Thread: 9 of Pentacles
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Hidden messages in this nine


This card is very much a "simplistic" design. These are often the hardest cards to understand. In the Waite-Smith Tarot, the lady in that Nine of Pentacles stands richly dressed in a walled in garden, a bird of prey on her wrist, enjoying the beauty of the garden and her estate. Many meanings are obvious.

In this Fey card we have to do so much second and third level deductive work. Simplicity. The book gives us a few clues. The throne suggests a special family. It doesn't seem to be hers, as such, yet she feels comfortable sitting there. The book indicates a "lineage" issue. The throne symbolizes what she has been part of or close to in the past and which is still present for her -- comfort and position.

Did you note the two rings around her waist? I don't think this is to reduce the waist and enhance the bust line -- it would seem to represent a form of self-control, of discipline by not being over-indulgent, a worthy attribute of those with careful upbringing and an observation that is in-line with the throne and her lineage.

Birds are social creatures. The brightly colored ones are prized as pet and as mates. Sitting above her, this suggests to me an aura of social grace and of acceptance, a place in the world, an ability to attract and influence others.

Each of the Pentacle Cards has its own design motif. The grape cluster has six grapes with three sides of three grapes -- nine in terms of the sides, six in terms of the count. The link to the "six" card suggests that this position (the nine) is related to being able to share with others, another attribute linked to the wealthy but more often practiced by the poor among the poor. Grapes are a rich symbol in themselves -- fertility on one hand, sacrifice on the other hand (ref. J.E.Cirlot, A Dictionary of Symbols). Not every year brings a harvest, and some harvests are better than others. So there is a connection here with nature, with hard work, with reward, with enjoyment and abundance.

Why would one be sitting in a seat of honor before a symbol of fertility and abundance, well dressed, poised and expectant? This is perhaps the key to the card's meaning. She is upon the brink of social recognition, perhaps marriage, but certainly to be "confirmed" in some way, to be placed within a comfort zone. In this sense, this card is much like the Waite-Smith card except that there "comfort" is an established circumstance. Here, in the Fey Tarot, this Nine of Pentacles is achieving, is advancing, is being honored and enriched within moments, within a short time. There is movement here from one condition to another, her trip/growth is not yet complete but she is most clearly getting there, progressing and acquiring. She is on the verge of this. Perhaps a different sense of what the nine's are about, certainly a more dynamic sense and condition then static comfort.

In a reading:
PAST CARD POSITION: The querent was on the brink of recognition and reward for hard work and efforts. Did that happen?
PRESENT CARD POSITION: The querent has positioned her/him-self for what is due them and needs to exercise patience.
FUTURE CARD POSITION: The querent has an opportunity to be recognized, to be able to earn recognition. One must find the path, then make the effort.
CHALLENGE CARD POSITION: The querent has to make a greater effort than others to be positioned and then enabled to demonstrate character and achievement. There may be competition or a selection process in place.

This is my take on this quiet card. Dave
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