The Richest Man in the Cemetery
Minor Arcana - 4 of Coins
(c) Cheryl Lynne Bradley 2003-10
My father always says to me "There's no point being the richest man in the cemetery." and then he winks. A wise man so he is. We live in world that is overwhelmingly focused on money and the pursuit of more money. Some people are focused by need but more are focused by greed. It is a funny thing about people and money, people that don't have money practice generosity but people with money practice charity and mistake it for generosity. It is said that if you own something and you cannot bear to be parted from it, then it owns you, you don't own it. How can one really own anything anyway? There are Buddhist principles which tell us all accumulation ends in dispersal ( you can't take it with you), all meetings end in separation and that the end of birth is death. These are the inevitablities of life.
This little story floated into my email one day unauthored and I thought that it totally epitomizes the meaning of the 4 of Coins. What are you holding onto so tightly that it owns you? What are you afraid to let go of? What do you value? Who has the power? Can clinging or hoarding change the inevitable? What are you taking for granted?
"There was a man who had worked all of his life. He had saved all of his money because he was a real miser when it came to his money. He loved money more than anything, Right before his death, he said to his wife, " When I die, I want you to take all my money and put it in the casket with me. I want to take my money to the afterlife with me." He made his wife to promise him with all of her heart that when he died, she would put all of the money in the casket with him.
Well, he died. He was stretched out in the casket, his wife was sitting there in black, and her friend was sitting next to her. When the ceremony was over and the undertakers got ready to close the casket, the wife said, "Wait just a minute!' She had a box with her, which she placed in the casket. The undertakers locked the casket down, and they rolled it away. Her friend said, "Girl, I know you weren't fool enough to put all that money in there with your husband."
The wife replied, "Listen, I'm a GOOD Woman, I can't go back on my word. I promised him that I was going put that money in that casket with him." "You mean to tell me you put that money in the casket with him!!!!?" "I sure did," said the wife. "I wrote him a cheque."
The most important lesson of the 4 of Coins - never underestimate the power of a woman.
This page was created March 4, 2003 and updated on 2010-06-16.