Home » Astrology » Ace of Pentacles: The Sacred Geometry of Chance

Ace of Pentacles: The Sacred Geometry of Chance

This Ace is an excellent place to sum up so much of the esoteric wisdom of the Tarot.

At one level, the history of this suit is intricately tied with the purely mundane, but meditated upon for its esoteric lore, Pentacles represent the essence of the magic of manifestation, the principle of creative visualisation in a tarot card.

The Mysticism of the Pentacle
The Mysticism of the Pentacle

This Ace compels us to ask how we can best manifest our desires, at the same time it is a summation of all the Aces.

With the Ace of Wands, we have the message of energetic inspiration; with the Ace of Cups, the message of raw creativity; with the Ace of Swords, the message of conscious awareness. In this final Ace, we see the lesson of manifestation, which comes from incorporating each skill we’ve gained along the way.

The invention of playing cards themselves have been attributed to the Chinese, who created a money game using some of the world’s first paper playing cards. It’s entirely reasonable to imagine that the Chinese would have brought this game with them as they traded and traversed along the Silk Road, cross-pollinating ideas and values with the Mamlûks, amongst many other tribes.

Emerging with riches from the depths

This cross-pollination began centuries before the creation of the Italian game Tarocchi; therefore, it’s entirely possible we inherited the idea of the suit of coins from the Chinese, who, even today, hand out little red packets stuffed with money to encourage prosperity in the New Year.

However, money and material prosperity is only a surface manifestation of the energy of this suit. The esoteric roots of pentacles lie in their connection with magic, but when this connection is ignored by calling this suit “coins,” the deeper meaning of the pentacle is lost.

A deck emphasizing the pentacle’s shape, but not necessarily its esoteric meaning

If you ever wonder why your deck emphasizes a pentagram shape, it’s because of the association between magic and the sacred geometry of the pentacle. Pentacles have a tradition steeped in magic, and because of this, learning how to see the mystical in mundane reality is the challenge of this suit. 

The magician used the pentacle as a protective amulet, or as part of an invocation ceremony or rite. The Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, a spiritual and mystical order practicing these kinds of magical rites, inspired member A. E. Waite’s co-creation of the Rider-Waite Tarot deck.

Although most tarot readings begin with the belief that the cards can be used to gain insight into the past, current and possible future everyday situations of the querent, esoteric tarot begins with the querent asking what he can do to transform himself. 

According to Webster’s dictionary, magic is the art of purportedly manipulating aspects of reality either by supernatural means or through knowledge of occult laws unknown to Classical Mechanics, but the real magic everyone is capable of, when they try, is to comprehend the mystical in the mundane:

Calling it a coin perpetuates the idea that we’re stuck in material reality, that this is all there is

A mystic tends to look at ordinary things as manifestations of a miraculous and infinite source of wisdom. From the mundane-seeming plethora of garbage and trash, to the high mystery of photo-synthesis, anything can be translated into or ignite a mystical experience.

A scientist, thinking she sees clearly the evidence of the eyes and empirical study, will announce that photo-synthesis is how plants grow and obtain a majority of their nourishment. The plants do this by exchanging sunlight into energy and then into chlorophyll. The analysis ends there.

A mystic, on the other hand, will use this as a starting point to reflect on the significance, both inner and outer, of such an obvious and mysterious miracle. Is there any relationship or analogy that can be drawn from this fact?

For example, if we compare ourselves to the plant, and the sunlight to the Creator’s life-giving essence, then perhaps might we also have the ability to transform that energy into something more than what we are given, into something more than what we think we are. Perhaps what we see is not necessarily what we get; that perhaps there is the possibility within us of transforming inner energy into something else.

In the following video, Sting sings a song that always makes me think of what tarot is about for me, and perhaps when you listen to it, and read the lyrics, you’ll understand what I mean. The cards he’s referring to are not tarot; they are the traditional playing cards once used for divination, but some of their meanings remain, even thought the suit names have changed.

The suit of diamonds are synonymous with the Coins in Tarot, but my own feelings about Tarot are like those of the man in this song, who sings “I know that diamonds mean money for this art/But that’s not the shape of my heart…”  


Pentacles are of the earth and represent magic in all its forms, including that of the change of seasons

I deal the cards as a meditation. Are you ready, when you lay down the Ace of Pentacles, to take a chance on what is to come?

If so, you understand this Ace’s fundamental nature, because you are the creator of your reality, and you hold the power of your future in your hands. 

And that is magic.

3 thoughts on “Ace of Pentacles: The Sacred Geometry of Chance

  1. Alison, I recently posted the Ace of Coins/Pentacles from Crowley’s deck on an astrological forum discussion about Sacred Geometry and esoteric astrology. This symbolic card came immediately to my mind in response to the posts. Incredibly, the forum director mis-interpreted my post as an indicator that I practice “black craft” and “channelling”. Subsequently, he buried the thread and the complete “esoteric astrology” board topic, and has now deleted it from the forum entirely ! He’s also un-registered myself and two other posters to that thread from his forum.

    I’m humorously incredulous about this sequence of events, stimulated by a card that represents the highest potential of our human engagement in the patterns of the natural world. Although Crowley does call this suit “Coins”, it is his deck that makes the closest associations of the cards to their astrological energy; the Ace of Coins equating to the highest of Taurean qualities.

    The event is significant to a meditation I’m engaged with — evolution via the primary materials our physical lives present to us. Do we cower in fear at the news of an upcoming storm, or embrace it as an opportunity engage our community in courageous survival ?


    • Wow, what an interesting, and yet disturbing turn of events. It’s not difficult have one’s entirely innocent intentions misunderstood online. On more than one forum I participate in, I’ve had to navigate these misunderstandings. I honestly think the only way you can deal with the complexities of one’s beliefs is to start your own blog or website; that way, you can at least have the opportunity to present all aspects of the issue.

      I didn’t know, for example, that Crowley uses Coins. If I ever knew that, I have forgotten it. I know that in some circles, to even mention Crowley is to invoke the name of the Beast, however. One of these days, possibly in October or November, I’m planning to do a series on the history of our ideas about Hell, including how and why we have constructed the idea of ‘Lucifer’, used negatively, so I can foresee mentioning Crowley under those circumstances. In my rather long, checkered history researching the Occult, Crowley came into my life early on. I read his black book, I can’t remember the actual title.

      I made a very conscious decision at that time in my life not to engage with dark forces, so… I didn’t pursue research down Knockturn Alley. 😉 At the age I was at the time, it was too risky. Now, of course, I am much older and know I won’t be letting those forces in through my Neptune in Scorpio antennae, so I don’t feel unsafe, but 40 years ago, it was a different story.

      • Fascinating, Alison. One of the other “esoteric” factors that was closed down in that forum was a discussion of the asteroid “Lucifer”. I’m in research mode now, Lucifer transiting my first and exactly conjunct natal Jupiter via this forum when I was “guillotined”! Natal Lucifer trines my Venus at the MC … smell a rat everytime! Transiting Lucifer’s just about squared to the MC out of the 1st. “Don’t tread on me”, I am a light-bearer.

        Meanwhile, I’ve pulled the Ace of Wands several times in the past couple of weeks while this b******t was going down. A High Light, surely. I’m enjoying the synchronicities in our work, and like you, no dark forces engaged. Simple mental expansion through examination of a phenomenon.

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