However I damn well please – Nine of Pentacles

I’ve been making some changes to the way I work lately.

After a strange summer of shifting emotions and a feeling that I’d lost myself somewhere along the way, and the unfamiliar experience of simply allowing those shifts to happen rather than leaping to articulate or capture them, September brought clarity, and a climax. In the way that early autumn always feels like a new year to me, I felt as though I’d figured something out and was ready to make the necessary changes.

It boils down to a change to the way that I work – and the things I consider ‘work’. This is something I’m writing about separately so I won’t ramble on here, but today, when I pulled the Nine of Pentacles as my daily card, I realised that I have choices. That, as a self-employed person, I can make decisions about how I work, to be able to experiment, to decide what my working day looks like and just what ‘work’ actually is, for me.

nine of pentacles wild unknown tarot

From the Wild Unknown Tarot

I truly love this card – it’s right up there with my absolute favourites. I love it because it’s grounded, earthy and real – it’s about physical comfort, being well-resourced, having what you need, feeling sustained…by the fruits of your own labour.

But more importantly, it’s about defining success in your own way.

Right now, I feel abundant, and I feel successful. I have what I need, a home, love, enough to eat, an income that’s gradually becoming sustainable. But I can also see changes I want to make. The Nine of Pentacles tells me it’s okay to make them.

I’ve always thought of the Nine of Pentacles as the ‘independent woman’ card, in that it embodies that cool feminist trope of a woman who doesn’t take any shit, does what the hell she likes, works hard on the things she’s passionate about, and as a result enjoys a feeling of self-reliance, abundance, fulfilment…all that fun stuff.

nine of pentacles anna k tarot

From the Anna K Tarot

As I’ve been making changes to my working day/week and reconsidering what I want this all to look like, I’ve found myself fretting about what people will think. What if it sounds like I’m not working enough? What if someone says I’m lazy? What if, shock horror, I free up time to myself to indulge in simple pleasures, while others are working hard?

The Nine of Pentacles tells me not to give a stuff what anyone else thinks. Right now, I know what’s best for me, and I’ll do this however I damn well please.


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  1. Berwyn says:

    It’s so insidious that we are evaluated on whether we work hard enough or are productive enough…by other people’s arbitrary standards! I’m going to dig up the nine of pentacles and think about what “enough” means to me…

    • Beth says:

      Right? But on the other hand, the judgement was all coming from within me – nobody has called me lazy, it’s just part of the culture in the UK to have that clocking in mentality – working hard and a lot is better than working the right amount for you, or sometimes working more and sometimes less. I guess this card today was about unlearning that.

  2. Geila says:

    I loved your reading on the 9 of Pentacles. Yes! Go for what makes brings you pleasure! It’s funny that I pulled this very card twice in 2 different decks this morning. To me, in my life, it speaks of not just more money abundance (The dog needs a new bed) but a more radiant light in my heart and spirit. And, finally being in a better position to be picky. I can dip my hand in the joy river flowing by me and pull out what I need to be happy and leave the rest behind. Growing pains will still come at some point, but success is beginning the cycle. I choose to believe this!

  3. chloetarot says:

    Totally agree on the Nine of Pents! I see her as working hard – she’s dedicated to what she does – but that doesn’t mean she has to work hard all the time 🙂 Will look forward to reading about the things you consider work, as that’s something I struggle with…

    • Geila says:

      Work is a personal journey, very subjective. To me, its being productive in MY way. If its writing stories or books and then watching someone’s baby or a while, that’s work. The person across the street goes to an office all day and sits in front of a computer. That’s work. She hates it. I love what I do. She makes more money. I don’t at the moment. A friend of mine inherited a ton of money from a rich uncle. True! She stopped working in shameless joy. She is a great listener and will help at the drop of a hint. She travels often but to help friends. That’s her journey. We create our own reality with ? – a higher power. Ourselves. Like-minded souls. Its no ones business but ours. Our worth should never be defined by someone else’s idea of worth or the amount of money we make and how we make it:) and if I decide to do nothing all day but eat dark chocolate and read to my dog, I am lucky if I have the option to do that. Hm. Not a bad idea!

      • Karen says:

        I’m overjoyed . that’s how I feel after reading your post ! Thank you ! I share you sentiment 200% Be Blessed.

  4. Theresa says:

    Ah yes…work. I am a workaholic but even I’m no longer wearing that title proudly. I’ve been taking time off and enjoying it. A lot. No guilt. It’s time to stop ‘n smell the roses (or whatever you like to smell…personally, I prefer clean laundry). No need to explain yourself or to make apologies.

  5. This particular iteration of the Nine of Pents is what I based part of my tarot tattoo on. I love this card so much. To me, it’s all about the home and the life that you build for yourself. As a trans person, it reminds me that this body of mine is my home, and I am doing what I am able to rebuild it to be a home I want to live in. And, like you’ve said here, it reminds me that this is *my* life, and I get to decide how I’m going to live it. No one else gets to choose that for me, and if they’re going to judge me for my life, well, that’s their problem. 🙂

  6. I know what you are saying here Beth. I took voluntary early retirement from a job I had disliked for soooo long! I made a commitment to myself to only do things I enjoy from here on in. Sometimes I feel that others are judging me because I’m now able to do this and I’m not prepared to spend my life doing something I hate. It’s as if they think I’m lazy or priveleged to be able to do this when actually I spent 31 years trapped in a job I grew to detest. I think I did my bit and I’m not prepared to waste any more of my life doing things I don’t enjoy or find fulfilling.

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