Tarot Card meaning for the Nine of Cups

In the Nine of Cups, we see a man sitting in front of nine cups. He has a large amount of cups proudly displayed behind him. This figure shows and element of richness and being proud on what has been achieved. He seems content, possibly a bit smug. What is in these cups? Why are they displayed this way - is he rightfully proud or is it “all show and no cattle”?

The Nine of Cups as a day card

Today we might feel content and proud with what we have. What is it that we are rightly proud of? What do we do with it? What is its purpose in our lives?
Reversely, are we showing off just to feel better about ourselves? Perhaps we should check the real content of these cups.

Negative or reversed meaning for this card

The Nine of Cups, has clearly two sides to it. We can be proud on achievements and what we have, but it warns against showing off. The fact that this card is based in the emotions as it is water card might urge us to check if we are really as fantastic as we feel. Feelings are not stable and there has to be more to the cups that just feeling good about them. What are they made of, why are we here?

How this card could present itself in real life

In my own life I think this could relate to having a fancy car. We had flash car for a while but was it that great? We hadn’t paid it off! Now the car is less flash but it is fully paid off and gets me places. In real terms the current car is much more valuable than all the fancy cars that are out of my league (at this point in time ;-)
A lot of us do get caught up in a trap like this, let’s buy this because it makes us look or feel good. This could be anything, a new TV, new house, a boat or an expensive holiday. If we can share it and see it for what it is, it might be valuable but if it is to measure ourselves on society’s standard of success it might not be so great.

How this card is represented in other Tarot decks

In the Crowley deck this Tarot card is very positive with an abundance of water flowing through nine beautiful large and decorative cups.

In the Celtic Dragon Tarot we see a woman bargaining with a dragon for the final ninth cup. This shows that in this deck we had to ‘fight’ for our treasures and they are rightly ours when we get them as it shows bravery and persistence in our journey to getting to this stage.

In the Osho Zen this card has the more negative meaning and is called Laziness. It hones in on the fact that this card is a 9 in a minor Arcana suit, meaning that although it is a nice place to be, the journey is far from over. We cannot just stay here and be lazy for an extensive period of time.

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