9 of cups


"... inner satisfaction, fulfilled hopes and wishes"

Why is this card so plain?

Does anyone get a "wish card" feeling with this card? This little guy don't even put a smile on your face. It doesn't even give a peaceful feeling like the Star card.

Thanks for any ideas.

Rusty Neon

The Golden Dawn keyword for the card is Material Happiness.

What the picture is trying to illustrate is not very clear from the picture, but according to Waite's PKT: "a goodly personage has feasted to his heart's content, and abudant refreshment of wine is on the arched counter behind him, indicating that the future is also assured. The picutres offers the material side only, but there are other aspects" [i.e., perhaps this is a suggestion that only part of the divinatory meaning for the card is illustrated by the picture?].


For all it's intent, I don't much like the looks of this card myself. It just seems like overindulgence and decadence. If it's satisfaction and good times with friends, where is everyone? It looks like the guy may have eaten them, especially in Morgan-Greer. Maybe he's just getting ready for the party, heck if I know.
But it wasn't so long ago that fat and sleek (no wrinkles because skin is stretched to the breaking point?) was a sign of prosperity, a status symbol, it meant that no one starved or worried about starving. If you've got it flaunt it? That whole eat, drink and be merry because tomorrow you die, attitude. It could be over saturation, satiation, I seem to get a negative feeling from it, even when it's upright. Maybe it's too materialistic and seems shallow.


I have a variety of feelings about this card (some positive - some not so). The 9 Cups lined up look too much like emotional "trophies" to me and the man looks just a little too smug. Also going on his body language and the crossed-arms pose can mean that he is closed off / not open to others or blocking external thoughts and emotions - on the defensive - protecting what he has.

Interesting about him being a bit on the heavy side as well (even in his slimming vertical stripes!). This used to also mean that someone did not have to work and therefore not become lean and fit from constant activity / work.



nine of cups

the card is simply satisfaction. reversed, it is dissatisfaction.
the image on the card is meant to show someone who is pleased with himself or the situation he is in. these same feelings occur when you meet a new person that you like, or the current events around you meet your standards. it can also be the return of an old friend; and look! hes brought refreshments! so it may show, with other cards, that one desires to cash his paycheck, then "show up with all this good stuff, and be the man of the day." the quotations being the nine of cups part.
the same kind of symbolism is used on the knight of cups. where the knight is carrying a cup that represents something that is desireable, so he takes it with him to increase his chances.


I never understood the interpretation of this card seeing the guy as smug and arrogant until I knew someone who had extremely low self-esteem and never-satisfied emotional needs (in spite of much education and accomplishment). He thought anyone who enjoyed success or who didn't emphasize their own unworthiness at all times (as he did) was selfish, smug, and arrogant.

His attitude simply seemed like total envy and hidden anger to me.

Whereas I just think this 9 Cups guy is enjoying his celebratory moment of accomplishment. How he treats others is an issue to be considered, but meanwhile, can't he just enjoy the moment?


Imagemaker, you have some wonderful points that I had never thought of or looked at in that way,
can't he just enjoy the moment?

Who cares really what the guy on the card looks like really, it is the intent- enjoy the moment, live life fully, indulge yourself, dive into life, the water is fine! Thanks for giving me a better way of looking at this card because honestly it just never quite meant a whole lot to me, or just left me ???? I kept thinking of a night on the town, or a huge Thanksgiving feast, overdoing it and feeling like a pig later. Enjoy life while you can, instead of taking it forgranted. Kind of wake up and smell the roses.


Solitary satisfaction

I see the 9 of Cups as being about everthing one needs to be satisfied except other people. So food, warmth, a nice brew of some kind, safe and sound lodgings, now he just needs a community or family to share it all with. He looks full and content but not totally fulfilled.


This is one of the few cards (okay, maybe the only) where I just don't agree with Pamela Colman-Smith. My very first deck ever was one painted by Giovanni Caselli to accompany a "Beginner's Guide" written by Juliet Sharman-Burke. In that deck the 9 of cups shows people enjoying a lavish banquet next to a table overflowing with fruits and food and flowers. Sometimes I feel like melding the two decks!!


Just picture the older gentleman sitting behind the wheel of a convertable Stingray Corvette or in drivers seat of a BMW or Mercedes roadster, with his funny little cap on and leather driving gloves.

You see this guy in this car, sometimes on Saturdays but usually on Sundays driving around his fancy toy on a sunny day.........smiles from ear to ear.