Gratitude is a two-fold love – love coming to visit us, and love running out to greet a welcome guest.
~ Henry Van Dyke
Blessings and more blessings! We welcome the Nine of Cups, the gatekeeper of satisfaction and thanksgiving.
This week, on a multitude of levels, we stand at a crossroads. The American election appears to hang in the balance, and extremists from two of the world’s major religions have hijacked the message of their founders, aiming to fan the flames of global religious war.
This is the New Year and the beginning of the High Holy Days for the some 13 and a half million Jews around the world. (Wishing Shana Tova U’metukah to all!)
Pluto, which has been retrograde since April 11, stations direct on Tuesday the 18th. The dramatic endings and transformations in the sign of Capricorn that began in late 2008 but paused or turned inward for the last few months, will resume once more in the external, material world.
The second of the series of exact squares between Uranus and Pluto, which many astrologers consider to be the defining challenge of our lifetimes, hits on Wednesday. Last but certainly not least, on Saturday, day and night dance into their brief semi-annual balancing point and we celebrate the Quarter Sabbat of Equinox.
Yet as we stand upon this threshold of change and endings, looking ahead into uncertainty, the Nine of Cups offers a table of bountiful blessings.
Nine is a very magical number in many traditions, and of all the single digit numbers, it may be the most profound. Composed of three trinities (3 times 3), it represents the principles of the sacred Triad taken to their utmost expression.
And in the base 10 system, where all numbers are represented by ten distinct forms (0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, and 9), nine is the final number. As such, it becomes a limit, a bound, or the ultimate attainment. It is, in fact, a threshold number that is traditionally strongly associated with creativity, completion, and fate. It is also frequently connected with leadership, initiation, and the Mysteries.
And of course, the Tarot Cups are about the dreams, love, intuitive knowing, and heart’s wisdom that we all feel. So the Nine of Cups speaks of emotional satisfaction, perhaps a dream fulfilled.
The harvest celebrations are now underway in the Northern Hemisphere, as we gather in Gaia’s extravagant, loving bounty. Despite the dark days and long cold nights that lie ahead, we are enriched by what we give, and our rites of feasting and gratitude hearken back to an ancient time before memory.
This card is traditionally known as the Wishing Card. At this time that is notably not about scarcity, but when our hearts are full, as we cross from season’s endings into the unknown that lies ahead, we are encouraged to make a wish.
What is your heart’s desire? “Where intention goes, energy flows,” according to the old magical saying. Love, intuition, and healing are available in lush, benevolent ways. Who or what offers you great contentment and the realization of your spirit’s longings?
Of course as I have noted many times, every Tarot card has aspects of light and shadow. If you look at the figure at the table, you may perceive that he looks just a little bit smug.
Beware of over-indulgence or complacency. Remember to share your happiness and good fortune, for you yourself are like the man sitting before the table — a gatekeeper for others who are seeking their heart’s fulfillment.
Give thanks, that all you are given may be blessed. Give back, with a generous hand to others.
And set the place of honor and gratitude for your divine guest, the Giver(s) of Good, named in all faiths and all tongues: Love.