Nines

Today was a fascinating day. I found myself in a coffee shop early in the day, so I set out my table cloths and pulled my daily card there. A friend whom I read for was there, and I explored that card – The World – in depth, pulling out all the numerically and thematically related cards in the deck. I attracted a potential client and felt very connected to both my friend and the World card; The ritual of the reading is powerful all on its own, even if it isn’t for anybody 🙂

So I got the Nine of Swords about a week ago, and had some real quality time with not just that card but the nines in general. Some of my ideas are pretty abstract on this one, thankfully the writing process is a rapid way to crystallize ideas. I’m curious how others receive some of these concepts.

Observations on Threes squared into the Nines of the minor arcana.
Observations on Threes squared into the Nines of the minor arcana.

Nines exist for me as messengers to continue striving, always pushing forward in our development as human beings in as many ways as possible. The trinity of trinities, the Nine brings the principle of creation and squares it – literally  Three squared. Numerologically, squaring a number may manifest it in a more concrete way; In the case of threes and nines, we find the creative principle is brought into manifestation manifold – In Cups and Pentacles as visible success, in Swords and Wands as seeming excess.

Nines also seems to reveal solutions to ‘ruts’ in which we might find ourselves in, where we may be hanging on to an old pattern and we need to expand our approach to life in order to continue our growth. Looking at each suit separately, the idea can be explored further.

Cups are the happiest of the minor nines, but something is incomplete. The cups around him are undynamic, appearing like trophies. Whether they are meant to represent friends, conquests, or something else, the figure appears alone – this seems contrary to water’s connective, attractive qualities. The joy in the card seems undermined, is the figure meant to be successful, proud, superior? Visually there is also no ground – it is the same yellow as the sky, suggesting perhaps he is not aware of the bigger picture. Broadening his reach and sharing his emotional comfort may move him beyond personal success into benefiting a larger community. Overall, however, this is the most ‘complete’ of the minor nines – Cups are inherently related to love, and hence any continued, manifest creation of it has potential of many happy results. Ultimately, I do consider this a positive card, but I may advise querents that while they might be having a great time, pairing their joy and comfort with some awareness may elevate those around them can bring them to another level of fulfillment. Besides, putting that powerful state to good use  is important – being ungrounded,the figure may find his emotional satiety fleeting and later may appreciate positive results of working to share that joy.

Pentacles offer another more positive 9, but there is already a clear problem written on the face of the figure in the card. She observes the hooded hawk with a posture that expresses to me empathy and longing. The pattern of literal creation and material mastery has culminated in rich finery, material freedom and security. But embedded within is the message that freedom involves more than freedom on earth, and she desires a mobility beyond the material. I feel that She considers freeing the hooded hawk, opening her mind first to the possibilities of a higher fulfillment. Perhaps a message of putting her resources to use for not just herself but for all of mankind could also be read here, using her affluence for a higher purpose.

Pentacles offer another seemingly positive minor nine, but there is already a clear problem written on the face of the figure in the card. She observes the hooded hawk with a posture that expresses to me empathy and longing. The pattern of literal creation and material mastery has culminated in rich finery, material freedom and security. But embedded within is the message that freedom involves more than freedom on earth, and she desires a mobility beyond the material. I feel that She considers freeing the hooded hawk, opening her mind first to the possibilities of a higher fulfillment. Perhaps a message of putting her resources to use for not just herself but for all of mankind could also be read here, using her affluence for a higher purpose.

Wands displays a defensive, injured figure. The pattern of creation applied to fire is considered a journey in the 3. In the nine, there is a weary feel; He clutches the last wand as though it defines him. He consciously seems rebellious, but his posture betrays self consciousness, that he intuitively knows that he must let go.  By clinging with the ego to his personal accomplishment, he can’t properly give to the greater work behind him. (I explored this card separately on this blog in my first post – Nine of Wands)

Swords depicts a dark counterpoint to the placid nine of Cups. The continued creation of mental energy culminates in a pattern of self torment and obsession. The indication that a change is needed couldn’t be clearer. Expanding the element from internal to external, from thought, belief, and planning to communication and decision may be one release. The card represents a feedback loop, a failure to break the flow of mental images which frustrate our ability to act in our own interest. In addition to channeling that mental energy outwardly, a solution may be to address other parts of life – feeling freely, rather than thinking, or examining where our energies are headed and what we want from life.

Reinforcing the insight in how to rise above unhelpful or damaging patterns, the astrological and Qabalistic connections to the nines along with examination of the Hermit and the Moon do a huge job of elaborating and extending the subject. That said, I think this post is already getting long-winded, so I’ll lay that to rest for another day.

Lionel

One thought on “Nines

  1. Dear Lionel – I just read your post on the nines several times and am really grateful for your insight into these often “downplayed” minor arcana! It occurred to me as well that the motif of completion on one hand and the need for releasing this completed cycle into a new and freeing orbit characterizes the Nines indeed – so in future I will follow and give new freshness to my “nine” readings!!! The juxtaposition with the threes is most helpful. In Pythagorean thinking, the threes are the “ideas” and the nines are the “manifestations”… the threes are the numbers of the triangle, the nines the number of the tetrahedron – the first is spirit, the second is fire etc etc….I look very much forward to your comments on the Hermit and the Moon (and the Three’s in the Major Arcana as well!) at some future time. I am very excited about this exchange! Thanks
    Karinjenny

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