On holiday last week, the Nine of Cups surprised me by turning up in a reading as the ‘souvenir’ I would be taking home (you can read the full reading here) but, as sun-blasted Catalan days crept by its meaning has gradually emerged.
I was using the Wild Unknown Tarot – this Nine of Cups shows a simple circle of cups overlaid on purplish-blue colours, a crescent moon in the 12.00 position. It’s simple, tranquil, intriquing.
Let go of the idea of perfection – the Ten of Cups I was encouraged not to pack. Let it be. Let direction change. Stop struggling to complete the circle…the tenth cup will appear in time, but only if I stop trying. For now, it is the moon – it is intuition, shadow, subconscious and dream. It is the same crescent moon as the High Priestess…and the same blue-purple colours in her crystal ball.
The High Priestess contains these colours – she accesses her intuition actively, holding the keys to that inner wisdom we all have deep down inside us. Here in the humble Nine of Cups, they are the backdrop. This card asks me to appreciate that things are fine as they are, there is no need to worry, no need to strive for ‘completion’, ‘fulfilment’. Let my intuition guide me, let the tenth cup emerge in its own time. Let the circle complete itself, through simply being me.
This sits nicely with my previous ideas I’ve worked with:
Just a simple good time
Embrace passivity and allow a sense of contentment to take over, rather than seeking perfection.
The wish card
What do you wish for? How hard are you wishing? Make a wish…then let it be. Let your wishes be granted. Perhaps what you think you are wishing for is not what you really need deep down?
Covering something up
The Nine of Cups often suggested to me that I or my the querent were ignoring a crucial element in our situation. A sense of ‘this is good enough, let’s not worry about the imperfections’. Here, the crescent moon asks us to allow space for this to emerge. If something’s not right, it will make itself known, through intuition and dreams.
It’s funny how nines are interpreted so often as ‘the one before ten’ – nine wands are tiring before total burnout in the ten, nine pentacles of strength and hard work before landing the dream job/home/etc, nine nightmare swords before a theatrical ‘suicide’. Here in the cups, the moment you stop trying is what ultimately allows the emotional fulfilment of the ten to occur. Like a person searching so hard for love, the moment you stop desperately seeking ‘the one’ is the moment someone special walks into your life.
So as a souvenir from my strange and wonderful holiday, an energy to bring home with me, the Nine of Cups says ‘relax’. It says, as did the other cards in that reading, ‘you are in a process. Things are changing. You cannot force them.’
Let them be. Let them change. Quiet my mind and tune in to a deeper source of knowledge. Let – don’t make – the circle complete itself.
I’m a 30-something writer, artist, tarot reader, and perpetual explorer of the space between thought, feeling, and action.
I believe that spirituality and ritual are for everybody. I’m about the journey, in all of its messy, non-linear, chaotic iterations. I am excited by anticapitalist business and living with my whole entire self present. I use tarot cards to bring forth hidden truth, and ritual to affirm my commitment, over and over, to my ever-shifting path.