth is the skill necessary to accomplish a goal. Good planning and organization are necessary to succeed and to improve the quality of life. Learn well, work hard and stay on top of things. With a little luck thrown in the mix, you will succeed.


Now I need to tell that to myself and get a move on finishing this deck.