9 of Pentacles

bask in the grounding nature of the surroundings you’ve created for yourself

Nine shows a solitary moment to gather ourselves in the gifts of the suit + Pentacles represent the physical realm

from Touchstone Tarot by Kat Black

And so, in the centered aspect of the Nine of Pentacles, we enjoy the surroundings and lifestyle we’ve created for ourselves. So often translated as material wealth and independence, I see it in a more spiritual sense. It signals contentment in our physical surroundings (e.g., a love of nature or setting up our own space in the home) and with our path. It’s a place of independence, of self-satisfaction, of self-sufficiency; but we don’t need wealth to thrive, and material possessions do not make a self-possessed life.

The suit of Pentacles is a very grounding one, and here we may be reminded to ground by experiencing nature.

In resistance, we don’t allow ourselves time to fully be with ourselves. We may not feel that we can or should. Perhaps we’re not comfortable in a place of abundance, or even in our own skin; or we feel guilt for not being “productive.”

In excess, our only concern is our own comfort or self interest. Perhaps we’ve become so independent that the environment we’ve created is entirely under our control — even down to the hooded falcon doing our bidding.

Questions that we may be prompted to explore when this card comes up include

  • Are you comfortable in the solitude of your own company? Do you allow yourself that time? If not, why?
  • Do you enjoy leisure time? How do you view it?
  • Is luxury an important part of your life?
  • Can you give up control of your environment?
  • Are you in need of grounding?

What else? What observations and insights have you had on this card? How has it come up for you?

9 of Swords

question your demons

Nine finds us in a solitary moment to gather ourselves before completion + Swords represents the airy realm of thoughts and beliefs

from Art History Tarot for Past Lives

And so, in the centered aspect of the Nine of Swords, our thoughts persist in a sort of torment of the mind. We found ourselves trapped by our beliefs in the Eight, and without direct action, our anxiety may persist in insomnia and nightmares. We often ascribe fear and worry to the Swords because the mind can get lost in over-thinking — especially as the numbers ascend through the cycle and build; but the lesson here is that our dragons may be slayed by questioning them. Truly think about it. Defy your demons. This is an invitation to evolve in understanding our thoughts and how we deal with the mind’s creation of fear and worry; to turn on the light, look under the bed, and open the closet door to see that there are no demons residing there, after all.

In resistance, we deny its presence or refuse to face our fears. Seeing the card literally, we may have a hard time getting up.

In excess, we obsess over our anxiety, perhaps so much that we descend into self-pity as a security blanket.

Questions we may be prompted to ask when this card comes up include

  • How do you torment yourself? What part does shame play?
  • What does it serve to be in this fear? What part is activated and what is it protecting? How can we tend those parts?
  • Is this fear actually true? How do you know?
  • How are you managing your anxiety?

What else? This card brings up a lot in people; how has it come up in your readings? What insights have you found in exploring its meanings?

9 of Cups

consider what you wish for and nourish that dream

Nine prompts reflection before emerging to culmination + Cups represents our inner world of emotions and dreams

from Isidore Tarot

And so, in the centered aspect of the Nine of Cups, we realize a sense of self and are satisfied with what we’ve attained.  There is an overall sense of mindfulness inherent in this card, and a reminder of gratitude.  Traditionally known as the “wish card” in predictive reading because it indicates desires fulfilled, it invites us to check in with what we wish for and to build intention, nourishing our dream toward fulfillment. There is an inherent reminder in this card to “be careful what you wish for,” which pertains also to being specific in your intentions.  Consider them carefully.

In resistance, we don’t believe that we’ll get what we want, or we feel undeserving. Do we deny ourselves pleasure? We may be waiting for the other shoe to drop, and this is a reminder to examine those fears.

In excess, we overindulge in that which brings us pleasure or satisfaction (in order to keep things bottled up? Or, out of selfishness, we satisfy only ourselves, unconcerned with the welfare of others.

Questions we may be prompted to consider when this card comes up include

  • Are you preventing your personal growth in some way? How?
  • Have you been complacent in your intentions? Why?
  • Do you fear that your dreams will never be attained? What parts feed that fear?  What can you do now to take a step in their direction?
  • Do you overindulge, either as a way to avoid success or because you lack limits? How does that serve you?
  • Are you concerned only with your own fulfillment?

What else? This card can be an emotional powerhouse and you may have other insights. How has it come up for you?

9 of Wands

rest where you can in order to persevere

Nine nears the end of the cycle and we pause for a moment to steady ourselves for culmination + Wands represents our energy and how we use it, our vitality

from Proletariat Tarot

And so, in the centered aspect of the Nine of Wands, we’re approaching completion and take a moment to refresh our stamina. Amid the action of Wands, we rest — weary, but ready to persevere with resolve. This is the survivor; things may be busy or challenging, but it’s important to nourish ourselves in order to endure the final push or try again in anticipation of the challenge or change to come. Remain aware of your surroundings and protect the progress you’ve made, but take a break where you can before the last leg of this journey.

In resistance, we retreat or surrender. Overcome with fatigue or helplessness, we just can’t muster the inner fire.

In excess, we’re overprotective of our wands, perhaps stubbornly distrusting and hyper-vigilant. Paranoid that they will be taken away, we’re unable to relax, not letting our guard down, or clinging to them despite that they no longer serve our needs. In Smith-Waite, the bandage on his head indicates that he’s been through a battle. Was he headstrong and belligerent?

Questions we may be prompted to explore when this card comes up include

  • Is your inner critic telling you to throw in the towel? Whose voice is it? How do you respond?
  • Are you dealing with a battle that’s gone on too long? Are old wounds resurfacing? How can it be resolved?
  • Do you feel alone in this battle?
  • Where do you feel overprotective? What may happen if you let down your guard?
  • Are you in manic mode? Where can you take a rest and recenter?

What else? There are various aspects of this card and you may have different insight. How has it come up for you?