Cryptocurrencies and the suit of Coins

Cryptocurrencies are a hot new item in the world of digital engineering and social experimentations. Bitcoin being the best known, these ‘alternative currencies’ are evolving to solve the challenges an increasingly complicated world that is also increasingly paranoid about both personal privacy and privately held monetary systems (I.e. Big banks).

At its simplest, cryptocurrencies are digital objects, with built-in transactional history that can be verified via complex cryptographic means. Unlike other digital assets, you can’t just copy a bitcoin and give it away; the original and the copy have the same history and anyone checking that history can tell that it has been copied. Every time a digital ‘coin’ changes hands or is otherwise interacted with, that action is recorded in the history of the object, and thus can be verified.  There are still tons of legal and social questions surrounding the use of cryptocurrencies, but they aren’t going away as a concept anytime soon.

It may seem strange to want to write about digital alternatives to cash and credit, but the  Tarot is also evolving with the times and I’m here to explore those possibilities spaces. So just what do cryptocurrencies have to do with the Tarot? Well it starts with the suit of Coins, naturally.

Coins, Pentacles, Earth energy; all the variants of this suit refer to physical goods, tangible assets, wealth and power. Physical currencies are an abstraction for wealth and make trading and accounting easier; cryptocurrency is just the latest example that started with seashells used in barter. But most of all, if you look at the suit of Coins as a chain of exchanges, then the linkage between the suit of Coins and Cryptocurrency becomes even more important. If one goes linearly from Ace to Ten, one sees a legacy of events and exchanges that ‘coin’ has been involved it. From the decisions of the Two and Three of Pentacles, to the stability of the Four, the fallow times of the Five, and the entrepreneurism of the Six, Seven and Eight, to the accumulation and display of the Nine and Ten; the lifecycle of the suit of Coins show economic life-flow. Remember: that card didn’t just spring, fully formed for economic impact, from the nothingness of someone’s purse. It has been exchanged for work, for goods, for usury and for investment time and time again. It’s history is part of its value: the dollar is strong because it’s done so much, been used everywhere, appreciated by everyone for it’s value.

When you draw a Coins card, consider that it’s face value represents the stage of its economic journey. Perhaps draw again until you have two more Coins cards, and lay them next to the original; this show where the coin came from and where it shall go. While I can’t know the complete history of the quarter in my hand, I can know the transactional history of a BitCoin because that transactional history is part of the very identity of that BitCoin. Since Tarot cards are instances along lifecycles, I can use them to tell the history of something, because that’s part of its very definition; it’s cryptogram.





22 days of BATS 2014. Day Twenty-Two: The Fool

And we’re back at the beginning.

How fitting that this 22 day journey started with The Magician, and ended with The Fool? And here, the day after BATS2014, life seems to begin anew. New ideas, new friends, new inspirations and new opportunities. Not to mention new aches and pains and debts to pay off 🙂 So The Fool is entirely fitting for the day after BATS2014.

So often we interpret the Fool as a know-nothing adventurer and free spirit wanderer, but now we can also see the Fool as the spirit of new beginnings; his association with all the Aces of the minor Arcana isn’t accidental: He’s the archetype of inspired explorer, stepping forth with a head of questions and a desire to find answers.

22 days of BATS 2014. Day Twenty-One: The Devil

The Devil is in the details, but so are the secrets of the universe. Everything isn’t made of earth, fire, water, and air. It’s made of atoms. Those atoms are made of baryons and other sub-atomic particles. What are they made of? We’re still figuring that out.  The Devil is the perpetual chase down the rabbit-hole of understanding. Today, the second day of BATS2014, is a chance to reflect on what has been learned and how our knowledge has grown.

When the Devil comes into play, ask: How far do you wish to go? What are your limits in the pursuit of knowledge, wisdom, experience and sensation?

“‘Excuse me, teacher, may I be excused? My head is full.

I have no doubt, by 2015, I’ll be ready to dive deeper into the rabbit hole again for next year’s BATS!

Tomorrow’s card is The Fool

22 days of BATS 2014. Day Twenty: The World!

BATS 2014, day one!

How fitting the card of the day is The World; for BATS is a crossroads of continental and international TAROT enthusiasts; all here to share and intermingle and explore out mutual interest in the metaphysical and .

So the lesson of the World is: don’t isolate yourself. Science and genetics tell us that organisms that are isolated will spiral off on their own paths, often becoming too distinct and different to interact again with their hereditary siblings. The World warns us not to become detached from what’s going on in the world (except when necessary) .

Tomorrow’s card is The Devil!

22 days of BATS 2014. Day Nineteen: The Sun

The Sun is often described as ‘the source of all life and energy on Earth.’

But the Sun is so bright and so overwhelming, we can’t see the Stars while the Sun is in the sky. Even the Moon is difficult to see clearly when the Sun is shining brightly. We depend on the Sun, deify it and worship it.

So when the Sun comes into play, what all-important source does it represent? More importantly, what is it obscuring you from seeing? What alternatives is the Sun blinding you to? Draw another card, place it face-down and underneath the Sun card; when and if you want to know what you can’t see because of your dependence on The Sun, turn that card over.

Tomorrow’s card is the The World.

22 days of BATS 2014. Day Eighteen: The Hanged Man

The Hanged Man is about patience and perspective. But day lets turn it a bit more around and seek an alternative way to look at the Hanged Man (like I’ve been doing so far on this writing challenge). The Hanged Man is suspended, either by rope or pinned to a cross.

When the Hanged Man comes into play, look what cards are near his head, feet and hands. What significance are these other cards in terms of what’s keeping the Hanged Man where he is, or what may they have to do with the means of his escape?

Tomorrow’s post is The Sun!

22 days of BATS 2014. Day Sixteen: The Star

” Twinkle Twinkle little star,

How I wonder what you are.”

Stars have always represented mystery and wonder. From the spirits of ancestors, to literal holes in the blanket of night sky, we humans have longed to know more about these lights in the sky that only appear at night. That wonder drove philosophers, naturalists, scientists to keep asking questions and learning more about this universe and the way it works. So here’s today’s alternate way to look at the star: A subtle mystery that begs resolution. The Star inspires speculation and investigation; learning and growth.

Tomorrow’s card is The Lovers

22 days of BATS 2014. Day Fifteen: The Hermit

Patron saint of Introverts? Since introverts need time for themselves; to recharge, relocate their center, and process all that they have learned and absorbed. The Hermit makes a great role model. The Hermit reminds us to take an hour when we need it. The Hour of the Wolf? The Hour of the Tower? Come to think of it, if we had two more Majors, there would be 24, and thus you could have one per hour in the day!

Tomorrow’s card is The Star