There are 4 types of cards in the tarot suits: rod, cup, sword, coin. One day I was surprised to realize that they match the matter-energy-conscience template.
The rod is matter. The sticks come from trees, trees grow in the earth. The earth is our support, our home. One can use sticks to support the walking, to build objects, to structure buildings, to craft transport means. The wand is a support made of living matter, it perfectly represents matter.
The cup is energy. The cup is made to contain liquids. Liquid flow like emotions. Our emotions are our only engine in life. We can live a long time without solid food but we cannot hold on without fluid food. Water and air are essential to organic life. Fluids are our internal fuel, tools of our digestion and regulators of our emotions. It is the fluids that put us in motion and cause changes in us. The cup represents all fluids. The cup is energy.
The sword is conscience. The sword is sharp and pointed, it cuts through the air. Similarly the intellect is fine and penetrating. It dissects things in subtle ways. It pieces them into small conceptual units that can be analyzed. When it is straight and sharp as a blade, the intellect manifests justice and truth. The sword can be used to cut the brush to clear a path through overgrown bad weeds. Similarly, consciousness sorts the information to separate the true from the false, to reject beliefs and to focus on knowledge. The sword's metal reflects the landscape, just like the world is reflected in the mind. The sword is conscience.
What about the coins?
The French word for the coins is the name of the Roman Empire's currency. With money we can buy rods, cups and swords. Having money makes it possible to buy everything we want, so it gives control over the 3 other elements. For me, the coins thus represent the spirit, the element that is at the center, which is the origin or the purpose of all other elements, the initial source or the final goal, the one that unites and justifies. The coins can thus stand for spirituality.
When we think about it, this classification symbolizes well what has happened in the world in all times. Money is at the center of all concerns. Without money, life is difficult. Money allows to sustain the needs, to provide for what is necessary and what is superfluous, to have power in society.
I think that money is an imitation of the spirit. The spirit gives access to our whole being. Our spirit is the source, the center, the purpose of our human life. I think that finding our spirit gives us the control of matter, energy and conscience. We thus look forward to get closer to our spirit, consciously or not. The quest for spirituality itches inside, whether we like it or not. But the spirit seems so hard to find, so abstract, so close and distant at the same time, so unknown and so familiar... Under these conditions, the daily itching is unbearable.
In order to relieve this unconscious itch, we have invented a compensation. Searching for money enables to ease the spiritual frustrations. The spirit is a subtle element that allows control of our lives. In the same way money is an abstract concept that allows social control. But we don't know how to find the spirit, whereas money is our own invention. So it is easier for us to rush to financial quest because it offers greater chance of success than the spiritual quest.
But social power is a feeble imitation of existential power. Money is only a poor compensation for the lack of spirit. Therefore we can never have enough because the real need is actually never fulfilled. We can strive to pile up millions and to stack billions, yet we still feel the lack of something indefinable. The mysterious itching keeps on gnawing on us, whatever the extent of our fortune. This is how seeking money can lead to madness. Some are ready to commit crimes at a more or less large scale to accumulate as much as possible, without getting the expected satisfaction.
The world didn't created itself on its own by chance.
Something has created us.
This thing attracts us whether we like it or not.
The tarot describes very well the experiences that can unfold in our lives throughout this quest for the irresistible unknown. The rod firmly supports our material life. The cup keeps our precious energy supplies. The sword allows us to carve our path without fear. The priority is to accumulate as many coins as possible. Similarly, our body supports us in all circumstances. Our emotions drive us to action or prompt us to restrain. Our conscience grants us a better understanding to make better choices. Thus equipped, we seek our spirit, the thread that leads to what created us.