9 of cups: Getting everything you want and getting all you need

The 9 of cups shows a person sitting in front of a line of cups. He has a smug expression on his face, indicating how proud he is to own all these cups. You think as you look at it, that he has everything he wants. But does he have all he needs?

When I read the 9 of cups for a client, I usually talk about them getting something they really want out of life. It is not usually about wanting stuff but wanting a goal to be achieved. We want a nice house full of fun things, but we also want contentment, friends, possibly romance and that to me is what 9 of cups tends to be about.

The classic 9 of cups that I describe above is from the Rider-Waite deck created about 1910, when having a big house full of beautiful things was the best way to happiness. I think that is less so today. It could be that we take the “nice things” we have for granted. Of course, we say, we have a fancy stove and dishwasher. Plenty of beautiful clothes and a fast car. But when I do a reading, clients wish for other less tangible goals. They want advancement at work, perhaps. Good grades at school. Other things that indicate success more than material good do.

During a reading, I often see 9 of cups reversed. Reversed, it means NOT getting what we want, whatever that is. Again, usually not things we want but do not have, but goals that we are not achieving yet. Disappointment. What do we do then? We must keep working at things. One of the things I learned a long time ago is that we must let go of the timetable. We can send the outcome we desire out to the Universe. Much of the time, eventually we will what we desire, but so very often not as soon as we wish it would come to us.

When I read the 9 of cups, I say that it is the wish card, wishes coming true. But we need to look closer at that sometimes. Are they getting what they really need? Or just what they think they want to have? If we are doing a detailed reading for someone, we need to think about that. What is it we are wishing for? I try very hard not to judge others for what they are asking or what their circumstances are, but when we need to dive deep into a card, we need to think about this. What is 9 of cups really about?

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