Bohemian Gothic-Nine of Pentacles


As the 9/Pents is being discussed again in another section, I thought I'd investigate the BG's take on it. I have to say, I find this card very creepy. It seems to twist the Rider-Waite 9/Pents of a well dressed lady in a "garden" holding a little bird--a card suggesting wealth enough to be leisurely, to enjoy some of the finer things, like an exotic bird and a vineyard. And yet this card tends to carry with it the idea that the beautiful woman might be as kept, as much a pampered pet as the bird she holds.

The BG add more layers to this, and IMHO, seems less ambiguous about it. Our BG woman appears (to me) over dressed or playing at dress-up with her powdered wig (her face is too young for that to be her natural white hair), gaudy tiara and earrings. Her bird is a hooded falcon. There is a fine, but scary manor house in the distance which we assume is hers. And the woman has an odd expression on her face, as if triumphantly welcoming guests to her home. The theme of plenty and abundance is there, including the idea that the 9/Pents often carries of inheritance, or gaining enough money to be a step beyond comfortable. To be able to indulge in a few extravagances and luxuries.

Often people remark that this card suggests a kept woman. I usually don't feel that with the typical RW card, but with this one...hmmm. The woman's outfit, the outrageous wig and jewlery, give me the feeling that she's wearing hand-me-downs or things she believes aristocrats wear, but which she doesn't realize are out of date or don't suit her. I get the feeling that she is from the lower class, brought into that manor house by someone who was charmed with her beauty and/or personality. Now she has their wealth. How did she come into that money? Was she some man's mistress or some old lady's caretaker?

The way she looks at us suggest to me that she is gazing at people who might have looked down on her in the past. But now she invites these high brow folk to her home and they dare not refuse--she has too much money and power over them. They bow to her. And she, in turn, makes sure to remind them who is holding the jesses.

The Falcon is disturbing. On the one hand, it matches the typical 9/Pent with an bird that only the rich and upper class can own. Yet it is a bird of prey, and it is hooded. I get the feeling that, like the woman, it is a wild thing that's been domesticated--and yet not. There's no fully domesticating a falcon. It's interesting that the woman herself is in a fashion that requires a very restrictive corset and a narrow skirt (I don't know it it's an actual hobble skirt), not to mention that wig and jewelry weighing down her head. Likely she soared free before, when she was a poor girl, and was perhaps as dangerous as she was beautiful, but nevertheless a natural predator--now, however, wealth keeps her leashed, hooded and in her own "mew." And when she goes after prey, it is planned and premeditated. It is a luxurious and comfortable cage/existence, but still a cage.

Other thoughts on this card?


Her face does look a little young for that wig, doesn't it. I get the feeling that she has definitely sacrificed much for those jewels and that house. I agree with you that she doesn't appear to be the kept woman. I'm also a bit dubious about how she reached her position but she is happy with her lot although the house may be empty and the bird her only companion.

Those bird skulls at her feet make me glad that her falcon has its hood on so it can't see. I get the impression that this bird is one in a long line of pets. Something about this card makes me think of the two of cups. I'm not sure if they are linked at all but the woman in the two of cups looks like a younger, fresher and more naive version of the nine of pents lady. The house in the background of that card has its lights on and looks warm if not inviting. It's almost as if you could fast forward a few years and she has got rid of the lover but kept the house.

The moonlight on the nine of pents lady is also interesting. I have read about a reprint of the original RW having the lady half in the sun and half in the shade, turning from the sun to show sacrifice and constraints to achieve the life of wealth. The BG lady turns to the moonlight, almost as if she has had to use the darkness within herself to reap the rewards she searched for. From the look on her face it appears that the sacrifices were worth it!

bumble bee

BG 9 of Pentacles

I get the feeling that the falcon is her partner in crime. Does the bird go out and hunt and bring the prey back and they eat it right there? Im curious about the weird jewelry in her hair and also the cave. I wonder if the cave is an escape route from the castle or is it separate? Maybe she lives in the cave and has murdered all the inhabitants of the castle and is playing dress up with their clothes and jewelry. She uses the bird to bring back prey but why are the bodies left on the ground. Why are they not taken back to the castle and properly prepared.


bumble bee said:
I get the feeling that the falcon is her partner in crime. Does the bird go out and hunt and bring the prey back and they eat it right there? Im curious about the weird jewelry in her hair and also the cave. I wonder if the cave is an escape route from the castle or is it separate? Maybe she lives in the cave and has murdered all the inhabitants of the castle and is playing dress up with their clothes and jewelry. She uses the bird to bring back prey but why are the bodies left on the ground. Why are they not taken back to the castle and properly prepared.
Oh, I like these ideas! There's something wonderfully "supervillianess" about a secret cave under the castle, a falcon that is her partner in crime..even the playing dress up.

My guess is that she lives up in the Castle (I'm sure she murdered someone to get it), but comes down through secret stairwell to the cave to hunt with her falcon. It's the perfect way to hide the murders, yes? The falcon might drive some rich wealthy person out for a walk to this desolate area, they're killed and robbed. Then she goes back up to the castle, and no one is the wiser. The bones are left in this "garden" that no one but she knows how to get to. Maybe?


Opulence! Sheer opulence was my first reaction to the 9 of Pentacles. Next was, "eeekkkk, watch out bird you're next!", when I saw the falcon skulls on the ground. The hooded falcon indicates "control" over instinct. I think she was very deliberate and calculating in getting the beautiful mansion in the background. The skulls indicate that no scruples were spared and that cunning and madness was used to get her everything she wanted, even the freakish hairdo. I can see her saying to her stylist, "Honey, I'm RICH and I want a hairdo that will make Elvira look bald! More hair, higher, higher!" Of course, that is why the freakish hair clasp is stuck on her forehead so the wig doesn't fall off.
Yeesh! The things people do when they have too much money.
Just don't make fun of them or you could be next!


For a lack of better expression- this bitch is crazy. I would not go up there with her to take a look at her castle,for the life of me.
I feel like I have been born again when I discovered this board-as I interpret and do readings using only the Bohemian Gothic Deck.
I do not think the castle belonged to her, her gaze almost gives the impression that she did whatever is nececary to own it, at all costs, the end justfying all the means. Her eyes tell us that she walked across dead men's bodies to get where she is now,like her glare is saying '' Oh the things I had to do to get where I am now,but oh look at me now'', Whatever grusome and vile acts she did in order to be Madam of the House- she came out triumphant and apparently not repenting anything,she isn't sorry for what she had to do in order to reach that mansion in the hills,her smug smile almost is telling that she thinks the ''dirt'' she had to put up with or do ( murdering someone ) was aaal worth it...

The things people do for money. I keep looking at her shoes,and just her face- she wasnt born rich, born in money, her face looks a bit plain to me,like a peasants. Perhaps a woman who wanted to be in the high society no matter the cost,and wanted to be excepted by the same by the social glitterati that once looked down upon her? I get the feeling that there was hidden bitterness in her, but there is some twisted and sick satifaction in her face as if daring us ( as Thirteen says ) to say anything against her,because now- SHE has the power, and she feels the most sick ,disturbing satifaction because of it. In her heart however,to me she is still that same peasant girl- you can take the girl out of the village,but you cant take the village out of the girl. She is not refined or classy at all,despite apparently giving everything to seem otherwise ( the insane huge wig ) she is the same little savage with the same little black heart.

She kind of reminds me of those women who have a thing for wealthy men,and they sleep with loads of rich ,less influential creeps until they find the one who is ''just right '' and rich enough and settle down with him, thinking of themselfes even as if they were the victims '' Oh my, look what I had to sacrifice just so I can be happy and get what I want, having t sleep with so many disgusting not rich enough ( for my taste ) men oh but it was alll worth it now ). They are shameless,and so is this woman- which again,speaks to me of her hidden hatred towards the ''upper class'' hatred because she knew that deep down she will never be as refined as they are and will never belong ,because they were everything better than her and that hatred fueled her bitterness,which fueled her dark desire to be RECONIZED as one of them, or the main one, at all costs.

This woman reeks of materialism,and she basically sold her soul to ''get in'' ( the castle ) she wanted to be accepted and now she did acheve it. Not because rich people liked her,it almost seemed she forced them to ( not literally,but her money and influence and power ARE the force ) ,or like she is forcing us. She now has the money,the power, the influence the everything and by her eyes you can tell she is warning us that we'd better as hell take her into the highest account-or else.
Perhaps she will do to us what she did to those in the castle.

Per aspera ad astra,huh?


Great post, LaRazia!


I'm honored that you like it Thirteen :)
The card actually reminded me of something you said in the '' 9 of Pents goldigger'' topic,and I posted there as well. In short, I did a reading for a friend of mine and one of the cards that came out as the outcome of the relationship was the 9 of Pentacles.
She normally is the type of woman to do everything on her own,never asked anyone for material help, but she had been so low with cash for so long she asked her longtime boyfriend to finance her for two months ( then her new job begins ). Not finance as in pay the bills,but he gave her a larger amount of money to spend on make-up,clothes, hair dresser,so he is financing her looks during these two months.
My friend has this thing that she wants to be the most beautiful,the most stylish and she has potential to be that just her big money issues were hindering that for quite a long while,until she ''decided'' to do this,and I feel that she feels she is finally getting what she deserves and looking like she deserves and even though she had to sleep with someone to get it...and getting something that way is indeed, per aspera ( from throns ) ''ad astra'' ( to stars ). Of course,what I am telling is different because he is a longterm boyfriend as she will pay him right back once her new job starts but still,she feels that now finally ''she looks like she should'' and is getting the reactions that,according to her, she DESERVED. She is also enjoying being financed for her looks by her boyfriend- makes me think the same way this woman enjoyed killing the owner of that hilltop mansion.

Like I said,the situation I described is very different because my frend is normally independent, has been known to lend money to her boyfriend in time of need as well, will pay him back and theres is a long term relationship,but still, theres some resemblance lol.