Nine of Cups — Renaissance Tarot

Thursday, April 19th, 2012

Artist: Helen Jones

Author: Jane Lyle


A delightful person whom I do not know suggested that when I don’t know what to write, I look at others’ blogs for inspiration. So I read her blog today and paraphrase a sentence and steal a few words. Such are the wiles of the writer.


In spite of my “best efforts,” [none] I’m not able to write a blog nearly as often as I like [every day], given that I have to simultaneously nurse a baby and bounce her up and down [okay not simultaneously] when I’m not nursing her and attempt to nap when she’s attempting to nap and— wait— I just stay home all day. Sigh. Actually, I have very little to do. I stare at my baby. I tell people who are visiting me [bless them!] to do things for me. Mow the lawn! Cook me dinner! Wash the dishes!


I draw the Nine of Cups. Enjoy yourself! [It will only get more difficult.]


Sometimes I sit here and stare at my baby and think, “this is exactly what I’ve always wanted.” The thing is, I never thought about wanting this, exactly. It’s contentment and satisfaction and happiness that I’ve always wanted, tho I haven’t always known it. These things come in many forms. In my experience, goal-oriented happiness-seeking does not lead to the same level of contentment as acceptance-of-life happiness-seeking.


A friend I met while planting trees in Alaska has a Chinese (?) tattoo on her shoulder. When I was twenty-two, I asked what it meant. She said— “It means, enjoy life.” Then, with habitual honesty, she edited herself— “Actually, it means enjoy yourself, but I tell people it means enjoy life because I don’t want them to take it the wrong way.”


I thought, “What is the difference between enjoy life and enjoy yourself?” I prefer enjoy yourself. It is somehow both more immediate and more permanent.


Ten years later, working in Hawaii, I met a native man who’d grown up on Ni’ihau. He had the most pleasant temperament, tho he said when he was younger, he was quick to anger. He loved to tell tales and I loved to listen. Whenever it was time for me to go— for it was never time for him to go— he blessed me with the words, “Enjoy yourself.” I thought of the friend I’d met in Alaska when I was younger. I thought how wise these people are, these people who enjoy themselves.


Enjoy yourself!

Nine of Cups — The Fantastic Menagerie Tarot

Tuesday, March 6th, 2012

Artist: Alexandr Ukolov

Author: Sophie Nusslé

Designer: Karen Mahoney


I said, “Give me a card for my friend K.G.”

The deck gave me this fat nine of cups— the foundation of pleasure— the wish card.



(Paraphrased from the companion book into a blessing for K.G.)


May all your wishes come true!

May many things you never wished for, too, come true!

Let these things fill you with contentment.

May you enjoy your sensuality in pleasures found and pleasures shared.

May your desires be fulfilled. May you love both gifting and receiving.

May your heart be fully opened into a solid foundation for your emotions.

May you find joy everywhere, and in the simplest of things.


(I love you & wish you always the best.)

Nine of Cups — Vertigo Tarot

Thursday, January 12th, 2012

Illustrator: Dave McKean

Author: Rachel Pollack


If this card is right-side up, it says:

Witness the perfection of art:  desire, beauty, sensuality. Count your blessings. Live in the moment. Enjoy the good life. Contentment with your accomplishments forms a foundation for the future. Balance is always needed, but right now is more a time of enjoyment than of suffering the negative consequences of such pleasure.


If this card is upside-down, it says:

Frustration. Your wishes may not have yet come true. Perhaps you are being unrealistic. Wishes do not manifest of their own accord. Something is missing deep down. Be careful not to over-emphasize your fantasies or gratify your own desires at the expense of others.


I am especially unfocused today— as opposed to my regular, generally unfocused self. This being the Vertigo Tarot, my thoughts meandered around the request, “Tell me something about dreams.” (I also thought, “Give me an idea for a boy’s name,” tho not so seriously.) Although every card in this deck may be linked to Dream, the Nine of Cups is generally a dream card: daydream. Rachel Pollack writes, “…the dream here is of the body… We spend a great deal of our imaginative energy on sexual images… The artist takes these fantasies and uses them as a vehicle for something less personal, even serene, as if art, in its universality, transcends physical desire…”


This card tells me I have a tendency to daydream rather than get about to doing the work necessary to follow through with my ideas. I know that: I have a house full of things that could potentially, when I get around to it, be fixed up or made into other things. My most intentional work of art— my wicked deck of cards— moves toward completion at a snail’s pace. But who among us is not a dreamer? Nonetheless, Nine of Cups shows emotional, physical, and sensual satisfaction. Perhaps if I was less satisfied, my daydreams would be more than dreams.


Some say happiness is an attitude of choice. If my biggest dream in life is to be happy—and in the end, whose isn’t?— than I am successful. I have accomplished— with some hard work— the most important dream. Every other daydream is just icing on the cake.


Om Lokah Samastah Sukhino Bhavantu
May All Beings Be Happy